I have a 283 flashgun that I bought back in the 1980's. I understand that the trigger voltage can be very high on these older models, so I have never used it with my Panasonic Lumix bridge camera. However, I now own a Nikon D80 DSLR.
My question is: Can I safely use the 283 with the Nikon D80 without fear of blowing the electrical circuits?
The nikon D80 has a 250 volts safe range and i have the same issue but readin on the internet i learned that yo can now the voltage of your flash with a voltage metter ond the hot soe.
Vivitar 283 has diferent ranges of voltages depending on the year of fabrication so older ones can achieve 300 volts and earlier have 230 volts so the best is to get a vivitar 285hv for about 75dollars or a safe sync for about 55dollars, you can find all on ebay or other brouser the safe sync converts up to 400 volts to a safe 6 volts that are yust the normal voltage for digital flashes.
Contact nikon tech rep. they can tell you the amount of dc volts that will not harm the camera
then attach the vivitar sync cord that has the male ac plug
attach - & + leads of your voltage meter to the ac plug posts
charge the vivitar and discharge
if needle of meter goes down then reverse the - & + leads
repeat - charge discharge flash and read the dc voltage
I did this with my vivitar 283 units
discovered the voltage to high with the older model vivitar units
but dicovered my newer 283 units were within voltage limits for my nikon d 70. the newer
units work fine with the nikon d70 using a vivitar to pc sync cord and the nikon flash shoe
adapter for the nikon d 70
I prefer using manual settings on the d 70 to obtain greater options
you can run this past the nikon tech rep.
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I would not use and old style flash gun on modern digital cameras the voltage acroos the points will indeed fry the electrics. Have a look at the Yougnuo range of flash guns Great functionality and not too expensive
The old series Vivitar 2800 flashgun has a very high trigger Voltage, that can damage your D60's circuitry. Even measuring the trigger voltage with a voltmeter is not a solution since you can't rely on the voltmeter to indicate the peak voltage.
Using Vivitar 3200A flash gun on a DSLR is risky for the following reason. The trigger voltage of a DSLR at flash hot shoe that takes it to its TTL (through the lens) circuit is less than 10 volts, it is about 6 to 8 volts in the recent DSLRs. The trigger voltage generated by Vivitar 3200A at full charge flashing is around 180 volts (max). That is a fatal dose for a sensitive DSLR TTL circuit. This high voltage flash gun will work endlessly, the only damage is to the TTL flash circuit. When you attach a TTL flash to the DSLR after using Vivitar 3200A for sometime, your TTL flash will not communicate with your camera. It will be just another ordinary flash without any auto functions. There is a Wein adapter that you can fix b/w your cameral hot shoe and the vivitar flash gun that is said to reduce the trigger voltage that passes into the camera. Try it if you get it. Without this gadget it is better not to use non recommended and non TTL flashes on latest DSLRs.
The Vivitar 283 was manufactured in China & Japan over a number of years & the specifications did change over this period.
The older Vivitar flashes had a voltage on the shoe which could reach 150 volts whilst the later ones had voltages of only 5 to 9 volts.
If you have, or can get hold of, a small voltmeter then you can measure this voltage.
Turn on your flash & let the unit charge up to 'ready' & connect the meter between the contact in the centre of the shoe & the little contact tucked away in the lip of the shoe. (DC volts not AC) There is no danger to you in doing this!
This should tell the voltage on the shoe of your unit & if it is 15 volts or less, it will be fine with your digital Nikon camera. If more than 15 volts than best not to use it.
Please check the trigger voltage. What, how do I do that, you said!!!!!!!!!?
Here they are:
1. Four fully charged or new batteries into 283. 2. You needs a DVM (Digital Volt Multimeter). 3. Set DVM: DC scale, higher than 10 scale. 4. Black Lead to black DVM and Red Lead to red DVM. 5. Turn ON the Vivitar 283 and wait until light turns Green. 6. Place Black Lead to Outside Silver Contact of the flash. 7. Place Red Lead to Center Silver Contact of the flash. 8. What is the voltage reading? Read the max. V. 9. Anything under 8VDC will be fine. 10. Some versions will be high.
You won't be able to use older TTL flashguns with the D200. Since the D70, all nikon cameras have used "iTTL", and earlier DSLRs (eg D100) have used "D-TTL". Neither of these are compatible with the older TTL system used on film cameras. The newer SB-400/600/800 flashguns are all ok, and Sigma and Metz both produce iTTL compatible flashguns. The new flashguns will work on old cameras but not vice versa.
I know this is annoying, but there were good technical reasons why Nikon changed the TTL standards.
If the 636 has an A mode (non TTL) this should work ok, otherwise it will only work in manual (if it has a manual mode).