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Thread: Batteries slow in Speedlight studio shoots??

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    Member JayR's Avatar
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    Batteries slow in Speedlight studio shoots??

    I set up a 'portable' studio for a shoot today using speedlight flashes hooked up with sync cables or slave units, and I noticed after a while that the recharge rates REALLY REALLY slowed down, but there was no way the batteries were flat from that amount of use. I changed the batteries in one unit mid session and noticed they were VERY hot - could this have been the reason?

    Ive never used much in the way of the standard portable flashes in the smaller softboxes for shoots before, mainly just putting on the camera and intermittent use or proper studio lighting for more intense sessions.

    So are speedlight style flashes just not up to more intense style studio sessions? Or am I doing it wrong?

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    An example of your frames per minute shooting style will probably tell a story.
    Also an examination of the power levels of the flash that you are using will be one limiting factor to recharging times.

    As I remember electrical theory --- resistance cause heat and heat causes resistance in electrical circuits, bit of a vicious circle.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Are they standard batteries or rechargable top of the range Powerex's
    You can call me Jez

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    What strobes were you using?

    Were these SB-900's that perhaps went into thermal shutdown?

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    No small strobe is designed for constant full power use (or close). Some strobes have electronics that shut the strobe down for a period to allow them to cool down. Others just damage themselves. If you are going to keep using the strobes this way then you should really look at upgrading them altogether.

    JJ

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    Cheers for the feedback so far, answers to the queries:

    Im using the Pentax AF-540GZ which is the top of the line for Pentax.
    Probably doing about 2-3 shots per minute.
    As for batteries, either Energizer lithiums or Eneloops - but in this case it was the energizers.

    The flash power was a mixture of full, 1/2, 1/4 & 1/8 I think

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Eneloops should provide no issues and neither should the Energisers with only 2-3 shots/min. I would be concerned with a unit where the batteries are getting very hot with 2-3 shots/min frequency.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Jay

    2 things here mate -

    1, my personal experience with everready energisers is "don't" ... 2 sets of 4 batteries gave me the worst performance I have even had from AA rechargables, and
    2, I am finding something similar with one of my workshop 'flash' exercises and I am experimenting with alternate power sources. I am experimenting with a 6v torch battery tied to the flash-tripod and connected into the flash head via a balsa-wood home-made pack looking like an AA battery but with a +/- terminal to connect with the innards

    It's still not finished, but if/when it does [and if it works] I'll post the results ...

    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    Wayne - yes, only 2 - 3 shots per minute, but that was running with maximum recharge rates for about 90 mins or more straight, and I think *most* of them were at 100% power. I might have put batteries that werent at 100% when I started too just to make it more complicated (I think my battery tester freaks out with the Lithium style batteries and doesnt give me an accurate reading)

    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieTraveller View Post
    G'day Jay
    2, I am finding something similar with one of my workshop 'flash' exercises and I am experimenting with alternate power sources. I am experimenting with a 6v torch battery tied to the flash-tripod and connected into the flash head via a balsa-wood home-made pack looking like an AA battery but with a +/- terminal to connect with the innards

    It's still not finished, but if/when it does [and if it works] I'll post the results ...

    Regards, Phil
    ha, cool.
    Personally, I dont think I'd be hooking up such a crazy DIY rig for these shoots - Im hiring models and doing art nudes and need to look semi-pro if you get me, esp as I dont have a huge portfolio yet and am also about to use 'models' who are regular people who Ive straight asked if they will pose etc.

    Interested to see your results nonetheless.

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