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Nikon Speedlight alternative

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Stephen Rundle, May 12, 2020.

  1. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    My current cameras do not have a built-in flash, but both my previous Minoltas (Dynax 7 & 5) had pop-up flashes, and as a flash trigger for multiple ratio remote flashes I found it extremely useful, and also for a little fill-flash in daylight.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the 'proper cameras don't have pop-up flash' brigade are indulging in a little camera snobbery.
     
  2. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    One of the advantages of having a battery grip on Nikons is that they usually take both, so all one needs to do is take the adaptor and have the advantage of the Li-ion batteries, and the ability to use AA if necessary.
    I had the MBD-10 for my D700. Didn't use the AA adaptor but it was good to know the choice was there.
    Of course, Nikon are now dropping the ability to use such adaptors on cameras such as the D780, which kind of pisses in the lemonade a bit.
     
  3. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    D810 runs off aa batteries alternative grip
     
  4. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The more important consideration is how fast does a D700 or D810 get through a set of AA batteries?
     
  5. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    There are sets of AA batteries and there are sets of AA batteries! Clearly you wouldn't think of using Zinc-Carbon cells to run a camera, there are differences between brands of Alkalines, the bunny proves that:). Well actually it doesn't, they compare a leading brand with a Zinc-Carbon type. Some store brand Alkalines have a longer life than the market leaders.
     
  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    In my experience the later rechargeable AA and AAA cells seem to have very respectable charge holding and current delivery. I'm happy with them at any rate.
     
  7. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Indeed there are! The problem, if that's the right word, is that if you are in the position to need AA cells to run your digital camera you may not be in the best place to make buying choices. The store at Yosemite National Park probably has Duracell or Duracell, with a price premium, drive over the Tioga Pass to Lee Vinning and there might be some in the fuel station. I know you can recharge batteries in a hotel but if you have exhausted your rechargeable batteries during the day and need/want to keep shooting with no plan to reach the hotel until late, knowing how long a set of AAs might last could be important. (Personally important, on the grand scale it doesn't matter at all)
    I agree but, if I were travelling with a camera that could use AA cells but normally used a rechargeable battery, I probably wouldn't be carrying more than one set of rechargeable AA cells (I don't, there are eight Ni-Mh AA cells in my camera bag) so what is available on site might make a difference. The MB-D10 takes 8 AA cells so what I carry might keep one of my wife's cameras going for a a while. I'll have to charge a set and get her to see how long they last.

    Obviously if your camera uses AA cells a primary power you have a much better idea of how long they last.
     
  8. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    As I never used the AA batteries, I never got to try it, but the quoted maximum FPS was higher when using AAs. I don't suppose they would last particularly long.

    I think the real problem with AAs is that it is easy to spend a fortune on decent ones, or put up with the decrease in power from rechargeable ones. I did try the 1.5V AA rechargeable batteries once (not in a camera) and they just got bloody hot. Not sure whether they were a cell or actually a battery (more likely).
     
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Regard AA's as a fall back. For our first digital camera - a Ricoh compact - the Li-ion battery was an accessory, the camera shipped for use with AAs. I think you could get something ridiculous like 30 photos per set of 4 duracell. We bought the Li-ion battery PDQ.
     
  10. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    And then find they are actually no better, or are identical to much cheaper items. If you actually look closely at them, many of a number of brands are all made in Belgium, almost certainly in the same factory on the same production lines. I usually buy "Aerocell" nowadays, Lidl own brand, £1.99 for a pack of 8. Made in Germany, almost certainly identical to the far more expensive Varta brand. I avoid Chinese made one use cells as much as I can though.
     
  11. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The FinePix S2 Pro used a Lithium battery for some functions and AAs for others (one was digital functions and the other camera functions but I can't remember which was which). I modified a battery grip to fit so I could use 8 AAs in two sets, neither lasted very long.
     
  12. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    Does it matter, in fact my D910 lasts so long I can't remember.
     
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    It would certainly matter if the AAs only lasted a few hundred images but if they can give thousands or more probably not. My comment was based on the F5's ability to eat through a set of batteries very quickly, obviously Nikon have improved their power management since 1996.
     
  14. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    As an aside, I had a Pentax X-5 that got through Alkaline AAs at that rate. Four at a time. :eek:
     
  15. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The F5 used eight AAs and they could be flattened in an afternoon at a wedding Or other event, I carried a spare battery holder pre-loaded, the AAs weren’t easily extracted. However the Olympus OM4 could eat a pair of SR44s in an hour or so if it developed the well documented circuit fault.

    Modern cameras are much better at power management but batteries have come a long way too. I had AA Ni-Cd cells at one point and they were little better than disposable ones, worse as they aged. The latest Ni-Mh cells comfortably out perform some disposable cells and keep doing so over many charge cycles. Li-ion cells are really good but they do need to be maintained, Ni-Mh can be ignored for months with no ill effects.
     
  16. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I looked up the SB-N5. It’s enormous compared to my Panasonic VEK0V37Z1-A, but has the advantage of being able to bounce. And it’s much smaller and lighter than most flashguns. But it’s shown with a special mount, presumably only for Nikon-1 cameras. I suppose it’s too much to hope for that Nikon made a version with a conventional hot shoe mount, that might work with mainstream Nikon cameras that lack a built-in flash, such as a Nikon Z7?

    Chris
     
  17. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I think you are out of luck there. There is an adaptor to use ordinary flashguns with the 1 series cameras, but not vice versa.
     
  18. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for confirming that.

    Chris
     
  19. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    There is an adaptor to use ordinary flashguns with some of the 1 series cameras. The 1J5 has a built in flash and no facility to attach or connect anything else.
     
  20. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    I think the 1 series is something Nikon would like to forget about.
    It is a shame, because they had the ability to really do something good.
    I had considered a slave flash with my 1J5, but sold the camera after a year anyway - now we just have to wait for the Z series to come down to the price of the 1 series

    All together now.....hold your …..no, on second thoughts, forget about holding your breath:D
     

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