A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Featured Equipment Deals

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Digital SLR Camera Read More

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Digital SLR Camera

Read about how to choose a DSLR camera from Photo.net. We take a look at everything from Format size, Image stabilization systems, metering, etc. Includes example images.

Latest Equipment Articles

4 Outdoor & Adventure Photo Packs Read More

4 Outdoor & Adventure Photo Packs

Photo packs have come a long way in the past decade, especially those that are targeted toward outdoor and adventure photographers. Alaska-based adventure photographer Dan Bailey takes a closer look...

Latest Learning Articles

5 Tips for Combating Red-Eye Read More

5 Tips for Combating Red-Eye

Red-eye doesn't have to ruin your photos. Learn 5 simple tricks to avoid and eliminate this undesirable photographic effect.


Vivitar 283 flash

Dale Padjen , Dec 11, 2006; 04:22 p.m.

Can anyone tell me if the Vivitar 283 flash can be used with my DMC-FZ30 Panasonic digital camera? I was told that the triggering voltage must be below 6 volts. Does anyone know if my Vivitar 283 flash is below 6 volts? Thanks Dale

Responses

Tom S. , Dec 11, 2006; 05:14 p.m.

The only way to be certain is to measure the contacts on the flash with a voltmeter. Be careful when measuring. If the trigger voltage is high, you'll receive a nasty shock!

Gary Nakayama , Dec 11, 2006; 06:10 p.m.

Short of having a serial number table to voltage, you will have to measure the trigger voltage.

As I understand the early ones were about 200v, the later ones were the low voltage ones.

You can get an inexpensive DVM (Digital Volt Meter) at Radio Shack. A VOM (Volt Ohm Meter) won't work, you NEED the high impedance input of a DVM to properly measure the trigger voltage.

Gary

Michael Gilday , Dec 11, 2006; 10:34 p.m.

If you are moderately crazy, you can slip a small screwdriver into the "slot" on the foot, so it touches the electrical contact there; holding the shaft, you could then touch the contact in the center of the bottom of the foot with a finger on the same hand. If you get a shock, your 283 is high-voltage. If you don't get a shock, it's either a low-voltage one... or the screwdriver isn't touching the contact.

I really don't recommend this as a practical method of testing the sync voltage on a 283/285 flash; I've just discovered the potential (pun intended) of these flashes after mounting one of the metal replacement feet onto one with a high sync voltage, and accidentally cupping the bottom of the turned-on flash in my palm one afternoon...

Harris Goldstein , Dec 11, 2006; 10:46 p.m.

Gary, could you expand on your comment:

"You can get an inexpensive DVM (Digital Volt Meter) at Radio Shack. A VOM (Volt Ohm Meter) won't work, you NEED the high impedance input of a DVM to properly measure the trigger voltage."

I have a couple of digital multimeters (VOM). Are you saying that that a digital VOM won't work or just that an analog (needle) VOM won't work?

Thanks.

Gary Nakayama , Dec 11, 2006; 11:35 p.m.

Harris,

Check the spec sheet for your digital meter, my guess is it has a high impedance input, most if not all DVMs are.

In general, if the meter has an analog (moving needle) face, it has a low impedance input. The exception is a VTVM (Vacume Tube Volt Meter) which have a high impedance input.

The only reason for needing the high impedance input is, you need the resistance to be high enough that it won't trigger the flash. If it triggers the flash, you can't get a reading.

Having said this, I have one flash that my DVM will trigger.

Gary

Jim Strutz - Anchorage, AK , Dec 12, 2006; 01:10 a.m.

Most volt meters are rated in ohms per volt. I've been told that 20,000 ohms per volt is the minimum you would want to check sync voltage with. Higher would be better. The issue is not only triggering the flash, but since the available current of a high sync voltage might be very low, a meter without enough impedance could draw down the voltage and might give you a lower than actual reading.

BTW, here's a web page with more information. http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

Tim Reaves , Dec 13, 2006; 04:12 p.m.

I use the Vivitar 283 with my Olympus E300 and my Fuji S2 Pro and it does put out more than 6 volts. I purchased and use a Wein Safesynch from B&H Photo shoot worry free.

david john appleton , Dec 20, 2006; 08:14 p.m.

Hi if the 283 is made in japan then it will most likly to have 200-250v trigger volts,so dont use it, if made in china or Korea it will be low but not 6 Volts low but all vivitar 285 are low i dont have a concern with any camera /flash combo with a trigger volts of less than 25v as its not the volts that fry the camare(we can have hundereds if not 1000s of volt of stitic in us, so cameras etc are protected from this high volts but LOW amps) but with old flash guns the camera triggerd the capacitor charge so with the high ish voltage came a big current as well, which is what will fry things.SO if the triger volts is les than 25v the switching of the hevey curent will be done in the flash gun. canon nikon panasoinc etc will tell us 6 volt as A it easy to under stand and B its good markting so you will buy a gun from them hope this helps dave

Back to top

Notify me of Responses