Vivitar 285HV

Vivitar 285HV features Auto Range 3-70ft. / 1-21.3m, Flash Duration (Auto) 1/1000 – 1/30000sec, Flash Duration (Manual) 1/1000sec, Vertical Illumination Angle 20-53°, Horizontal Illumination Angle 27-70°, Color Temperature 6,000°K, and Connections Hot Shoe. The Vivitar 285HV measures 100mm(W) x 130mm (H) x 105mm (D) and weighs 423g.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

User Opinions

Vivitar 285HV User Reviews

solid work horse with a gotcha, | Rating: ★★★★☆
“I started out buying more expensive Canon flashes but didn’t need the E-TTL features. Based on a web review, I bought a couple of Vivitar 285HV’s and used them with my existing off-camera triggering system (which consists of Elinchrom Skyport radio triggers and Wein optical hot shoe triggers). All of my existing triggers fired through the hot shoe of the flash and have worked with a variety of flashes, including older Vivitar 283 flashes.” – By Magnus

Nice little flash for the money, | Rating: ★★★★★
“The Vivitar 285HV Zoom is just the flash that I was looking for. The simple workings and body design is almost the same as the one I used on my old Nikon F Silver Top back in the 1970s. The angular and squat design looks great with the sculptured heavy duty design of the FinePix camera and says to everyone that you have come to do some serious camera work “ – By Jake Kravitz

excellent product, | Rating: ★★★★★
“Overall, great product. One more detail, the Vivitar 285HV and the Vivitar 285 are not the same thing! If you end up with the Vivitar 285, it doesn’t have a sync cord like the 285HV, but will work with a hot shoe mount (which can connect to a typical male-female extension adapter) as a connector instead. Watch out for that when buying! “ – By Studentseller

Second best manual flash on the market, | Rating: ★★★★★
“CONSISTANT COLOR: To control the lighting ratio between main, background, hair, kicker, etc I used different bulbs with different watt output like 250 main 100 background. Different bulbs have different color temperatures and that introduce major color balance problems. Even worse as time goes by same power rating bulbs would shift in color temperature. Using this color balanced flash minimizes this problem to no more than 200-400k which is in the range of tolerable.” – By Abdulrahman Aljabri

Little flash that could, | Rating: ★★★★★
“If you are a follower of strobist, you can fing the Vivitar 285HV very handy. It needs good batteries. When the battery power starts to go lower, it may not fire. Also, for some reason, it does not fire with remote wireless trigger if batteries are not fresh. I use only in manual mode and very happy about it so far.” – By G. Baturin

Look cheap plastic, but works very well, | Rating: ★★★★★
“It looks like cheap old plastic, but works very well, I also bought a chinese wireless trigger on ebay, you can find it on amazon too, searching for “PT-04 4” it works great for strobist, you can control light and it is strong, Don’t left batteries on its compartment they will be discharged. “ – By A Kid’s Review

Very Good Flash, | Rating: ★★★★☆
“The build quality comes across as cheap. Possibly a 6 out of 10. It is made in Japan (Good quality camera equipment usually comes from there. If it’s made in China STAY AWAY.) The foot is made of plastic so one drop will probably break it. So just be careful when handling it. It uses 4 AA batteries. It says not to use rechargeable but I do and it works fine with no ill effects. It comes with a slide-in diffuser. Lets just say I’m getting a better one for Christmas. I have also heard these make great satellite flash units because they are plentiful and cheap. The Vivitar 285HV is not damaging to the camera because there is no high voltage feedback.” – By Thomas Ford

Everything you need to get started on a budget, | Rating: ★★★★☆
“This is the budget flash made famous by David Hobby’s Strobist articles. Like so many others I have been inspired to add off-camera flash to my skill set. I’ve been using this flash for four months without problems. (I’m a pro-sumer photographer that shoots about ten paid sessions a year and countless for-fun sessions. Mostly portraits.)” – By Lucas Graham

Work horse of a flash, | Rating: ★★★★★
“If you are a fancy photographer then go for the more expensive ones. It is all about the light not how much your flash cost that makes good lighting. This is excellent for manual flash as I don’t do TTL. I have a 580 EX II that I use indoors but this always comes with me day or night. I use 4 Eneloop rechargeable batteries on this flash and it just keeps flashing consistently.” – By AJ Nito

Expert Reviews

Vivitar 285HV Expert Reviews

Popphoto reviews the Vivitar 285HV and writes;
“I found it gave very good exposures in most situations and wasn’t easily fooled by light or dark subjects. It did tend to underexpose when faced with an all-white background, though — something to watch out for. Unlike dedicated “smart” flash units, your camera’s flash exposure compensation function will have no effect on the exposure in such cases, but “manual” compensation is easy enough. When shooting something against a white background, just open the aperture up 1/2 to 1 stop and you’ll get good results.”
rating: N/A


Vivitar 285HV User Manual

– Download Vivitar 285HV User Manual (PDF – 663kb)

Features & Specifications

Vivitar 285HV Features & Specifications

The built-in variable power of the Vivitar 285HV auto professional flash provides you with fill flash and the ability to shoot properly exposed rapid-sequence pictures. This vertical bounce flash gives your photographs soft, professional lighting. The four f-stops give you control over the flash distance range and the depth of field, while the auto Thyristor circuitry allows for a faster recycling time as well as more flashes per set of batteries.

Vivitar Flash w/Zoom Thyrister Features

Automatic electronic flash with zoom thyristor.

* Guide number: 36 DIN
* Zoom flash head
* Auto bounce control
* Thyristor battery saving circuit
* 4 auto f / stops
* Built-in vari-power control
* Sufficient light indicator
* Lighted calculator dial
* Complete accessory system available

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