The most heat resistant flash
I'm a Canon convert who's seen the Nikon light. My question is about on-camera flash heat resistance. I had Canon's 580EX II (the flagship) speedlight and it shut down due to overheating on a sunny 86 degree Grand Canyon day. I was shocked, a $500+ flash having a problem in 86 degree weather, with about 4 flashes (not rapid shots). That performance is unacceptable!
Which flash has the best performance and heat resistance? I'm considering Nikon Metz 52AF-1, SB-700, or SB-910.
#1. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 0aolander Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006Sat 13-Apr-13 10:49 AM | edited Sat 13-Apr-13 10:51 AM by aolander
Shutting down the flash when it overheats is a safety factor and perhaps saved your $500 flash from cooking itself, although 4 shots seems a bit limiting. There are/were complaints about some Nikon flashes shutting down when shooting repeatedly, but I believe this has been resolved with newer models. Perhaps others with actual experience with this will respond. Perhaps you should post this question in the "Nikon Speedlights & Lighting" forum.
#2. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 0ScottChapin Charter MemberSat 13-Apr-13 09:02 PM
>Which flash has the best performance and heat resistance?
That would be any member of the Quantum family. That being said, I have the SB-900 and one overheated on me at a wedding using an 85mm at ISO 400. The SB-900 on another camera with a 24-70mm at ISO 400 did not and that shooter shot more. My guess is that they were in closer and ISO 800 would have eliminated my problem. Of course, the venerable SB-800 with a 17-55mm on a DX worked fine too.
As I understand it, the SB-910 is identical to the SB-900 except that it starts to increase cycle times as it heats up. I think that mimics Canon's solution. I too would be interested in some feedback from SB-910 owners.
Theories run around stating that external battery packs keep the heat down, since the control circuit would not run too hot and the flash tube would be the only thing creating internal heat. That makes sense to me, but you couldn't prove it by me. I was using an external pack at the wedding.
Quantum has stated to me that their units do not heat up because the flash tube is external and contributes no heat to the control circuit as are the battery packs which don't contribute to heat build up. The Quantum tubes have a breathing hole in their ends which let heat escape as well and they are not enclosed in a small space..
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#3. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 0Sun 14-Apr-13 05:16 AM
The Quantum Q-flashes can be fired continuously all day and not overheat.
The discontinued SB-800 doesn't have a thermal shutdown circuit though if you push it very hard (using a Turbo Battery) they can be driven to melt.
The SB-910 will extend the recycle time to prevent thermal shutdown.
While the SB-900 has a bad reputation for thermal shutdown, I have only experienced it once, and I was pushing it pretty hard.
#4. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 3Arkayem Charter MemberSun 14-Apr-13 12:08 PM
>The discontinued SB-800 doesn't have a thermal shutdown
>circuit though if you push it very hard (using a Turbo
>Battery) they can be driven to melt.
Actually, the SB800 does have a thermal shutdown. However, it is set so high that physical deformation of the plastic is possible before the flash will shut down, and internal circuits are not well protected.
I did have an SB800 shut down on me one time when I was using the 5th battery option. Other than that, I shot SB800s as fast as they would recycle for weddings for over five years and the only flash I ever hurt was one that I hooked to a Quantum high voltage pack that melted it. It still flashed, but wouldn't zoom.
Basically, I think I have proven with eight different SB800s that you can't hurt the SB800, no matter how hard you drive it, as long as you use only the internal batteries. It is designed to recycle slow enough that it will transfer the heat out of the unit faster than it can heat up (unless using the 5th battery option).
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide
#5. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 4Sun 14-Apr-13 04:50 PM
>Actually, the SB800 does have a thermal shutdown. However, it
>is set so high that physical deformation of the plastic is
>possible before the flash will shut down, and internal
>circuits are not well protected.
Thanks for the correction.
That is interesting.
Given the extremely high activation threshold, I wonder why they even bothered.
I have pushed my SB-800's very hard with and without the 5th battery and have never had one get hot enough to melt.
I have seen several SB-800's melt when pushed hard powered by Quantum Turbo Batteries. Fortunatly none of them were mine.
#6. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 4Phil5780 Registered since 23rd Mar 2013Sun 14-Apr-13 04:50 PM
Thanks for all the great insight.
There is a flash made by Nissin, the MG8000, which claims to be overheat proof. I'm wary of such a spendy flash that seems to have very little written about it. What do you all think about the MG8000 and Nissin?
#7. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 6Arkayem Charter MemberMon 15-Apr-13 10:34 AM
>Thanks for all the great insight.
>There is a flash made by Nissin, the MG8000, which claims to
>be overheat proof. I'm wary of such a spendy flash that seems
>to have very little written about it. What do you all think
>about the MG8000 and Nissin?
I can't really help with any Nissin flashes. I made a decision long ago to use mostly Nikon flashes, so that all the advanced modes would be fully functional. All of the 3rd party flashes that I have studied are not fully functional in TTL-BL mode, which is the most advanced mode in the Nikon CLS system.
Quantum makes a great flash and they have their own system, and it will flash all day without ever overheating with recycle times at about 2 sec. It doesn't work in TTL-BL mode, but its own fill mode works pretty well.
If all you plan to do is use regular TTL then most 3rd party flashes will work okay, but I still recommend Nikon flashes for best results.
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide
#8. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 6Tue 16-Apr-13 01:28 AM
I have used Honeywell, Vivitar, Sunpak, Metz, Nikon, and Quantum flash units over the years. I have never used a Nissin.
The Nissin MG8000 was introduced recently so it is not surprising that there is not much information on it yet.
#9. "RE: The most heat resistant flash" | In response to Reply # 8DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010Tue 16-Apr-13 03:11 AM
I have the SB 600, 900 and two SB910's
I've also bought the two NIKON OEM battery backs to assist...
It's made a huge difference in recycle time and the SB900 does not seem to shut down as quick, nor do the SB910's slow down in cycle count.
The darn things are expensive $200, but, apparently, they do have some type of electronics in the mechanism to assist...there are others on the market, the from other forums I've read "work"...but, I'd rather than spend $600 on a flash and use a $50 chinese knock off that damages my NIKON...
As well, I found using the NIMH 2500 in the camera, along with 8 NIMH 1500's ENELOOP's in the packs....I can shoot quite a bit....without shut down.
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