My review of the Promaster 5750DX Camera Flash system

I normally use Vivitar 285HVs because...well, because I'm cheap. With a guide number of 140 the Vivitar 285HVs put out a lot of light in a very small package. Hook 'em up to light stands, umbrellas and you have great, flexible and portable lighting you can use anywhere.

I'd been thinking about adding a couple more flashes to my stash for a while, but I ended up procrastinating the purchase until I needed them immediately. My usual vendor...Midwest Photo has a hard time keeping these in stock because of all the Strobist demand. So I panicked and started calling around town to see if anyone had anything that could replace them.

My requirements were that the flash had a ton of power, manual settings and because the Cactus remotes I normally use were also in short supply, something I could use as slave flashes. Slave flashes fire when another flash fires. The fact that the speed of light makes the flashes fire virtually instantly after the original, let's you work with multiple flashes without having to have remotes for all of them. My last requirement is that they also be cheap.

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The Promaster 5750 flashes have a 360 degree tilt head plus a zoom feature like the Vivitar 285HV.
© Ray Villalobos 2007

Since I live in Orlando, my choices of suppliers are somewhat narrow. The natural place to go is Colonial Photo & Hobby in Mills and Colonial avenue. Other than that, there's a bunch of Ritz camera photo stores in malls, but their supply of anything is very limited. Plus the staff at Colonial Photo and Hobby is extremely knowledegable.

So I found out about a great flash known as the Promaster 5750DX. The thing about this flash is that it is modular in construction. You purchase th main body of the flash, then you choose different attachments. One of the problems with purchasing flashes is that they are often camera specific. A Canon flash may not work with a Nikon Flash, because the electronics are different. But with the Promaster, if you've got a Cannon, you can purchase a canon TTL attachment, if you want to use them as slaves, you buy a slave attachment. So you can use the same flash for multiple cameras or as slave units...super!

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The Promaster 5750DX are modularly designed so that you can use the same flash with different bodies or with different attachments for ultimate flexibility.
© Ray Villalobos 2007

With a guide number of 130, it's not quite as powerful as the Vivitars, but just about as strong. In addition, the Promaster features a 360 degree tiltable head, a zoom feature just like the Vivitars. Because I can use the same flash attach it to my camera and let it be a TTL flash or use it as a slave, it gives me more flexibility.

I took some pictures of my kids this weekend with them and was pretty pleased. I'll be doing the shoot within a couple of days so I'll get a better feeling for how they work in a real world situation. Oh yeah and the price. The base flash unit was $120, The Canon DXR Module was $50 andt the slave module $30. I got one ttl module (I can only put one flash at time in my camera) and two slave modules. More expensive than the Vivitars, but I think well worth it given the additional flexibility of the flashes.

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