life span for an sb600?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by tron, May 9, 2010.

  1. tron

    tron TPF Noob!

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    Hello:

    I have a question in regards to my sb600s performance lately. it seems like where i was shooting at 1/8 power, i now need to shoot at 1/2 or 1/1 power. it seems like the flash is outputting less and less light lately. could this be a sign of my flash dying? ive had this flash for a year and a couple months now and i was wondering why this is happening.

    conversely, could it be my batteries? ive been shooting with some cheap adorama brand batteries and im wondering if the battery SOC is now such that they do not charge fully (they are rechargable)? these are the batteries i use:

    http://www.adorama.com/images/large/IBYAA425.JPG

    thanks
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It could be batteries, but it also could be flash. A collegue of mine has (had) same issue with his Canon 580Ex2. I'm not sure how much it cost him to get it fixed but he realized the problem when he had to use the back up (same model) flash.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If you let the speedlight set for several weeks between uses the capacitors need to be formed to recover from capacitance instability.

    Capacitance instability is caused by degradation of the dielectric. The type of dielectric and the ambient operating and storage temperatures are the most significant aging factors, while the operating voltage has a smaller effect.

    The aging process may be reversed by heating the component above the Curie point (forming the capacitor). Fire the speedlight at full power 5 to 7 times in a row as soon as the ready light comes on.

    Electrolytic capacitors, like those used in speedlights, age as the electrolyte evaporates. This occurs towards the end of life of the component. You may need to send the speedlight into Nikon or another repair facility to have the SB-600 serviced, a routine need.

    Nikon Authorized Repair List
     
  4. tron

    tron TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the heads up. i think im going to try some new batteries first, and if not, then send it in for an overhaul. any idea on how much something like that would run me?
     
  5. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    my bet is batteries
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It might not be the batteries perse by the charger used to recharge them. Rechargable batteries are only as good as the charger you use to recharge them with and many of the cheap (often sold with batteries) sorts that do a quick charge can often damage the long life of batteries especially with flash batteries that go through so many recharging cycles.

    A good recharger will give you more life out of your batteries and really good ones can be used to restore older rechargable batteries to a better state of health - a unit like the Maha C9000 can do this.
    Also if you are leaving the batteries in the flash for a period of time after recharging (eg a few days to a week or more) then you might find that its a good idea to invest in some Sanyo Enloop batteries which hold their charge over time far better than regular rechargable batteries. For those who don't get to recharge the day before they use the flash enloops make a fantastic difference
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try the fresh batteries and if that is unsatisfactory power on the flash and leave it for an hour. After the hour is up set it to manual and test fire it once at full power. Let it recycle for an other hour and do a full dump again. This should recondition your caps.

    You shouldn't need to do this more than twice but three or four times won't hurt.

    This also works on older flashes if you have one or have just bought and older one.

    Good luck.
     

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