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Vivitar 283...


Hi! Can one use NiMH/NiCad rechargeable batteries with an old flashgun like the 283?...I've just acquired a Vivitar 283 flash gun (The Light Machine) from Ebay to use off-camera for strobist work...Does anybody have experience in this regard? The battery module says use alkaline batteries only...

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Dont see why you cant use NiCads, I used to have one of these flashguns and they were great. I just came across a Vivitar off camera lead for it the other day, very rare but I dont need it anymore.
3 Mar 2013 4:28PM
Yes you can - I use NiMH with all of my 283s with no problem. Just watch the sync voltages though, depending on what you connect to - the old ones will fry a DSLR....
3 Mar 2013 4:30PM
I use a 283 regularly and always use NiCads. I have noticed sometimes the high capacity batts are a very tight fit often struggling to make contact in the battery holder
Thanks a ton for the responses...Smile

@forestcaver: Thanks for the warning, but I have no intention of using them directly on-camera...have 2 fried Olympus OM bodies that are paperweights now...

the 285 will be purely for off-camera strobist use, triggered wirelessly...
3 Mar 2013 9:14PM
No problem - if I sync them from a camera I use a Wein safe sync.... also if you can find a vari power module - they're highly recommended - make the flash much more usable - almost essential - or you can mod it yourself pretty easily.... It's also worth making/buying some cheap slave units...
I've recently done my first portrait session with my newly-acquired Vivitar 283, using a set of rechargeable NiMh cells. While it was largely experimental in nature (I used the 283 with a gel as a slaved background light), I was quite surprised to see how hot the flash as well as the batteries got - I had difficulty holding the battery pack...

I shot a total of 99 images, not all in quick succession...I do know that flashguns can get rather hot when used continuously but the heat generated by the 283 was quite alarming....

Could this be due to the usage of NiMh cells or does the 283 run hot always?

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