Convert Vivitar 285hv to full spectrum or UV flash





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Published on Jan 20, 2013

WARNING: Full spectrum and UV flashes emit UVA and this can cause skin cancer etc. Be sure to wear sunglasses and sun cream if you are in the field of the flash blast. Please also take care as these flash units can store upwards of 300 Volts. Don't poke about unnecessarily and take precautions.

Forgive the poor lighting and audio. I can't afford a better audio system (Azden wireless system - WMS Pro - at the moment) and the Halogen globes I used were problematic (Especially at the end when I blew one and did not have a replacement). There was a spot at about 2 minutes where I inserted a transition where you could see me disassemble at 400x speed. The software I used, put a still in the video and left the audio at high speed in the background. A little disturbing. I also had 13 minutes of video queued but when I exported, it came to just over 8 minutes. I can't see what is missing so I have posted this anyway. It took ages to make this so I have posted what I have.

This video has been created as I can see others have addressed other Vivitar models, but not the Vivitar 285hv. I see online that people are trying to work out how to safely pull the Zoom adaptor off. This extension does not appear on the Vivitar 283 and there is no information online. I pulled this off with a bit of force and in hindsight, was lucky not to break it.
Now that I have fully pulled the flash apart, I can see that you need to pull the whole thing apart to remove that section.

Note: The little white ratchet teeth that give the Zoom adapter the Wide, Normal and Tele, if they are reorientated by 90 degrees (By accident when you are releasing the Zoom adaptor) then the ratchet extension will not work and the adaptor will stay in place . You will be stuck.

Now, to give credit where it is due. Thanks to David Kennard for his excellent video for the Vivitar 283.


Special thanks to Shane Elen for his work at http://www.beyondvisible.com/BV4-UV28...

This video is about how to remove the Fresnel lens of a Vivitar 285 hv flash to convert it into a full spectrum flash suitable for use with ultraviolet photography. The Fresnel lens of the flash is very effective at blocking any ultraviolet light output by the xenon flash tube. By removing this lens and replacing it with clear plastic or with special UV glass (supplied by Shane Elen) the flash is converted into a full spectrum or UV flash.

If you only want Full spectrum, you don't have to replace the lens with clear plastic, but it will protect the flash tube from your fingers and the environment.

Search online for many other modifications you can make to this specific flash gun.

To take UV photos I am using a full spectrum Canon 600D with Spectrosil glass and a Baader U filter.

As the flash needs to have the plastic Fresnel cover removed (which is directly in front of the xenon tube). You can remove and replace it as I have done or if you are less reckless than I, you can cut it away with a Dremel (Wear safety glasses as it is possible for the xenon tube (which is under pressure) to explode if it is touched with the Dremel.

If you order the UV glass from Shane Elen, he provides notes.


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