How to Use a Vivitar Auto Thyristor 2800 Flash

Written by mark spowart
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How to Use a Vivitar Auto Thyristor 2800 Flash
The Vivitar 2800 is manual flash. (camera flash image by dinostock from

The Vivitar 2800 Auto Thyristor flash is a manual flash that was designed to be used with 35mm film cameras. The Vivitar 2800 fires at one intensity and you adjust the your cameras aperture to select the proper exposure. (Modern flashes communicate with the cameras they are attached to and use the camera's metering system to adjust their power output. ) The flash uses four "AA" batteries and has input jack for a sync cord, allowing the camera to be used remotely.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Four "AA" batteries

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  1. 1

    Turn off the power to the flash and the camera you are using and slide the flash on to the camera's hot shoe. While it doesn't happen often, there can sometimes be a voltage spike between the camera and flash if you slide the flash onto the camera when it is turned on.

  2. 2

    Turn on the flash and your camera. Depending on the camera you are using, set the exposure mode to "Shutter priority" and set the camera shutter speed to 1/125, or the shutter speed that your camera uses to synchronise with an external flash.

  3. 3

    Slide the ASA/DIN selector to match the speed of the film that is loaded into the camera, or to the ISO setting if you are using digital camera.

  4. 4

    Slide the selector on the front of the flash to its middle "White" position.

  5. 5

    Set the camera aperture to match the number on the F-stop guide located on the back of the flash.

  6. 6

    Tilt the flash head toward the ceiling when shooting indoors for a more natural-looking light. This is known as "Bounce photography" and reduces the harsh shadows associated with direct flash photography.

  7. 7

    Hold your camera to your eye and press the shutter release to take the picture.

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