One Year Of Photography by Howard Haby

164/365: Vivitar 283

I received a Vivitar 283 flash in the mail on Friday. I paid less than $30 shipping included from some guy in Tennessee (thank you ebay). He said it was in mint condition, which made me wonder as the flash is a year older than  I am. I’ve read all kinds of stuff on the internet about this flash being a work horse and how most are still functioning today. I also read how the capacitors (I think – electronics isn’t my strong side) wear out and it takes about 30 or more seconds to recharge after a flash before it can be used again. For a photographer doing even a portrait, this can be a lifetime. Certainly can’t run and gun at an event with this thing. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it recharges somewhere between 6-8 seconds, and quicker a couple times. This is pretty much what the manual says, and also indicates (to my limited knowledge) that it pretty much is in mint condition.

Anyway, this flash will more than meet my needs at this point in time. I’m still messing with one flash, and I’ll learn to do well what I can with that before I (if I can resist) add the Vivitar. At this point,  I seem to have way more knowledge in my head than I have the means and opportunities  to practice techniques and set ups. It’ll all come in time, though.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

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2 responses

  1. Mike Shillitoe

    I got my first 283 some 27 years back and it still works fine, I’ve another two off eBay which have a few minor faults like the socket for the sync lead don’t work. Ideal flash guns for rough outside shoots.
    Down side is you can’t connect the 283 directly to a DSLR camera due to the high trigger voltage(300+ volt) blowing the circuitry, best solutions are to buy a Wein safe sync or use a radio trigger. most of which can cope with the high voltage.

    More recently I bought 3x Vivitar 360’s, but after 12 months use 2 failed and were un-repairable, so would recommend 283 to any one, even better than the 285 which has more features but cheaper build quality. 🙂 Mike…..

    July 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    • Howard

      Thanks for your comment, Mike. I’ll be using it strictly off camera. Ordering a Wein Peanut for that for now.

      July 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm

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