Vivitar 285HV Flash

Vivitar 285HV Flash

Vivitar 285HV Flash

B&H # VI285HV MFR # 233965
Vivitar 285HV Flash

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Product Highlights

  • Guide Number: 141' at ISO 100 and 105mm
  • Zoom Range: 35-105mm (28mm with Panel)
  • Tilts Upward 90°
  • Manual Power Settings from 1/1 to 1/16
  • PC Sync Terminal
  • Recycle Time: 1.5-10.4 Seconds
  • Runs on 4 AA Batteries
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Vivitar 285HV overview

  • 1Description

The Vivitar 285HV Flash is a powerful non-dedicated shoe-mount unit with a Guide Number of 141' at ISO 100 and 105mm and has an auto exposure range up to 70'. This flash unit has four auto f/stop settings and built-in variable power to deliver accurate exposures and convenient fill-flash. The zoom head adjusts to 35mm, 50mm, and 105mm and can be set to bounce at 0°, 45°, 60°, and 90°. The unit has an easy-to-read lighted calculator dial so you can work under most lighting conditions, and it accepts optional high-voltage power sources for faster recycle time and more flashes.

Guide number 141' at ISO 100 and 105mm
Automatic exposure range to 70'.
Accepts optional high-voltage power sources for faster recycle time and more flashes.
Four auto f/stop settings for controlling depth-of-field and maximum auto flash range.
Zoom flash head has three positions for covering 35mm, 50mm and 105mm camera lenses.
Bounce flash capability for softer lighting.
Removable sensor can be camera mounted with the optional sensor cord permitting automatic exposure when using side bounce flash photography.
Built-in vari-power for convenient fill flash and rapid sequence photography.
Auto Thyristor circuitry for faster recycle time and greater number of flashes.
In the Box
Vivitar 285HV Flash
  • AP-1 Battery Holder
  • PC-1 Sync Cord
  • 28mm Wide-Angle Diffuser
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Vivitar 285HV specs

    Mount Shoe
    Guide No. 141.08' / 43 m ISO 100 at 105 mm Position
    Exposure Control Manual
    Angle of Coverage 70° - 27°
    Vari-Power 1/1 to 1/16
    Bounce Head 0 to 90°
    Swivel Head None
    Coverage 28 - 105 mm (Full Frame)
    Distance Range 3.28 to 69.88' (1.0 to 21.3 m)
    Zoom Head Full Frame: 35 - 105 mm
    Off-Camera Terminal PC
    Recycle Time Approximately 1.5 to 10.4 Seconds
    Flash Duration 1/1000 to 1/30000 sec
    Flash-Ready Indicator Yes
    Power Source 4x AA Alkaline Batteries
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 3.9 x 5.1 x 4.1" / 100.0 x 130.0 x 105.0 mm
    Weight 14.92 oz / 423 g without batteries
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.25 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 9.1 x 5.0 x 3.2"

    Vivitar 285HV reviews

    285HV Flash is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 282.
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Vivitar 285 is not what it used to be This flash has been a workhorse for years and has offered good strength and versatility. I have owned a dozen or more. However, the last year or so the units have become inconsistent and undependable. And a big problem is that the new owners of Vivitar were not in a position to offer any warranty service. I tried for months to get a brand new unit repaired and I was repeatedly told that there was no warranty service available at that time and to check back in a month to 6 weeks. This went on for months until I finally just stopped inquiring and the new unit sits on my office floor. The price is right on the 285s but buyer, sadly, beware.
    Date published: 2009-09-24
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great deal I use two of these for off-camera lighting with wireless trigger/receivers, usually to complement an Alien Bee as fill light, hair light and occasionally to blow out a white seamless background. They work great, simple to use, but I might recommend the AC adapter if you use in studio much or around the house. Otherwise, use with rechargeable NIMHs as it will eat standard AA's* That's not why I only gave 4 stars, though. The only con I can think of is the fact that it only uses a proprietary sync connection. But for the low price, it's worth it to buy a third party cable or hot shoe adapter. I'd recommend the cable.
    Date published: 2009-02-26
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beware! I've been using three Vivitar 285HV flashes simultaneously during the wedding ceremony and reception as radio slaves powered by Quantum Turbo batteries for many years. When I recently had to purchase the newly manufactured version of the 285HV from B&H to replace one that died on me, I saw a distinct difference in color temperature between it and the two older ones when used simultaneously to light up the altar return groupings. Also, I had to go through two defective units before I received one that worked properly. As usual, B&H was very gracious in issuing me an RMA. I've decided to continue purchasing used versions of the older model for color temperature consistency.
    Date published: 2012-07-09
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Reportedly discontinued production I have owned this flash for approximately 6 months after receiving it as a gift and certainly liked it well enough. I recently encountered a problem where the capacitor would charge but the flash wouldn't fire, so I called Vivitar for technical support. I was told that they had stopped producing flashes and would, at best, be able to offer a refund. My problem is not unique, and presumably the build quality on ones that B&H may have in stock is less than stellar. I don't know what alternative flashes to recommend, but I sadly have to suggest staying away from this one.
    Date published: 2008-02-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great flash at affordable price I use my Vivitar 285 for all my off camera work. I find them to work perfectly for any application I use them for. They do not work with TTL or ETTL, so you must have a good knowledge of manuel settings and operations. These flashes have stood the test of time, and still work perfectly. I recommend anyone to use them for most any application. Off camera lighting is so much better than on camera lighting in a lot of situations. You will not be disappointed if you purchase a few of them. You can own five for the price of one dedicated brand flash. Nice flash.
    Date published: 2009-02-05
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth every penny My first flash, and I love it. It's simplicity has allowed me to learn a lot about flash photography. The alkaline battery life is reasonable My widest prime is a 28mm and so I was relieved that this flash includes a 28mm filter. I was afraid that I would have circuit problems with this unit as I had read some cases in which the flash circuits blew, but, at over 100 flashes, it still works. My main complaint would be that the calculator dial is not very accurate, especially when it comes to setting the ISO. There are more clicks than there are ISO options so you never know where it's actually set.
    Date published: 2008-07-10
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very easy to use and powerful This flash is very effective for portraits and for lighting rooms. I used this for an outdoor model shoot recently where I bounced the flash off of a large column to light the subject. It worked very well. It has a thrystor on the front that is used for metering light to determine flash output power in non manual mode. I found the thrystor works very well when the flash is used on a cameras hot shoe. I have not done any tests with the thrystor for off camera flash photography as in that case I manually set the output for consistency. It works great for off camera flash photography with pocket wizards.
    Date published: 2008-07-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A classic that is still relevent today I received this flash a few days ago form B&H.(love you guys)I was a little suprised when I unpacked it and it looked just like the Vivitar 285 I had in the mid 1980's. I was thrilled. If you are still shooting film with a metered camera, hot shoe or cord, this is your flash. I am using it on a Fuji GF670 and a Minolta SRT 101. It works great. The auto features and all other options are easy to set and understand. Could not be happier with the product. Thank You B&H for your part in helping us keep B&W film photography alive.
    Date published: 2011-05-11
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