capacitor forming?


Patty

Link Posted 06/02/2011 - 18:01
As I am looking to buy a flash to use with my K-X, I have been reading what I can to see what to get in my sort of price range. Missed out on the Currys deal on Pentax 360 as living in the sticks, the local store never did have stock. It may not have been what I wanted as it doesn't have swivel head. Maybe a Metz 44 is possibly the one for me or Sigma 530. Anyway what I did see in the Metz instructions was;;

13.2 Flash capacitor forming
The flash capacitor built into the flash
unit undergoes physical change if the
unit is not switched on for a prolonged
period. For this reason it is necessary to
switch the unit on for approximately
10 minutes at least once every three
months. The power supplied by the
power source must be sufficient to cause
the flash readiness indicator to light up
no more than one minute after the flash
unit is switched on.

from metz 44 instructions, and the 36 has similar wording.

Could anyone explain what this means, maybe in simple terms, and also does this mean that secondhand flashguns may not be the bargains that they appear to be.

Patty

Dangermouse

Link Posted 06/02/2011 - 18:24
I read that too. My Metz 45 CL-1 was fine, but I've no idea how long it had been sitting around for.

I should probably get it out and power it up in accordance with the instructions.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

Algernon

Link Posted 06/02/2011 - 18:53
You normally have to do this with mains flashes that have large capacitors. Sometimes they are OK if not done other times they just die
3 months sounds a bit too much.... 12 months is more usual, but if the manufacturer says 3 months.... 3 months it is
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

Oggy

Link Posted 06/02/2011 - 19:42
Crumbs - how old is the flash?

I was taught about reforming capacitors in my training 30+ years ago, but have never had to do it for real. I seem to remember we were taught that it was necessary after 5 years unpowered.

Algernon

Link Posted 06/02/2011 - 20:37
There's still a lot of Bowens Monolites in use and on Ebay.

If anyone wants the info on formatting these it's here in a thread
that has gone on for about 6 years
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

Dangermouse

Link Posted 07/02/2011 - 12:42
I'm not sure how old my Metz is, it has Nicad batteries and they're still working ok (a bit weedy compared to brand new ones perhaps but it'll rattle off a decent number of exposures). I mainly bought it as a nuclear option when nothing else is powerful enough, the smaller Pentax flashes are a bit less unwieldy for normal use.
Matt

Shooting the Welsh Wilderness with K-m, KX, MX, ME Super and assorted lenses.

K10D

Link Posted 07/02/2011 - 13:36
All you never need to know;
link

Best regards

Patty

Link Posted 09/02/2011 - 19:59
Thanks for advice. Cant really make out what can happen with the capacitors, except to say that a work colleague says that manufacturers only guarantee them for 1000hrs from new, charged or not! So in my mind I think that a new flashgun is the way to go, and hope for new stock.

Patty
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