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Justin-A

QUESTION, Leica M2 - Connecting a Vivitar 283 flash.

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Dear Camera Forum members,

 

I have just bought my very first Leica (M2), which is for me quite a special moment. Now I also bought a Vivitar 283, which I don't tend to put on the hot-shoe (I know it's a cold-shoe anyways) but I want to connect it with a sync lead, so I can keep it in my hand while shooting. 

 

Can someone please inform me with their expertise on what sync cord will directly work, or do I need a flash adapter? I've found this cord, and was wondering if it might connect directly: http://www.ebay.nl/itm/261495971468?ul_noapp=true

 

Hope to get some more clarification on this subject.

 

Thank you,

 

Justin

 

 

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No expert for the Vivitar 283 flashgun ... but generally, flash sync cords have a maker-specific end that plugs into the flash unit and a generic end that plugs into the camera's jack. So since this cord is "for Vivitar 283", the maker-specific plug should be the proper one, and it should work just fine on your Leica M2.

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You need two parts: the Vivitar cable (PC connect for camera, and proprietary pin type for flash), and also the adapter for the M2 socket to PC cord.

 

The Vivitar cable is very common. Hit google with "vivitar 283 pc cord" and take the Shopping link.

The flash socket adapter is a bit more difficult to find. Google "leica flash socket adapter", try eBay, too.

 

Feel free to use the flash in the cold shoe.

Beware of one thing - do not use that flash on a modern digital camera. It has an extraordinary high cord voltage.

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Hello Justin,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

The connecting cord seems to have the specifications to fit the flash unit.

 

It also has a standard male PC connection at the other end.

 

PC stands for Prontor/Compur. This is 1 of the standard connections used for flash in many brands of cameras & flashes today.

 

Leica M2's, along with M3's, M1's & MD's have their own PROPRIETARY flash connection sockets in their bodies. 1 for electronic flash (a lightning bolt) & 1 for flash bulbs (a flash bulb). These are sometimes covered with little, white, protective caps. 

 

You will have to find an adapter to act as an interface with these proprietary connections. These are available.

 

Then you can plug the cord connected to the flash into this adapter & then you can plug this combination into either of the flash sockets of the M2.

 

People sometimes simply leave these interfacing connectors in the sockets, without covers, in the cameras & plug the PC connectors into them.

 

With electronic flash it is better to use the lightening bolt symbol socket.

 

There is Leitz literature explaining this in more detail.

 

You then set the shutter speed dial at the lightening bolt symbol (1/50 sec) or at a slower speed.

 

If the shutter speed is set at 1/60 or higher the shutter mechanism functions differently & the flash, which will fire, will only expose a portion of the negative/transparency. The exact amount of the partial exposure is determined by the higher shutter speed selected. 

 

It is probably easier to do than it is to read what is written here.

 

If there are more questions: This is the place to ask them.

 

Happy photos.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Hello Justin,

 

Welcome to the Forum.

 

The connecting cord seems to have the specifications to fit the flash unit.

 

It also has a standard male PC connection at the other end.

 

PC stands for Prontor/Compur. This is 1 of the standard connections used for flash in many brands of cameras & flashes today.

 

Leica M2's, along with M3's, M1's & MD's have their own PROPRIETARY flash connection sockets in their bodies. 1 for electronic flash (a lightning bolt) & 1 for flash bulbs (a flash bulb). These are sometimes covered with little, white, protective caps. 

 

You will have to find an adapter to act as an interface with these proprietary connections. These are available.

 

Then you can plug the cord connected to the flash into this adapter & then you can plug this combination into either of the flash sockets of the M2.

 

People sometimes simply leave these interfacing connectors in the sockets, without covers, in the cameras & plug the PC connectors into them.

 

With electronic flash it is better to use the lightening bolt symbol socket.

 

There is Leitz literature explaining this in more detail.

 

You then set the shutter speed dial at the lightening bolt symbol (1/50 sec) or at a slower speed.

 

If the shutter speed is set at 1/60 or higher the shutter mechanism functions differently & the flash, which will fire, will only expose a portion of the negative/transparency. The exact amount of the partial exposure is determined by the higher shutter speed selected. 

 

It is probably easier to do than it is to read what is written here.

 

If there are more questions: This is the place to ask them.

 

Happy photos.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

Thank you! 

 

So if im right, the URL I've put down in my first post, of the Sync Lead. Should that one work? But then I'll need to find a PC socket adaptor to make it fit. I've been looking around online, these are quite difficult to find. Still I've found one for around $60, is this reasonable?

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Hello Justin,

 

If the flash side plug of the cord fits into the flash & the other side has a standard male PC connector: Then the cord should be just fine.

 

I haven't seen the price of this interfacing adapter for a while but $60.00 seems like a lot of money for a connector about the size of a corn kernel which is simply changing the configuration of the interface between PC and Leitz's proprietary receptacle. The last time I saw 1, which was a while back, I think that it was either $5.00 or $8.00.

 

Have you tried some of the Leitz/Leica repair people recommended on this Forum like Don Goldberg at DAG?

A number of repair people who are recommended on this Forum have parts that they sell.

 

You will find a list of people at the top of the "Leica Collectors & Historica" section of this Forum

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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$60 for the adapter is robbery - I have recently seen them for $15, and I think that is high. 

 

There is also - I know you didn't ask - a Leitz bracket that bolts on to the bottom of the camera and has a shoe that sticks out the left of the camera. It helps make the light from the flash provide a (very) little extra modelling, and makes the flash easy to handle. They can often be found on Ebay. They were made in hammer finish metal, and white plastic. I can't remember the code.

 

A useful thing to remember - when putting away your 283, turn it on and power up the condenser. Turn it off but DON'T SET OFF THE FLASH. Leave it charged. The charge will slowly dissipate, but that's fine. The condensers "deform" when left with no charge, and the unit becomes useless or needs a replacement condenser. I have an M2 and a 283 - both excellent.

Edited by Michael Hiles

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$60?!?! Someone's having a laugh!

 

That's the average price I was seeing when I was looking 2 months ago, I felt ver luck to be able to grab an old one on eBay for $15.

 

I keep mine attached to the flash cord rather than on the camera, the cord to adapter connection is much firmer than the camera to adapter connection.

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That's the average price I was seeing when I was looking 2 months ago, I felt ver luck to be able to grab an old one on eBay for $15.

 

I keep mine attached to the flash cord rather than on the camera, the cord to adapter connection is much firmer than the camera to adapter connection.

 

Hello Mike,

 

That is an interesting observation on your part because 1 of the reasons that Leitz said that they developed their own proprietary connection was that PC connectors were sometimes considered to be "fall off" connectors by people using them for flash at the time that the M3 was introduced.

 

The IIIf had used a standard PC connector.

 

Within the community of users the Leitz proprietary connectors were generally seen as being more "grabby" and less likely to disconnect if they were inadvertantly pulled. Their tenacity was used as 1 of their major selling points & many people thought that it might be better if the more expensive to build & more rugged Leitz connectors were to replace the PC connectors throughout the industry.

 

Curious.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

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Hello Mike,

 

That is an interesting observation on your part because 1 of the reasons that Leitz said that they developed their own proprietary connection was that PC connectors were sometimes considered to be "fall off" connectors by people using them for flash at the time that the M3 was introduced.

 

The IIIf had used a standard PC connector.

 

Within the community of users the Leitz proprietary connectors were generally seen as being more "grabby" and less likely to disconnect if they were inadvertantly pulled. Their tenacity was used as 1 of their major selling points & many people thought that it might be better if the more expensive to build & more rugged Leitz connectors were to replace the PC connectors throughout the industry.

 

Curious.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

 

It is always possible that my camera socket or the flash adapter could be worn, but I would certainly not leave my adapter in the camera, it could be dislodged too easily.

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$60?!?! Someone's having a laugh!

 

That's what I thought.. I just found a brand new KAISER Socket adapter at my trusted dealer here in Amsterdam, for about $10. Now I'll just have to wait for the Sync lead to come in the mail, as I couldn't find one with the Vivitar Jack. 

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$60 for the adapter is robbery - I have recently seen them for $15, and I think that is high. 

 

There is also - I know you didn't ask - a Leitz bracket that bolts on to the bottom of the camera and has a shoe that sticks out the left of the camera. It helps make the light from the flash provide a (very) little extra modelling, and makes the flash easy to handle. They can often be found on Ebay. They were made in hammer finish metal, and white plastic. I can't remember the code.

 

A useful thing to remember - when putting away your 283, turn it on and power up the condenser. Turn it off but DON'T SET OFF THE FLASH. Leave it charged. The charge will slowly dissipate, but that's fine. The condensers "deform" when left with no charge, and the unit becomes useless or needs a replacement condenser. I have an M2 and a 283 - both excellent.

 

 

This seems to be very helpful, but what do you mean by the "condenser"? I know it's better to turn the flash unit off when I don't use it for a couple of min while taking photos or even take the batteries out when not in use.  

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I should have said capacitor (condenser is an outdated term for the same electrical device). When the flash is switched on, it charges a capacitor. When the flash is triggered, the capacitor sends a burst of energy to the flash tube, which then creates the burst of light. Capacitors can lose "conditioning" particularly when sitting around unused and discharged. This is prevented or minimized if the capacitor has a charge when stored, rather than no charge at all.

 

The trick is turn on the flash and charge it to "ready" state, then put it away without triggering the flash. Probably good for all electronic flashes.

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That's the average price I was seeing when I was looking 2 months ago, I felt ver luck to be able to grab an old one on eBay for $15.

 

I keep mine attached to the flash cord rather than on the camera, the cord to adapter connection is much firmer than the camera to adapter connection.

 

Hello Mike,

 

Another thought:

 

Are the 2 spring wires that are set at about 120 degrees apart from each other properly in place in your flash sockets?

 

These are what hold the "lip" on the adapter or plug in place to prevenp the flash plug or adapter from falling out.

 

They were designed & built to last pretty much forever & they should never fail to hold appropriately.

 

Until you pull a little harder to take the plug out.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht

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Hello Mike,

 

Another thought:

 

Are the 2 spring wires that are set at about 120 degrees apart from each other properly in place in your flash sockets?

 

These are what hold the "lip" on the adapter or plug in place to prevenp the flash plug or adapter from falling out.

 

They were designed & built to last pretty much forever & they should never fail to hold appropriately.

 

Until you pull a little harder to take the plug out.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

 

Ah-hah!

 

In the bulb socket, yes, in the electronic flash socket, no, they are worn down and not protruding.

 

Thank you.

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Hello Mike,

 

You might consider having someone like Don Goldberg replace the spring in the "blitz" socket. Or simply reverse it with the "bulb" socket if the springs are no longer available. I don't think that removing or replacing these sockets is a big deal. At least not when the camera is having a CLA.

 

Some people replace the Leitz proprietary sockets with the standard PC sockets which Leitz began using when they introduced the M4.

 

Best Regards,

 

Michael

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More unsolicited advice from me - if you use batteries as your power source, don't leave them in the unit for long periods. Current good betteries don't generally leak but better safe than...

 

I have an AC adapter for a power source. It has some advantages over batteries when it is convenient.

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