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Old Jan 1, 2007, 5:47 PM   #1
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my 430ex seems to be draining the batteries pretty quick or i am just expecting it to refresh to quickly .any suggestions on how to improve battery life or what i should be expecting from the flash. thanks
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 6:03 PM   #2
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I use 2500mAh rechargable batteries in my Sigma EF500 super. They do last quite a bit longer than just regular AA batteries. The first wedding reception I did I went through 20 AA batteries. The second one I used the same rechargable batteries all night (about 4 hrs) and never changed them. They aren't cheap, but worth it. I bought a 15 minute charger and eight batteries, and so far have not needed anything else.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 6:10 PM   #3
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I've got the 430EX and i use standard AA Batteries in it, There the same ones since i bought it 4 weeks ago...I don't use it that much but i've used it enough...What Batteries are you using..??
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 6:23 PM   #4
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i have used standard AA and when used a little no problem but when i used it often at christmas and new years i had to change them more than i think i should .i'll try the rechargables as suggested and see what happens .
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 7:08 PM   #5
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I use 2500 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries in my 430EX and they seem to last a long time between recharging.

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Old Jan 2, 2007, 4:56 AM   #6
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If you use a flash a lot, then recharageables might be cheaper too.
They have the downside of self-discharging (the batteries loose power even when not used) but they are often much more powerful than standard AA's so its woth they tradeoff.

I think (but I could be remembering wrong) that NiMH rechargeables also work better with how flashes use them. A single big draw of power fits better with their makeup than a constant low draw (say, from a diskman or portable radio.)

You won't get instant flash recharge (you'll need a more powerful external battery pack for that) but you'll probably do better with rechargeables.

I wouldn't suggest a 15-minute speed recharger, though. You'll wear out your batteries quickly that way, reducing their life (it can over heat them.) Get a charger that has both a fast and a slow mode, and only use the fast when you absolutely have to. I suggest looking into the Maha chargers that are reviewed on Steve's DigitCams - they have served me (and others I know) very well.

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Old Jan 2, 2007, 9:26 AM   #7
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I don't know what ISO you use, but increasing it to a higher setting for example will speed up the recycle time and extend the # of shots/charge
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 10:00 PM   #8
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I've read somewhere to use rechargeable batteries with flashes instead of the regular batteries. Flash recycle time is faster when rechargeable batts are used because of the way these batts work. Personally, I use Lenmar 2500mah batteries I bought from ebay with my 580EX's.

I've gotta find that link. Will post here when I do.

Found it: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/batteries.htm

[align=left]USE IN ELECTRONIC FLASH[/align]
[align=left]Most applications have a clear winner for what sort of battery is best. Only in some applications, like AA size, do we have so many choices. Here are some comparisons for use in an electronic flash.[/align]
[align=left](data from Nikon SB600 instructions, typical for most flashes)[/align]

Recycle Time (fresh batteries)

# of Full-Power Flashes

2.5 s

3.5 s

4.0 s

2.9 s

[align=left]Thus I use Ni-MH. If you don't shoot as much use alkaline. If someone else is paying and you're going overseas by all means just pack a bunch of lithiums.[/align]
[align=left]Ni-MH give shorter recycle times even though they have less mAh than alkaline because Ni-MH have much lower internal impedance. That means they can crank out a lot more amps intermittently than alkalines. Flash uses huge amounts of current for just a few seconds to recycle, thus the Ni-MH can belt it out faster than alkalines. Alkalines are not very happy having to spit out a lot of current all at once, which is what flash needs, unlike a radio. Alkalines don't recycle as fast, but will last for years sitting in an unused flash, while Ni-MH will go dead just sitting there after a couple of months.[/align]

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Old Jan 17, 2007, 11:15 PM   #9
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ill add that i agree the rechargable nimh AA`s are the way to go! i have used them and older nicad`s for a long time, since the mid 80`s at least. a very good investment that will very quickly pay for itself many times over. i have 8 3000mah AA`s on the way as i write this to be used on my new550ex.

the prime reasons they are best is cost and recycle times. they recycle so much faster than alk cell because of internal resistance being alot lower, sometimes 2 or 3 times faster. the older nicads didnt last as long as alks but the recycle times were so good maybe evenfaster than nimh. Nimh has alot more flashes in them though.

my last film camera with AA batteries was a metz masher, had old nicads with it when i bought it, in assembled metz packs. this thing had a gn of around 160 and i could dump it all and look up just in time to see the ready light come on again if i was quick. :|note. that was a true gn160 no zoom factor.
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Old Jan 27, 2007, 9:29 AM   #10
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I have 2 430EX flash units. They both behave the same way. I am using 2700 mAh lithium ion batteries and the units perform quite well. However, there is a design problem! You can put a set of fully charged batteries in the 430EX and set it on a shelf. 2 weeks later, the batteries are completely drained. I've tried this in both "slave" and "normal", no difference.

So, for some odd reason, "OFF" isn't really off. It is a PITA but remove your batteries when not actively using the 430EX, and you will be a little irritated with having to play around with the flash, but be happier with your battery life.

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