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Photography Question 
Sharon Barberee
 

How to use The Vivitar HV-285


I feel silly aking this question, but here goes. I have had A HV-285 for years , never really used it much. I have now been asked to do some weddings where I know I am going to need the extra flash. I have a Canon Rebel Digital and The SLR rebel 35mm. Will it be combatiable for both ? Can someone explain to me in simple english how to set the Dial . I have read the instructions but cant make heads or tails of it. Thanks........


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11/15/2004 2:53:23 PM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  How many years have you had it? Older versions of this flash generate very high voltage at the trigger contracts that can fry the 6 volt circuits of the EOS cameras. Have it tested or use something like the Wein Safe Sync in the hotshoe between the flash and the camera.

When using this flash the cameras must be used in either M or Av modes because the flash does not communicate with the camera, but needs a specific aperture setting on the lens for proper exposure.

On the flash, first set the ISO (or ASA) to the same as the film speed, or the ISO setting on the Digital Rebel. Turn the outer dial ring, match the ISO/ASA # to the arrow on the flash head.

The inner part of the dial has a color-coded scale that corresponds to the 4 alternate auto programs. Each color has a "wedge" or "block" and an arc or line to the right of it. The block is under the aperture value or f-stop (middle ring of the dial - 1.4, 2, 2.8, etc.) needed for that program setting, and the line gives the range of subject-to-flash distance for that program. RED is usually a good all-around choice.

Set the Mode Selector on Vari-Sensor (on the front of the flash) for the autoprogram color that gives the flash-to-subject distance range you need.

Then set the camera/lens aperture for the same f-stop indicated on the dial for that program color.

In M mode you then set the shutter speed for the maximum x-sync speed (1/200 on the Digital Rebel, 1/90 on the film Rebel) or any longer shutter speed. Shutter speed has no effect on the flash exposure, so you can set it and forget it as long as you're using the flash for the main light. Longer shutter speeds give more exposure (lighten) the background.

In Av mode the camera will set the shutter speed automatically, but it'll set it so that the background is equally exposed with the flash-lit subject. This is the "slow-sync" mode and is apt to give very long shutter speeds requiring a tripod and still subjects.


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11/16/2004 7:40:32 AM

 
Jacques G-L   Yo'll see, Weddinds are the most difficult and risky event to pic, think twice (at least for the married). Most of the time Need more powerfull flash than the 285 (ex. Metz 60ct-i), need more than how to calibrate it, need ND grad filters, need backup equipment, need extreme rapidity and stress control. Need to practice there before, trying the good focal lens at the location you have the permission to be. What light is there, need a cc30m to compensate or cc10m. You dont even know if your 285 is reliable...
I dont know why I dont really feel good!
Sorry
ciao
PS. the 285 is a amateur setting, no ttl. And take care to the voltage.


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11/16/2004 9:04:05 PM

 
Sharon Barberee   I had the 285 tested by a local reliable camera shop, it is sufficent to do what I need to do. The wedding is on the beach in the late afternoon, I will have light other than the 285. The other good thing is I wont be the only photographer there and have made no promises .


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11/17/2004 6:43:19 AM

 
Ned Pearson   I shot weddings professionally for seven years.

I have shot weddings in both medium format and 35 mm. I have also shot weddings with Metz45's/60's as well as Vivitar 283's/285's. I think you can do it either way and you can certainly shoot digital so long as you have three or more megapixels.

Print orders are rarely for sizes greater than 8x10 and the vast majority are for 5x7 or 4x5.

Jacques is correct about the stress level--it is very high. Contrary to what you may believe you need to plan every shot ahead of time. During the wedding you will have less than 30 minutes to take most of your pictures. You need to make arrangements with the wedding party prior to the ceremony to return to the alter immmediatly after the wedding to take the group shots also known as "alter return" shots.

During the reception you need to be unobtrusive but in control of the cake cutting, toast, etc.

I agree about the equipment too. You need at least two of everything. You also need a check list and you don't want to forget anything on your list.

Shooting on the beach in the late afternoon: if you want your shots to look great you will need to shoot fill flash which means you will want to balance your flash to the ambient flash. If your flash is too hot your backgrounds will be dark.

In general, when using flash think of the shutter speed on the camera as the backlight.

Hope this helps. Good luck


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11/29/2004 12:14:11 PM

 
Ned Pearson   Shooting on the beach in the late afternoon: if you want your shots to look great you will need to shoot fill flash which means you will want to balance your flash to the ambient light. If your flash is too hot your backgrounds will be dark.


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11/29/2004 12:17:30 PM

 
Sharon Barberee  
 
 
Thanks alot for the info. The wedding went well . I have uploaded a shot I took. I was terrified the whole time and probably wont do it again. Rodeo and weddings are light years apart !


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11/29/2004 1:58:56 PM

 
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