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Author Topic: Rechargeable AA batteries for 645DF  (Read 3056 times)
jonwyatt
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« on: September 04, 2013, 03:04:05 AM »
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Hi - I've been experimenting with using rechargeable AA batteries on my DF body. Can I ask if anyone out there is using them successfully. I remember reading on this forum that Sanyo Eneloops were working with other Phase One kit but having bought some  - they're not working. Phase One moderators have said via their forum that it is likely due to the fact that the batteries output is 1.2 volt, not the 1.5v of alkaline AA's... But all rechargeable AA's by their nature are 1.2v....

And yes maybe I should get a rechargeable Li-ion insert but the price is so ridiculous that I'd really like to understand first why regular rechargeables won't work. And yes I'm setting CF-04 to '1' for rechargeables.
Anyone with any info they can share?

Thanks!

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LDJ
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 03:09:16 AM »
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Hi

The DF body quite possibly has different power requirements, but I have no problems at all using standard eneloop batteries in my Mamiya AFD II.

LJ
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kdphotography
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 06:42:23 AM »
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If you're using AAs in your AF/AFD/DF body, I'd recommend using the Energizer Lithium AAs.  They last much longer and are lighter.  Especially with earlier iterations of this body, the lithium AAs handle the power drain without a hiccup. Power drain really wasn't addressed until the most recent generations of this body.

If you're using a MFDB with your body, I would not use rechargeable AAs.  Use the Energizer Lithium AAs.  The rechargeable EJJI or Phase Lithium insert is definitely the best solution and a worthwhile upgrade.  The body and MFDB are much more reliable platforms with the Energizer Lithium AAs, and better yet with the rechargeable EJJI or Phase insert.

Ken
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 08:17:29 AM »
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If you're using AAs in your AF/AFD/DF body, I'd recommend using the Energizer Lithium AAs.  They last much longer and are lighter.  Especially with earlier iterations of this body, the lithium AAs handle the power drain without a hiccup. Power drain really wasn't addressed until the most recent generations of this body.

If you're using a MFDB with your body, I would not use rechargeable AAs.  Use the Energizer Lithium AAs.  The rechargeable EJJI or Phase Lithium insert is definitely the best solution and a worthwhile upgrade.  The body and MFDB are much more reliable platforms with the Energizer Lithium AAs, and better yet with the rechargeable EJJI or Phase insert.

Ken


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Steve Hendrix
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Steve Hendrix
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Paul2660
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 09:40:33 AM »
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I have always used the eneloop by Sanyo, AA Nihm rechargeable.  Never had any problems.  The Lithium AA's also work, but still tend to be used up pretty quickly, at least in my usage.  I have used this solution in my 2.5 year old DF and the AFDIII before it.  Most days I needed 2 sets to make through a full day.  I never had any issues with the 28mm, 35mm, 45mm, 80mm, 50mm Shift, 105-210, 210mm or the 150D. 

There was a firmware upgrade as I recall to the DF that allowed it to work better with the Nihm batteries.  Before this upgrade the camera did not give a very good warning before the power was too low.  Also the Eneloops hold a very good power curve.

Best Charger is the Maha 8 cell. It will charge up a set of 8 in about 10 minutes or less. 

Since I moved to a Tech camera in late 2011, I still use the DF for occasional testing and keep a set of the eneloops in the camera at all times since the shutter won't close without power. 

Not saying Li is bad, just saying rechargeable AA of the right brand work fine.  I am still using the same eneloops from 2 years ago.  I condition them once every 3 months or so in the Maha charger.  I also use them in my D800 Grip pretty much daily and never have had any issues.

Paul Caldwell



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jonwyatt
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 12:53:05 AM »
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Thanks all for the replies. Maybe I should have said that in the past I've always used Energiser Lithium AA's as I do a lot of shooting in cold climates - so agree that they're the best of the AA's.

And yes I'm sure the Ejji or Li-ion batteries are the preferred solutions....

But I'm currently doing some work that only requires light usage of the body and invested in the Eneloops only to find the body won't even power up....

My body firmware was updated about 6 mths ago so should be ok....?

Guess I'm just old fashioned in that when the manual says it'll work with rechargeables, I expect it to do just that. I thought it might cause a few issues but as the usage at the moment is light I wanted to give it a try.

Thanks paul2660 for at least confirming that your body is working with Eneloops.

Does anyone have any other ideas why my DF body won't power on with any rechargeable AA's?

Jon
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Paul2660
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 08:26:46 AM »
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Jon:

I am not sure why yours won't power up with the eneloops.  But here are a few things to consider.

Nimh AA do tend to be 1.2 volts and the non rechargeable AA, Alkaline or Lithium are 1.5 volts.  Phase One/Mamiya may have tweaked the firmware to only see the 1.5 Voltage but that is doubtful.  My DF is one of the original ones first shipped when users were offered to upgrades from the AFDIII to the DF body.  I have sent it into Phase One/Mamiya for firmware upgrades twice the last time about 1 year ago so I am more than likely not using the most current firmware.   Also make sure all the eneloops are making the correct contact in the holder as I have made mistakes here either putting one in upside down or slightly out of line and either way it's not making the correct contact.

My DF works with either the eneloops, (any other Nimh rechargeables for that matter, the eneloops are more stable IMO over time).    The only other thing might be the charger you are using.  If you are using the stock eneloop charger, odds are you are not getting the best charge.  I use the Maha MHC801D by far one of the best on the market.  Now it may have been replaced by a more current model but there will be something like it my Maha.  This is an 8 cell charger and offers several different settings.  Charge, condition and deep charge when the batteries have not been used for a long time.  The Maha charger IMO is the best for this type of work. Cost is about 78.00 U.S.

I tried to find the user manual on the old DF on the Phase One site, and did locate it.  I have not finished the download.  The key is to find what Phase One states the voltage is.  If they have listed 1.5 volt, then they have covered this base.  If they list 1.2 volts (as all the rechargeable AA) then it should work. 

I know that there were a ton of issues with the AFDIII and then the DF with rechargeable AA's.  Until I read about the eneloops on another forum, I never had a good solution and had to use the Lithium versions.  With the eneloops I have had no issues for at least 2 years. 

If the DF you purchased was through a dealer, I would check back with them and or a Phase One refurb.  If it was a third part purchase it may be a bit tougher. 

You also can consider the new Lithium pack Phase One now sells for the DF (ships standard with the DF+).  This is a rechargeable pack that fits in the grip and pretty much lasts for a full days shooting.  Not cheap but works. 

Hope you get a working solution.

Paul Caldwell
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jonwyatt
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 04:38:34 AM »
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Thanks for the reply Paul. The Eneloop batteries are working fine in other kit but Phase One have suggested they are not making a correct contact hence no power up at all. I'll keep experimenting with this and report back.
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Raul_82
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 12:57:37 AM »
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I realize that it is kind of expensive, but the Ejji 10k battery can help you in getting rid of using AA's, and it seems well regarded. I was planning to get one but I got used to the V-grip and now i can't shoot without it.
AA batteries were always a problem for me, i felt that the already unreliable AF from the DF got even more erratic as the batteries were close to die. I never confirmed that with a proper test, but I was very suspicious about it.
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pedro39photo
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 04:04:49 AM »
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My god a 6000$ camera powered by AA batteries...!!!
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Paul2660
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 08:11:59 AM »
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Remember, both the DF and DF+ now have a Li-ion solution.  The DF+ ships with the new pack standard and you can purchase the pack for use with the DF.  Overall it's the best solution.  If I used my DF more often I would have purchased one a long time ago.    I had hoped that Phase One would offer the same upgrade price/path for DF users to the DF+ as they did on the AFDIII to the DF, but so far that has not happened.

I view the ability to use AA's as an excellent option.  Depending on where you are shooting, you may not be able to charge up the Li-ion pack, but you will almost always find AA's for sale. 

I use AA's in my Nikon grip since Nikon allows you to keep on Li-ion in the camera and the grip can contain AA's or LI-ion.  Canon forces you to either all AA or all Li-ion when the grip is used. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 10:43:17 AM »
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Also note that sometimes rechargeable AA's are just ever-so-slightly different in size than specification alkaline batteries (we're talking fractions of a mm here).  If you look at the design of the AA holder on the DF/DF+ (and previous Mamiya/Phase bodies) you can see that the positive lead (the "nub") of the AA that goes through the hole in the plastic holder must make contact with the connection inside the DF/DF+.  If the AA is longer than normal, even by a tiny bit, that fit causes the plastic of the grip to ben upward and hit the inside of the gip, preventing a flush fit.

I'm with the above posters who recommend the Phase One Li-Ion battery. I know it's a pricey battery, but relative to doing AA batteries it's easier, faster, more reliable, and lasts much longer.
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jonwyatt
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 09:23:34 PM »
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Just to sign off this thread. I am now happily using rechargeable AA's in my DF body - I think the problem was highlighted above by Doug who pointed out the fractional size difference between various batteries.
I'm using Sanyo Eneloops. One of the batteries in particular if it is not placed precisely in the holder can lead to no connection & a dead body. I know it's kind of nuts buts when I jiggle it or even swap batteries (even crazier as they are both equally fully charged) I can get it to work. Then I have no problems for ages.

Sure if you're a studio shooter it's a crap solution but at the moment I'm doing a lot of travelling in remoter parts of the globe, and rechargeable AA's are a great solution due to availability of power (I'm not THAT remote). And yes I'll probably get an Ejji or phase solution in the future but for now the rechargeables are just fine.

Jon w
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2013, 12:27:55 AM »
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Try Poergenix PowerEx Zinc base batteries.
most rechargable at 1.2+ volts, but not 1.5 as Alks are. PowerGenix are 1.6. Make sure your device is OK with a touch more volts. These are great for portable flashes.  I didn't get a long life use out of them, but I do remember them working well when they did. This was a couple years back, so maybe they have improved.
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2013, 01:47:18 AM »
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Always pick recharheables from
Minimum 2200mha, and you have to change in your body firmware the menue to rechargeble batteries for it to work correctly.. Check manual..

I
Use 2800mha bateties works like a charm
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julienlanoo
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2013, 01:54:10 AM »
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And AA,s had historically a reason: this being you can always buy more where eva you are.. ( when using film), now its a bit annoying ...
They should standerdize that, with for instance the same batteries as your DB ( VGRIP
Hood idea only large and expensive)...

Actually about the V grip, who
Makes that? As for instance the L-bracket arca mount for the DF, is made by Arca, when you buy it with "Arca " written on it its half the price than when you buy it with "Phase One " written on it..
So who makes the V grip might be the same storry ...
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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2013, 10:42:19 AM »
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I purchased a pack of 3500 LENMARS, and a 2700 pack. Out of the 2500 I had a bad battery. It heated up in my flash and ruined my Speedlite. This happened just a couple weeks ago. I wonder if LENMAR is a brand that backs up their product. I have used them for some time, and they are usually very good. But I have not contacted them yet. I have used Energizer and Duracel rechargables also.

I would recommend getting a good charger. I have a MAha c801d 8 AA/AAA charger. it can actual revivie a dead cell. Have slow and condition options. I think the battteries last longer using a slow charge, so they dont heat up too much.
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