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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 21 Apr 2009 (Tuesday) 22:33
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Do flashes get worse over time?

 
hy0ii
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Apr 21, 2009 22:33 |  #1

I tried searching for the answer through Search function but my words wouldnt match. I apologize if it's a simple question. A friend is getting rid of his flash and im looking into buying one but not so much into tossing a lot of $ into a new one. Do flashes get worse over time?


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SYS
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Apr 21, 2009 22:40 |  #2

hy0ii wrote in post #7778796 (external link)
Do flashes get worse over time?

Like any other electronic stuff... Yes.



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tim
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Apr 21, 2009 23:25 |  #3

My 550EX works as well today as the day I bought it, even though it has some minor marks on it.


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SYS
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Apr 21, 2009 23:28 |  #4

tim wrote in post #7779081 (external link)
My 550EX works as well today as the day I bought it, even though it has some minor marks on it.

It doesn't mean your 550EX is "immortal," you know... :p



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tim
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Apr 21, 2009 23:34 |  #5

No, but four years of mostly careful professional use, but it's been dropped occasionally and that sort of thing. I think I replaced the foot once myself.


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vadim_c
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Apr 22, 2009 00:21 |  #6
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SYS wrote in post #7778852 (external link)
Like any other electronic stuff... Yes.

Why would any other electronic stuff (not flash in particular) deteriorate over time ? If it does not contain some weak components such as some types of electolitic capasitors that can dry out, and you do not subject it to abuse the lifetime of contemporary electronics far exceeds its 'moral' depreciation.


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davidwegs
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Apr 22, 2009 01:09 |  #7

If heavily used the tubes burn out.

If used a great number of times at near full power, the tubes burn out.

If bad power is used they can burn out.

If drop kicked into the potomac.... well you can guess that one.


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hy0ii
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Apr 22, 2009 02:12 |  #8

He says.. 10,000 flash cycles and purchased in Oct 07. minimal wear and tear..

$265 for the 580ex II


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Warl0rd
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Apr 22, 2009 05:52 as a reply to  @ hy0ii's post |  #9

there are alot of 20y old cheap flashs selling on ebay and they still work :)


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Apr 22, 2009 08:46 |  #10

Compared to use, time is irrelevant IMO. I have a Sunpak 555 that is over 25 years old and still works just fine.

If it looks OK and works OK it sounds like a deal to me. He is a 'friend' right? And $265 for a 580EX II sounds like a deal.


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silvrr
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Apr 22, 2009 08:48 |  #11

Somewhere on this board there was a battery test done using flashes. I would contact that person to see how the flash was after a lot of pops. I think it was up around 20,000


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SYS
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Apr 22, 2009 09:37 |  #12

vadim_c wrote in post #7779346 (external link)
Why would any other electronic stuff (not flash in particular) deteriorate over time ? If it does not contain some weak components such as some types of electolitic capasitors that can dry out, and you do not subject it to abuse the lifetime of contemporary electronics far exceeds its 'moral' depreciation.

If you read my above post in response to Tim, you'd know that I basically meant that nothing lasts.... Electronic stuff is like human beings in that regard... ;)



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SYS
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Apr 22, 2009 09:45 |  #13

silvrr wrote in post #7780922 (external link)
Somewhere on this board there was a battery test done using flashes. I would contact that person to see how the flash was after a lot of pops. I think it was up around 20,000

Actually, it was only 6,560 pops, and with some cooling time after 20 pops in order to preserve the flashgun's health... It's in as good a condition as when I first started.

However, there was someone who fried his Nikon flash doing a similar test as mine, but that's because he just kept on popping without any cooling time in between. And that's one of the reasons why I don't like to buy a used flash from a stranger whose flashing habit is unknown to me. I just don't know how much the unit has been "abused." If it still fires, then most likely it will continue to fire -- just don't know for how long. Like with any used electronic item for sale, you just have to take a chance and have some luck on your side.



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GH_ATL_GA
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Apr 22, 2009 11:01 as a reply to  @ SYS's post |  #14

$265 for a 'functioning' 580EXII is a pretty darn good deal. If you have the opportunity you should check it thoroughly as any required service center repair will cause your savings to evaporate. Some potential problems are not so obvious & a seller might not even be aware of their existence.

Based on personal experiences w/ multiple 580s I'd suggest verifying that you get the full range 1/1 to 1/128 in manual mode, at least in 1 stop increments. If you have a light meter check it using the meter or lacking that use your camera's aperture & ISO to see if you can maintain a constant exposure as you step the power.

If you have another 550/580 verify that it functions in both master & slave mode. Also check the recycle time with fresh batteries & make sure that it's 'reasonably close' to what Canon specifies. Excessively long recycle times may be signs of component damage, most likely due to heat.

Barring physical damage through accident or abuse, flashes are like many other electronic devices in that failures tend to occur early in their life cycle (excluding normal wear & tear of course.) If the flash has served its previous owner well & you find nothing w/ the above checks then I'd say you've found yourself a deal worth pursuing.




  
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silvrr
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Apr 22, 2009 11:08 |  #15

SYS wrote in post #7781270 (external link)
Actually, it was only 6,560 pops

Thats why Im not an accountant.


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Do flashes get worse over time?
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