Question about Vivitar 285HV Flash

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Vivitar 285 not working

Hi I bought a vivitar 285 flash off ebay recently, and have used two packs of fresh batterys. The unit is completly unresponsive and wont power up what so ever. Could you point me in the right direction of the srvice manual. My email is andrewjamesnovell@hotmail.comKind regards A.j

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You don't need a Manual.
In 285 HV there is only one Power on/off switch.
If that switch is on and batteries are new Alkaline (like duracell-no chepo )or fully charged and working rechargebles,and yet the ready light do not come the flash has defect inside.For sure.

Posted on Mar 27, 2010

  • bhargav Mar 27, 2010

    Cell polarity must be ok,obviously

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  • Vivitar Master
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I guess they could find a Vivitar service manual. Send them a request.
Please leave a good rating.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009

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1 Answer

Do i need the battery adapter for my vivitar 283


The 283 and 285 require an adapter to hold the 4 AA batteries. This is because there is an available battery pack NC-3 (NiCad) that works with the Charge-15 rapid charger. Loose AA batteries cannot be used without the adapter known as AP-1. They are all over eBay and quite reasonably priced.

Jan 31, 2014 | Vivitar 283 Flash

1 Answer

I need a battery holder for a vitiar 285 HV flash what will it cost for part and shipping


You may order the part from here. The part is USD 6.50. The shipping cost will depend on what part of the world you're in.

Jan 25, 2013 | Vivitar 283 285 Flash Battery Pack Holder

1 Answer

Why does it take more than 20 seconds to change up in order to fire the flash strobe on the vivitar 285hv


My first impression is that you are using the flash at its maximum capacity and completely draining the charge each time. I'd also say that you are only going to get about a dozen flash burst before the batteries are exhausted. I use several Vivitar 283's 285's and a couple 285HV's in a portable studio set up I have and the 285 HV's have got to be tuned down about 1/3 before I can get them to match the other flash outputs. If I need all out brute power then the 285HV's are used on full inside a softbox. I generally work with a 16 batteries between the two 285HV, also they need good fresh batteries off the charger. On a photo shoot I'll get maybe 15 shots before the power is down enough that I change then, I'd say powering back up it'll take about 15 to 20 seconds before they come out.

Jan 30, 2011 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

I dont have any problem with Vivitar Flash.. I am currently a Nikon D3000 user and I need an external flash for shooting in low lights and portraits in my garrage-made studio..I searched ebay and found...


The Vivitar 285 HV is specified to have a trigger voltage of 12V. The Nikon DSLRs are specified to be safe up to 12V. This puts the combination right at the fuzzy point. It should be safe, but if the flash goes a little high while the camera goes a little low, you might run into trouble.

The 285 (no HV) is definitely a no-go.

Jan 18, 2011 | Vivitar Cameras

1 Answer

I have a Vivitar 285 HV flash that hasn't been used for 15 years. Nothing happens when you install fresh batteries and turn it on, is there something else I can try? thanks Ian


After that long without power, the main storage capacitor has likely failed. If you can find the correct model or an equivalent one, then you'll find that they're not overly expensive but you'll need good soldering skills to replace it without damaging the new one and to ensure that the new connections are sound.

Sep 01, 2010 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

Does the TR-2000 work with a vivitar 285? What cable do I need to buy?


TR 2000 gives two output ^ volt and 330 volts.
Whereas 285 HV uses 6 volt and 110 volt AC
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=details_accessories&A=kitInfo&Q=&sku=638035&is=REG
I am running my 285HV with external 6volt battery pack.sort of this type.
http://cgi.ebay.com/6V-1-3AH-SLA-Sealed-Lead-Acid-Rechargeable-Battery_W0QQitemZ390166216699QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5ad7b7fffb
I added 2 standard diodes in series (IN4001 type) and placed inside the dummy battery pack which reduces some voltage and safeguards against wrong polarity.
more details? bforbay@gmail.com

Apr 05, 2010 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

285, red/green lights blink, whines on start up, but won't fire


Hi Dave,
Try shorting out Center Pin to Outside Metal Contact after the light turned green. This must fire the flash.
If not, could be the flashtube /or trigger are defective.
Do you have a DVM?
atdlee@netzero.com

Feb 14, 2010 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

Vivatar 285 HV flash problems


Are you still having problems? a.l9609@gmail.com

Mar 09, 2009 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

Need battery holder for Vivitar 285 flash


easiest way to get these is search for them on Ebay. they are usually very plentiful. If that fails, most on-line camera stores (B&H Photo is a good one) have them on line to order

Feb 03, 2009 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

1 Answer

No 'green' light on bacl of my 'old' Vivitar 285


Then I'd say it's a reasonably sure thing that the green light is just burned out, The lights are supposed to be off at first, then red when there's a partial charge, then green when there's a full charge, then flashing between red and green when the "battery saver" kicks in. If you're seeing off, then red, then off, then flashing red, then that means everything in the charging circuit is working perfectly, there's just no green light.

Nov 30, 2007 | Vivitar 285HV Flash

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