Is my Sigma DG 530 dead?
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.
Before worrying too much, try cleaning the hot shoe of the camera and the bottom plate of the flash gun. I have known this to make a considerable difference to flash failure, and you certainly put it to some heavy use, during which it will get very hot. Maybe not a good thing for it.
Thanks. Yes it has had some heavy use maybe a bit too much.
As for the contacts, I will defiantly give them a good clean.