F5 rechargeables

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Blighty, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Fellow Apuggers,
    A good while ago, I saw this link http://www.enough-energy.com/english.shtml. It's an after market Nimh adaptor that can be used in place of the (frankly, extortionate) Nikon Nimh battery pack. I emailed the bloke ages ago re: prices, shipping etc. but didn't get a reply. Has anyone out there used one? Have you any idea how much they cost (roughly)? Is the guy still trading? Your answers, as always, greatly appreciated. Regards, B.
     
  2. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    I've never used one but I have to tell you, I use the rechargable "AA" batteries and then set the custom setting switch for rechargeables, thus far I've shot a wedding (as a guest) and just 100's of shots. Still on FULL. I can't get over it. I don't need anymore weight added to the camera.
     
  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Using rechargeable AAs you top out at 7.5 fps film advance (perhaps slower due to the lower total voltage versus lithium or alkaline cels; my F90 was significantly slower with rechargeables but I've not run them in my F5). With the Nikon NiMH battery pack there are extra cells to bump the voltage back up, so you get 8 fps.

    This may not matter. 7.5 fps is still pretty fast.

    I've just settled on lithium AAs. They are very expensive but the lifespan is long (I get a year on them with my shooting habits). They also weigh significantly less than other forms of AA battery.
     
  4. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    The F5 rechargeable NiMH packs haven't been available new for several years new. Too, they used non-standard cells and so are not easily re-celled. These supposedly used 10 cells, not 9.

    Having made one myself, I can say that the 9th cell idea really doesn't work sufficiently better than not, in that the battery contacts are jammed in between two normal cells in a normal loose 8 cell tray. This compromises reliability because the arrangement is subject to bouncing the cells out of place in normal handling and transport. And I don't believe it really worked to speed up the motor, since there is a different array of sensing pins used for different voltages with the rechargeable NiMH packs and the 12V battery-eliminator plugs than with the standard alkaline AA battery tray.

    What the 9th cell was alleged to do was improve the too-short interval between recharges. The voltage sensing pins in the body contacting the battery tray was looking for a higher voltage than it was reading from NiMH (which are 1.35VDC each when topped off, rather than 1.5VDC with alkalines) This has the effect of prematurely shutting the camera down with a low voltage indication when it was still really in a good state of charge, when used with 8 rechargeables.

    A better solution for me than the 9th cell was keeping my NiMH topped off with a fast charger, with spares on hand and an Energizer 15 minute charger back in the truck for extended shooting sessions.

    Another thing that lowered the amperage draw and extended the interval between low voltage shutdowns was keeping the lens mount and bayonet squeaky clean on my 200-400VR. Whenever it was dirty the F5 shutdown issue was severe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2009
  5. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Be very very wary of after-market cells. Maybe they'll work...maybe they won't. Maybe your camera will be fried, maybe it won't. You feel lucky, punk?

    Can't speak to 7.5 fps vs. 8 but honestly -- if you can't get it in FIVE, let alone 7 or 8 then the problem isn't the camera.

    From almost 20 years of newspaper shooting, during which time I've shot a few sporting events...at least 75% of the time you nail the moment in the first frame anyway.

    Given all this, you're far better off buying rechargable AA-cells. Just as environmentally friendly, absurdly easy to replace in case of problems and guaranteed to fit. Seems like all positives/no downside to me.
     
  6. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I do find 7.5 fps to be really useful, actually... but (interestingly to me) I rarely shoot more than 2-3 in a row at that speed. Subtle differences in expression can occur that can really make a big difference, and with the higher framerate you have a higher chance of catching the right moment.

    It amuses me that I could shoot a roll of 36 in 3.5 seconds but I see no practical use in it. I'm sure one could construct a situation, but I've never run into one.
     
  7. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    Agreed, it's the interval between 2 and 3 frame bursts being shortened by 8 fps that's so very useful. Too, pro cameras like the F5 have a very short mirror/shutter lag, which really helps nail the decisive moment and the first in a burst usually captures that moment best. But I'd also offer that in slower paced situations, shooting handlheld with long VR teles at speeds that were once unthinkable, it's frequently the frame in the middle of a burst that's tack sharp.