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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 30 Jun 2012 (Saturday) 11:13
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Event photographers that use off camera flashes

 
5W0L3
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Jun 30, 2012 11:13 |  #1

If I am using three 600ex-rt flashes (one on camera, 2 off camera) in ETTL mode during an event which is held in decent light at night time indoors, how long will it be before my rechargeable batteries will die out in all the flashes?

I use 2500mAh energizer batteries for my flashes.

I have a 5 hour event coming up in future and I am just wondering if I should change all 12 of the batteries in three flashes after about 2.5hours into the event to ensure that they don't run out anytime during the event. Or do you guys think 12 fully charged reasonably new 2500mah batteries can do an entire 5 hour event without losing much charge?

Have your batteries ever died out / gone to a point which makes them recycle slower while doing a continuous event like this?


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Scatterbrained
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Jun 30, 2012 11:19 |  #2

I would say it depends on how much you're shooting, but you could get some battery packs for the flashes just to be safe: http://flashzebra.com/​products/0265/index.sh​tml (external link)


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Cozmocha
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Jun 30, 2012 11:21 |  #3

How many photos do you expect to take in the 5 hours?


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5W0L3
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Jun 30, 2012 11:47 |  #4

Cozmocha wrote in post #14652841 (external link)
How many photos do you expect to take in the 5 hours?

I'd say anywhere between 300-500 photos.

^ also for the battery pack, it doesn't say its for 600ex-rt.. or can I use a 580ex battery pack on 600 as well?


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Jun 30, 2012 12:20 |  #5

I don't want to say with 100% certainty, but the Bolt battery pack on B&H (which is the same as the Pixel pack at FlashZebra and Amazon) shows the 600ex RT as well as the 580exi & II, and the 550 and macro flash units as being compatible.


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BaghdadFred
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Jun 30, 2012 12:37 |  #6

I shoot about 5-10 indoors events per month.

Lately I use a total of 5 flashes for all indoor events (4 of them are off-camera) These events are very often 5-7 hours long. When you say your going to take 300-500 shots.. is that the number of keepers you expect to deliver or just the number of shots you take? 300-500 shots for very long events are not uncommon for me either. I may end up actually delivering 70-80 simply because don't want to show any duplicate themed shots.

I infrequently run out of batteries the entire time. I make sure they are fully charged before the event. Also I want to add that I shoot about 95% manual flash mode on perhaps 1/4 flash. The few extra close ups I will shoot in E-TTL mode for a simple fill-flash look. Manual mode flash works far better for me than E-TTL ever did.

Of course you want to have 2 or so extra sets in your pocket to be able to switch out in a quick pinch. My most important flash is my on camera bounce flash.. The rest of the flashes I point at the walls and ceiling to fill in the dark areas.


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Jun 30, 2012 15:10 |  #7

Heavily depends on the power level you've set on your flashes.

Chimp often, be mindful of how the flashes are contributing to the photo, and swap out the batteries when the recycle time starts to noticeably slow down.

Take enough spares that you can swap out every flash at least once. I have Eneloops for my primaries (20 batteries for 3 flashes) but I always have an unopened 12-pack of alkalines just in case. I have never had to fall back to the alkalines.

If you're using rechargeables, it costs you nothing to swap in some fresh ones. If in doubt, change 'em out.


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Gel
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Jul 01, 2012 01:38 |  #8

With a Pixel power pack and the 600's you'll get 1000 full powered flashes.


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picturecrazy
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Jul 01, 2012 10:14 |  #9

I don't use battery packs, I find them annoying. It all depends on how you shoot. It can probably easily last all 5 hours if you shoot at F/2.8 ISO1600 or 3200. That's usually what I shoot receptions at. Batteries last forever and recycle times are so good that there is no need for a battery pack.

If you shoot at F/11 ISO100 then you'll probably run out of batteries in less than an hour. So it all depends on how you shoot.


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5W0L3
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Jul 01, 2012 10:26 |  #10

^ I usually shoot from f/1.2 up until f/4.. hardly ever go above f/4 indoors.

1.2 is usually for individual portraits.. around f/2 to f/2.8 for group shots and f/4 at times for large groups.

Only time i'd go above f/4 is probably at the start of the event to take some architecture shots but those are usually done without flashes with long exposure times on a tripod.

I think to be safe i'l change my batteries for all 3 flashes after 2.5 - 3hours into the event, because a lot of shooting happens on the dance floor etc. which is towards the end of the event.


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Jul 01, 2012 10:36 |  #11

honestly if you are shooting at 1.2-2.8 for most shots, your batteries probably won't need changing. I wouldn't bother TBH. Unless you shoot at ISO100 all night.


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JohnThomas
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Jul 01, 2012 10:45 |  #12

I use two 580 EXII units, one on-camera and one off. The off camera unit is set between 1/128 and 1/32 power depending on the venue, and the on-camera is set to ETTL.. I've taken up to 1100 shots with 2500mAh batteries with no shots lost to poor recycle time.


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tim
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Jul 01, 2012 15:24 |  #13

I use battery packs on all off camera lights, I find them invaluable, I wouldn't shoot without them. Before of them I don't change flash batteries at a wedding.


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davisphotos
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Jul 01, 2012 19:18 |  #14

I use one Quantum QFlash with a turbo battery, and a 430EX with AA rechargeables. Shooting at ISO 1600-3200, I almost never have to switch out batteries for a standard 3-4 hour reception. It does largely depend on the situation, when shooting in some larger, darker venues, I may change the batteries once.


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umphotography
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Jul 02, 2012 09:39 |  #15

picturecrazy wrote in post #14656145 (external link)
I don't use battery packs, I find them annoying. It all depends on how you shoot. It can probably easily last all 5 hours if you shoot at F/2.8 ISO1600 or 3200. That's usually what I shoot receptions at. Batteries last forever and recycle times are so good that there is no need for a battery pack.

If you shoot at F/11 ISO100 then you'll probably run out of batteries in less than an hour. So it all depends on how you shoot.


^^^^^^
this for me as well. I watch things and if they slow down then i will toss in new batteries just because. I also don't use battery packs. I get good 2700 rechargeables and im set to go. I have about 50 extra batteries that i keep in the case and i keep 4 in m y packet at all times just in case i feel the flash starting to slow down. I've only had 1 problem in 5 yrs that ive been doing it this way. Had a flash fail about 15 shots after i changed the batteries. It was on a processional. Quicky changed them and got new ones in for the bride. she was about 4 back. Got them all and used the flash the rest of the night. When i got home, 1 of the batteries was completely dead and would not accept a charge...tossed it.

I use these power powerex 2700 rechargebles.... you can get them at batteries plus. They are the bomb,,, work awesome.


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Event photographers that use off camera flashes
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