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G5....flash tripping voltage

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Box Brownie, May 31, 2014.

  1. Box Brownie

    Box Brownie Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 8, 2014
    Essex, England
    My wife wants to use a flash set up with her panny G5.......

    Before we plonk a Vivitar 283 into the accessory shoe and get on our way, does anyone know the tripping voltage that the G5 can cope with please?

    ....I have searched 'the book' and looked at various online resources but found nothing.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    • Like Like x 2
  3. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I hope that's a slightly older 283... As long as it was made after about 1995 but before 2009 you should be ok. You can get a WEIN safe-sync to be absolutely sure.

    Any modern Vivitar 283 or 285HV made in the last five years runs the risk of being unreliable. Vivitar moved production of those two flashes away from the old factory where they were made consistently to a bunch of others with varying results.

    Whoever they are contracting out production of those two flashes to appears to be a very poor-QC house.

    I have a 10 year old 285HV that's very reliable - with a trigger voltage of 2.4V... I use it with the E-M1 on a bracket with the remote sensor cable. I hadn't used it for a couple of years and had to sit with the auto-sensor and dial back and forth to clear the sticky contacts. A really fast blast of contact cleaner got it working again.

    I also have a 283 and 285HV from about 2 years ago that are unreliable. The 283 randomly refuses to fire and the 285HV gets VERY hot.
  4. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    When I called Panasonic about my G3, they said that they can handle up to about 200, and if it above 90, it wont hurt the camera, just may not fire. Going from memory here, will look up thread when I get home for actual nos.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
  5. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    General "rule of thumb" I last saw was that trigger voltage for modern digital cameras should not exceed 5v. Older Vivitar 283/285 can have a trigger voltage as high as 230v. so they should be used only with the Wein Safe Sync or when "slaved" with a slave tripping device.

    With my first Canon Rebel digital cameras, I used a small dedicated shoe mount flash in manual mode (lowest manual power setting) to trigger "slaved" Alien Bees 800 monolights. The Vivitar's or any similar unit on a stand could be "tripped" the same way with the flip up flash on the camera. I've got a small "pile" of older Vivitars I've done that with.

    However the quality of Vivitar products has plummeted in recent years.
  6. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    So found the old thread. This is what I posted based off the Panasonic rep for the G3 (no reason the G5 should be different):

    ~20V is fine, should have no issues.
    ~90V+ won't damage camera, but may not successfully fire every time.
    Safe sync not needed in this case.

    However, I did pick up a safe-sync (off brand) so I have a PC port to use the flash off-camera.
  7. gdest

    gdest New to Mu-43

    Apr 22, 2014
    Panasonic USA support told me up to 15v about G6

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
  8. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    I wonder though... 20-90volts is still a lot of potential to "dump"... Assuming they're using an SCR to do it, where's all that voltage and current going in the camera?

  9. Dan Ka

    Dan Ka Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2011
    Northeastern Ohio
  10. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Except that that site doesn't have a huge sample variation. I checked on that site when looking at mine, and it said "way too high" but when I measured it, it came in about 100V less. However, when in doubt, use a safe-sync.
  11. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    My Vivitar 283 was like 200 volts with 1.2 volt nimh AA's, but went to 270 volts on 1,5 volt lithiums My old Olympus E300 was rated for 250 volts like the E1, and I knew that there was likely 50-100 volts of margin in the design, but I saw no reason to risk my $900 camera for a $9 flash.

    Also, never trust what a rep tells you, unless he is reading from the owners manual. Many of them just pass on stuff they hear. If a camera is misfiring on a 90 volts, it means the drive transistor can't handle the voltage. One of my earliest projects as an engineer (back around 1971) was collecting data to prove to our VP that we couldn't reliably drive solenoids with our IC technology. I blew up a few hundred chips for him.

  12. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    My Dad's Vivitar 273 (it predated the 283) tested at about 470V... Insane. My 285HV gives me about 6 volts. Some people, when they test these, don't wait for the charging circuit to cut off and go into top-up mode. If you don't do that on these flashes you can get an inaccurately low reading.
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