Vivitar 283 Flash Vari-power VP-1 module

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by johnmarkpainter, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. I know that lots of people recommend the 283...I already have one, but don't have the VP
    -1 module.

    Anyone using this? I am wondering how Dim the 283 gets when on it's lowest setting.
    Still looking for Fill Flash for M6/M3 shooting ISO 1250.

  2. The 283 only has one manual setting. The 285 allows you to dial it down to 1/16th power.
  3. Jason,

    The VP-1 module has a 1/64th setting and plugs into the front of the feature
    maybe. Just wondering how low 1/64th really is.

  4. John, I have a pair of 283s with VP-1s that I use a lot for closeup work, also a Minolta Flash Meter.

    At full power, both 283s are 1 stop down from rated power. Rated ISO 100 feet GN is 120, actuals 80 and 90.

    At 1/2 power, both are 1 stop down from rated.

    At 1/4, -2 stops

    At 1/8, -3 stops

    At 1/16, -4 stops

    At 1/32, -5 stops

    At 1/64, which is not marked, -6 stops.

    They work very consistently. Now do the arithmetic yourself.


  5. I've checked the VP-1 against a good flash meter, and it does just what it is supposed to do. My 283 lasted over twenty years, and some people have used them longer. There are reasons why they have sold so well for so long.
  6. I've been using 283's since the late 1970's. The Varipower Module is handy to have and will get you to about 6 stops less than full power but I'm not sure that all of them are the exact same at that unmarked last position. Run some tests if it's critical.
  7. Ok...

    It looks like with the VP-1 @ 1/64, it will the same output as my Nikon SB-800 @ 1/
    128....gotta place an order...


  8. The 285HV looked like a much better flash than the 283, and there was only a difference of $20 (Canadian). The 285HV has worked out very well for me. I'm planning on buying a 2nd one.
  9. You have to be careful, the 285HV might fry the flash circuitry of some Ms (? M6/TTL/M7). I heard that a while back. I used the 285HV with my M4-P, with no problem, except that it is clumsy for on camera use because it is tall and top heavy.
  10. At its minimum setting my VP-1 gives out five and a half stops less than at full
    power. Tested with a lightmeter, I found the incremental markings to be inaccurate.
    (This is easily solved with a sticker and a pen.)

    I'm now using a secondhand Metz MZ40 which is more accurate, with a 10 stop range
    in one third of a stop increments.
  11. I've got an MZ40 and like it very much, use it on my R8, but it seems awfully big and heavy for an M Leica, especially for "discreet" street shooting. Why not just use a little flash like a Vivitar 2800 or even the Olympus S20, in manual mode, with neutral-density gels to cut the output?
  12. It is nice to find out about all of these other Flashes out there...there are SO many, that it
    is difficult to get meaningful info or advice on them.

    I only use Flash for event-type shooting (Weddings/Parties) where you have to shoot even
    if the light isn't good enough. I still can't bring myself to just shoot Flash the normal way
    and have everything look like nasty snapshots.

  13. Just increase the ISO setting to 400 and change the Auto color scale on the 283 to "yellow/orange" Auto mode should get enough reduced power for fill-flash, i.e. f-stop permitting.

Share This Page