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Old Jun 30, 2005, 4:04 AM   #1
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Well... to cut a long story short, I am looking into getting my hotshoe flash to recycle faster much faster during bursts. I am currently using a Metz 54MZ3 as my hotshoe flash.

I have heard off and seen people using 'power-packs' but when I ask around, it doesn't seem that many dealers carry such products anymore; some are claiming that, "People are now using rechargeable NiMH AA batteries, not those heavy power packs anymore". Can the NiMH AAs really replace the flash power packs?

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Old Jun 30, 2005, 9:26 AM   #2
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The latest 2400 mah NIMH batteries recycle flashes a lot faster than non rechargables or Nicad batteries. I don't know how they compare to powerpacks.
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 9:45 AM   #3
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Power packs supplement the internal AA's. What the AA's cannot offer is direct high voltage feed for the capacitors inside the flash unit. The internal AA's have to up the voltage internally to charge the capacitors, but at the same time have to feed zoom mechanisms, exposure electronics, focus assist beams, lighting the lcd panel, etc. It's a competition for the AA resources. Adding an external power pack relieves that, and not to mention that instead of only 150-200 max flash shots, now you can go for 1000's of shots depending on your power pack's capacity. Incidentally the two power packs that I have use 16 NiMH AA batteries inside with two voltage regulated outputs for flash and/or camera. These AA's are user replaceable, so I can upgrade my 40W battery to something higher when needed. I believe it now contains 2100mAh Sanyo AA's, I wonder how much more juice I would get swapping in 2500mAh Sanyo industrial AA'sĀ*[img]/forums/images/emoticons/cool.gif[/img]
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 10:05 AM   #4
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One more thing, the recycling speed remains constant on power packs compared to AA's used inside the flash unit. Again thanks to the direct high voltage input.
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 10:47 AM   #5
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External power packs come in two varieties: low-voltage(dozens of Volts or less)and high-voltage (hundreds of Volts or more) - Most newer flashes now use the low-voltage kinds only because of the various 'danger' associated with the higher level power packs. Regardless of which kind of packs though, their internal batteries are being phase out by the higher capacity Ni-Mh cells.

I believe Sunpak is one of the few manufacturers who still sell theses high-voltage capable units - Theses devices have the ability to charge the flash internal capacitors directly, albeit slightly faster, but are becoming dinosaur and as they can't keep up with the advance in camera technologies...

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Old Jun 30, 2005, 11:31 AM   #6
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Years ago I used a Sunpak external power source powered by a 510 volt battery, recycle was almost instantous. The battery was very expensive and I don't know if it is still available or not. Any unit using a voltage converter will be much slower than one that just charges the capacitor from a high voltage source. I am still using the Sunpak 611 handle mount flash I powered with this source.
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 11:59 AM   #7
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Some good Power packs come from Quantum. http://www.qtm.com/battery/digital_main.php

But as mentioned above, they will proved a long lasting low voltage source for modern flashes.
And the flash needs to be able to take an external power source, the Canon EZ 580 has a socket for a power supply, the Sigma 500DG super does not. Not sure about that metz.
For the flashes that do not there are other ways to get them to use an external power supply but it involves modifications to the case.

Not sure what you are trying to do, but you will not get a small camera mounted flash to keep up with a high burst rate camera like the 1dsmkII or even the 20D, that can take many images in a second. Most flashes will need 1-2 seconds between full power cycles.

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Old Jun 30, 2005, 1:20 PM   #8
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Marokero,

What you are talking about seems to be ideal for what I am looking for. I am just aiming to get say... 3-5shots continous with around 1second+ pause in between bursts.

Anyone can suggest a powerpack or other method where I can get the 54MZ3 or similar flash perform like that?



To everyone,

Thanks for the replies so far, you guys have been really helpful. Sorry, I am really quite clueless to :| and lighting in general.


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Old Jun 30, 2005, 3:46 PM   #9
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NHL wrote:
Quote:
External power packs come in two varieties: low-voltage(dozens of Volts or less)and high-voltage (hundreds of Volts or more) - Most newer flashes now use the low-voltage kinds only because of the various 'danger' associated with the higher level power packs. Regardless of which kind of packs though, their internal batteries are being phase out by the higher capacity Ni-Mh cells.

I believe Sunpak is one of the few manufacturers who still sell theses high-voltage capable units - Theses devices have the ability to charge the flash internal capacitors directly, albeit slightly faster, but are becoming dinosaur and as they can't keep up with the advance in camera technologies...

all external powerpacks still put out 320-330vdc at the plug that goes straight to the caps. so are still considered HVPP's and can still put a "spring in your step" should you be on the receiving end of it at the wrong time. they will light things up quite a bit. a 40 watt pack will do some considerable damage even at 16vdc kicked up to 320 vdc HV status.

yep, still got my DCB only its been upgraded to a 40w unit from a 30w unit at the time of cell replacement (3 years of hard use) and they extended the warranty by a year.
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Old Jul 1, 2005, 11:31 PM   #10
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leongty wrote:
Quote:
Well... to cut a long story short, I am looking into getting my hotshoe flash to recycle faster much faster during bursts. I am currently using a Metz 54MZ3 as my hotshoe flash.

I have heard off and seen people using 'power-packs' but when I ask around, it doesn't seem that many dealers carry such products anymore; some are claiming that, "People are now using rechargeable NiMH AA batteries, not those heavy power packs anymore". Can the NiMH AAs really replace the flash power packs?
to answer the original quest: NO! not on this planet at least.
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