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Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras

B&H # VIDF286N MFR # VIV-DF-286-NIK
In Stock
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Product Highlights

  • Guide No.164' (50 m) ISO 100 @ 85mm
  • Auto Focus / TTL Metering
  • DSLR Auto Focus
  • Automatic Shutter Speed Setting
  • Focus Assist Beam for Low Light
  • Runs on 4x AA Batteries
  • Built-In Slave Function
  • Recycle Time: 0.3-10 Sec.
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You Pay: $64.00

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The Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras is a powerful dedicated shoe-mount flash with full TTL support for Nikon cameras. It's got a guide number of 164' (50 m) ISO 100 @ 85mm setting. The flash head can bounce, swivel, and zoom. The zoom head can be set to bounce at 0°, 45°, 60°, 75° and 90°. It also swivels 270°. There's a focus-assist beam for working in low light, and a flash-ready indicator appears in the camera viewfinder. A built-in slave and red-eye reduction are also included. Recycle time is between 0.3 and 10.0 seconds. The DF-286 operates on 4x AA batteries.

Guide number 164', ISO 100 @ 85mm
Autofocus/TTL metering
Automatic shutter speed setting
Flash head has bounce settings for 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, and 90°
Built-in vari-power for convenient fill-flash and rapid sequence photography
Red focus beam to assist in low light conditions
Reflecting plate and wide-angle diffuser are included
Red-eye reduction
Flash readiness indication in viewfinder
Mount Shoe
Guide No. 164' (49.99 m) ISO100 at 50 mm position
Angle of Coverage 70°
TTL Dedication Yes
Bounce Head Yes, +0° to +90°
Swivel Head Yes, 270°
Recycle Time Approximately 0.3 - 10 seconds
Power Source 4x AA Alkaline Batteries
Dimensions (WxHxD) 6.7 x 2.8 x 1.6" / 170.0 x 70.0 x 40.0 mm
Weight 12.35 oz / 350 g Without batteries
Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras
  • Wide-Angle Diffuser
  • Reflecting Plate
  • User Manual
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    VivitarDF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras
     
    4.1

    (based on 39 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (16)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (18)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (3)

    85%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Easy to use (30)
    • Lightweight (23)
    • Fast recycling (20)
    • Consistent output (18)
    • Good power output (15)

    Cons

    • Slow recycling (3)

    Best Uses

    • General purpose (29)
    • Fill flash (21)
    • Portraits (21)
    • Night photography (11)
    • Photojournalism (5)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (24), Pro photographer (4), Semi-pro photographer (4), Casual photographer (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (30), Yes (5)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Useful basic flash

    I got this flash about a month ago and it hs been a great flash for general use, fully compatble with my D5100 iTTL metering, I did not notice a delay in my focus...Read complete review

    I got this flash about a month ago and it hs been a great flash for general use, fully compatble with my D5100 iTTL metering, I did not notice a delay in my focus system while using it, its output level is very good and I find it as a superior alternative to Nikon's own SB-400 because not only it bounces up and down but it also swivels 270 degrees.
    I would have given it 5 starts if I could regulate the power output

    IT comes with a difusser and a little instruction manual but it lacks the plastic base which would be great as the flash has a very useful slave mode.

    Recycle times depend on the batteries you use, with new alcalines it took les than a second in my case.

    It is a very good, solid and well built flash for begginer photographers who need more power and versatility than the built-in flash of the cameras and don't need to regulate the power output of their flash.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Good price but unreliable performance

    I've been using this flash on a D7200 for several days now. The 286 was to be used as an additional flash (alongside a Vivitar DF-583) to illuminate interior shots. The goal...Read complete review

    I've been using this flash on a D7200 for several days now. The 286 was to be used as an additional flash (alongside a Vivitar DF-583) to illuminate interior shots. The goal was to have both units fire as slaves to the onboard flash.

    The 286 worked in the slave mode for one day only. Although it no longer would respond to the camera flash, it would fire when I passed my hand in front of the sensor or even if I tilted the flash unit. Sometimes it fires for no reason at all when in the slave mode. Basically, it is completely unreliable in the slave mode.

    I can use the 286 as a slave only if I use a Vello Freewave Fusion Shutter Flash Remote. The 286 then fires the 583 (that works perfectly in the slave mode).

    When used on camera in the TTL mode, no problem, the 286 works fine and puts out a decent amount of light.

    Since my main flash is the 583, I will probably keep the 286, since it is not that expensive, is powerful and does work when on the camera. It's disappointing, however, that the slave feature is kaput.

    The hassle of returning equipment in this price range is annoying, so I will bite the bullet but warn others away from this flash unit.

    Reviewed by 39 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    4.0

    Good priced flash

    By In1fastcar

    from Fort Wayne, IN

    Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

    Good flash for the price. Bought 2 for casual use on my D7100. Work great for my needs.

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Works well, need more manual detail

    By mitrob

    from Licking, MO

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Fast Recycling
    • Lightweight
    • Powerful Output

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Fill Flash
      • General Use

      Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

      Easy to use, flash recovers quickly, lightweight.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Very useful and a good value

      By Fjrron

      from Hemet, CA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Powerful Output

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Fill Flash
        • General Use
        • Night Photography
        • Photojournalism
        • Portraits

        Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

        My wife used the DF-286 to shoot an event the same evening we received it. It's simple, straight foward design is just what we wanted. The TTL works beautifully with her Nikon and she's no longer intimidated by flash photography. I think her Vivitar DF-286 is now permanately attached to her camera. I give it 5 stars for the value it offers.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Why I like thevivitarflash and B &Hb

        By Wilbur

        from QUEENSTOWN md

        Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

        The flash was easy to order and was just what I wanted. It came in a couple days.

        Share this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Review

        By monique

        from Evansville INdiana

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Fast Recycling
        • Lightweight
        • Powerful Output
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Fill Flash
          • Night Photography

          Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

          My new flash is amazing. The difference in my photographs are amzing. I will always come to B&h for my needs

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Mixed feelings

          By Gin180

          from Colonial Beach, VA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Easy To Use
          • Fast Recycling
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • General Use
            • Night Photography
            • Photojournalism
            • Portraits

            Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

            First got the DF-286 Christmas of 2012. Was really impressed with how easy it is to use with my D3100.
            Would recommend this to any beginner.
            The down side with my experience with it is that 2 months after it went and died on my in a middle of a shoot I was doing for some people at a convention. I heard a small pop and and it died. Flicked the power switch on and off a few times to see the lights flicker on it, but no power was going to it.
            So I used my warranty on it to get it fixed. Took me a few tries to get a hold of the Vivitar company to get it fixed. And it just recently died again just last weekend.

            From all of this I am in the middle in my opinion on this product. Like I said it's not really durable, but it's really easy to use.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • Yes

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Nice Flash for the price.

            By Alex

            from Knoxville, TN

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Fill Flash
              • General Use

              Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

              Easy to use.
              Works great with my Nikon D3000.
              Cheap.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Easy to use, nifty features

              By CBL

              from Minneapolis, MN

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Lightweight
              • Powerful Output

              Cons

              • Slow Recycling

              Best Uses

              • Fill Flash
              • General Use
              • Night Photography
              • Portraits

              Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

              I primarily got this to use in low-light conditions and night time. I have a super old Nikon D50 which has a CCD sensor that only gives me up to ISO 1600. The built-in flash has always been too weak, too harsh, and didn't light adequately if you turned the camera sideways for portrait orientation. Having this cheap little light has improved the quality of my photos, and I like that the TTL metering makes it easy to use. The built in diffusers and the ability to swivel the flash are nifty features to tweak lighting. Cycling time is a little slow...but not bad for the price.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              No Complaints

              By Mr. Charleston

              from Jacksonville, FL USA

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Powerful Output

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • General Use

                Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                I don't know what else you can ask for in a flash in this price range. A real bargain. It works just fine on my aging D90.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                4.0

                Great buy!

                By kiGZterSHMK

                from Bay Area, CA

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use

                Cons

                • Stiff

                Best Uses

                • General Use
                • Night Photography
                • Photojournalism
                • Portraits

                Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                Use it on my Nikon D5100, I mostly record videos so a flash that is not used much but a really good price is the best deal. I got it for rare phtography sessions.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Disappointing

                By Joanne in Indy

                from Indianapolis, IN

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                      I've owned a Vivitar flash before and it was great for the price. I'm hoping this one was just defective because it only worked on test mode. Plus, My Nikon camera did not recognize it AT ALL and would not flash. After a few minutes it would not even flash in test mode. Swapped out the batteries to no avail. Will return.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      great flash

                      By Michael

                      from Jennings, Louisiana

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Fast Recycling

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Portraits

                        Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                        Portraits

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Good Value

                        By Ray

                        from Buffalo, NY

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Fast Recycling
                        • Lightweight
                        • Powerful Output
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • General Use

                          Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                          My Nikon flash just died so I needed to replace it. Did some looking online and found this Vivitar flash. Had a Vivitar 283 many years ago and liked it so price and features were what I was looking for so I bought it. I have not had a chance to really put it through its paces but I did test it a little and the exposures looked great. They give you a diffuser which I wasn't expecting. So all in all, at this point I am happy with my purchase.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Works fine for the price.

                          By frankbiganski

                          from Hampton, VA

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use

                            Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                            Bright flash and great focus beam for low light. My bad was I needed a flash with power zoom, and this doesn;t have it so I returned to buy a Vivitar with power zoom. My bad but great flash nonetheless.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Good Flash

                            By Justin

                            from Texas

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Fast Recycling
                            • Versatile

                            Cons

                            • Heavy

                            Best Uses

                            • General Use
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                            I'm fairly new to flash photography but this flash seems like it is a good introductory one. I've had no issues with it and it has helped greatly to enhance some photos I've taken.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Great price but cheap building

                            By Jhon

                            from Silver Spring, Md.

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Lightweight
                            • Powerful Output
                            • Versatile

                            Cons

                            • Slow Recycling

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use
                            • Night Photography

                            Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                            It seems that does the job, given the low price there is no need to complain.
                            But the build quality of the flash is so low that it is impossible to trust that it will last for a long time.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            great value

                            By Pablo

                            from Temuco, Chile

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Fast Recycling
                            • Lightweight

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Fill Flash
                              • General Use

                              Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                              Works perfectly with my Nikon D5000
                              Slave mode a little bit too sensitive
                              I can also regulate intensity through the camera.
                              Not as sturdy as thought it was.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              2.0

                              Good price but unreliable performance

                              By JonBoz

                              from Carbondale, IL

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Pros

                              • Powerful Output

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Fill Flash
                                • General Use
                                • Portraits

                                Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                                I've been using this flash on a D7200 for several days now. The 286 was to be used as an additional flash (alongside a Vivitar DF-583) to illuminate interior shots. The goal was to have both units fire as slaves to the onboard flash.

                                The 286 worked in the slave mode for one day only. Although it no longer would respond to the camera flash, it would fire when I passed my hand in front of the sensor or even if I tilted the flash unit. Sometimes it fires for no reason at all when in the slave mode. Basically, it is completely unreliable in the slave mode.

                                I can use the 286 as a slave only if I use a Vello Freewave Fusion Shutter Flash Remote. The 286 then fires the 583 (that works perfectly in the slave mode).

                                When used on camera in the TTL mode, no problem, the 286 works fine and puts out a decent amount of light.

                                Since my main flash is the 583, I will probably keep the 286, since it is not that expensive, is powerful and does work when on the camera. It's disappointing, however, that the slave feature is kaput.

                                The hassle of returning equipment in this price range is annoying, so I will bite the bullet but warn others away from this flash unit.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                1.0

                                Never could get a good working DF-286

                                By Landscape Photographer

                                from New Castle County, DE

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Use
                                • Fast Recycling

                                Cons

                                • Bulky

                                Best Uses

                                • Fill Flash
                                • General Use
                                • Portraits

                                Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                                I do not use flash much so I did not want to spent $[$] for a Nikon SB700. I purchased a DF-286 for my Nikon D5100. I bought it mainly to photograph my son's wedding. It worked great until it died the night of the rehearsal after about 50-100 flashes. I got a replacement from the distributor and it did not mate to my camera (seems to be an issue with the hotshoe contacts). I had the camera checked at a local camera shop and the SB700 worked perfectly. I was finally sent a different model (Series 1) and it is working fine. The Series 1 has similar features and price. After my experience with Vivitar I am still concerned that the replacement will die as well so I always carry my old Sakar manual flash as a backup.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                1.0

                                2 Flashes 2 problems

                                By Andre

                                from Athens, GA

                                Comments about Vivitar DF-286 DSLR AF Flash for Nikon Cameras:

                                The first flash I received was damaged when it arrived so I returned it for another one. The second flash I received lasted for half of a wedding I was shooting. Could be bad luck on my part, but I will not recommend or buy another one of these.

                                Share this review

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                                Batteries & Power

                                See more

                                Required item: Batteries are not included, and are required to power your flash.

                                Varta - High-Energy 1.5V AA LR6 Alkaline Battery (4-Pack)
                                • You Pay: $2.99
                                 
                                Watson - 4-Hour Rapid Charger with 4 AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries (2300mAh)
                                • You Pay: $17.95
                                 

                                Flash Diffusers

                                See more
                                Vello - Universal Bounce Diffuser
                                • You Pay: $9.95
                                 

                                Softboxes

                                See more
                                Vello - Ringbox Ringflash Adapter
                                • You Pay: $89.95
                                 

                                Bouncers

                                See more
                                Vello - Light Bouncer Kit for Portable Flashes
                                • You Pay: $14.95
                                 

                                Reflectors

                                See more
                                Vello - 5" Snoot/Reflector for Portable Flash
                                • You Pay: $22.50
                                 

                                Flash Mounting

                                Vello - Compact Shoe Stand for Universal Shoe Mount Accessories
                                • You Pay: $7.95
                                 

                                Sync Cords & Flash Remotes

                                See more
                                Vello - Off-Camera TTL Flash Cord for Nikon Cameras (3')
                                • You Pay: $14.99
                                 
                                Vello - Off-Camera TTL Flash Cord for Nikon Cameras (1.5')
                                • You Pay: $14.95
                                 

                                Flash Pouch

                                LensCoat - BeamerKeeper Pouch for Better Beamer - Black
                                • You Pay: $19.95
                                 
                                View all Accessories
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