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Vivitar 285hv wirelessly with omd EM-5

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by rklepper, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
    I have an omd EM-5 and an fl600 flash. I have a pair of vivitar 285hvs that I would like to use wirelessly. What would be the best way to do that.

    Thanks ahead of time for any help. :)
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Radio triggers would be the best. Optical slave sensors would be next down the list.

    What kind of budget do you have for triggers, and in what kind of environments will you be using them in?
     
  3. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
    Just screwing around having fun.possibly portraits of grand kids. I had pocketwizards for my canon gear, anything less than that. I am used to manual flash.

    Is there a good set of radio triggers you would recommend and could instill use my fl600 on camera if I wanted to?
     
  4. TDP

    TDP Guest

  5. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    A cheaper solution would be to pick up an optical eye for each Vivitar (about $35 each for $70 total investment) and trigger them with the FL-600R, which you said you want to keep on the camera anyways. The only real problem with the optical triggers is shooting with other photographers using flash. The radio triggers are the most reliable.

    *EDIT: Correction... if you're going by Amazon prices those optical triggers are only in the area of $8-$13 for a total investment of $16-$26 (one for each Vivitar), according to this page: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...ctronics&field-keywords=optical+slave+trigger
    $35+/ea is what I would pay at my local brick and mortar camera store, for the no-name brand. The Wein versions are $65+, lol. It's amazing how cheap online shopping can be if you can wait for it, which I can't.

    That $140 FlashWave set only includes one receiver, but you could still get away with just that if you triggered one Vivitar remotely, mounted one Vivitar on the hotshoe built into the transmitter (which would be a single-contact hotshoe and perfect for mounting a legacy flash of 6V and under, which your HVs would be), then triggered your FL-600R remotely with the slave sensor. The FL-600R has a built-in optical slave sensor, so it can be used as a wireless slave with no additional equipment, triggered from any flash system.

    Or of course, just pick up an extra receiver for $80, for a total cost of $220 + S&H for 2 receivers, one for each Vivitar: Amazon.com: FlashWave-III Wireless Radio Slave Receiver Receiver for Remote Wireless Flash Trigger System - Receiver Unit: Camera & Photo
     
  7. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Mar 18, 2012
    Toronto
    Those optical slaves Ned is suggesting are quite sensitive and work fine indoors (radio is better when in sunlight). Leave the FL-600R on camera, but set to manual and let the 285's sync via optical slave.

    Alternatively, you can use a hot shoe to pc adapter on top of the camera and put the FL-600R on top of it (in manual). Then, hang a any pc compatible wireless trigger off of it and sync the vivitars wirelessly

    Lastly, I think the best solution is to just take all the flashes off the camera and use a set of inexpensive wireless triggers - I use inexpensive ones purchased off ebay.
     
  8. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    931
    Nov 16, 2010
    Finland
  9. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    The Gadget Infinity Cactus V5 triggers work well:

    Cactus Wireless Flash Transceiver V5 Duo - Gadget Infinity

    I have 2 pairs, and have used them with a 285hv and an E-PL1, so you should be fine for your setup. They are also rated for higher sync voltages, so any old flashes you have around or can buy cheaply will work with them.

    You probably could still use your flash on camera with these (they have pass through on the hot shoe), but manual mode only. Only the center contact is connected.
     
  10. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    One more possibility on the optical slaves :)

    FlashZebra.com: Optical Slave — Extended Range Version — with Vivitar Connector — Sonia Brand (Item #0140)

    They connect directly to the Vivitar (proprietary) sync port. Not as general-purpose-for-any-flash as the hotshoe ones, but, you get that much more stability on the stand without having the stand-trigger-flash sandwich. Other downside: it can't ignore a preflash. But you were shooting in Manual anyway, yes?

    With most cheap manual radio triggers, where there's only the center "fire/sync" signal pin/contact, you don't have to worry about brand. They generally specify camera models because the triggers can double as wireless shutter releases, and the triggers come packaged with the different cables. The triggers themselves are identical across all the different packages. With the Cactus V5s, however, I think the cable is an additional purchase. They are, however, one of the few who offer mft Olympus and Panasonic shutter cables (e.g., Yongnuo RF-603s only have shutter cables for Nikon and Canon.)
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Those optical sensors for Vivitars that inkista linked to is what we call a "Peanut Slave".

    They're awesome for Vivitars (which I always love), though I prefer the foot-mounted type due to cross-compatibility.
     
  12. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
    Those are cheap enough, and I have also bought from them before with good results. Thanks. So my only flah would trigger thenvivitars with those?

    Thanks so much for the info.


     
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yup, you got it!
     
  14. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Yes. The main caveat is that the FL600R cannot be in TTL mode, or attempting to use the Oly wireless protocol at the same time; it has to be in Manual mode and out of RC mode. TTL creates a "preburst" flash--the one that's metered so the camera can set the flash power before the main burst, and the wireless protocol uses multiple preflash light signals (kind of like Morse code), and any of those can set off the triggers as well.

    The cool thing is that any camera with a flash can set off a "dumb" optical slave. So if you have a P&S camera, you can use its flash to master the Vivitars (and the FL-600R, too, as it has a built-in "dumb" optical slave mode), as long as there's no preflash. My Canon Powershot S90's flash can set off the optical slaves in my Nikon SB-26 and Yongnuo YN-560, and a Sonia Optical slave I plug into my Canon 580EX, if I put the S90 in "M" mode. If I put it in Av/Tv/P modes, though, then I can only use the YN-560's S2 slave mode, because there's a preflash (sigh), and that's the only optical slave I own that can ignore a single preflash.

    There are some optical slaves that can ignore a single preflash, but they can be a bit iffier on compatibility.

    One more note: line of sight is important with optical slaves. The slave sensor has to "see" the master burst. The fact that the 285HV heads don't swivel might make using them a little bit more annoying than you'd like. If you're working inside with plenty of bounce surfaces, it probably won't matter much. But if you're planning on shooting outside in the daytime a lot, I'd point you to radio triggers instead. Radio triggers don't require line of sight and generally have better range/reliability than optical slaves, which is why so many of us prefer them.