Thank you for choosing the Bolt VD-410 Manual Flash.
This flash unit puts creative control in your hands with
manually adjustable power output settings. It can be
used as both an on-camera flash and as a wireless
optical slave. Among the benefits you’ll enjoy:
2 | Introduction
Eight manual flash levels: 1/1 to 1/128 power
Wireless optical slave mode
Tilting angle: 90° up
Rotational angle: 180° to the left, 90° to the right
PC sync connectivity
Battery pack connectivity
Built-in reflector and diffuser panels
Automatic power-saving function
Automatic overheating protection
Installing Batteries����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������8-9
Mounting the Flash�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������10-11
Turning On the Flash and Firing a Test������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 12
Extended Interface����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13
Using the Manual Flash���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 14
Bouncing Your Flash���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������15-16
Using the Flash with the Diffuser Panel���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 17
Using Your VD-410 in Wireless Optical Slave Mode������������������������������������������������������������������������������������18-19
Positioning Remote Flash Units�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������19-20
Troubleshooting��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 21
Specifications������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 22
One-Year Limited Warranty���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 23
Contents | 3
4 | Overview
1. Flash head
12. Mode select button
2. Reflection panel
13. Test button
3. Diffuser panel
14. Battery compartment cover
4. Wireless optical sensor
15. Power/ready indicator
5. Hot shoe locking wheel
16. Mode indicators
6. Mounting foot
17. Stand/tripod mount
7. External power socket
18. Carrying pouch
8. PC sync socket
9. Output level indicator
10. Flash power level button (+/-)
11. On/Off switch
Overview | 5
Before using your VD-410, please read the following safety notices carefully and thoroughly to ensure safe use
and help prevent damage to your flash or injury to yourself or others.
• Do not fire the flash at close range directly into the eyes of people or animals. This can cause damage to
the retina and may even lead to blindness.
• To avoid overheating and damaging your flash unit, wait at least 10 minutes after 20 continuous flashes at
full power.
• Do not disassemble or attempt to repair this product yourself. The high-voltage components inside can
produce a hazardous electric shock.
• Keep this product and its batteries out of reach of children.
• Use only the power sources specified in this manual.
• Always switch the flash off before changing the batteries.
• Always install AA batteries of the same type, brand, and age. Do not combine different types or brands, or
old and new batteries. This could cause batteries to leak, overheat, or explode.
• Install batteries in the proper orientation, according to the indicator in the battery chamber. Installing
batteries in the reverse orientation could cause them to leak, overheat, or explode.
• Do not use or store the VD-410 in flammable conditions (such as environments containing flammable gases
or liquid chemicals). This could damage the flash, start a fire, or cause an electric shock.
6 | Warnings
• Do not clean the VD-410 with agents containing corrosive or flammable substances such as paint thinner,
benzene, or nail polish remover.
• This product is not water resistant. Keep it away from rain, snow, humidity, and general moisture.
• Should the VD-410 get damaged, do not touch any exposed interior metal parts. If touched, they may
generate an electric shock or cause a malfunction. Promptly remove the batteries and take the product to
an authorized service center for repair.
• If you detect excessive heat, smoke, or a burning smell coming from the flash, immediately stop operation
and remove the batteries to prevent the product from igniting or melting. Take the product to an authorized
service center for repair.
• Do not drop or otherwise cause a strong physical impact to the VD-410, as this could cause a malfunction
that may cause it to explode or ignite.
• Remove all batteries from the VD-410 before long-term storage in order to prevent the product from
igniting or leaking corrosive liquids.
• Do not store or use this product at temperatures above 104°F (40°C).
• Keep the metal contacts in the battery compartment clean and free of corrosion and dirt. Do not touch
them with your fingers. Corrosive elements on the contacts can damage the VD-410 and prevent it from
functioning properly. Contacts may be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab.
• Dispose of used batteries properly. Never heat them or throw them into a fire, as this could cause the
batteries to leak corrosive liquids, generate heat, or explode.
Warnings | 7
Installing Batteries
The VD-410 can be powered by four AA batteries of two types:
• Nickel-metal hydride (1.2 V)
• Alkaline (1.5 V)
Note: For the fastest recycle times and longest battery life, NiMH batteries are recommended.
8 | Installing Batteries
To install batteries, make sure the VD-410 is turned off and follow these steps:
1. With the battery compartment cover facing up, press down and slide the cover in the direction of the
arrow to open it.
2. Insert batteries in the orientations indicated by the illustration inside the compartment.
3. Replace the battery compartment cover by pressing and sliding it into place in the opposite direction of
the arrow on the cover.
Important! Replace all four batteries at the same time. Do not mix battery types or brands, or use old and
new batteries together.
Installing Batteries | 9
Mounting the Flash
To mount the flash on your camera, make sure the VD-410 is turned off and follow these steps:
1. Turn the locking wheel counterclockwise to loosen it.
2. Slide the mounting foot all the way into your camera’s hot shoe.
3. Turn the locking wheel clockwise until snug, but don’t overtighten.
10 | Mounting the Flash
To dismount the flash from your camera, make sure the VD-410 is turned off and follow these steps:
1. Turn the locking wheel counterclockwise to loosen it.
2. Slide the mounting foot out of your camera’s hot shoe.
Mounting the VD-410 on the included stand:
You can mount the VD-410 on the included stand in the same way you would mount it on your camera. This
allows you to set the flash up on a flat surface or attach it to a tripod head, light stand, or clamp that has a
compatible 1/4″-20 screw mount.
Mounting the Flash | 11
Turning On the Flash and Firing a Test
To turn the flash on, slide the power switch to the On position.
When the flash is ready to fire, the Ready indicator will glow red.
To fire a test flash, press the Test button.
Automatic power-saving function: After 30 minutes of inactivity, the flash will automatically enter a powersaving mode to conserve battery life. The Ready indicator will blink every three seconds and other indicator
lights will turn off.
To reactivate the VD-410, press any button on the control panel. When in S1/S2 modes (Page 18), the flash will
enter power-saving mode after 60 minutes of inactivity. During long periods of inactivity, we recommended
using the power switch to turn the flash off completely.
When battery power is low, the Ready indicator will blink continuously.
12 | Turning on the Flash and Firing a Test
Extended Interface
You can connect your VD-410 to an external power source or PC sync via the extended interface on the side of
the flash.
External power source: An external power source, such as the Bolt Cyclone Battery Pack, can greatly
increase the number of flashes and reduce the recycle time in between flashes.
Note: When an external power source is plugged into the flash, the AA batteries must still be in the flash in
order for it to operate.
PC sync: You can synchronize your VD-410 with a camera by running a PC cord between your camera and the
VD-410’s PC sync socket. This lets you position the flash off-camera, thus giving you more lighting options.
Note: The PC sync socket on the VD-410 is only for synchronous signal input and does not produce output.
To access the extended interface, follow these steps:
1. Pull back the proper contact cover on the side of the flash.
2. Plug the cable into the corresponding socket.
A. For an external power source, plug the appropriate power cable into the external power socket.
B. For PC sync, plug a PC cord into the PC sync socket.
Extended Interface | 13
Using the Manual Flash
The VD-410 offers fully manual flash output adjustment, which enhances creative control over your photography.
You can set the flash output level to eight settings: 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128. The 1/1 setting
is the full-power flash, and each successive setting halves the light output.
To use the manual mode, turn the flash and camera on and follow these steps:
1. Make sure the Mode indicator is set to M.
2. Press the flash power level buttons (+/-) to set the desired flash output.
3. Adjust the exposure settings you want to use on your camera. The highest shutter speed available will be
your camera’s flash sync speed.
4. Take a test shot, and then check the exposure on your camera’s LCD.
5. Adjust your camera’s exposure settings and the flash output as needed.
6. Press your camera’s shutter-release button to take a picture.
Tip: For best results, use a handheld light meter when shooting with the manual flash.
To avoid overheating the VD-410 and damaging it, wait at least 10 minutes after 20 continuous full-power
flashes. The flash will automatically shut off if the internal circuit overheats, and the charging time will
increase up to 25 seconds until the flash bulb cools down.
14 | Using the Manual Flash
Bouncing Your Flash
Using a flash to directly illuminate a subject often creates harsh, unnatural, and
unattractive shadows. To avoid this, the flash can be tilted or swiveled, allowing
you to aim your flash at a large white or neutral-colored surface, such as a ceiling,
a wall, or a reflector. The light will bounce off of the larger surface before striking
your subject to provide softer, more natural illumination. The VD-410 flash head can
be tilted up at 45°, 60°, 75°, and 90° angles to the lens. It can also be swiveled
horizontally 180° to the left and 90° to the right.
When bouncing your flash, you may need to adjust your
exposure settings, since the level of light falling on your
subject will be reduced. The farther away the bounce surface
and your subject are, the more illumination you will need.
Tip: Bouncing your flash off of colored surfaces can
create a color cast in your images. Bouncing off of a white
or neutral-colored surface will not alter the color of the
light, while bouncing off of a gold-toned surface can give
portraits a warmer look. Other colors can be used for
creative effects.
Bouncing Your Flash | 15
Creating catchlights: Catchlights are the reflections that appear in people’s eyes in photographs.
To create catchlights in your subjects’ eyes when bouncing your flash, follow these steps:
1. Position the flash head at the 90° angle (pointing straight up) to bounce your flash off the ceiling or an
overhead reflector.
2. Pull the built-in reflector and diffuser panels all the way out of their slot in the flash head. Push the
diffuser back in while leaving the reflector extended.
16 | Bouncing Your Flash
Using the Flash with the Diffuser Panel
You can use the built-in diffuser panel to give the flash a much wider coverage area. The diffuser also softens
the light, providing an alternative when no surface is available for bouncing the flash.
To use the diffuser, follow these steps:
1. Pull the diffuser and reflector panels out of their slot in the flash head.
2. Push the reflector back in and let the diffuser lay flat against the flash lens.
Using the Flash with the Diffuser Panel | 17
Using Your VD-410 in Wireless Optical Slave Mode
Using the optical slave feature, the VD-410 can be set to fire whenever it detects a signal from a master flash.
This works optically—when the VD-410 “sees” another flash firing, it will instantaneously fire along with it.
In order to ensure that the VD-410 fires at the correct time, there are two different slave modes available:
S1 and S2.
In S1 Mode, the flash will fire when it senses any burst of light. In S2 mode, it will ignore any pre-flash and fire
on the second burst of light. Pre-flash is used to help the camera meter or focus, and is done automatically
by the camera. If the slave flash is not set correctly, it may be triggered by the pre-flash and fire before the
camera’s shutter opens.
To use the VD-410 flash unit as a slave, follow these steps:
1. In Manual (M Mode), use the (+) and (-) buttons to select the power output (1/1 through 1/128).
2. Press the Mode button repeatedly until the S1 or S2 slave mode indicator glows.
3. Set the exposure settings you want to use on your camera and master flash.
18 | Using Your VD-410 in Wireless Optical Slave Mode
4. Take a test shot, and check the exposure on your camera’s LCD.
5. Adjust your camera’s exposure settings and the light output level of the flash as needed.
6. Press your camera’s shutter-release button to take the picture.
Important! Some cameras, when set to red-eye reduction, will emit a series of quick flashes lasting a second
or more. This may not work properly with any slave mode. We suggest you avoid using red-eye reduction
when the VD-410 acts as a slave.
Positioning Remote Flash Units
You can create a professional lighting setup by positioning remote units individually or in groups to function as
main, fill, accent, and other lights. Metering your scene with a handheld light meter and setting your light ratios
to achieve specific looks will give you a professional level of creative control.
Positioning Remote Flash Units | 19
When positioning wireless slaves to light a subject, keep in mind the following:
• The effective communication range between master
and remote flash units is approximately 33′ (10 m)
• The wireless sensors are located on the front of the
VD-410. Make sure the sensor is facing the master
flash and that there are no obstructions between the
two units.
• When photographing outdoors or in bright ambient
light, the sensors can be overwhelmed by ambient
light, which will lower their sensitivity.
• To avoid creating interference between flash units,
using more than three in a single group is not
20 | Positioning Remote Flash Units
The flash is turned on but won’t fire.
Make sure that fresh batteries are installed and in the proper
orientation. (Page 8)
The flash is set up as an optical
slave but won’t fire.
• Make sure that the master flash is within the transmission range,
and the wireless sensor on the slave is pointing toward the master
flash. Remove any obstructions in the line of sight between the
two sensors. (Page 20)
• The ambient light may be too high. (Page 20)
The flash is set up as an optical
slave, but the light is not noticeable
in the picture.
Make sure that the flash is set to the appropriate power level.
(Page 14)
The edges of the images look dark.
Make sure the flash power setting corresponds to the focal length of
your lens, and you are at the proper flash sync speed.
There’s a whining sound coming
from the flash.
This is normal and does not indicate a malfunction. When the flash
becomes warm from continuous use, vibrations inside the unit may
cause this sound. It will dissipate as the unit cools.
Troubleshooting | 21
Type: On-camera and optical wireless manual flash
Guide number: 124.7′ (38 m) ISO 100
Flash duration: 1/300–1/20,000 sec.
Flash recycle time: 0.1–5 sec. (AA , NiMH)
Manual mode power output: 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128
Wireless transmission method: Optical pulse
Wireless transmission range: Up to 33′ (10 m)
Wireless optical slave modes: 2
Slave timing modes: Instant sync, skip one pre-flash
Power source: 4 AA lithium, NiMH, or alkaline batteries; optional external power source
Tilt positions: 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°
Swivel range: Right 0°–90°, Left 0°–180°
Dimensions: 7.7 ″ × 3″ × 2.2″ (19.5 × 7.7 × 5.7 cm)
Weight: 10 oz. (286 g) without batteries
22 | Specifications
One-Year Limited Warranty
This Bolt product is warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal consumer
use for a period of one (1) year from the original purchase date or thirty (30) days after replacement, whichever occurs later. The
warranty provider’s responsibility with respect to this limited warranty shall be limited solely to repair or replacement, at the provider’s
discretion, of any product that fails during normal use of this product in its intended manner and in its intended environment.
Inoperability of the product or part(s) shall be determined by the warranty provider. If the product has been discontinued, the warranty
provider reserves the right to replace it with a model of equivalent quality and function.
This warranty does not cover damage or defect caused by misuse, neglect, accident, alteration, abuse, improper installation
PARTICULAR PURPOSE. This warranty provides you with specific legal rights, and you may also have additional rights that vary from
state to state.
To obtain warranty coverage, contact the BOLT Customer Service Department to obtain a return merchandise authorization (“RMA”)
number, and return the defective product to BOLT along with the RMA number and proof of purchase. Shipment of the defective product
is at the purchaser’s own risk and expense.
For more information or to arrange service, visit www.boltflashes.com or call Customer Service at 212-594-2353.
Product warranty provided by the Gradus Group.
Bolt is a registered trademark of the Gradus Group. © 2015 Gradus Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.
One-Year Limited Warranty | 23
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