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logandiana1 Registered since 09th Dec 2007Mon 14-Jan-08 04:05 PM
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"Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"


US
          

I was looking at the magic lantern guide for speedlights and I read the comparison of the different types of double A batteries that can be used with the SB-600. Normal alkaline, lithium, recharchable NiMH, etc. I was just wondering which ones everyone preferred here on Nikonians, and which brands too.

Thanks

Logan

Logan

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedli
edmun
14th Jan 2008
1
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Wayne
14th Jan 2008
2
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wailingtoad
15th Jan 2008
3
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jrp Administrator
15th Jan 2008
4
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Checkmate Silver Member
16th Jan 2008
5
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dankeny Gold Member
17th Jan 2008
6
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HBB Moderator
17th Jan 2008
7
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OCristo
17th Jan 2008
8
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weisheit
18th Jan 2008
9
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Tom Zentra
18th Jan 2008
10
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Arved
18th Jan 2008
11
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Arkayem Moderator
19th Jan 2008
12
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naveedusa
19th Jan 2008
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Arkayem Moderator
20th Jan 2008
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Arkayem Moderator
20th Jan 2008
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naveedusa
20th Jan 2008
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edmun
20th Jan 2008
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20th Jan 2008
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20th Jan 2008
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Arkayem Moderator
20th Jan 2008
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20th Jan 2008
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21st Jan 2008
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21st Jan 2008
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27th Jan 2008
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27th Jan 2008
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edmun Registered since 16th Sep 2003Mon 14-Jan-08 09:00 PM
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#1. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedli"
In response to Reply # 0


eugene, US
          

Nimh are my choice.

Good life and good recycle.

The new composite ones keep their charge for a long time.

(Enloop is one variety)

Rayovac is my choice because they will replace the device and not just the battery if they leak.

ledmun

  

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Wayne Registered since 05th Nov 2005Mon 14-Jan-08 10:26 PM
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#2. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedli"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

See the chart on page 19 of the SB-800 manual.

Lithiums recycle too slowly, and are not inexpensive to replace.
Alkalines are cheaper, but not free, also not fast to recycle, and they dont do so many flashes.

I think everyone uses NiMh rechargables now.... the best properties, powerful and fast.

Except - there are two major types now...

Regular, rated maybe 2500-2900 mah, and these will run down in a month or two, use them or not. Have to recharge them before any extended use.

And Low Discharge, like Sanyo Eneloops, are only about 2000 mah, but they will retain 85% charge after a year. So after all types sit a couple of weeks, these will be ahead then too. A bit lower capacity, but you can carry spares, and not be concerned if the spares are hot or not. They will be hot. This is the way to go today.

  

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wailingtoad Registered since 28th Oct 2005Tue 15-Jan-08 03:18 AM
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#3. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedli"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I use Normal alkalines for my mini-herd of a SB-800, two SB-600's, and an older SB-28 which I still use on occasion. Not the most environmentally friendly. I buy them in bulk at CostCo which saves a bit in cost.

Some day I want to get rechargeables; but, a charger plus two sets of batteries for each flash costs nearly $150. At the rate I go through batteries, it would take, at least, a couple of years for the rechargeables to pay for themselves.

Jon D.
My Nikonians Gallery

Jon Davis
My Nikonians Gallery
My Flickr Gallery
My Epson R2880 Tips & Tricks blog

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberTue 15-Jan-08 03:58 AM
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#4. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedli"
In response to Reply # 3


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

I do the same as you, Jon, use the best possible alcalines, buy in bulk.
I did some research to update my partner Bo's Battery Guide eBook and my findings then were not supportive of switching.
Initial cost and reliability were the main factors.
Likely they have come down in price and have expanded capacity and more reliability by now.
Will have to update the update

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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Checkmate Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Dec 2006Wed 16-Jan-08 06:13 PM
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#5. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0


Leicester, GB
          

I use GP 2100 NiMH Rechargeables in my SB-600, rotating 2 sets of four.

John | Leicestershire - UK | My Nikonians Gallery | My Website

"To express oneself in seventeen syllables is very diffic" - John Cooper Clarke

  

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dankeny Gold Member Nikonian since 29th May 2006Thu 17-Jan-08 12:15 AM
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#6. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0


Roland, US
          

Composite NiMH from Green Battery. They last longest, recharge more times and hold their charge for 6 months without use. I just bought 40 and a 10 slot charger/conditioner.

David

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberThu 17-Jan-08 03:09 AM
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#7. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0


Phoenix, US
          

Logan:

I tried the rechargeables when my SB800 herd was just getting started. As the herd grew to six and ultimately to twelve SB800s, I realized that rechargeables were not going to work. Two sets of batteries for the current herd is 120 batteries. Yes, I always use the fifth battery option. I cannot afford to add a room to our house to keep enough chargers for 120 batteries.

I now use the Lithiums exclusively which have extraordinary shelf life. One of my local dealers gives me a great price break on the Lithiums when I by them by the case. Given my very erratic shooting schedule, the Lithiums are the best solution for me, even though they are not the fastest or most economical.

My $0.02 worth.

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination

  

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OCristo Registered since 17th Aug 2002Thu 17-Jan-08 09:54 PM
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#8. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0


Itapevi, BR
          

Sanyo Eneloop.

1. It has very low internal resistance - it means flash charges faster.

2. It maintains charged for a very long time - it means I do not have to charge the batteries immediately before each shot session. Batteries charged after three months is like just charged.

3. 2000 mAh is not a par with recent competition offering near 3000 mAh, but in the practice, their advantages compensate the lower charge capacity.

For me, an occasional flash user, they are the ideal solution.

Regards,

O.Cristo - An Amateur Photographer



Opinions of men are almost as various as their faces - so many men so many minds. Franklin

  

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weisheit Basic MemberFri 18-Jan-08 04:22 AM
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#9. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0



          

A lot will depend on how much you use your flash. If you use it several times a week or more, then rechargable batteries make the most sense. If, however, you have periods of heavy use (such as a wedding or graduation) but then down times of a week or two, you might consider lithium. That is my situation and the lithium batteries have a very long life and a long shelf life. At one point I used regular alkaline batteries but the lithiums last so much longer that I think they are worth the extra cost.

  

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Tom Zentra Registered since 24th Dec 2007Fri 18-Jan-08 02:57 PM
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#10. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I too use regular Akalines with my collection of SB-800's. Agreeing what others have said, the choice really depends on how often you use the flash unit(s). I don't use mine every day, sometimes not even every week. Also, I don't need absolutely instant recycle time. Therefore, using Akalines is more cost effective for me than other types.

Wal-Mart sells a 10-pack of excellent Ray-O-Vac AA batteries for only $4.58. I have found them every bit as good as the higher priced Duracell and Eveready batteries.

Every time I think about buying rechargeables the latest capacity increases once again. It wasn't long ago that 2000 mAh was the best. Lately I have seen 2900 mAh. I am sure the capacity will not end there.

  

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Arved Registered since 10th Aug 2006Fri 18-Jan-08 03:56 PM
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#11. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 18-Jan-08 04:01 PM by Arved

Fleming Island, US
          

This is a topic which should be "stickied." It comes up often. Search doesn't seem to be working, which only exacerbates the problem.

I shoot with a teathered 4AH gel cell battery. Honestly, this is plenty of power even for a full day wedding shoot of a thousand or more photographs. I wrote up a bill of materials.

Al Jacobs sells a product based on my bill of materials. To be honest, I updated a bill of materials that Al used to provide. Al decided building packs himself was a nice retirement job. Many people didn't want to make the packs themselves, and offered to pay Al to build it for them, so he saw a niche and filled it. I don't want to take away what Al's given to the photographic community, but if you're handy with tools, the sweat equity of building your own can result in significant savings. If you're not handy, then by all means, consider Al's The Black Box.

It might not be for you, but if changing batteries 4 or 5 times in the course of a wedding turns you off, leaves you paranoid that you might miss a shot while changing batteries, and you don't want the hassle of managing and charging 4 or 5 sets of batteries for an event, then maybe a teathered pack is for you.

- Arved
“AAs belong in meetings, not Speedlights.”-- me!


PS - Is the black background this forum used to have ever comming back?

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSat 19-Jan-08 05:32 PM
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#12. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

I use Powerex NiMH for my normal flash from here: http://thomasdistributing.com/shop/-maha-powerex-2700-mah-aabr8-nimh-rechargeable-batteriesbr1-free-8-cell-battery-holder-totalbrnew-5-year-warranty-by-maha-p-642.html?SP_id=&osCsid=h1f6ub5qbcnngut7a8e2gcbo15

I use Sanyo Eneloop's for my backup flash. These batteries provide just slightly less flashes than the Powerex's, but they stay charged indefinitely, so I don't need to recharge them if I didn't use my backup flash. Powerex and all regular NiMH batteries lose their charge quickly as they sit unused, so you have to recharge them before every shoot. I buy my Eneloops from here: http://thomasdistributing.com/shop/-sanyo-eneloop-aa-2000-mah-4-battery-pack-in-sanyo-casebrultra-low-discharge-nimhbr1-free-extra-4-cell-battery-casebr2-or-more-847-per-4-pack-p-287.html?SP_id=50&osCsid=6anu2f8h0234j0lr0jfkeerrg6

Russ
http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/

  

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naveedusa Registered since 19th Oct 2007Sat 19-Jan-08 10:49 PM
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#13. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 12
Sat 19-Jan-08 11:00 PM by naveedusa

US
          

As i am looking at http://thomasdistributing.com/shop/-nimh-rechargeable--aa-nimh-batteries-c-122_104_106.html?osCsid=6anu2f8h0234j0lr0jfkeerrg6

there are some batteries showing 2000 mAh to 2900 mAh, my question is, are 2900 mAh battries are more powerfull than 2000 mAh. i am just one step far to buy batteries.

i am using regular batteries for my flash and i noticed battries are very hot in flash even i can not touch. Are above rechageable batteries become hot too in flash during use...?

Please comment which are better..

Thanks

Naveed

D80
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO IF Macro
Sigma APO TC 1.4x EX DG
Nikon DX 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 G ED
Nikon ED 70-300mm 4-5.6 D
Nikon AF 50 mm1.8 D
SB-800
SB-80DX

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSun 20-Jan-08 12:24 AM
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#14. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 13
Sun 20-Jan-08 12:29 AM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>As i am looking at
>http://thomasdistributing.com/shop/-nimh-rechargeable--aa-nimh-batteries-c-122_104_106.html?osCsid=6anu2f8h0234j0lr0jfkeerrg6
>
>there are some batteries showing 2000 mAh to 2900 mAh, my
>question is, are 2900 mAh battries are more powerfull than
>2000 mAh. i am just one step far to buy batteries.


The word 'powerful' is an ambiguous word to use with batteries. It means different things to different people.

Also, I don't know anything about the 2900's, so I'll talk about the ones I know about.

There are three important things to consider when buying flash batteries.

1. Recycle time. This is determined by the internal series resistance of the batteries, and is not normally a published number.

2. Number of flashes per charge. This is determined by the capacity (mAhr rating) coupled with the internal series resistance.

3. Self-discharge rate (how long the batteries will remain charged when not being used) This is determined by the battery chemistry.

I have compared the Powerex 2700 mAhr batteries that I use in my main flash and the Eneloop 2000 mAhr batteries that I use in my backup flashes. You would think that you would get 35% more flashes with the 2700 than with the 2000, but that's not the case. I get about 500 flashes per charge with the 2700's and about 450 with the 2000's.

The reason is that the Eneloops have a slightly lower internal series resistance, so they are more efficient and waste less of their charge making heat. They also cycle the flash slightly quicker than the 2700's.
>
>i am using regular batteries for my flash and i noticed
>battries are very hot in flash even i can not touch. Are above
>rechageable batteries become hot too in flash during use...?

Yes, the batteries will always get hot. However, the lower the internal series resistance, the less heating by the batteries. Heat = Power = I^2 * R (current squared times resistance).

The Eneloops do not heat up as much as the Powerex because they have lower internal resitance.

The Eneloops also do not have a very fast self-discharge rate. They can sit unused for a year and still retain about 85% of their charge. The Powerex's will be down to about 50% of their full charge in a month.

If I didn't need max number of flashes per charge in my wedding business, I'd use Eneloops in all my flashes.

Russ
http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSun 20-Jan-08 12:27 AM
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#15. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 14


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

I forgot one very important thing.

Ordinary Alkaline batteries have a very high internal series resitance, and they get much hotter than the NiMHs. That's also why they recycle so much slower and get so many less flashes than NiMH.

Russ
http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/

  

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naveedusa Registered since 19th Oct 2007Sun 20-Jan-08 06:05 AM
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#16. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 15


US
          

Arkayem
very thanks for your answer in detail. just one more question, is it possible that flash will be damaged when battries are hot, or possibility of leakage from hot battries.

D80
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO IF Macro
Sigma APO TC 1.4x EX DG
Nikon DX 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 G ED
Nikon ED 70-300mm 4-5.6 D
Nikon AF 50 mm1.8 D
SB-800
SB-80DX

  

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edmun Registered since 16th Sep 2003Sun 20-Jan-08 07:02 AM
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#17. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 16


eugene, US
          

Your worst enemy from heat, is not the batteries but the flash tube and the capacitors.

My NiMH batteries get hot to the touch but not hot enough to burn.

The Lithiums get much hotter and have a internal thermal switch.

Put a cigarette paper on the front of your flash.

On some flashes it will ignite.

We shoot perhaps 30,000 flash images in the last 2 years -- a lot of them at Indian Pow wows with fast action.

Al Parker, of Chandler, Arizona, shoots fast and furious at dance competition and wrote a article about quantum on his use of their flashes. (google him and the article will show up)

He shot 55,000 flashes in one week and has been using the same Q flash for 4 years. He was burning out one shoe mount flash a weekend before.
He said he did 500,000 images last year. So he knows about killing flashes.

So if you have a motor trigger finger -- do not try the Nikon/Canon shoe mount flashes. It is not a battery issue -- it a capacitor and flash tube issue.

I have WL studio units and those get really hot if flashed fast. (and they do not have batteries.

ledmun

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSun 20-Jan-08 01:20 PM
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#18. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 16
Sun 20-Jan-08 01:20 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Arkayem
>very thanks for your answer in detail. just one more question,
>is it possible that flash will be damaged when battries are
>hot, or possibility of leakage from hot battries.

None of the batteries will never get hot enough to hurt anything.

The heat that makes the flash melt down comes from the flash tube itself from firing it too many times in too short a period of time.

As long as you use internal batteries of any kind, including the 5th battery option on the SB800, the batteries become the limiting factor, since they will not allow you to fire the flash fast enough to hurt it.

But as soon as you start powering the flash with an external battery pack, the maximum burst rate increases enough that you can cause it to overheat and melt down.

Russ
http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/

  

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naveedusa Registered since 19th Oct 2007Sun 20-Jan-08 03:32 PM
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#19. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 18


US
          


Very valuable infos i got here. I did not know these technical info before.

Russ, i saw your web site, very nice work. Pictures it self proof of your knowledge and showing your profesional work. i am trying to learn techniques from your pictures.

Thanks

D80
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO IF Macro
Sigma APO TC 1.4x EX DG
Nikon DX 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 G ED
Nikon ED 70-300mm 4-5.6 D
Nikon AF 50 mm1.8 D
SB-800
SB-80DX

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSun 20-Jan-08 05:48 PM
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#20. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 19


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

Thanks for the nice comments!

Russ
http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/

  

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Horus Registered since 29th Mar 2007Sun 20-Jan-08 10:45 PM
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#21. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0


Brussels, BE
          

I'm using for my SB800 & SB600s 1850mAh MiMH Energizer batteries, the 2500mAh fading away too quickly in time.

Photography is a joy, happy shooting

  

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rselby Registered since 26th Feb 2006Mon 21-Jan-08 11:41 AM
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#22. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 0


Modesto, US
          

Hi Logan,

I bought 2 Duracell 15 minute fan cooled chargers that came with 8 AA's rated @ 2400 MAh and 4 AAA's rated @ 1000 MAh, each set cost about $30.00 at Costco. The set also includes an adapter so you can charge batteries in your car. I bought 2 more sets of batteries at Walgreens on sale for abut $11.00 each these are rated @ 2650 MAh (don't mix batteries). I like the fact I can charge 8 batteries in 15 minutes. I've read the 15 minute chargers are tough on batteries and you may not get 1,000 charges out of them, if I get 500 that's OK with me. My wife gave me 2 complete kits (at Costco) of Sanyo Eneloop's with chargers and battery adapters for Christmas, I really like these batteries. I think there are better batteries out there, but for the cost I've got the best of both worlds, speed with the Duracell's and longevity with the Eneloops. Costco is really hard to beat as far as price and customer satisfaction. That's my 2 cents!

Regards,

Richard





  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 21-Jan-08 04:12 PM
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#23. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 22


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>but for the cost I've got the best of
>both worlds, speed with the Duracell's and longevity with the
>Eneloops.

I have found that the Eneloops will recycle the flash faster than the Duracells.

Russ
http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/

  

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rselby Registered since 26th Feb 2006Sun 27-Jan-08 08:46 AM
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#24. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 23


Modesto, US
          

>>but for the cost I've got the best of
>>both worlds, speed with the Duracell's and longevity with
>the
>>Eneloops.
>
>I have found that the Eneloops will recycle the flash faster
>than the Duracells.
>
>Russ
>http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/
No kidding?
I've shot with both and saw them as about the same. I was using the 2400 MAh Duracells, I'm going to try the 2650 MAh Duracells and see if there is a noticeable difference. I will say that the Eneloops really hold their charge better than my Duracells. BTW, the speed I was referring to was the 15 minute charger with the Duracells. I really like the fact that I can have 8 batteries charged in 15 minutes, usually less than 15 minutes, between the 2 chargers.

Regards,

Richard

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberSun 27-Jan-08 02:13 PM
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#25. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 24


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>>>but for the cost I've got the best of
>>>both worlds, speed with the Duracell's and longevity
>with
>>the
>>>Eneloops.
>>
>>I have found that the Eneloops will recycle the flash
>faster
>>than the Duracells.
>>
>>Russ
>>http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/
>No kidding?
>I've shot with both and saw them as about the same. I was
>using the 2400 MAh Duracells, I'm going to try the 2650 MAh
>Duracells and see if there is a noticeable difference. I will
>say that the Eneloops really hold their charge better than my
>Duracells. BTW, the speed I was referring to was the 15
>minute charger with the Duracells. I really like the fact
>that I can have 8 batteries charged in 15 minutes, usually
>less than 15 minutes, between the 2 chargers.
>
>Regards,
>
>Richard

Richard, you should try the Eneloops in the fast charger. They will charge just as fast as the Duracells.

The problem with a fast charger like that is that you reduce the life of the batteries. They will only recharge about half the number of times as when you recharge with a regular charger.

The chargers I use have a fast mode for when I need it and a regular mode when I have the time to wait. I use the 8-cell chargers from here: http://www.thomasdistributing.com/maha-mh-c808m-battery-charger.htm

Russ
http://russmacdonald.smugmug.com/

  

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nrothschild Silver Member Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Nikonian since 25th Jul 2004Sun 27-Jan-08 04:57 PM
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#26. "RE: Which kind of batteries do you use for your speedlight?"
In response to Reply # 25


US
          

I have the AA version of the C808M (MH-C801D), which is a very nice charger with the same charge time and conditioning options. Just as a point of reference, although the 808M is advertised with a "rapid charge" option, it is 1 hour for AA batteries. That is not "rapid" in the context that that term is usually applied. A 1 hour charge is not terribly fast or hard on the batteries and I have seen arguments that suggest that a 1hr charge is actually the most friendly rate for your batteries. The theory is that a slower 2 hour charge may result in the charger missing the Delta V termination signal, which results in the battery overheating more than it needs to. The "nasty" chargers, in terms of battery life, are the 15 minute chargers, which do generate a lot of heat and good ones have built in fans to try to dissipate that heat.

I don't want to argue the merits of a 1 hr or 2 hr charge here, my point is that, having researched this quite a bit, I do 1 hr charges and I believe that that rate is as likely to result in the max battery life as any other charge rate. In practice, I have checked my battery temps with the 1 hr charge (using a temp probe) on that charger and I'm very happy with it- they really do charge cool.

Also note that the "1 hr" rate is based on a 2000Ma charge. It is more or less a true 1 hr charger for 2000mAh Eneloops, for example, but is actually closer to 1.5hr for the high cap 2700 to 2900mAh cells. the 1 hr is more or less the floor, not the ceiling, in terms of charge time.

I don't even own a 15 minute charger. I would use one only if my need for a fast charge was so important that I was willing to sacrifice battery life. Fortunately I don't have to make that compromise. I have more than enough juice to get through a day.

The nice thing about that 8 cell charger is that each cell is individually controlled so you can charge different sets at the same time. I can charge 3 five battery SB-800 sets (15 cells) with just two charge cycles, for example. I mark my battery sets with a sharpie so I can keep the sets together even when I charge two groups at the same time.

Neil









  

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