I hope it is OK to post this question on this forum, I did not see any others that were more appropriate. Back in the old days when I was shooting film, I loved my Nikon F3 with the Vivitar 283 flash. I would like to mount the 283 in the hot shoe of my D40 but it seems like I heard somewhere that to do so could damage the electronics of the camera . . . something about the voltage in the contact of the flash. I certainly don't want to to risk that unless someone has successful done that without any problems. I am planning on ordering up a Nikon SB 600, but wanted to use an accessory flash until the 600 came in. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks, Jack
#1. "RE: Vivitar 283 Flash on Nikon D40" In response to Reply # 0
Fleming Island, US
Depending on how old your Vivitar is, you may have a problem with the voltage used. Most Nikons (I don't know about the D40 specifically) are safe up to 250V. Vivitar has had several versions manufactured in many different factories (think lowest bidder). If you had a volt meter, you could check this yourself. Maybe you know a HAM operator in your area who could help you with this? Perhaps this page will help you.
The ultra conservative approach is to use a Wein "Safe Sync" to protect your camera.
You'll find your Vivitar to be a little more powerfull than the SB-600 you're considering. It's a great little flash.
Hope this helps!
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#2. "RE: Vivitar 283 Flash on Nikon D40" In response to Reply # 1
Santa Ynez, US
Thanks for the great info. I will pick up a "safe sync" on E-bay. There are several listed. I have never heard of this device and it is the perfect solution for the 283. The article was very interesting as well. Thanks again for your insight. Jack
#4. "RE: Vivitar 283 Flash on Nikon D40" In response to Reply # 3
Just tested my 283 and it measured at 286 volts ... i took off the bottom and turned the flash on .. once the ready light showed i checked the voltage across the 2 wires.
286 volts on mine ... i DID shoot it once on my D80 before I knew to worry about that. No problem from the 1 test shot as my new SB600 works fine. I am not going to risk it again though and will prob just get a new flash unti.
#5. "RE: Vivitar 283 Flash on Nikon D40" In response to Reply # 4
Clifton Park, US
Before I got the SB800 I used 2-283's and 2-285HV's. The older Vivitar 283 has a trigger voltage over 200 volts but the others are around 12 volts. Just to be safe I purchased a Wein HSHSB Safe Sync. I blew out the first Safe Sync in less than a year on the grandchildren and the manufacturer replaced it. I fire mine on the thyristor (aperature red) circuit with the camera on manual program and bounce it. With camera sensitivity at 400 the flash output is actually less - guess 250-300. It is really quite easy to use - just vary the f stop until the exposure looks good. Another alternative is to use the Wein peanut PN slave. On the D70 and D200 I cut the manual flash output to the lowest possible to just trigger the Viviar 283.
#7. "RE: Vivitar 283 Flash on Nikon D40" In response to Reply # 5
peanut slave barely plugged into the side of the 283 ( i have no manual so i hope that is where it was supposed to go) and it kept strobing the flash. I exchanged it for the one that goes under the hotshoe and hope that works for me.
#6. "RE: Vivitar 283 Flash on Nikon D40" In response to Reply # 0
Rancho Cordova, US
Remember, the D40 is an I-TTL flash system and the SB-400/600/800 (and some third party flashes) are the better way to go. In a pinch, though older flashes can be used in manual flash, or auto flash modes; just check the voltage!