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Vivitar MacroFlash 5000

Vivitar MACROFLASH 5000 ring flash

Vivitar MACROFLASH 5000 ring flash

The Vivitar Macroflash 5000 was a popular option in the 80s and the specific unit was badged by Vivitar and was also available in various brand names from the likes of Cobra, Starblitz and Centon. It’s a fairly low power basic unit but the price makes it an affordable entry into the world of ring flash photography. Around the back the flash has an on/off button that glows green to show power on, a ready light that glows orange when the ringflash is charged this doubles up as a test button. There’s also a 2.5mm sync socket for the flash sync cable and an exposure scale.

On the front is an auto manual switch. If you set to auto the sensor on the front of the flash cuts the power so it’s correct for the auto aperture that’s been selected. You determine which aperture to use via the scale on the back.

Vivitar 5000 exposure scale

Vivitar 5000 exposure scale

The scale has a series of flash to subject distances along the top from 27cm to 98cm and a series of ISOs from ISO25 to ISO800/1000 down the side. To work out what aperture to use you read along the ISO row you’re using and follow down from the flash to subject distance. So looking at the scale a photograph taken 46cm from the subject at ISO 100 would need f/11 setting on the camera.

The flash will work equally well with film or digital cameras and is powered by two AA 1.5v batteries. It attaches to the camera lens via the filter thread and uses Series VII rings to obtain the necessary filter thread size. If the Series VII ring you need is not available you can use step up/step down rings to take it to the correct fitting.

Photo taken with Vivitar Macroflash 5000

Photo taken with Vivitar Macroflash 5000

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