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Battery Pack for Nikon SB-800

Craig Rainbolt , Jun 27, 2005; 12:42 p.m.

What is the best external battery pack to use with the SB-800 to get rid of recycle time when shooting sports?


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Ellis Vener , Jun 27, 2005; 12:57 p.m.

Full size Quantum Turbo,

Dyna-Light Jackrabbit

30 watt Digital Camera Battery

Eric Friedemann , Jun 27, 2005; 01:35 p.m.

You want a "high-voltage pack" like the ones Ellis mentions. These packs give fast recycling times, which make them worthwhile. Also, the cords for these packs plug into a flash's high-voltage terminal and don't require you to modify the battery compartment door, which is a pain in the a$$.

Lex Jenkins , Jun 27, 2005; 01:46 p.m.

Ellis, I'm assuming Nikon's recommendations for cool-off periods between multiple full power pops still apply regardless of whether an external battery pack is used, correct?

Shourya Ray , Jun 27, 2005; 01:54 p.m.

Ellis, I'm assuming Nikon's recommendations for cool-off periods between multiple full power pops still apply regardless of whether an external battery pack is used, correct?

Yes. I think the quantum documentation warns you not to exceed a certain number of pops between cooling off periods for the flash.

Ellis Vener , Jun 27, 2005; 04:06 p.m.

Yes unless you just don't care about longevity of your gear -- sometimes longevity is a valid concern and sometimes not.

Rich Taylor - Mequon, WI , Jun 28, 2005; 11:32 a.m.

I'd recommend the Quantum Turbo 2x2 over the Turbo. Check the specs (www.qtm.com). It's recycle time is the same as the Turbo, but it is lighter, offers more flashes per charge, and you have the option of also powering your camera.

Another option is the Turbo Compact, depending on your needs. It weighs a scant 1 pound and attaches to the bottom of the camera. You can use it to power camera, flash, or both. It's not as powerful as either of the other Turbos, but very convenient and handy to have as a spare power source.

Lex Jenkins , Jun 28, 2005; 08:32 p.m.

Thanks. That'll give me something to ponder when deciding whether to add a belt pack. If I limit my use to fill flash I probably won't have to worry as much. If I anticipate needing more I guess I'll have to consider Metz or something else.

Frank Skomial , Jun 29, 2005; 12:38 a.m.

Why don't you just consider external battery packs from Nikon, as described in the SB-800 Instruction Manual. None of them provides direct high voltage to the SB-800. They provide recycle time 2 seconds if used at full power, or faster in auto or fractional power.

It is not clear if SB-800 would take direct high voltage input, like the older Nikon flashes or other bands, e.g. Sunpak (circa 330 Volts was used in older flashes for direct input). Even if that is allowed though, low voltage supply would be necessary as well to power the internal SB-800 electronics. The external power pack would need to have low and high voltage dual batteries, and extended electronics. The gain would be down to 1 second recycling, possibly shorterning the life of the Xenon tube. I have not seen this kind of battery pack yet for SB-800.

When internal low voltage power is used ( 4 x AA), the 3 pin input to the socket on the SB-800 is cut off. I guess that could be possible if the left pin, the mosty recessed pin in the socket would accept high voltage, in addition to internal, or external low voltage on one of the other pin (out of the 3).

Shun Cheung , Jun 29, 2005; 12:57 a.m.

When I use 2300 mAh NiMH rechargables, with the 5th battery option, I can get 3-second recycle times after full-power blasts from the SB-800. I think that is a good alternative since there is no additional power cord from the flash to deal with.

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