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 Post subject: Vivitar DF 383 Flash
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:28 pm
Posts: 1065
Location: Syracuse, NY
The Old:
The Vivitar 285HV flash was (and is) truly the cockroach of flashes. It was pretty tough. So back when it was re-launched back in 2007 everyone was very excited. Sadly, the 285 eventually started suffering quality control issues. Most of them work fine, a few people have complaints. I've had mine for a year or so, and I love it. But there were a few issues (lack of 1/8th power, 70's appearance, lack of TTL.)

The New:

Enter the Vivitar DF 383. Released very recently by vivitar, it's like the younger, and better looking, but less healthy version of the 285. What makes this flash so great, is it features ETTL (which any die-hard strobist will say is ew but some people like having a flash on camera in a pinch)it's also got 1/1-1/16 (including 1/8th power.) The features don't end there though. Sadly, the got rid of a sync port, so if you were to want to use a cactus trigger you'd actually have to mount your flash on it. It's not quite compensation for this but the 383 does feature a slave sensor. For some one who's already got a flash or 2, and uses them off camera, this could be handy, no need to buy another receiver.

Zoom:
Also a nice feature is the automatic (power zoom.) Theres 2 zoom modes. A (auto for use in TTL if you want) and M. In A if you're using Ettl on camera, if you zoom in nothing happens until you half press/press the shutter button. In order to enter Manual zoom you press the zoom button once, it goes into M and zooms out to 24mm. Press it once more for 28mm (then again for 35, 50, 70, and 85mm) one more press and back to auto. The zoom is a bit noisy, and slow, but it's power zoom!

Exposure Calculator:
Anyone who's ever used a 285HV knows about that really neat calculator on the side. Put in your ISO, f-stop, and power and it gives you distance at which you can shoot. Well, the DF 383 offers this too! on the LCD on the back (you'll see it in the video.) The LCD is also lit up when you press the light button, Although as I mention in the video, it's not lit very well.

Build Quality:
The DF383 isn't quite a cockroach like it's older brother. It's built fairly well, and looks a bit more modern but vivitar is still roughly a decade behind on style(doesn't look like a 580exII or sb-900--but hey thats not important.) My biggest built issue is with the on/off and s(slave)/off switches on the back, they just feel a little cheap. The foot is made of plastic, so I'm curios as to how that'll hold up. (I'll tweet/post if&or when it fails.)

The Verdict:

The Vivitar DF 383 is a great flash for someone looking for a first time flash who wants Ettl and to try some off camera stuff. It could also be a good compliment to any one's flash set (especially if you're using say, 285HV's {which have gone up in price, so this is only $29.00 more at the moment.}) The color temp is right about where flash would be, in fact, in shooting with this and the 285 the 285 had a much warmer tone.

Build: 17/20
Handling: 18/20
Specifications: 18/20
Value: 20/20
Overall: 91% I highly recommend this product!

Review on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy-lKdiAiMs

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Jake O'Connell, 40D Crew
Canon EOS 40D | 28-135mm IS | 50mm f/1.8 |Vivitar DF 383 | Vivitar 285hv
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"Photography isn't so much about the results as it is the collective experience, your interactions with people and with the world"


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 Post subject: Re: Vivitar DF 383 Flash
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:34 am 
JakeOConnell wrote:
The Old:

Hi Jake!
I have Panasonic G1 and Vivitar DF-363, and I want ask you about how work red light on flashgun. The red lamp of illumination works for you? If yes, what adjustments(options) of the camera?

Thank you. Eugene


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