|The Vivitar Shoe Mount Flash for Nikon is a fully automatic shoe mount flash for Nikon SLR cameras as well as other digital SLR cameras, and features a full TTL flash support. The Vivitar DF-283 Flash has extra features, such as bounce and swivel and a manual zoom head to output a substantial amount of light when taking photographs. The vertical bounce on the Vivitar DF-283 Flash is 90 degrees and the horizontal swivel moves around 270 degrees. With zoom settings of 28 mm, 35 mm, 50 mm, and 85 mm, the Vivitar Shoe Mount Flash for Nikon has a wide range. Included is an autofocus auxiliary lamp to help the camera focus in low light situations, and this flash for Nikon accepts light modifiers, as it includes a reflecting plate and wide-angle diffuser. For those who like automatic action, automatic shutter speed settings and red eye reduction settings are included. In addition, there is a power saving automatic-off element. The Vivitar Shoe Mount Flash for Nikon takes four AA batteries.|
|UPC||628586118553, 681066216392, 689466121285, 689466121315, 689466121322, 689466121339, 689466121360, 705105044019, 705105044118, 705105044217|
|Guide Number||100 ft/ISO 100|
|Lens Coverage||28mm - 85mm|
|Supported Exposure Control||TTL|
|Vertical Rotation Angle||+90 / 0|
|Horizontal Rotation Angle||+180 / -90|
|Min Flash Duration||0.03 ms|
|Max Flash Duration||2 ms|
|Additional Features||Red Eye Reduction|
|Required Battery||4 x battery - AA type|
Average review score based on 22 user reviews
I have been using a Vivitar model 283 with my GAF (Chinon) m42 mount TTL metering camera since about 1975. With it's light sensor and automation it makes the process of taking snapshots during family events much easier. With a guide number of 120, it can give quite a bright flash. However the sensor cuts down on each flash to what you need to match each camera set-up. This also saves on the 4 common AA batteries which power it and shortens recharge time. There is an adapter which can recharge it from a 110v outlet. But with about a 10 second recharge time from new alkaline batteries or adapter, why would you want to be tethered to a cord. It can be easily used as a bounce flash and will take filters too with an adapter. I recommend it for any older manual focus camera with an X sync hotshoe. One bonus is that bought used, they are currently quite inexpensive. And, since they are built like a tank they will probably give you great service for many years to come.
But, if you have a digital or other modern camera with internal electronic circuitry, I would avoid it. Firstly, your camera undoubtedly has much more sophisticated automation than this flash, so you will not be using the flash's full capabilities. Second, modern flashes made to work with your camera will give you an ease of use that the 283 cannot come close to. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly; the 283 has a reputation of developing a high voltage across the trigger circuit in the hotshoe foot or plug-in wire contacts. Even if you test and find a low voltage, can you be sure that it will not over time get higher? I understand that both older and newer specimens may have this condition so I would not want to take the risk just to save a little money over a modern flash. After all, how much did you shiney new camera cost? Lastly; they are big and heavy and have been known to break their pastic hotshoe foot. It can be replaced, but please replace it with a plastic foot. The metal ones look inviting to stop it from breaking again, but what will break next time? Higher up on the flash's case, or your camera hotshoe would be really bad. Just the foot would be an easier repair.
I will have a place in my camera bag for my 283 for a long time to come because I like my manual 35mm film camera which it was designed for. Without a doubt, it makes my pictures with that camera easier and better. WAB
It's big, it's bulky, but it puts out some light. Nowadays, the Vivitar 283 seems like a relic from days gone by (for all intrinsic purposes, it probably is)...everyone wants auto-this and auto-that, to have each piece of equipment do their work for them. Maybe I'm a relic, too, but I sometimes prefer the old ways. All this new-fangled stuff has gotten me lazy.
Look at the plastic hotshoe foot (the only real issue I have with it) on the 283...one contact point. Dedicated to nothing, but will work with all. Illuminated dial, with a scale showing what aperture to use at what distance with what ASA/DIN (that alone should tell you what era this thing comes from). No LCD panel. Proprietary PC socket. Bounce, but no swivel head. Adjustable sensor (which I've replaced with the VP-1 Vari-power adapter for greater range of output) which control the amount of light it puts out. Another (minor) issue is the battery insert...the 283 has to have it to hold four AA batteries. You can't just drop 'em in.
One note about the 283: older models made in Japan will fry (literally) some digital cameras unless a WeinSafe voltage regulator is used. Hotshoe voltage can reach 400 volts on some. The New Korean and Chinese models are safe, but the voltage should still be checked (especially if you're planning to use one on a Canon).
I bought this thing to use as fill flash for my D1x. I tried it on my D80 this morning, syncing at 1/200, with great results. I may get two more 283s, and stick 'em up on stands and do the strobist thing. They are not shy about putting out light. Put on-camera flash to shame.
Vivitar 283 is great manual flash but you do have to watch out couple of problems. First of all, the sync voltage is high enough to fry most of digital camera bodies. All of my flashes show around 270 volts - this is enough to fry out both Canon (6) and Nikon (250v) bodies. Also watch out for made in China (stamped on bottom of the flash) flashes. They are newer, but less reliable than the original made in Japan products. The guide number at manual is at max, and not adjustable. This would be way too much light for most cases. The front sensor can be pulled out and replaced with optional VP-1 adaptor. It would allow power adjustment, but is also analog turning switch - so power level isn't well defined.
The 283 is the standard of manual flash units. It came out decades ago and is the tried and true
work horse of the traditional film photographers. As with all battery operated devices, do NOT
leave the batteries in for extended periods of time, as corrosion is difficult to remove from the
inside. If you value your camera, stay away from the metal base mount as its so strong that if the
flash is jarred off the camera, you can pull out the hot shoe. Best to stick with the plastic mount,
its cheaper to replace than repairing the camera.
This flash is a workhorse. It's no longer manufactured by Vivitar, so used or overstock inventory is the only way to get it. You can purchase a version of it new, the Vivitar 285. I use the 283 as my location lighting and for pennies on the dollar I get a great lighting system. Some modification is required. A vari-power module is necessary. It replaces the auto-thyristor and allow for full manual control of the flash.