Question about Vivitar 285HV Flash

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Will a Vivitar 285HV fry my Canon EOS 40D? I'd like to experiment with a Vivitar 285HV as an on-camera hot shoe flash. However, I'm reluctant to proceed because of conflicting reports about voltage compatibility with DSLRs. Some say the "HV" designated models are DSLR-safe; others disagree. I'd appreciate getting a definitive answer from someone who's actually tried using the 285HV as an on-camera hot shoe flash with the 40D.

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Re: Will a Vivitar 285HV fry my Canon EOS 40D? I'd like...

Personally, I would not try it. While the Canon has a protection system built into the camera, the trigger voltage on the Vivitar is pretty high. I have had good results using a 283 on a slave shoe, you will have to stop down more with the extra light

Posted on Jan 08, 2008

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Re: Will a Vivitar 285HV fry my Canon EOS 40D? I'd like...

The 285HV is indeed the new incarnation of the 285 with a perfectly-safe-for-everyone 6V trigger voltage. No safe-sync required, just plug and go. Actually, I put a meter across the sync terminals on mine, and measured only 4.5V open-circuit, which leads to its own problem: some cheap optical slaves will fail to fire. So watch out for that.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008

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Re: Will a Vivitar 285HV fry my Canon EOS 40D? I'd like...

Yes, no problem if you check the trigger voltage on the 285HV.

Posted on Jan 14, 2008

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Switch from film to digital cameras.

I also own a Vivitar 285 that i used with my Canon F1 manual 35mm camera. Most older cameras before the advent of digital, had a hot shoe on top of the camera, or like in my case, the hot shoe went over the rewind knob. I also had to plug in a power cord from the 285 flash foot and the cameras PC connection in order for the flash to work on some other cameras. The Canon Rebel XTi has a TTL (through the lens) hot shoe usable with Canon's own EX flash units. You can buy a "hot shoe to PC connector" if the TTL camera hot shoe doesn't work, but be extremely careful, the only problem that exists with the older manual flash units was the trigger voltage is as high as 200+volts which would fry digital camera hot shoes. I tried my unit with a Wein flash trigger device on the PC cord of the flash and my Canon D60 with it's own flash. All shots were overexposed and washed out highlights.  Here's a copy of the hot-shoe review:h The EOS 400D's hot-shoe can be used with Canon and third party flashes (although sync only on most third party units). The hot-shoe is E-TTL II compatible. Compatible flashes include Speedlite 220EX, 380EX, 420EX, 430EX, 550EX, 580EX, Macro-Ring Lite, MR-14EX, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX and Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2.  The Canon Rebel XTi doesn't have a PC socket to plug in a manual flash trigger cord which common sense tells me there is no provision to step up the voltage to trigger manual flashes - so my answer is this combination is not a good idea on a Canon Rebel XTi. Hope this helps.

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