Vivitar Auto 352

Check availablity: eBay.

Flash. When this hammerhead flash first appeared in January 1974, it was one of the first flash units that offered a thyristor circuit allowing automatic power control from 1.5 cm up to to 11 meters. Another benefit was fast recycling (as fast as half a second when fired at low power).

It has two auto range settings (blue: f/5.6 and red: f/11 at ISO 100). You select the auto range with a slider at the back of the flash, indicate your ISO speed using the calculator dial on the back, and read what aperture to use from the appropriately coloured wedge on the calculator dial. You can also select manual “M”, and then need to calculate what aperture to use from the GN.

It came with a camera mounting bracket, detachable locking pc-cord, wide angle attachement for use with wide angle lenses, and a multi-voltage power supply (SB-2) that allowed it to be powered directly from AC (120/220 volt). For moving the flash further away from the camera, there was the PC-32 1 meter coiled pc-cord.

Specifications

Generic flash.
Head: Fixed 35mm coverage.
Swivel & tilt: no.
Exposure mode: Auto.
Manual settings: 1/1 only.
No built-in wireless modes.
Features: Sync. socket, Ext. power, Hammerhead.
Trigger voltage: 190 volt.
Batteries: 4xAA.
Flash duration: 1/1000 sec. @ 1/1 (full output).
Field upgradable: No.
Dimensions: 78 x 187 x 79 mm, 468 g.
Guide number (ISO 100, meter): 30.

Discontinued: Yes.

For a detailed explanation of the above specifications, see the guide.

Literature

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Brand profile

Key info

Established: 1938
HQ: Edison, NJ, USA
Web: US, man

Vivitar was the leading brand name of a manufacturer, distributor and marketer of photographic equipment founded in 1938 that operated out of Oxnard, California, USA. The Vivitar brand was introduced in the 1960ies, and became in the 1970ies associated with a series of high quality lenses labelled Vivitar Series 1, and a very successful line of auto thyristor flash units. After the death of the original owners, the company went into decline, and eventually bankruptcy. The Vivitar brand was acquired in 2008 by Sakar. Sakar has revived the Vivitar brand. However, the quality of the current crop of Vivitar-branded products is not very good and not on par with Vivitar's legacy.

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