Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Have your say on issues related to using a DSLR camera.

Moderator: Moderators

Forum rules
Please ensure that you have a meaningful location included in your profile. Please refer to the FAQ for details of what "meaningful" is.

Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Postby aim54x on Wed May 19, 2010 10:35 pm

Just throwing out a question to everyone out there. For those of us that use speedlights, and have or considered using an external battery pack for a speedlight, would you prefer a AA (NiMH) based unit (like the Nikon SD-8/SD-9, Canon CP-E4) or external battery pack that used a rechargeable Li-Ion battery (Quantum SC/Quantum Turbo)?

Both systems seem to have their advantages and disadvantages.
Cameron
Nikon F/Nikon 1 | Hasselblad V/XPAN| Leica M/LTM |Sony α/FE/E/Maxxum/M42
Wishlist Nikkor 24/85 f/1.4| Fuji Natura Black
Scout-Images | Flickr | 365Project
User avatar
aim54x
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7305
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: Penshurst, Sydney

Re: Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Postby surenj on Wed May 19, 2010 10:54 pm

The batteries should be the same ones that are used in the flash. Otherwise we'd have to lug more chargers around. One should be able to just use any amount of batteries in a pack. 3, 4, 6, 8 whatever you have, rather than being locked into using 6 or 8 or whatever.

Slightly off topic... Ni-Zn are just around the corner....
http://www.greenbatteries.com/nickel-zinc-aa-rechargeable-batteries.html
User avatar
surenj
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7197
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:21 pm
Location: Artarmon NSW

Re: Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Postby wendellt on Wed May 19, 2010 11:00 pm

alot of the press crew have the quantumn packs but even they say its not perfect especially for th hefty price tag

i use the sd8a and its enough to tell you the truth i dont shoot that fast so i can even work with 4 batteries in the flash i use the powerex 2800 works a charm
Wendell Levi Teodoro
My Agents
Press - Getty Images
Creative Rep - T.I.D. FashionID, DBP Productions & The Nest Agency
My Book - Zeduce
User avatar
wendellt
Outstanding Member of the year (Don't try this at home.)
 
Posts: 4078
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:04 am
Location: Dilettante Outside the City Walls, Sydney

Re: Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Postby aim54x on Wed May 19, 2010 11:08 pm

I am not sure if i would want to put 1.65V batteries into devices designed for 1.5V batteries....that in itself can cause issues. That voltage stack up...2AA device designed for 3.0V will have 3.3V, it can cause a hazard (esp on less robust devices)

I can imagine the Quantum units being less than perfect...imagine getting a flat, but they do provide a crap load of juice quickly so your recycle is insane (note this can be dangerous as well)
Cameron
Nikon F/Nikon 1 | Hasselblad V/XPAN| Leica M/LTM |Sony α/FE/E/Maxxum/M42
Wishlist Nikkor 24/85 f/1.4| Fuji Natura Black
Scout-Images | Flickr | 365Project
User avatar
aim54x
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7305
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: Penshurst, Sydney

Re: Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Postby DaveB on Thu May 20, 2010 1:04 pm

I use a Canon 580EX (4xAA) with a CP-E3 (8xAA) and have no complaints with it. Well, you need to be careful with the plastic clips in the CP-E3M magazine which hold the batteries in place, but that's it (and I have a spare magazine if it ever becomes a problem).
Recycle time is amazing, it lasts for ages, it's conveniently portable, and I don't need a different battery charger.

Cameron, don't worry about the different voltages too much: these external battery packs have their own voltage multipliers and feed directly into the high-voltage power inputs of the flashes. With the DIY battery packs that connect in place of the flash's internal batteries the voltage is important as it has to feed both the flash control electronics and the voltage multiplier that charges the capacitors.

With the 580EX and 580EXII you can select (via a custom function) to charge the flash from either just the external power pack (or the internal batteries if the power pack is not connected) or from the external and internal batteries together. I suppose the recycle time might be even faster if you tell it to use both sets of batteries concurrently, but I use it in the "external only" mode. Once the internal batteries are flat the flash can't function (the LCD/triggering/TTL/etc functions need them) even if the external pack has power.

The way I use it, it will run for ages but if I'm using it a lot and the external power pack runs down later in the day (shown by the fact that the CP-E3's LED goes off, and the flash refuses to charge) I can unplug the power pack and the flash will continue to run on the internal AAs (which up until that point have only had a tiny draw). So while I'm switching new AAs into the CP-E3, if a shot opportunity comes up I can at least make the shot. Then I reconnect the CP-E3 and keep working.
Currently I use Imedion/Eneloops in the flash, and either the same or 2500 NiMH cells in the CP-E3.
User avatar
DaveB
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1850
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:57 pm
Location: Box Hill, Vic

Re: Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Postby DebT on Thu May 20, 2010 2:29 pm

good info guys - I'd never asked the question about the CP-E3 but now i know the answer
Deb
DebT
"so many dreams - so little time "
User avatar
DebT
Senior Member
 
Posts: 812
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:58 am
Location: Adelaide SA

Re: Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Postby aim54x on Thu May 20, 2010 4:55 pm

I didnt know that the external flash battery packs have inbuilt voltage multipliers, but over-volting something like a LED torch will usually damage the device.

Huge thanks for the info on the CP-E3 though. Keeps you thinking about how they can make them better. The battery holder in the CP-E4 is still pretty fragile looking (I sold one recently).
Cameron
Nikon F/Nikon 1 | Hasselblad V/XPAN| Leica M/LTM |Sony α/FE/E/Maxxum/M42
Wishlist Nikkor 24/85 f/1.4| Fuji Natura Black
Scout-Images | Flickr | 365Project
User avatar
aim54x
Senior Member
 
Posts: 7305
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:13 pm
Location: Penshurst, Sydney

Re: Li-Ion or NiMh for speedlights?

Postby spasmoid on Fri May 21, 2010 12:13 am

DaveB wrote:I use a Canon 580EX (4xAA) with a CP-E3 (8xAA) and have no complaints with it.
...
So while I'm switching new AAs into the CP-E3, if a shot opportunity comes up I can at least make the shot. Then I reconnect the CP-E3 and keep working.
Currently I use Imedion/Eneloops in the flash, and either the same or 2500 NiMH cells in the CP-E3.


Thanks for the info Dave. I use 580EX II and I was thinking of getting the external packs. I like your tip about keeping the internal batteries for backup firing (cover fire).

I've been using the 2500Mah batteries from Aldi - lots of em - cos they're cheap - $10 for 4pack. They work great. Prior to that I was using the green energisers 2450Mah. They all work fine and I charge them all in the energiser 1hr charger - which also works great (but only has a 30day warrenty).
gear: 400D, 500D, 16-35L f/2.8 mkII, 70-200L f/2.8 IS, 50 f/1.8 - http://TerenceKearns.com
spasmoid
Newbie
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Gold Coast QLD


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron