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Is my Sigma DG 530 dead?

Started Jul 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Is my Sigma DG 530 dead?
Jul 8, 2013

Does anyone know the lifespan of a flashgun?

Is there a maximum number of flashes?

I have a Sigma DG 530EF Super which is probably 6 years old. I have recently used it to photograph two dance show rehearsal sessions – each one lasting a few hours.

At the first session I got approx. 900 shots and the flash didn’t fire for 10-15% of these. Some of this was clearly due to me not waiting for the flash to recharge between shots so very few ‘failures’ of the flash I think. The flash did get hot at one point and the batteries were very hot when I changed them.

Yesterday we had the second session and during the 6 hours there was a lot of waiting between dances, then a lot of photos for a couple of mins. About 3 hours into the session I noticed the flash failing, despite being charged before each shot.

Initially it was probably 1 in 15 shots where it failed to fire, but towards the end of the 800 shots session, it only fired for 1 in 10 shots. This is a heavy failure rate. In all cases the red light indicated that it was charged and the EXIF indicates that it did not fire.

On both occasions, I changed the batteries regularly (maybe every 200 shots), using brand new Alkaline AA’s (Duracel Procell) – regardless of whether they needed changing.

I also changed camera battery half way through each session – even though they remained fairly full.

The camera is fairly old so I wondered if my problems was flash or camera - Canon EOS 350D (c40K shots) 7.5yrs old.

AF was also poor but I put that down to low light levels and budget lens. All shots taken with a EF28-105mm USMII lens. It was connected throughout and not changed so I doubt any problems with contacts.

I couldn’t say exactly how many times the flash has fired but it would be in the less than 10K

I plan to take more shots in a couple of days at the final dress rehearsal but the flash seems to be failing so much it doesn't seem worth bothering.

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