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Vivitar 283 Flash Vari-power VP-1 module

John Painter , Feb 26, 2005; 11:25 a.m.

I know that lots of people recommend the 283...I already have one, but don't have the VP -1 module.

Anyone using this? I am wondering how Dim the 283 gets when on it's lowest setting. Still looking for Fill Flash for M6/M3 shooting ISO 1250.



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Jason B. , Feb 26, 2005; 11:49 a.m.

The 283 only has one manual setting. The 285 allows you to dial it down to 1/16th power.

John Painter , Feb 26, 2005; 12:12 p.m.


The VP-1 module has a 1/64th setting and plugs into the front of the 283.....cool feature maybe. Just wondering how low 1/64th really is.


Dan Fromm , Feb 26, 2005; 12:23 p.m.

John, I have a pair of 283s with VP-1s that I use a lot for closeup work, also a Minolta Flash Meter.

At full power, both 283s are 1 stop down from rated power. Rated ISO 100 feet GN is 120, actuals 80 and 90.

At 1/2 power, both are 1 stop down from rated.

At 1/4, -2 stops

At 1/8, -3 stops

At 1/16, -4 stops

At 1/32, -5 stops

At 1/64, which is not marked, -6 stops.

They work very consistently. Now do the arithmetic yourself.



Red Buckner , Feb 26, 2005; 12:36 p.m.

I've checked the VP-1 against a good flash meter, and it does just what it is supposed to do. My 283 lasted over twenty years, and some people have used them longer. There are reasons why they have sold so well for so long.

Al Kaplan - Miami, FL , Feb 26, 2005; 12:38 p.m.

I've been using 283's since the late 1970's. The Varipower Module is handy to have and will get you to about 6 stops less than full power but I'm not sure that all of them are the exact same at that unmarked last position. Run some tests if it's critical.

John Painter , Feb 26, 2005; 05:47 p.m.


It looks like with the VP-1 @ 1/64, it will the same output as my Nikon SB-800 @ 1/ 128....gotta place an order...



Frank Granovski , Feb 26, 2005; 06:40 p.m.

The 285HV looked like a much better flash than the 283, and there was only a difference of $20 (Canadian). The 285HV has worked out very well for me. I'm planning on buying a 2nd one.

Eliot Rosen , Feb 26, 2005; 06:44 p.m.

You have to be careful, the 285HV might fry the flash circuitry of some Ms (? M6/TTL/M7). I heard that a while back. I used the 285HV with my M4-P, with no problem, except that it is clumsy for on camera use because it is tall and top heavy.

Elliot N , Feb 26, 2005; 07:26 p.m.

At its minimum setting my VP-1 gives out five and a half stops less than at full power. Tested with a lightmeter, I found the incremental markings to be inaccurate. (This is easily solved with a sticker and a pen.)

I'm now using a secondhand Metz MZ40 which is more accurate, with a 10 stop range in one third of a stop increments.

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