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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 12 Apr 2009 (Sunday) 16:35
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6,560 FLASH POPS LATER: The Results of "AA" Rechargeable Battery Tests

 
mlav
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Apr 12, 2009 21:53 |  #31

Where are the Excel graphs? ;)


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blam
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Apr 12, 2009 21:53 |  #32

also, why were the imedions excluded from test #2?




  
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SYS
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Apr 12, 2009 22:05 |  #33

blam wrote in post #7717938 (external link)
also, why were the imedions excluded from test #2?

That's because Imedions were purchased at a bit late stage, not enough time to collect any useful information by the deadline for my son's Sci Fair. The "Ready to Use" test gave me a useful info, though -- all 8 Imedions opening at 80% capacity...



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Rudi
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Apr 12, 2009 22:14 |  #34

SYS wrote in post #7717695 (external link)
Yes, against my initial skepticism, "higher the 'mAh' the stronger the performance" came through consistently. Even Energizer Rechargeable that I despised performed better than eneloops that I so admired.

Thanks for doing the test, but I do have one gripe - one month is not really long enough to really start appreciating the low self-discharge capabilities of some of the batteries on the market. (Although I know there are some batteries on the market that will self-discharge in less than a month!) That would explain why the higher mAh rating batteries performed better in these tests. If these tests were conducted at 3, 6 and 12 month intervals, you would see very different results.

I have switched over to LSD batteries in the last few months because even though I recharge all my batteries the day before a job, the difference in overall performance is not that big that it makes me want to have separate high-mAh-rating batteries for work and LSD batteries for all other uses. The LSD batteries are always ready for that last-minute job (with no warning), or for all those other jobs around the house that might have nothing to do with photography (wall clocks, kids' toys, whatever), where the LSD properties are a big plus.

Even though I now use rechargeable batteries for everything around the house, I don't want to be limited by them - I don't want to have to remember to keep topping them up all the time, and that is where LSD batteries have really freed me from those concerns. I already have flashes and studio flash to exercise once a month (if it hasn't been used) to keep the capacitors happy, and Ranger batteries to top-off once a month or so, I don't need to have to remember all the little batteries around the house as well. :)


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Rudi
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Apr 12, 2009 22:15 |  #35

SYS wrote in post #7717980 (external link)
That's because Imedions were purchased at a bit late stage, not enough time to collect any useful information by the deadline for my son's Sci Fair. The "Ready to Use" test gave me a useful info, though -- all 8 Imedions opening at 80% capacity...

Not really - they could have been an older batch than the Eneloops... the self-discharge would be dependent on how long they've been inside that packaging! And of course, none of these batteries are at their best until they have completed a few cycles...


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blam
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Apr 12, 2009 22:24 |  #36

SYS wrote in post #7717980 (external link)
That's because Imedions were purchased at a bit late stage, not enough time to collect any useful information by the deadline for my son's Sci Fair. The "Ready to Use" test gave me a useful info, though -- all 8 Imedions opening at 80% capacity...

ah, that would explain it then.

did you happen to keep a tally on cost per battery?

around my parts, eneloops are probably one of the cheapest solutions because costco carries them




  
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johnstoy
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Apr 12, 2009 22:30 |  #37

Real good, useful reference info...

This should become a sticky.


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SYS
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Apr 12, 2009 22:40 |  #38

Rudi wrote in post #7718018 (external link)
Not really - they could have been an older batch than the Eneloops... the self-discharge would be dependent on how long they've been inside that packaging! And of course, none of these batteries are at their best until they have completed a few cycles...

Thanks for your comments, Rudi. The very issues you're raising were all addressed in my "Limitations" section of the Post #2, repeated here:

"LIMITATIONS:

On “Ready to Use” Test: one obvious limitation here is the lack of information as to how long the “new” packages have been sitting around in the warehouses and on store shelves and under what ambient temperatures prior to the tests. Unfortunately, the packages didn’t come with the manufacturing dates.

On “Shelf Life” Test: one immediate limitation felt was the time duration in which to conduct the test. We only had one month time period to our disposal when such test ideally requires more than a full year. Most new NiMH batteries would retain their full capacity for the entire three weeks after a full charge, making our “Shelf Life” test rather irrelevant. Nevertheless, we felt it useful to include it in the final report for two reasons: 1) some batteries tested failed to retain full capacity even within the short duration; 2) we felt it useful when combined with the “Ready to Use” test results.

We didn’t have the time necessary to go through several “break-in” cycles of “refreshing” or “conditioning” of the new batteries tested. Would it have made any difference if we had, particularly for those brands that are not ready to be used right out of the package and with no claim of “No Memory Effect”? We don’t know, but one thing for sure is that all were tested under the same conditions and fairness."


As for "battery user strategy," that's really a personal preference. If I were a professional whose sole income is shooting weddings, then I'd use the combination of Powerex 2700mAh and eneloop or go all Powerex. But I wouldn't go all eneloop. The difference between eneloop and Powerex in the number of pops is about 100!! That's significant to me. For a "casual" photographer who shoots once a month on average, going all eneloop makes a good sense.



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SYS
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Apr 12, 2009 22:45 |  #39

blam wrote in post #7718065 (external link)
did you happen to keep a tally on cost per battery?

Yes, I did. We originally had planned on doing the cost analysis, as well, and that's why I intentionally purchased the batteries from a variety of merchants instead of relying on just one source. But it became a bit too "sophisticated" for a 4th grader project, so we ditched it. Besides, they all ended up about the same cost-wise depending on where and how you purchase them.



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blam
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Apr 12, 2009 22:47 |  #40

although your tests show the powerex held great life after 3 weeks, i found that my sanyo (non-eneloops) did as well....until they were getting old and no longer hold a great charge after a couple weeks and have been demoted out of my camera bag and used for my remote controls and gaming.

my eneloops after 1.5 years still do however. I'd still recommend any non low discharge battery to be cycled before being used in something like a wedding.




  
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breal101
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Apr 12, 2009 22:48 |  #41

Nah, it's too good to become a sticky, nobody ever reads them.:) Seriously though, good job, a lot of useful info here. I'm glad I don't have a huge investment in rechargeable batteries now. One thing I found interesting is that they don't all discharge at the same rate within a set, something I suspected but had never really checked. The instructions with my batteries stressed that they should be used as a set and recharged together as a set. I have done that religiously, maybe not going to worry so much about it anymore.


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Rudi
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Apr 12, 2009 22:56 |  #42

SYS wrote in post #7718140 (external link)
Thanks for your comments, Rudi. The very issues you're raising were all addressed in my "Limitations" section of the Post #2

I understand that everyone is different, and appreciate your efforts here, don't get me wrong. I have found that, for my purposes, the Imedion batteries work best - they offer the best compromise between capacity and long shelf life, and I now only have three or four sets of batteries other than Imedion - and I will replace those as they wear out. I did find that the Imedions needed a few cycles to really get to their best.


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Apr 12, 2009 22:59 |  #43

Very comprehensive battery of tests. Thanks for all the work.

Now to re-read and understand it all.


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tcats14
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Apr 12, 2009 22:59 |  #44

Jezzzz def A+ worthy information here, was it a 100% mark? Excellent work


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Jim ­ G
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Apr 12, 2009 23:05 |  #45

Excellent thread. Thanks for sharing. I feel well satisfied with my stock of Powerex 2700mahs and a few Imedions :)


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6,560 FLASH POPS LATER: The Results of "AA" Rechargeable Battery Tests
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