Vivitar 285 with an M6
Old 11-11-2019   #1
bert26
Registered User
 
bert26 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 124
Vivitar 285 with an M6

Hi ya'll,

Winter is just about here and I'm gonna try my hand at street shooting with a flash. I have a 285, not a 285HV. From what I understand, the only difference is the HV can accept a battery pack and is less likely to fry your camera. But if I have an M6 classic, is that something to even worry about? Also, can someone recommend a diffuser so I'm less likely to get the **** beat out of me?

Thanks!
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-11-2019   #2
Agiknee
Registered User
 
Agiknee is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bert26 View Post
Hi ya'll,

Winter is just about here and I'm gonna try my hand at street shooting with a flash. I have a 285, not a 285HV. From what I understand, the only difference is the HV can accept a battery pack and is less likely to fry your camera. But if I have an M6 classic, is that something to even worry about? Also, can someone recommend a diffuser so I'm less likely to get the **** beat out of me?

Thanks!
First of all, be safe and don’t get beat up.

The 285 will work fine. I’d use the full manual mode and not rely on the thrystor tech as vivitar calls it. Just remember that the m6 shutter sync speed with flash is a 50th of a second or slower.
__________________
http://leavesovgrass.tumblr.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-14-2019   #3
Smaug
Registered User
 
Smaug's Avatar
 
Smaug is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Chicago
Posts: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agiknee View Post
First of all, be safe and don’t get beat up.

The 285 will work fine. I’d use the full manual mode and not rely on the thrystor tech as vivitar calls it. Just remember that the m6 shutter sync speed with flash is a 50th of a second or slower.
Full manual is a full discharge every time. Longest flash duration, most irritating to the eyes. That is MORE likely to get him beat up.

My advice is to skip the flash and use high speed film instead, so that he can get high shutter speeds without being so obtrusive.
__________________
-Jeremy
*******************
My Flickr
My Cameras: Yashica Electro 35 GS and CC, Rollei 35, Nikon N90s, FG (2), FE2, and L35AF3, Minolta Freedom II, Olympus OM1N, OM10, Stylus (mju) and OM-D E-M10 III
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-14-2019   #4
drewbarb
picnic like it's 1999
 
drewbarb's Avatar
 
drewbarb is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,453
I have several Vivitar 285's; they have been my main battery powered flash units for years. They are super reliable. I have a couple of external battery packs (Black Box batteries, made by Al Jacobs) to power them but you can use AA's too, of course. Al's batteries power both the older units and the newer HV units, since they receive power by modifying the battery insert and cutting a small hole in the door for a cord. I've used these flashes with many camera systems: Nikon, Canon, Leica, Sony, and various medium and large format cameras. The new HV units are best for new digital cameras, since the high voltage trigger can fry modern electronics, but if your M6 is not the TTL version it'll be fine with either. I'd only mount a HV unit to a TTL or newer Leica directly; but I use radio slaves or remote cords to trigger them from all kinds of cameras with no problems.

As for diffusers and modifiers, I use a variety of things from simple diffusion sheets and bounce cards to umbrellas and even a DIY ring flash (you can find lots of examples and plans in the internet for these, but of course they don't work with rangefinder cameras). But my favorite for regular on-camera use is the Story-Fen omni bounce. (Make sure you get the right one for your flash- they make slightly different shapes to fit loads of different flash units.) It's a simple opaque plastic box that pops over the end. Tilt the flash head up a bit and set the thyristor to the yellow setting (basically f5.6 at ISO 400) and it gives nice wide soft illumination that is perfect for shooting events. I like to drag the shutter a little to bring in more ambient light, so the slow flash sync of the Leica isn't a problem for me. I'm generally shooting at around 1/30th with flash in these situations anyway.

The only problem is that the 285 is big and bulky, and a bit out of balance on a Leica. I like the little Nikon SB30 for a small flash to mount on the hotshoe with small cameras like the Leicas. It doesn't work with the external battery packs, but it has a couple auto thyristor settings and three or four full manual power settings (besides the fancy TTL settings for Nikon) and it's tiny but provides good fill and decent close flash, and you can find them pretty cheap.

Don't listen to those who will tell you Leicas should only be used with available light. Available light is great, but it doesn't always give you the results you want. Flash is a tool photographers should know how to use effectively, regardless of what camera they are using.
__________________
-drew
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-14-2019   #5
Beemermark
Registered User
 
Beemermark's Avatar
 
Beemermark is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 1,800
There are lots of cheap small flashes out there that work great on the Leica cameras. Generally for fill in flash or close up work you don't need a lot of power.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-14-2019   #6
presspass
filmshooter
 
presspass is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,245
The small Vivitar 2800 is ideal with an M6. It takes four AA batteries and has a relatively fast recycle. I believe one of the two settings for ISO 400 is F4.0 and the other is 8.0. The 285 and its older brother, the 283, work better if mounted on Leica's antique flash bracket. You can then get a Vivitar cord that allows you to mount the flash sensor on the hot shoe. Alternately, if you're shooting a lens that needs an external finder, you can connect the flash with a PC cord. If you are going to use the Stofen - a great idea - look for the hood Vivitar made for the sensor that will keep the light from the Stofen from affecting the auto exposure.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-14-2019   #7
Ko.Fe.
Kostya Fedot
 
Ko.Fe.'s Avatar
 
Ko.Fe. is online now
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MiltON.ONtario
Posts: 7,824
I have this monster. No way it is going on my m4-2 hot shoe.
BG using something like this via cord. I wonder what he measures, he has light meter as well.
It is easy to check flash like this with digital camera to find which settings needed for film. Including diffuser. Giving size of this beast, old trick with flash up and paper up on its head should work.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-14-2019   #8
Bill Clark
Registered User
 
Bill Clark's Avatar
 
Bill Clark is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minnetonka, Minnesota
Age: 71
Posts: 2,563
Info to help:

https://www.jeffgeerling.com/article...-vivitar-flash

Another thought is to fire the flash off camera using pocket wizards.
__________________
I’m an image maker not image taker.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-15-2019   #9
Pál_K
Cameras. I has it.
 
Pál_K's Avatar
 
Pál_K is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Gig Harbor
Posts: 244
A Vivitar 285 on an M6 is like a Columbo V12 in a Porsche 356 - impressive power, but wildly unbalanced.

Maybe something like a Nikon SB-20 or SB-15? Such flashes sell for under $20 these days. Bounce flash is useful and you can make a diffuser with tissue paper or a white business card.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMAG8497-1~2.jpg (29.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG7359-1.jpg (25.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG7285-1.jpg (22.6 KB, 3 views)
__________________
"Great photography is about the visual effect upon the viewer, not sharpness." - Stephen Gandy, Cameraquest
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-15-2019   #10
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,613
There's a Vivitar 2500 that covers 35, 50 & 85mm lenses by pulling the front forwards, plus 28mm with a clip on accessory that also diffuses or adds a catch light. Plus it bounces and works at several power levels. Get it with the 3mm coaxial accessory for real versatility.

Dirt cheap at the moment, with several on ebay. And it's not a great big heavy lump like some.


Regards, David
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-15-2019   #11
leicapixie
Registered User
 
leicapixie is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Toronto.Canada
Posts: 1,625
I have a very old Vivitar 285.
It has a very high voltage and will fry circuit of M6TTL/Canon A-series..
Newer Vivitar are safe, but check.
Personally the "Bruce Gilden" way is awful!
Flash is rude and totally obnoxious.
A very small fill strobe easily found, better balance.
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-15-2019   #12
leicapixie
Registered User
 
leicapixie is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Toronto.Canada
Posts: 1,625
Check all old electronic strobes before fitting to modern circuit cameras..
Some old flashes are dangerous..
My Leica M3 had it's contacts totally burned out by a Braun strobe unit.
The good part in repair I recieved PC contacts.
Braun was sold...

Last edited by leicapixie : 11-15-2019 at 04:56. Reason: double posting
  Reply With Quote

Trigger Voltage
Old 11-15-2019   #13
David Hughes
David Hughes
 
David Hughes's Avatar
 
David Hughes is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,613
Trigger Voltage

The trigger voltage of the 285 is notoriously high. Over 250v from memory.


As I couldn't remember I searched and found this article:-


http://dpanswers.com/content/genrc_flash_measuretv.php


Rather than experiment I looked at the "Product Database" (list of flashes) mentioned.



Regards, David
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-15-2019   #14
johannielscom
Ich bin ein Barnacker
 
johannielscom's Avatar
 
johannielscom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Universitas Terre Threntiae
Posts: 7,372
Ditch the 285 and get a LumoPro LP160 for peanut money. They can be set down to 1/64th and are modern flashes, totally safe.

And, I'd recommend using it on a remote flash cord or a radio trigger for off-camera flash, much better results that way
__________________
Gegroet,
Johan Niels

I write vintage gear reviews on www.johanniels.com |

flickr | instagram |
  Reply With Quote

Old 11-15-2019   #15
Pál_K
Cameras. I has it.
 
Pál_K's Avatar
 
Pál_K is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Gig Harbor
Posts: 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
...
Flash is rude and totally obnoxious.
A very small fill strobe easily found, better balance.
Agree. Even though I have five flashes and they're fun to play with, I've never made a photo using flash on a camera.
__________________
"Great photography is about the visual effect upon the viewer, not sharpness." - Stephen Gandy, Cameraquest
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 13:45.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.