Excerpt: Crash went the light stand & down went the flash... ugh broken.. Not so ugh though, because for next to nothing B&H and Vivitar had the replacement ready. A few tiny screws and a small solder or two & everything is good as new.
Excerpt: Fixed my 1978 Vivitar 285 flash hot shoe that had a broken foot. This replacement is a stronger design than the original. Additional plastic supports front of connecting foot (see photo). Requires careful soldering of four small wires.
Excerpt: So my son broke off my old hot shoe, and though some people recommend the metal replacement, it can't be used directly on the camera, so I decided to get this, which pretty much is identical to the original one that lasted 30 years, so what the heck.
Summary: I'm excited to write a review because I love these things with a passion! They were designed 40+ years ago, and amazingly I can't find anything better on the market for anywhere near the price. I've been putting 283s and 285s on light stands for professional weddings for more than 7 years.
Pros: High Power, Low Price, Reliability, Simplicity, Irreplaceablity.
Cons: Plastic foot eventually cracks under heavy duty use with light stands... but can be upgraded with after-market metal foot replacements.
Excerpt: The venerable 285HV. This flash has been used by photographers for well over 20 years. You can still buy them new, and I ordered mine from Amazon. The Thyristor design is very nice; I don't know how it works but it works very well.
Pros: Built to take a beating, reliable thyristor circuit, good battery life
Cons: Slower recycles, older units were built better, head doesn't swivel