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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Flash Power Pack Recomendations
Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 8:40 PM on 05.07.14
->> I am finding myself using my Canon 580 EX II flash more often and normal and rechargeable batteries are nut cutting it. What are you using for a power pack?

Jim
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Jason Myers, Photographer
West Palm Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 10:41 PM on 05.07.14
->> love my Elinchrom Quadras
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Colin Hackley, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | USA | Posted: 10:56 PM on 05.07.14
->> Get the Canon CP-E4 and fill it and the flash with rechargeable AAs of your choice.

I have found the pack to rarely lag on recycle and be light enough that I don't feel like I pay a penalty for carrying it. I have yet to exhaust this set up during even lengthy assignments in dark venues.

Faults (minor): The tabs that hold the batteries in the tray will break off, but even with nearly all of mine broken I can still use it. The cord will wear/short out after many hard years of use.

I would avoid the knock-off versions of the CP-E4. Known problems with them (depending on the brand) include frying the flash because of high voltage and the power plugs being too big causing the socket of the 580 EXII to break loose from the body of the flash. Either way, the money you "save" on the knock-off will be lost or exceeded by the repair bills it creates.
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G.M. Andrews, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 11:36 PM on 05.07.14
->> Love the Dynalite Jackrabbit, but wish the power cords had better strain reliefs at both the flash and the pack end. I buy at least one or two new cords a year as the weight of the cords pull the wires out of the connectors.

The CP-E4 is a good alternative, and I used the predecessor CP-E2 (I think) back when I shot Canon and the paper was buying all the AA's. You couldn't motor at a sports event, but they would keep up with most other assignments.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 11:58 PM on 05.07.14
->> Godox Lithium Power Pack, good for 1000 flashes, has dual ports, which you can either run 2 flashes off of or get a 2-> Adapter that allows you to recycle quicker.

http://www.goodboystudio.com/popularproducts/godox-propac-pb960-flash-power...

I bought 2 from here, Calumet (when they were open), B&H and others sell this for $350 PLUS you need to buy the cables at $25 a pop. GoodBoy Studios (just a happy customer) INCLUDES the cables for the $200 (which is the total with shipping I believe.)

They work great. I use Energizer batteries in my 580EXII and 580EX and they last about 3 months using these packs. I do set the custom function to use external power on the flash, which I would highly recommend.

Again, these are so far the best bang for your buck and I'm a tech geek who is always looking for the latest and greatest.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 12:04 AM on 05.08.14
->> BTW, my biggest beef using this is not with the Godox packs, it's with Canon and their crappy connector on the 580EXII. Haven't had problems with the 580EX, but the II connects the High Voltage input using a piece of plastic that's maybe 3mm x 1.5mm and too much force causes it to snap. Repair, even with the 30% CPS discount was $80 for a cheaply made part.

What I did, after another one broke was to cut pieces of maple, about 1/8x1/8 by whatever the length needed was and wedged it between the back of the power connector and the opposite side of the flash. Haven't had a problem since. I might have a picture of this setup, if I do, I'll post it, but very disappointed on the build quality of the power port on the Canon flash.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 12:32 AM on 05.08.14
->> Quantum... hands down (imho) bullet proof and the battery lasts forever.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 12:49 AM on 05.08.14
->> I looked at Quantum.. They still insist on using (with their Turbo 3) NiMH. Why? Lithium Ion are so much lighter and provide much more power. I know, Quantum has been around for ages.. but they really need to get into new battery technologies!
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 11:04 AM on 05.08.14
->> I have an 'older' unit that I believe to be SLA. Cells are cheap and last me 2-3 years between replacements.
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Travis Haughton, Photographer
Oak Park | IL | USA | Posted: 1:35 PM on 05.08.14
->> The CP-E3 is identical to the CP-E4, except the CP-E4 adds rubber sealing. So if you don't need to use it in the rain, just go with the CP-E3 which can be had for well under $100 used.

I use mine with rechargeable Eneloops.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 3:30 PM on 05.08.14
->> Thanks for the information everyone. I have been looking into these options and surprised of the cost differences.

For those who use the CP-E3/4 how long do 8 rechargeable batteries last? Meaning how many full power bursts?

4 energizer alkaline batteries are lasting me 100 shots at most before the recovery time becomes an issue. Keep in mind this is while doing T&I so 3-4 shots of a player one after another for 60 kids. So 60x3.5=210 flashes in say 45 minutes with teams in there as well.

Jim
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Travis Haughton, Photographer
Oak Park | IL | USA | Posted: 6:43 PM on 05.08.14
->> Adding the CP packs basically triples your total capacity (12 batteries instead of 4.)

In my experience with both the Canon and Nikon versions you should expect several hundred (maybe 300?) full power pops.

The pack reduces recycle time from 3-4 seconds to less than a second.
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Andy Mitchell, Photographer, Assistant
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 12:13 AM on 05.09.14
->> I use the Cheetah pack, never had an issue

http://www.cheetahstand.com/product-p/cl-l4500.htm

Andy
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 2:20 AM on 05.09.14
->> The Cheetah is the same as the Godox from GoodBoy except you are paying $50 more because they don't include the cable.

The one thing to consider about any battery pack, including the CP-E3/4 vs a Lithium based pack is that NiMH or any other rechargeable batteries will slow down recycling time as they start to drain. The one thing I've learned (through a lot of reading) is that is you use a Lithium pack, you will receive the same Voltage/Amperage consistently until the pack just can't produce anymore at which time it will shut off.

The Cheetah or Godox are nice because if you really need an extra battery, they just slide off the bottom and you can replace it in a couple of seconds.

I will never again buy any of the battery packs that use AA. I'm done with charging 64 AA batteries before a basketball game. Instead I can charge 2 lithium packs that will power the same 4 flashes and will take less of my time to keep swapping batteries out as they are charged. It's the main reason I went with a lithium based pack.

There are also Lithium based flashes, but they don't have external power connectors. However using them is a complete joy for the reason mentioned above, flash recycle time stays consistent until they just stop. Godox Ving 850's. I have 4, I love them because they have remote power adjustment and also have a HSS transmitter.

http://flashhavoc.com/godox-v850-ving-review/
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 7:06 AM on 05.09.14
->> Just to throw this out there...I rely on mine every graduation season. Possibly the cheapest route available. I believe the Canon version holds 8 AAs.

http://www.phottixstore.com/store/flash-accessories/sb-900-phottix-6-aa.htm...
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Ed Ruping, Photographer
Orlando | Fl | usa | Posted: 2:29 PM on 05.09.14
->> I'm partial to the Lumedyne Cyclers. One pack is 24 years old now and have only had to recell as required.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 8:53 PM on 05.09.14
->> I use the eneloops, which I think is important. Have both the Chinese knockoffs and the real Canon and Nikon versions...can't tell a difference and they last for freakin' ever.
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Tom Ewart, Photographer
Bentonville | AR | USA | Posted: 12:49 PM on 05.10.14
->> Do your self a favor and look at Paul Buff products, from Alien Bees to the Vagabond Power system..
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 1:10 PM on 05.12.14
->> Canon 580EX-II w/battery pack vs Alien Bees w/Vagabond? Apples and oranges I'm afraid. Small & light against big, bulky and heavy.
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Thread Title: Flash Power Pack Recomendations
Thread Started By: Jim Pierce
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