Lithium AA Flash Batteries

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by A, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. A

    A Guest

    I am thinking of buying Lithium AA batteries for my Canon 420EX external
    flash to reduce recycle time.

    Anyone used these? Do they make much of a difference over NI-MH batts?

    Any recommendations where to buy from the UK?
     
    A, Dec 23, 2004
    #1
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  2. A

    Alan Browne Guest


    They will last longer than a set of NiMH's, for sure, but then you throw them
    out. They should recycle faster (higher voltage, less voltage drop with current)

    NiMH's recycle pretty quick in any case and of course can be recharged.

    NiMH's just go back into the bag for a recharging. Keep a set of Li as backup
    (or Alkaline which don't recyle as fast).

    Check the manual for the flash for battery type warnings. Some camera grips
    (Canon, Minolta) say not to use them at all.

    Hmm, this prompted me to look at my flash manuals. My older flash has no
    mention of Lithium.

    My newer flash, (Minolta 5600HS) has the admonition: "When using the (sic)
    lithium batteries, if the batteries become hot due to high temperatures or
    successive use, (BATT INDICATOR) may blink and the flash may not be able to use
    (sic) for a while. Wait until the batteries become cold before using the flash
    again." (This unit is more powerful than the 420EX so perhaps it is more
    susceptible to this condition).

    If you're really unsure ... call or write to Canon who may (should) be able to help.

    AA Li should be available in any hardware, drugstore, convenience store, etc.
    (unless they are not legal in the UK for some reason).

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Dec 23, 2004
    #2
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  3. what kind of battaeries are you talking about? Rechargable batteries?
    I use the Energizer AA Lithium batteries as a spare pack for my camera.
    Reason for this is the low self decharching (hope you understand what I
    mean) for these batteries and have it for "emergency".

    Sometimes there is a confusion because there are different standard voltages
    for different types of batteries. Both NiCd and NiMh have a discharge range
    from 1.2 Volts (full) down to 1.0 Volt (empty) and thus a small operational
    difference thru the whole usage time. Alkaline cells starts from 1.5 Volts
    down to 0.9 Volts which is defined by most manufacturers as "end of life"
    value for this kind of batteries. I apologize not to have those values for
    Lithium batteries availale yet. But due the fact that NiMh/NiCd voltages are
    within the range of alkaline batteries they can be used as an general
    replacement. But in real life, some devices do not use alkaline batterie
    until their predefined end of life, often the batterie indicator shows "low
    batt" at a reasonabe higher voltage and therefore, alkaline batteries are
    often not used completely.

    In general, the recycle time of you flash depends on the inner resistance of
    the used power source an the resulting possible current. In general, NiCd
    rechargeable accumulator have the lowest resistance and therefor the
    shortest flash recycle time. But meanwhile, development of NiMh accumulators
    has outbid the NiCd technology and capacity is doubled compared to NiCd
    while carrying a comparable low resistance. So it is recommended to use new
    NiMh accumulators for flashes with high capacity (2000 - 2600 mAh) to gain
    maximum performance in both recycle time and count of flashes

    As a german resident I have no recomendation for a source in UK. I always
    check for some price comparing sites and additionaly compare those prices
    with eBay shops. And most time the eBay shops are the winners. So if you
    need assistance for buying from german stores (which may be cheaper than UK
    shops) feel free to ask.

    Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Exler, Dec 24, 2004
    #3
  4. A

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : I am thinking of buying Lithium AA batteries for my Canon 420EX external
    : flash to reduce recycle time.

    : Anyone used these? Do they make much of a difference over NI-MH batts?

    I think you would be better off with NiMh batteries. To start they are a
    lot cheaper.

    : Any recommendations where to buy from the UK?

    Here in the US Lithium batteries are commonly available in larger stores.

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Dec 24, 2004
    #4
  5. A

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : A wrote:

    : > I am thinking of buying Lithium AA batteries for my Canon 420EX external
    : > flash to reduce recycle time.
    : >
    : > Anyone used these? Do they make much of a difference over NI-MH batts?
    : >
    : > Any recommendations where to buy from the UK?


    : They will last longer than a set of NiMH's, for sure, but then you throw them
    : out. They should recycle faster (higher voltage, less voltage drop with current)

    : NiMH's recycle pretty quick in any case and of course can be recharged.

    : NiMH's just go back into the bag for a recharging. Keep a set of Li as backup
    : (or Alkaline which don't recyle as fast).

    : Check the manual for the flash for battery type warnings. Some camera grips
    : (Canon, Minolta) say not to use them at all.

    I've got a lot of equipment that gets powered by AA batteries with
    intructions warning against the use of NiMh batteries. I use the rechargable
    any how. I've never had any trouble with them.
    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Dec 24, 2004
    #5
  6. A

    Mark B. Guest

    Yeah, they're a hell of a lot more expensive. Four NiMH probably don't cost
    more than 10% higher than four lithium, but the NiMH can be recharged while
    the lithium get thrown out.

    Mark
     
    Mark B., Dec 24, 2004
    #6
  7. A

    Alan Browne Guest

    Frank Pittel wrote:

    The difference here is that AA Li batteries supply a higher than nominal voltage
    and in use they will sustain that voltage with even high current. I have no
    problem putting in batts that are lower than voltage rating, but higher than
    rating AND a warning from the manufacturer not to use them is another matter.

    My camera does work on Lithium, BTW, in the body (CR123), or in the grip CR123
    or 2CR5 Lithiums can be used. The warning is specific to AA Li. I'm not going
    to risk my camera body to find out what happens.
     
    Alan Browne, Dec 24, 2004
    #7
  8. A

    Jer Guest


    Yup, right into the landfill.
     
    Jer, Dec 24, 2004
    #8
  9. Gene F. Rhodes, Dec 25, 2004
    #9
  10. Here's my two cents . . . .

    Yes, lithium AA are expensive. They are not rechargeable. However, they are
    very light weight and with four lithium AA batteries in my Canon S1 IS, I
    can take 1,500 to 1,800 shots. And best of all, I can leave the camera on
    the shelf for a week and when I take it with me I know it will be ready to
    work. With NiMH rechargeables, there is constant maintenance. You have to
    keep the charge up. Leaving them in the camera for some days means dead
    batteries. So I solve this by throwing money at it. It's as simple as that.

    Bye.
     
    David Sommers, Dec 25, 2004
    #10
  11. A

    Harvey Guest

    Basically you only want lithiums if you are going into the woods for a month
    and have no way to charge up the Ni-MH. Those lithiums are primary while
    the Ni-MH are rechargeable.
     
    Harvey, Dec 25, 2004
    #11
  12. A

    Steve Kramer Guest

    I've used nothing BUT Lithium AA Batteries since I first found them two
    years ago. With the reduced weight they are great for travel. With the
    instant refresh rate in my shoe mounted flash they are great for
    continuous shooting. And with the 5-7 times longer life span and only a
    2-3 times cost, they are more efficient. I used them in all my flashes,
    my cameras, my portable electronics that take AA sized batteries, in all
    flash lights, in fact, I never use Alkaline batteries any more and have
    never had any damage to any of my equipment from electrical over loads.

    Steve Kramer
    "PhotoEnvisions" Freelance Photography
    Chiang Mai, Thailand
    http://www.photoenvisions.com
     
    Steve Kramer, Dec 25, 2004
    #12
  13. A

    Roger Guest

    I'm not in the UK, but I carry a spare set of Lithium batteries for
    the flash and camera.

    They are expensive, but have tremendous capacity and my experience has
    been they will outlast several sets of NiMHs for capacity. Of course
    when they are done they are done.
    I've found the alkaline batteries work fine in the flash, but are next
    to useless in my E-20N. They only last for 10 to 15 shots.
    If the voltage and size are right I use them. OTOH there are some
    reasons for not using them as the Lithium batteries have a very low
    internal resistance so the starting, or inrush current could be quite
    high in some devices.
    Do they make Lithium rechargeable in AA size? Now that would be nice.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    www.rogerhalstead.com
     
    Roger, Dec 25, 2004
    #13
  14. Me too.....And, they have a fantastic shelf life. I can put them in a flash,
    and not use it for 6 months, and when I need it, its ready to go.........
     
    William Graham, Dec 26, 2004
    #14
  15. A

    MarkH Guest

    Your camera is faulty, get it repaired.

    NiMH batteries can be left in the camera for a week and though they may
    lose as much as 10-15% if they were fully charged (less if already
    partially discharged), they will be ready to use and last reasonably well.

    Also NiMH batteries are really good value for money. 2 or 3 sets are no
    big problem, they will cost very little for the value they provide.
     
    MarkH, Dec 26, 2004
    #15
  16. A

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : : >
    : > I've used nothing BUT Lithium AA Batteries since I first found them two
    : > years ago. With the reduced weight they are great for travel. With the
    : > instant refresh rate in my shoe mounted flash they are great for
    : > continuous shooting. And with the 5-7 times longer life span and only a
    : > 2-3 times cost, they are more efficient. I used them in all my flashes,
    : > my cameras, my portable electronics that take AA sized batteries, in all
    : > flash lights, in fact, I never use Alkaline batteries any more and have
    : > never had any damage to any of my equipment from electrical over loads.
    : >
    : Me too.....And, they have a fantastic shelf life. I can put them in a flash,
    : and not use it for 6 months, and when I need it, its ready to go.........

    The long shelf life of lithium batteries is why I use them to power my
    camera. They have a shelf life of about ten years which means I can pick up
    my 35mm camera after six months and not have to worry about the condition of
    the batteries.


    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Dec 26, 2004
    #16
  17. I'm sorry Mark, you are quite mistaken about the characteristics of NiMH
    rechargeable AA cells. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with either my
    Canon or Olympus cameras.

    About five years ago I started using NiMH rechargeables in my digital
    cameras that used AA cells. They are certainly cheaper than anything else
    and provided a decent amount of power per charge. Over time I have moved
    away from NiMH to either Li-Ion rechargeable or Lithium primary cells. The
    main reasons were weight, reliability and convenience. This first became
    very clear with my Olympus E-10, which can be powered by NiMH AA cells,
    CR-V3 Lithium or a super powered Lithium Polymer battery pack. What I
    discovered over time was that NiMH cells have a high self-discharge compared
    to any Lithium technology cells. I found I could leave my Lithium Polymer
    battery pack on the shelf for months and it was still up at over 90% charge.
    If I didn't keep my NiMH AA sets charged weekly, they'd be dead or too weak
    to be useful. When rechargeable CR-V3 Li-Ion batteries became available, I
    was in battery heaven for sure. Now I don't have to nurse along NiMH AA sets
    with constant maintenance. I can leave the CR-V3 Li-Ion rechargeable in my
    E-10 for weeks and they are always ready to go.

    Now, for my Canon S1 IS, I can't use the CR-V3, as they are not physically
    compatible. I bought a new set of 2400 mAh NiMH AAs for my Canon - I still
    have the MaHa charger. Same old crap. The self-discharge and constant
    maintenance was making their use the same annoyance as with my Olympus. So,
    I turned to the expensive solution - Lithium AA primary cells. What a
    pleasure to be able to know whatever camera I pick up will work without
    having to screw around.

    So, enjoy your economical NiMH AA annoyances. Now all of my cameras use
    Lithium batteries and I'm happy.

    Bye.
     
    David Sommers, Dec 26, 2004
    #17
  18. A

    rob Guest

    In message <> - "Mark B."
    :>
    :>:>>I am thinking of buying Lithium AA batteries for my Canon 420EX external
    :>> flash to reduce recycle time.
    :>>
    :>> Anyone used these? Do they make much of a difference over NI-MH batts?
    :>>
    :>
    :>Yeah, they're a hell of a lot more expensive. Four NiMH probably don't cost
    :>more than 10% higher than four lithium, but the NiMH can be recharged while
    :>the lithium get thrown out.
    :>
    :>Mark
    :>
    :>

    Hi
    I've been using them in my 420ex and the same set of batteries has been in use
    since Sept 2003 (and still going strong).
    I also have AA Lithiums in my GPS and it's been used quite a bit for the about
    8 months. The GPS goes through Alkaline batteries like you wouldn't believe,
    these Lithium batteries are amazing.

    My Elan 7 battery grip says not to use them (Canon says the voltage is too
    high), but the "pro" level cameras can use them. I've been wondering if this
    "warning" is just marketting hype, to make the pro models appear even better?
    Fresh out of the package the battery voltage is 1.7.

    I've been buying them at Wal-Mart (in Canada) for $4/battery.

    Rob
    www.rcp.ca
     
    rob, Dec 26, 2004
    #18
  19. It probably also means that they won't leak and ruin the camera or other
    device nearly as soon as alkalines will, too.....
     
    William Graham, Dec 26, 2004
    #19
  20. A

    Mark B. Guest

    It's all a matter of where your priorities are. It's not at all annoying to
    me to charge the batteries before I use them. It would be more annoying to
    have to throw them out and have to spend $10 each time they're used up.

    Mark
     
    Mark B., Dec 26, 2004
    #20
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