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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Vivitar 2000 Flash Unit

When Pawpaw gave me his Minolta film SLR, he also gave me this Vivitar flash. The batteries in it were old and I never though to replace the four inexpensive AA's. Well, this morning I did. I turned it on and heard the high pitched sound of the unit charging. When the orange light came on, I started popping off shots on my 350D. The 350D didn't compensate for the flash as it didn't detect it. But it didn't take much for me to find the right timings in manual mode. It's remarkable how much of a difference a "bounced" flash can make. This unit won't turn left or right, but the flash head will tilt up and straight. By pointing the unit up, I can bounce light off of the ceiling, thus illuminating things in a much more natural looking light. There is no soft diffuser on this unit, but I plan on getting one as the head on flash is powerful.

This is (of course) me in my sexy work shirt. This is a very unremarkable bathroom mirror shot. However, there is much more to this than initially meets the eye. If you'll notice, the flash head is pointed up, thus bouncing light back down onto me. Not only that, but I'm holding this expensive camera with one hand very dangerously over a hard, hard floor... crap.. okay, that has nothing to do with the photo, just noticing. Anyway, the thing that stands out about this shot is the fact that it was taken in the bathroom with the light off.. and the door closed. Yes, there was no ambient light in the room, at least not a visible amount. Want proof? How about a close-up of my (weird looking) dilated pupils?

Yep, this is a decent flash. These shots were taken at 1/15th of a second with an aperture of 6.3f. ISO was 100.
Currently Listening To: Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (Part II) - The Wall - 1979


Anonymous Anonymous said...


TJMc Photography

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vivitar 2000 flash has a trigger voltage of 56volts.
Canon cameras are specified to take 6volts. This flash can eventually fry your camera.
Do some search on this topic on google.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Floyd said...

Great piece and thanks... I just got my vivitar back from my brother in law after 20 years and I forgot what there was too it.

But... Don't quite know what is meant by a 56 volt trigger.., as mentioned in another post in this thread.

The cannon camera and the vivitar both take 4 1-1/2 v batteries. That is they both use 6 volts to run. Where do the 56volts come from?

Perhaps it is 5-6 volts?

TIA for any answer...


7:50 AM  
Blogger eh1160 said...

Funny, my dad just gave me the same flash, and I think I have the same camera as you. ;)

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trigger voltage doesn't have anything to do with the power source. Even though you're only giving it 6V (4 1.5V batteries), it ramps it up internally for the photo tube.

Old cameras used a mechanical switch to fire the flash, so the voltage didn't matter.

New cameras, like your XT, have an electronic switch and eventually will burn out, like Anonymous said. They want 6V at the hotshoe. You're giving it 56V... I know it works now, but it'll fry it eventually. You can get a hotshoe adapter that will isolate the voltage from the camera.

2:39 PM  
Blogger only1platinum said...

or better yet. go to gadget infinity and pick up their wireless triggers that reduce the voltage the same way and you can also be able to use it wirelessly for about the same price. Just a thought. I am using this same flash along with a vivitar 2800 and its loads of fun shooting wirelessly! Enjoy and do be careful with that nice camera you got there.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous screenpotato said...

I thought it was only the old film EOS cameras that you had to worry about.

350/Rebel XT has a sync voltage of 250V no?

7:10 AM  
Blogger Kasm279 said...

I got one of these today for $2. It doesn't have a tilt head though, its stationary...

8:14 PM  
Blogger bscholles said...

With a trigger voltage of 56V or higher you are much better off using a Wein SafeSync (about $59 at Amazon) between your flash and camera. Also with this flash tilt in the 90 degree position try using a rubber banded white name card behind the flash head as a reflector. You will be amazed at the fill in light in the eyes of your subject!

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look momma I saved 5 bucks on this old fucked up flash! Unfortunately it destroyed my $2000camera.


your jew son.

3:51 AM  

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