Battery Problems with ND

se_kp_sg

Member
Hi everyone. I had just acquired a demo ND in very good condition. But the battery seemed to be sucked of its life everytime the camera is left alone for a couple of days. I have not been able to shoot beyond 30 images in JPEG1. Is there something wrong with the set or is this the usual life-span of the batteries. Does it mean that I have to remove the battery when not using the camera even only for a few hours? Thanks for helping.
 
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kaisern

>=20 >=20 >=20 > [The original battery charger has a low capacity output so it sends the > current to the battery too slow and the battery never got fully charged u= p > before the timer cuts it. You may need to find a higher capacity charger= , > higher capacity battery =AD may be 2,000-2,100 mAh, then you should be fine= . My > ND can last 300-400 shots of Jpeg1 with a fresh set of 2000mAh battery, a= nd I > have been receiving consistent result over the 10,000 shots already made = with > ND. Regards, kaisern] >=20 >=20 >=20
 

se_kp_sg

Member
What about the problem of battery drain when the camera is not in used?

When I leave the batteries in the camera unused in the drybox, the batteries would be totally unusable after a couple of days.

Do you remove the batteries so that it won't be drained, or this problem doesn't exist in your camera?

I also realised that no matter what shutter speed you shoot at, the mirror stays open for the same duration of time! That is, the mirror stays up for the same duration whether I am shootin at 1/8000 or 1/60! Anyone with similar experience? Thanks Chen.
 

photohag

Member
The battery and charger that came with the ND are of low quality. I recommend buying a new set of batteries and charger. I have had great luck with Lenmar 2300mah and Powerex Maha rated 2200mah. Here's a link to the Maha's:
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fotografz

Well-Known Member
Se, The batteries and charger that came with the camera are a joke. Use them to power a flash or one of your childrens' toys.

I use the Powerex 2200 Mih rated batteries and their charger (bought from the site mentioned above). Look to see if they have the version of the charger that "refreshes" (they offer two kinds, but only one refreshes). I also purchased 3 extra battery holders from Contax so I don't have to waste time reloading batteries when shooting something like a wedding.

Mih batteries WILL NOT hold their charge when stored. It doesn't matter if they are in the camera or not. I recharge the night before any anticipated shoot with the ND. That's why I bought 4 chargers and 16 batteries. The Powerex carger is kind of bulky for travel, so I also use a couple of compact Panasonic BQ-390 Quick Chargers when traveling.
 

se_kp_sg

Member
Thanks Roger, Marc and Chen for the advice on the batteries.

I did purchase a new set of Sony 2100 mAh batteries, but charged then using the supplied Sanyo charger. The same thing happened. The batteries are simply dead after 2-3days in the camera.

Marc, I am using rechargeables batt in my TLA360 and never have a problem of batteries losing charge over a period of weeks. Of course, I am a light user of flash. Hence, I can't imagine why the batteries would lose charge in 2-3 days while inside ND.

My suspicion that the ND is poorly designed such that it still draws power when "turned off". If you people have been storing the ND with batteries in it while not in use, does the same thing happens? I am very curious to find out.

What about my questions on the duration the the mirror stays up? I realised that no matter what shutter speed you shoot at, the mirror stays open for the same duration of time! That is, the mirror stays up for the same duration whether I am shootin at 1/8000 or 1/60! Anyone with similar experience?
 

photohag

Member
Se, I think it's the low capacity Sanyo charger, it does not give a full charge. It makes no difference if the flash works with light use as it does not draw as much power as the camera. I have in fact taken the batteries out of the ND after they were "dead" and put them in my TLA 360 and it worked fine. I generally get about 300+ jpeg 1 shots on one set of batteries and I use auto focus and the LCD a lot.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Se, all of my Mih batteries die after some time of not using them, even when loose in a soft case made for battery storage (ie; not in the camera).

Are the rechargables in your flash (that don't die over time) Mih type or NiCads?
 
K

kaisern

>=20 >=20 >=20 > [The battery drain seemed to be more a problem on rechargeable cell than = the > regular cell, I don=B9t know it for a fact but felt it was so. In my case, > because ND is much more expensive than the usual camera so I did remove t= he > battery tray often when I don=B9t use it for awhile. For the mirror timing= , I > have no idea, I thought it should be the same regardless the shutter spee= d, > but it should be very swiftly. Regards, Kaisern] >=20 >=20 >=20
 
K

kaisern

>=20 >=20 >=20 > [he supplied charger is a bigger problem than the supplied cells. It nev= er > send enough juice to the cell before its circuit cut the power. Change t= he > charger to a higher capacity ones and the supplied cells are still of > reasonable use. Regards, Kaisern] >=20 >=20 >=20
 
D

djg

Se,

Let me add my 2 cents. As everyone has mentioned, the original charger is a joke. However I have found the batteries to be alright for their rated 1700mah when charged with a decent charger. I am currently using a Powerex MH-C401FS (great for traveling, as it's fairly compact) and their MH-C777Plus-II for more serious conditioning,

Even with the Sanyo 1700mah batteries I get over 110 shots during average shooting conditions. I had not used my camera in two weeks when I shot around 40 frames, but I just checked and it still has sufficient operating juice.

How do you have the power settings? I usually set the camera to shut off after 2 minutes of no use. If you have it set to not sleep automatically, you could be getting lots more drain than necessary.

If you're draining properly charged batteries after two days under absolute shut down conditions, either your particukar batteries have gone bad, or (Heaven forbid!) the camera is defective.

My advice:

1. Get a good charger. I got mine through

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2. Charge-discharge cycle the new Sony batteries through two or three times (I believe NiMH batteries do need to get some break-in to achieve their full capacity) then charge them over-night and try them. If you still get the abnormal drain, I would have the body checked by Contax.

As far as mirror speed, I do not notice a difference from 1/60th or faster, but do under 1/30th. It is a mechanical thinghy with much more inertia than the shutter, so it will never quite catch up after a certain speed. 1/60th = 17ms seems reasonable to me.

Enjoy your ND and learn to love it's couple of idiocyncrasies - I certainly do!

DJ
 

se_kp_sg

Member
This is really a useful forum! I just posted the problem yesterday and by today, I have all the answers!

Thanks guys!

I have no idea that a charger can make such a great different to the life-span of rechargeables. I will try to look for the recommended brands, and leave the batteries in my Contax ND when not using it, and see whether the problem still persist. If it does, I guess the set may have some bugs.

The other point I have to confirm is whether the rechargeables (1800 mAh) in my TLA360 are NiCd or NiH, since it was mentioned that NiCd has no problems holding charges but NiH has. It is quite unbelieveable that my flash is consuming less power than my ND!

Back to the mirror question. The reason I am concern with the ND mirror reflex action is because my N1 is definitely more responsive than the ND. If I use a faster shutter speed (say 1/1000) on my N1, its mirror will stay up for a shorter duration than at a lower speed (say 1/60), where the mirror stays up longer. The ND mirror reflex is that slow that I can notice the difference - it doesn't sound or feel right. Serious.
 

se_kp_sg

Member
I have checked. The batts in my TLA360 are 1800 mAh NiH too! But they last like much longer in there than my 2100 mAh batts in the ND. I will look for a better charger in the mean time.
 
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djg

Se,

How are you charging the TLA-360 batteries? Remedially, you could use the same charger, even if it means putting them in the flash.

DJ
 

se_kp_sg

Member
Thanks DJ for the advice.

Now, there is a new problem with my ND.

Why are the pictures I take have different coloured lines accross them! There are times when there a wide, black bars across them.

Is this a battery-related problem, or a memory-buffer problem, or the memory-card problem or is this inherent in ND AGAIN?

Please advice. Thanks!
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
> Hey,

My Nd has never exhibited such a problem. I would first try a different cf card. On printes, this is usually indicatative of not enough memory in the computer (banding). If the CF card does not cure the problem, sounds like bad memory in the ND.

Good luck,

Michael.
 

se_kp_sg

Member
Anyone wants to buy my ND? It seems to have too many idiosyncracies for my liking.

I am based in Singapore. I am considering letting it go for S$6000, excluding shipping or insurance.

See pictures at
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Please don't flame me for my impatience with this camera. For the price that I am paying, I expect more than what I am getting.
 
D

djg

Se,

The banding you have mentioned is not an idyosincrasy, more like a defect, as is such high battery drain. Yiu really need to get that thing looked at by Contax. Personally I would return it or exchange it if possible.

DJ
 
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kerryjapan

I agree that there are serious problems with the ND, not just the battery issue. I just spent a week using my fathers ND while on Vactation. I am not new at all to digital photograpy, (I own a Fuji S2 pro) but for the life of me I was not able to get a decent picture with the ND all week. The color balance is the most finikey adjustment on any digicam I have used... It would produce only what my father and I have begun dubbing "cadaver skin" tones, especially with the flash used. I tried every and all types of different settings and finally just left the color temp at 8200 for all settings. On top of these problems the camera consitantly underexposed by at least 1.5 EV... However, this is not too odd as my experience with Digital is that they all underexpose a bit which is preferable to blowing the highlights.

It's a shame that such a well built camera can produce such duds for pictures. I'm sure that given enough time and energy (battery problem pun fully intended)I could figure it out and get some decent output from the camera....but I don't think I should have to do that...

Sorry for rambeling and please don't flame this...this is just my opinion and I'm sure that others are having no problems at all with their NDs.
 
D

djg

Kerry,

I'll be the first to admit that the ND is no Point-And-Shoot. But it only takes 1 minute in Photoshop or any other utility that lets you adjust saturation, contrast and brightness to quickly set things aright. The color balance per se is excellent, it's just that out-of-the-box the saturation and contrast are muted.

In one literal minute you can get beautiful images. At least that has been my experience. And you will be rewarded with images that surpass anything you can get in 35mm digital format save the EOS 1Ds, IMHO.

You can get far more acceptable out-of-the-box results by using the higher chroma and contrast settings in the menu, and/or by using firmware version 1.08, which has hotter base settings to start with, but for best results with the most tonal range I use the normal firmware and settings with post-processing.

As usual, YMMV
. Cheers,

DJ
 
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