Home | Reviews | Flash and Lighting | Flashes | Vivitar

Vivitar 285 HV Flashes

4.82 star rating
                      4.82 / 5 (38 Reviews)
MSRP : $159.95

  • Guide Number120 @ ISO 100 (50mm.)
    Flashe TypeRegular Flash
    Zoom Range28 - 105 mm.
    Mount TypeHot Shoe Mount
    BounceWith Bounce
    Min. Recycle Time10.4 Seconds
    Power Source4 x AA Batteries, External, Battery Pack
    Weight14.9 oz.
    Product ID21807315

Product Description

  • Guide Number: 120 (ISO100/ft.)
  • Control flash distance range and depth of field with four auto f/stop settings
  • Vertical bounce
  • Built-in variable power for convenient fill flash and rapid sequence photography
  • Removable sensor

  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 5 (38 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Brian Sotile a Intermediate

    Date Reviewed: March 4, 2013

    Strengths:    Solid, dependable speedlight work horse.

    Weaknesses:    Battery Compartment

    Bottom Line:   
    Excellent, around flash, especially for use off camera with soft box.

    Expand full review >>

    Price Paid:    $85.00

    Purchased At:   B & H

    Similar Products Used:   Bower

    Type of photography:   People

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Aaron Michael Miller a Professional

    Date Reviewed: October 23, 2012

    Strengths:    High Power, Low Price, Reliability, Simplicity, Irreplaceablity.

    Weaknesses:    Plastic foot eventually cracks under heavy duty use with light stands... but can be upgraded with after-market metal foot replacements.

    Bottom Line:   
    I'm excited to write a review because I love these things with a passion! They were designed 40+ years ago, and amazingly I can't find anything better on the market for anywhere near the price. I've been putting 283s and 285s on light stands for professional weddings for more than 7 years. The capability of the metered light output is priceless. Set the light stand in place as a main, fill, background, and/or hair light and let it do the rest. If the light isn't bright enough, turn it up a notch. Once it's set you can move it around your subject and it will adjust itself to repeatedly produce the same exposure so you don't have to think about it.
    Best of all, for the price, they're practically disposable. A light stand at a wedding has a rough job. Constantly being moved, bumped, knocked over by parentless children... I've seen my 285s smack the tile many times. Usually they're fine, but when they're not, no biggie! I'll make a face like I just lost an $800 stobe... and then go grab one of my 3 backups.

    Expand full review >>

    Price Paid:    $80.00

    Purchased At:   BHPhotoVideo.com

    Similar Products Used:   Vivitar 283

    Type of photography:   People

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Zuazua a Intermediate

    Date Reviewed: August 30, 2008

    Strengths:    Price ($50 ebay), POWERFUL... MOD(able) (is that a word?)

    Weaknesses:    No swivel, does recharge its self by the morning?

    Bottom Line:   
    I've read, and read, and read, and when I thought I was ready to buy I was outbid.. so I read and read, and bid and read, and FINALLY I got one.
    It arrived with some old velcro and that velcro leftover residue on it but a little HIGH CONCENTRATION cleaning wipes took it right off.
    Been using it around the house for some fun effects STROBIST Style:
    please visit: http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/
    I love it... hehehehe

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Price Paid:    $50.00

    Purchased At:   Ebay

    Similar Products Used:   I've used the Sigma EF 500 DG ST and the Sigma EF-500 DG Super. The Super wins HANDS DOWN

    Type of photography:   Other

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by standardtheme a Professional

    Date Reviewed: July 10, 2008

    Strengths:    Big bright bang for the buck and can be dialled back to 1/16.

    Weaknesses:    Beware! the Vivitar shoe mount contacts on top/bottom of shoe, not side as with most other flashes. This means it will not work through the shoe of the cheap wireless triggers (PT04 ) available on ebay :-( It will sync using PC cable though and the PT04s have this :-)
    The shoes connect OK with those cheap optical triggers however.
    A small annoyance but soaked up time and happiness figuring it out.

    Bottom Line:   
    Powerful, controllable flash. I'm using several of these for real estate interiors. Power on full and scales back to 1/16, they have good zoom and come with a good wide diffuser lens.
    Pretty manual flash but that's how I use 'em anyway ;-)

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

    Price Paid:    $89.00

    Purchased At:   Adorama

    Similar Products Used:   Misc other strobes battery and mains powered. Name brands and not.

    Type of photography:   Other

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Marc2B4 a Professional

    Date Reviewed: March 27, 2006

    Strengths:    Simple straight forward design; I've used a 285 for over 25 years. It just keeps on working. It's a piece of equipment you can depend on time after time.

    Weaknesses:    Top heavy when mounted on a camera body, the hot shoe will break if you're not careful. This baby will chew up AAs, so buy rechargable NiCads.

    Bottom Line:   
    The 285HV is a timeless classic. It just works

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   21+ years

    Price Paid:    $90.00

    Purchased At:   B&H

    Type of photography:   Other

    Reviews 1 - 5 (38 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Holiday Gift Guide 2013

    Check out our holiday gift suggestions for these categories!

    See All Holiday Gift Guide coverage - Click Here »


    PhotographyReview Videos