Vivitar LumoPro Yongnuo ?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by qalam, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. I'm looking for a manual flash to use on the motor grip of a Bronica SQ Ai medium format camera to give me side-mounted flash. I think I've narrowed my choices down to three fairly inexpensive possibilities, but flash is new to me.
    --- Vivitar 285HV (new series from 2007 onward): This seems to be a very popular unit (along with the pre-2007 version). However, it has no horizontal swivel, and the Strobist site claims the new version is NOT comparable to the original model. They hailed the announcement of the 285HV's return and then when they actually tried it out, they outright rejected it, calling it "total crap".
    --- Lumapro LP160: This is the one Strobist likes. It costs about twice as much as the Vivitar and Lumapro is a Strobist site sponsor.
    --- Yongnuo YN565: This costs about the same (MSRP) as the Vivitar but has horizontal swivel and is available directly from a Chinese distributor with around 15% discount and free shipping.
    What should I be looking at to decide between the three. If I want both horizontal swivel and vertical tilt, the Vivitar is out. If I want swivel and lower price, only the Lumapro makes the cut.
  2. I have the Yongnuo 560 and it is a good flash. The only issue I have ever had is when you have full power and after several pops the flash needs a cool of period. I like the setup menu. It's very easy and simple.
  3. Thanks Robert. I see I made a typo in my question. I meant to say YN560 (not YN565).
  4. I have only the YN560 and the YN 465-C and not used either very much. I like the YNs becuase of the built in optical trigger which enables me to fire them in sync with my camera's flash, I do also have a wireless set-up purchased subsequently. The YN560 has a socket for 'old style' sync cables that I was used to and also for an external battery supply in the same 'hatchway'. The swivelling and tilting head could be useful for pointing the flash where you want it along with wide and narrow beam. Published Guide Number based on power at telephoto beam so maybe misleading if you are working with a normal or wide angle lens. Even though the set-up is simple it is much more complicated than the simple 'on-off' flashes I've used in the past :), a thirty plus generational gap there :)
  5. LumoPro LP160 flash comes with 2 year warranty (from MPEX in USA), and Yongnuo with 1 (from around China). LP160 has 3 triggering ports: PC-sync, 3.5 mm (miniphone), plain & "digital" optical slave(s).

    Do further research in "Strobist" group on Flickr where these & other flashes have been hashed out (multiple times). I haven't used any of the flashes mentioned.

    See also Nikon flashes c. SB 28.
  6. I started with a trio of Vivitar 285HV's (old ones from pre-2000's) and later added a pair of Lumopro LP160's when I needed more lights and wanted more versatility. I've been very happy with both but now use the LP 160's almost exclusively for off-camera work. One did die on me after about 5 months but was quickly replaced by MPEX and have had no further trouble. Many times I've appreciated their ability to swivel and I'd recommend them. I use them with cybersyncs but they do have a built in slave sensor as well.
  7. You'll get more power and better build quality from buying a used Nikon SB-25 flash. This'll fire from a simple non-dedicated hotshoe, and offers a 7 stop range Auto Aperture mode as well as manual operation with power control down to 1/64th in 1/3rd stops. The zoom head covers 24mm to 85mm in the 135 format, plus built-in WA diffuser.
    There's no built-in slave, but optical or radio slave triggers can be bought cheaply enough. Recycle time on NiMH cells is around 4 to 5 seconds for maximum power, and is almost instantaneous for half power or less. The head tilts 90 degrees and swivels through 270 degrees (180/90).
    I have two of these that I was able to buy quite cheaply since they no longer work with Nikon's DSLR cameras. They make great off camera strobist units, but would work just as well on a (non-Nikon) hotshoe. They feel really robust and I'd have no worries about their long term reliability.

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