Vivitar DF283 vs. DF293

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by clengman, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Dec 21, 2011
    Hi. I'm new here. I've enjoyed reading some of the great information and was hoping someone might be able to answer a quick question for me...

    I got an E-PL1 last year. I love it and I've been able to take some nice pictures, but I'm starting to think about better options for low-light indoor shooting than I get with the kit lens and the pop-up flash.

    I have a canon fd mount 50mm f1.8 lens that's pretty nice for portraits, but it's too long for indoor snapshots. I'd love it if I could afford the panasonic 20mm f1.7, but that's not happening any time soon.

    I'm thinking it's time to get a better flash. It looks to me like one of the vivitar units (specifically DF283, DF293 or DF383) would be a pretty good buy... TTL, tilt and swivel, good output... Does anyone know the difference between the DF283 and DF293? I looked at the descriptions on Vivitar's website and I didn't see any obvious differences.

    I've also looked at the FL36R (great functionality, but less output and more than I want to spend), the Metz 36 AF-5 and Nissin Di466 (less output than the vivitar and no swivel). Can anyone make any other recommendations in the $100ish price range? I want TTL for sure. I will probably play with manual mode, but my wife has no interest in futzing around and she'll be using it, too.

    Thanks!
     
  2. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Dec 21, 2011
    I see now. The 283 does not have a manual mode. The 293 can be used as ttl or manual. I think I'll be buying the 293.
     
  3. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Dec 21, 2011
    Okay... How about this. If I want to play around with off camera lighting with the vivitar 293, I know I can use the manual mode and optical slave settings.

    If I want to try off-camera ttl, can I use a pc sync cable with the appropriate adapters to get this functionality? What would be the appropriate adapters?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Rwolf01

    Rwolf01 New to Mu-43

    2
    Jan 7, 2012
    Google Images is your friend....

    The difference between the 283 and 293 is $10 and the LCD display.

    I'm guessing you get more knobs to play with, but the underlying electronics and rest of the plastic & optics are identical.

    Ideally, you wouldn't need any additional displays or knobs, if everything is TTL and the flash plays nice with your camera.

    But I've seen how SW gets written, so I'll probably spend the extra $10 just so I have a hope of figuring out what's going on, when the camera doesn't do what I want.

    I can't see spending the money on the FL-36R, when I can get the DF293 and a coiled remote cord for $100 less.
     
  5. clengman

    clengman Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Dec 21, 2011
    That's exactly what I did. I'm looking into hacking the flash cable so I can use cat5e patch cables as extensions for off-shoe triggering (with ttl if I want it).

    So far I have only used it on shoe, usually bounced. The TTL is so so. I'd say 7 or 8 out of ten shots are exposed well. One out of ten gets blown out and 2 out of ten are a little under. I've been using manual most of the time. I'm definitely glad I got the 293 instead of the 283.

    One little disappointment... the control panel of the 293 looked so similar to the DF-383, I assumed that it would also have optical slave function but it doesn't. Wasn't a big enough problem for me to return it. Like I said I can use a flash cable for off-shoe. I think it works great recycle time is much better than the pop up and I getting some very nice light by bouncing it. I think for someone who has not used an external flash and wants to experiment with a range of functionality this is an excellent buy. If you already have the experience and you know exactly what you want and you can spend twice the money, there are better options.
     
  6. Rwolf01

    Rwolf01 New to Mu-43

    2
    Jan 7, 2012
    Update.

    I bought the DF-293-OP and have used it for macro & wide-angle indoor work.

    The TTL works great with the EPL-1. At ISO-200 and 1/160th of a second it will properly expose the same indoor scene from f2.8 all the way up to f22. (but it *sounds* different. at f2.8 the preflash & flash go click-click but at F22 it goes click-BOOM-whine..... :)

    I've never bothered to figure out the LCD display or manual mode so the DF283 would probably have been fine.

    I've always been able to make it do what I want through the camera controls or by adjusting the bounce angle or various improvised diffusers.