Rechargeable AA's

Started Sep 10, 2010 | Discussions thread
kb2zuz
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Re: brand is least important aspect of performance
In reply to calson, Oct 27, 2010

calson wrote:

Any NiMh will work as good as another. Do you really care whether brand A provides enough power for 800 flashes while brand B provides enough for 950 flashes? If you do then a Quantum power pack is a better way to go.

In my given situation, I do not care so much if one gives a 5 or 10% more shots per charge. But I do care if one battier holds a charge for 3 to 6 times longer sitting on a shelf or in a camera bag. (We are not typically even shooters and do not regularly use the flash, but if there is an event or visiting VIP we need to be ready to go at a moment's notice.) I keep a pack of alkalines available for such emergencies, but if I have a set of rechargeable that are still good, I'd use those first.

I used to have to shoot at low ISO settings and flash was providing a lot more light, 8x as much at ISO 400 as at ISO 1600. Aperture choice also has more of an impact on battery life as the batteries are having to provide 4x as much power to the capacitors at f8 as at f4.

We shoot mostly with a medium format digital (we are not typically event shooters) and going to 200 ISO presents noise, 400 doesn't look very good, and 800 is downright ugly. Also most lenses are f/2.8 or slower and have pretty shallow depth of field.

For Pocket Wizards and similar RF devices I use fresh alkaline batteries (having done a load test before heading out to the location). A pair can last through many months of use but the cost is low.

Our PW are continally in use in the studio, and we tend to blow through alkalines every few weeks. We'd prefer not to use them for environemental reasons and to reduce expenditures on consumables.

I do load test my batteries using a device (pulse load tester) I picked up from thomasdistributing.com - great source for batteries and battery cases. I have had batteries that showed as fully charged in my Maha charger and showed full voltage on a regular battery tester but with the load tester proved to be at 40% capacity. Only takes one to kill the output of the other 3 in a strobe.

Thanks for the advice
--
~K

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