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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 25 Aug 2009 (Tuesday) 06:11
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580EX II Recycle Time

 
especht
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Aug 25, 2009 06:11 |  #1

Hello!

I recently purchased a 580EX II for my 50D and would like to primarily use it for fill flash in outdoor portraits.

When I first begin shooting, the flash fires very consistently and the recycle time is great. No waiting time is required between shots. After about 50 photos, the recycle time becomes very noticeable, approximately 4-6 seconds. After 100 shots, it is really noticeable.

I am using the Nimh batteries that came with the flash and bougt 8 additional Nimh batteries for when the recycle time becomes very slow. After switching batteries, I experience the same thing as mentioned above.

After consulting with my manuals and other specifications, I saw that I should be getting approximately 400 photos per battery life.

Is there a certain setup on the 580 that could give me faster recycle time? Is there batteries that could give me faster recycle time? Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Eric




  
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Firotechnics
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Aug 25, 2009 07:48 |  #2

It all depends on what batteries your using there is a test thread some where but i can't seem to find it. I know someone else will post the link. To keep your recycle time up you could by the external battery pack, or bump up your iso and shoot at a lower flash power.


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gonzogolf
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Aug 25, 2009 09:02 |  #3

That battery life estimate is also loosely based on type of use. If you are shooting in low ambient light your flash is putting out more light and probably using the focus assist beam more which would drain the batteries quicker than using it as fill on a cloudy day. Try this, get yourself a set of lithium batteries, do a shoot similar to those you tested the nimh batteries with. If the lithium drain similarly then you might have a flash issue. If not, you might consider changing your battery setup. Keep in mind that NIMH batteries dont store well, they lose charge fairly rapidly stored unused. Also all NIMH batteries are not created equal, a lot of bargain brands are rate their potential much higher than it is.




  
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bbvdm
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Aug 25, 2009 09:07 |  #4

You mention "no waiting time is required between shots". Are you constantly shooting with flash? If so, the flash will heat up and automatically slow down. Eventually, it will stop altogether. The manual states you should let the flash rest after so many consecutive shots.


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Titus213
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Aug 25, 2009 09:11 |  #5

This may help:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=677074


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especht
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Aug 25, 2009 10:37 |  #6

bbvdm wrote in post #8519683 (external link)
You mention "no waiting time is required between shots". Are you constantly shooting with flash?

It is pretty steady shooting. There is a line of individuals waiting to get their photo taken. I try to take two photos of each as they come through the line. At the beginning of the shoot, the recycle time was working great. After about 75 shots, I was waiting a little longer. Then it got progressively longer as the shoot went on.




  
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gonzogolf
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Aug 25, 2009 10:48 |  #7

especht wrote in post #8520143 (external link)
It is pretty steady shooting. There is a line of individuals waiting to get their photo taken. I try to take two photos of each as they come through the line. At the beginning of the shoot, the recycle time was working great. After about 75 shots, I was waiting a little longer. Then it got progressively longer as the shoot went on.


Then you are just wearing your batteries down.




  
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[Hyuni]
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Aug 25, 2009 10:54 |  #8

I just popped close to 300 shots with my 580EXII this past weekend for a photoshoot with my eneloops that weren't fully charged (completely forgot to charge them before shoot) but I was amazed to see they had survived the shoot in style!

I didn't notice any long recycle times and they are still going strong now, without recharge! (better charge them tonight though, just in case)

btw, I shot ETTL and there was decent, but not enough adequate light.


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especht
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Aug 26, 2009 06:21 as a reply to  @ [Hyuni]'s post |  #9

Could somebody please share how to setup the 580 for flash fill use? I do not really need a bright flash, but rather a setup that provides enough flash for filling in shadows on the face (for example, shadows created by a hat).




  
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lefturn99
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Aug 26, 2009 08:39 |  #10

One way to extend your flash life is to boost the ISO a little.

I'm still learning about ETTL II but I think I read that if you use Av mode it will default to fill. If not, decrease the flash exposure compensation. The less light, the longer the batteries will last.


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especht
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Aug 26, 2009 13:41 |  #11

lefturn99 wrote in post #8525435 (external link)
One way to extend your flash life is to boost the ISO a little.

I'm still learning about ETTL II but I think I read that if you use Av mode it will default to fill. If not, decrease the flash exposure compensation. The less light, the longer the batteries will last.

Great, thanks a lot!




  
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gonzogolf
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Aug 26, 2009 13:51 |  #12

lefturn99 wrote in post #8525435 (external link)
One way to extend your flash life is to boost the ISO a little.

I'm still learning about ETTL II but I think I read that if you use Av mode it will default to fill. If not, decrease the flash exposure compensation. The less light, the longer the batteries will last.

Don't decrease the flash exposure compensation at the expense of exposing the image properly just to save batteries. What would be the point in that?




  
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lefturn99
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Aug 26, 2009 14:36 |  #13

gonzogolf wrote in post #8527132 (external link)
Don't decrease the flash exposure compensation at the expense of exposing the image properly just to save batteries. What would be the point in that?

He was also asking about using the flash for fill. I was addressing that. Of course I was not suggesting making the batteries last longer by underexposing the image.


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Mystwalker
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Aug 26, 2009 14:39 |  #14

I had similar problem but not to tune of 50 shots (seems awfully low) - I'm guessing, the type of battery you are using plus lighting conditions will have a big affect. I use 2700mAH rechargeables. Today, I also use Canon's battery pack - now I just have to be careful to not overheat/burnout flash.




  
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tim
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Aug 26, 2009 20:36 |  #15

ISO100/F8 will wear the batteries down quickly. Raise your iso, open up the lens, and use the shutter speed to limit ambient light entering the flash.

Get a CP-E4 battery pack (external link) if you need faster recharge speeds, but be careful not to burn out the flash head - though it has protection. Get a good battery charger (external link) and some of the Powerex cells linked from that page on amazon if you want good batteries, or get some of the low discharge cells if they suit you better.

especht wrote in post #8525014 (external link)
Could somebody please share how to setup the 580 for flash fill use? I do not really need a bright flash, but rather a setup that provides enough flash for filling in shadows on the face (for example, shadows created by a hat).


Av mode, FEC to -1 or 0.


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580EX II Recycle Time
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