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flash batteries

BODYHEAT
Posted 12/08/2009 - 22:28 Link
Is there any particular reason why nearly every flashgun uses AA batteries (typically 4 AAs) rather than the same kind of Li-ion battery found in say the K20D?

My 28 year old Pentax TTL flash from my LX uses 4 AAs and I would have thought that battery technology had moved on since then as it has in other areas.

Providing there is no technical reason it would make sense to me if the flashgun used the same battery as the body
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
Hardgravity
Posted 13/08/2009 - 06:43 Link
Except that most flash units get used very little, so a cheap off the shelf battery is a good ides.

Anyway my 20year old flash uses the same battery as my camera, I have a K200d that runs on, you guessed it, AAs
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

PPG entries.
BODYHEAT
Posted 13/08/2009 - 07:35 Link
I understand the convenience, but aren't AAs inefficient compared to Li-ion?
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
Hardgravity
Posted 13/08/2009 - 08:14 Link
Yes, but for occasional use, where a Li-ion may have lost it's charge, a set of energizers is an instant option.

Out of interest, does anybody know which, if any flashes DON'T use AAs?
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

PPG entries.
Edited by Hardgravity: 13/08/2009 - 08:14
johnriley
Posted 13/08/2009 - 09:12 Link
Not perhaps what you mean, but older flash units of any power will use C cells or larger, even further back the batteries are simply enormous.

I've just thrown away, I mean disposed of, our last supplies of flash powder....Seriously. I was shocked to find it at the bottom of a box in a container neatly marked "explosives".....
Best regards, John
BODYHEAT
Posted 13/08/2009 - 09:30 Link
was it next to your musket and shot?
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
johnriley
Posted 13/08/2009 - 09:39 Link
Just under the swords and chain mail actually, I'm much older than I look...
Best regards, John
BODYHEAT
Posted 13/08/2009 - 09:41 Link
the wonders of modern PP!!
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
Anvh
Posted 13/08/2009 - 19:52 Link
Couldn't you use any battery as long as the flash support the voltage?

You have I believe Li-ion cells the size of AA bateries so they will fit your flash but if the voltage is correct?
Stefan
Comment Image

K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
BODYHEAT
Posted 13/08/2009 - 20:00 Link
Anvh wrote:
Couldn't you use any battery as long as the flash support the voltage?

You have I believe Li-ion cells the size of AA bateries so they will fit your flash but if the voltage is correct?

Stefan, the point I was trying to make was more about format than type of battery. It would make sense if the batteries used in both flash and camera were the same - just like they are in the grip....so you could buy three batteries which were identical if you liked - one for the body, one for the grip, and one for the flash, knowing the same battery was interchangeable
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
Edited by BODYHEAT: 13/08/2009 - 20:01
hefty1
Posted 13/08/2009 - 21:29 Link
BODYHEAT wrote:
Stefan, the point I was trying to make was more about format than type of battery. It would make sense if the batteries used in both flash and camera were the same - just like they are in the grip....so you could buy three batteries which were identical if you liked - one for the body, one for the grip, and one for the flash, knowing the same battery was interchangeable

But assuming Pentax flashes are to be used on *all* Pentax cameras then you'd also need a standardised battery across the model range. At the moment the K-m / K20D / K-7 all use different batteries and how many people would buy a flash gun that was tied to one specific camera model?

I use my AF360 on both the K10D and the MX (along with a couple of non-Pentax film cameras in manual mode), as well as an old Braun flash gun from the 1980's. I find flashes tend to outlast several body purchases so I'd always want them to use a generic power supply - AA's suit me just fine in that regard!
Joining the Q
George Lazarette
Posted 13/08/2009 - 21:30 Link
What is needed is standardised batteries for cameras. in AAA, AA, C, D, sizes.

But it won't happen.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.
hefty1
Posted 13/08/2009 - 21:33 Link
I'd certainly be happy to use AA's for everything - it would make life a whole lot simpler!
Joining the Q
BODYHEAT
Posted 13/08/2009 - 21:44 Link
George Lazarette wrote:
What is needed is standardised batteries for cameras. in AAA, AA, C, D, sizes.

But it won't happen.

G

The least that should happen IMHO is that a given manufacturer should use the same battery (shape or format, even if the power output increases) in all their models.
FILM - Pentax: LX, K2 - 24/2.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.4, 120/2.8, 80-200/4.5, 28-105mm 2.8 macro, AF 280T

DIGITAL - Nikon : D300 - 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR DX
Anvh
Posted 14/08/2009 - 21:46 Link
BODYHEAT wrote:
Stefan, the point I was trying to make was more about format than type of battery. It would make sense if the batteries used in both flash and camera were the same - just like they are in the grip....so you could buy three batteries which were identical if you liked - one for the body, one for the grip, and one for the flash, knowing the same battery was interchangeable

Have you ever opened the battery of the Pentax it simply has two AA shaped Li-ion batteries in them, they are only a bit shorter then the AA standard. We are now simply talking about the shape of the plastic box containing two batteries.

If your pentax battery gets weak it might be worth buying two of those batteries and simply replace them
Stefan
Comment Image

K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

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