recommended batteries for 580ex flash

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by i Kandi Photography, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. i Kandi Photography

    i Kandi Photography TPF Noob!

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    I have been using Energizer Lithium batteries and had a bad experience on Sat night. I went through 2 new sets. Each set got very hot, very quickly and caused my flash not to recharge. There were times I was having to wait 5 mins or so before taking my next photo. I was told today that Lithiums have been known to overheat and possibly even blow in the flashes. Is this true? Which batteries would you recommend for this flash to ensure faster recharge time?
    Thanks!
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The only way that you can damage your speedlight from rechargeable batteries is by leaving them inside there and them leaking acid... thats it. Well, that and using your flashes in an unreasonable manner!

    What is more important, is how you were using your flash to use up 2 sets of batteries in a short time. I think that your expectations of how many times you can use them within a period and more importantly, at what power... needs attention.

    Yes, batteries will get hot if used, no you cannot blow your flash... unless you really over do things.

    First, I can get an easy 400-500 flashes out of a set of 2650mah energizers... but then again, I never try to go above 1/2 power. Raise your ISO! Use multiple flashes! Don't expect your speedlights to be set to full power and run off a couple of sets of batteries to last you very long.

    If you had set your speedlight to full power and popping off one shot after another at 4 second intervals, wow, thats really abusing your flashes. Most are not made for that. A thinking photographer will set the flash to 1/4 power and pump up the ISO from 100 to 400 and get IDENTICAL exposures. ;)

    At 1/4 power, you've basically quadrupled the number of flashes you can take, and you've dropped recycle times from 3-5 seconds to 1-2 seconds, and could go all night like that.

    Lithium batteries will NOT recharge your flash any faster, not give you more flashes per charge, are not rechargeable and are bad for the environment. Why are you not using rechargeable batteries in the first place? ;) :D

    At an average wedding, I can pop off 1200-1500 pictures, 90% of those are with flash, and I have YET to get through my 2nd set of batteries. That alone should tell you something. Either you are using some terribly crappy batteries and/or your methodology for using the flah(es) needs changing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Yup. Lithium batteries pretty much suck for this application. They aren't much better than alkaline batteries (which really suck) in terms of resistance (which is the main limiting factor on how fast your flash will be able to recycle).

    I'm using Panasonic NiMH batteries (the new ones that are advertized to hold their charge, which they do, 2050mAh; in a year of sitting around they'd keep about 80% of their charge) in all my flashes. My 580EXII's recycle from 0 to full in about three seconds, and the batteries only get mildly warm; they're quite comfortable to handle when heated.

    Jerry makes excellent points. Heed his advice.

    And just for fun, here's the results I'm getting out of my 580EXII with those batteries:

    First, the darn thing went to full power when I turned it on in litterally, a split second. o_O (It's been off for a day too.) At 1/4 power I can fire 3 flashes continuously, 2s back to full. At 1/2, 1 firing, and about a half a second to get back to the red light (meaning there's enough power to fire again, not a full charge). Damn these things are fast. >.<
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Want to get more power out of them? Toss out the Sanyo Eneloops, replace with 2700-2800 mah batteries. No, they will not retain power as long as eneloops, but I will give myself an extra 200-500 more flashes per charge.

    I *always* recharge my batteries before going on a job anyways. I'd rather have a set of batteries that when freshly charged give me 800 flashes than a set of batteries that I did not need to charge in several months... but only give me 400 flashes.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Your speedlight's manual has an entire section where they discuss battery issues.

    I don't use Canon products so I can't be specific but there will be a chart that shows recharge times for various battery types.

    There will also be other very handy and valuable technical info about your particular speedlight.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    At a wedding, I crank ISO up to 800, set the flashes to 1/16th and can basically fire 2 shots per second for as long as I need. Now, I never "spray and pray", but when trying to get a very dynamic moment, I may take 20-30 pics one after another non-stop, like for example to get the stop action feel of the garter toss. My flashes NEVER misfire and because of the way I shoot, last long and recycle quickly.
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Nope. The 580EXII manual is devoid of such a comprehensive chart. The best they give is an (extremely rough, practically useless) estimate of how many flashes at what power (and subsequent recycle time) you can get out of new alkalines. They mention that you can use Litium and NiMH batteries too, but that's it.

    And Jerry, meh. I'd personally prefer the ease of keeping spares in my pack and knowing they won't discharge. I always keep a charged, spare set for each flash, and that's more than enough for my needs.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You should see me the day before a wedding... I have at LEAST 6 chargers going full time until I have every battery charged, and I am not talking the 15 minute chargers either... lol

    Which reminds me... tomorrow *is* a battery charging day for me! :confused:
     
  9. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Thank goodness not the 15min ones too; those just fry the batteries in short order. Utterly useless IMO.

    See, I don't shoot weddings. This is a case of picking the right tools for the job. ;)
     
  10. i Kandi Photography

    i Kandi Photography TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of the feedback! Ill def take it into consideration. I bought the flash used a while back and I wasnt given a manual, so it may help ALOT to download one and figure out which settings are best. If i remember correctly, i was shooting on Auto most of the night. I just found it crazy that the flash would get that hot in such a short period of time. Made my night of shooting a nervous wreck! Thanks again! Im going to go READ A MANUAL!
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ... and now also hopefully understand how to make ANY flash stronger at lower power levels, as well as what batteries to use. ;)
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I suppose (I'm just being stubborn... lol),

    Yeah, you can charge your batteries about 75-80 times and they are done using the fast chargers. A 2 hour charger increases the life to around 400-500 recharges.
     

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