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CONTAX N POWER AND ALL THAT

hi guys, i am new here...and thought i would give you some info on my limited N experiences..i know it is to late now,but the guy in charge of choosing AA batts for such a beast as the N,should have been fired years ago..
as soon as i got my cameras,i knew i would have a problem..
i am a technical idiot,so i took my camera to an electronic boffin..
he stated that the power supply was a problem...a drain range of 2oo ma to a whooping 1.6a...so basically,what is happening in some cameras is because of the high drain,you get a drop in voltage leading to banding...camera shutting down etc,etc...

the AA cells in combination with a very dumb charger...and you will have problems...
my solutions are these....
the best compact AA battery charger in the world is the
la crosse rs 900 ...a very inteligent french charger...
i got mine from..
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this will tell you if each battery cell is up to the job...
the other fantastic, external batt is the digipower dps9000..
al battery the size of a packet of 10 cigarettes,that screws on the base of the camera..if you buy in the states,it comes with a tiny box adptor for some fuji cameras..the box is called a dp5v..it is a regulated 7.2 to 5.2 adaptor...works a treat..
i also have a digicom xtreme,this is an external batt,the size of a packet of 20 cigarettes,and it is amazing 4000mah... it has various different regulated voltage settings,i use mine on 5.5v.
i am now up to 440 images and the battery lcd still says full power..
both of these batts,plug into the external power supply socket on the side of camera...i usually put some tape across,to stop the lead coming out..
these items turn up on ebay.com and i think are a very cheap alternative...to quantum,digital power etc..
sorry if any of this info is old ....happy shooting
alan
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Alan,

thanks for this information. The battery consumption of the ND is an often heard problem. Since our first ND postings in summer 2002 in this forum, many things have changed/improved.

The battery issue can be separated in 3 different problem areas:

1. The batteries themselves
2. The charger for the batteries
3. The ND itself

Since it is unlikely that we can change anything on an ND, we have to focus on the other 2 "drivers".

Batteries:

I have seen already batteries with 2600 mAh, but they are expensive and according to tests of German magazines, they do not hold 2600, they often deliver only maximum 2400. So what is written on paper is not always what you get.

On the psoitive side, there are for ex&le already NiMH batteries available with 2400 mAh for around 10 Euro (pack of 4 Ansmann photo 2400 mAh rechargable batteries) brand new at ebay. Those batteries have been tested in Germany from different magazines and got excellent ratings (i.e. Stiftung Warentest 1/2005). They deliver really the 2400mAh even after been recharged 40x times.

Chargers:

The other issue is the charger itself. We all like to save time and charge quickly. But I was shocked to read in different tests, that those fast chargers are not good if you want to use your batteries very often. The life cycle seems to shorten dramatically, if you use fast chargers with 15m - 1 hour charge time for a set of 2400mAh batteries...

In fact the tester recommended to use "normal" chargers, which need 3-6 hours to charge a set of four 2400mAh batteries. Batteries would last a lot longer with these chargeres and the batteries would also get charged more efficient (i.e. up to 100%). With fast chargers, very often the charging capacity decreases over the first 20 charging cycles down to 70% or lower. Also because of the heat, it is more risky that batteries get overheated - even if a "cooler" is implemented.

It should be a charer for NimH batteries, it should have enough power for the nwer generation of batteries and it should have an automatic detect functionality, so that it shuts down, if batteries are full. There are some featureas like keeping the capacity always at 100% while beeing in that charger etc. which are very useful, but not every charger has this...

So it seems that with an ND, which really takes a lot of battery power, you have to find te right combination of batteries and chargers. As a good charger (normal speed), the Ansmann Powerline 4 traveller 4 (with different adapters for different countries, ca. 50 Euros) has won several tests (i.e Stiftung Warentest 6/2003). And every charger with the same specs on paper does not deliver the same results by the way. Same with the batteries. So it was very interesting for me to find all this out with those tests...

Improvement from 2002 to 2005:

I have no clou how much the performance differ between the Contax ND packaged items (1700mAh Sanyo batteries with the Sanyo quick charger) from the Ansmann products mentioned above. According to the comments of the other ND users, it seems already a lot different even with 2000mAh batteries of other manufacturers. This does not mean that the anyo batteries are bad. It only shows, how much battery technology improved over the last 3 years at no or small cost.

If you bought an ND for i.e. 7.500 USD in 2002 and you can improve significantly battery life with investing i.e. 100 USD on the whole, this is great news I think
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Batteries really aren't as big an issue now. I secured 3 extra battery holders (total 4) and with 2500 mAh units in the camera it's pretty good. Recently Irakly showed me 3000 mAh units, so the power keeps improving. I found that 2500 lasted much more than twice as long as the original batteries ... which are a joke now, and I use them for fill flash work.

I also recommend getting the type of charger that can empty the battery before recharging, then trickle charge indefinitely.

It should be noted that this is one of the few Digital cameras that is actually pretty safe to shoot on jpg setting. I shot an entire vacation on jpeg and didn't loose a single shot to overexposed highlights. It just seems to have more latitude than my other cameras (5D, 1DsMKII). The only other camera that does a similar job is the Leica DMR, which I also use. So, using jpg the battery issue just about disappears, and you can review in the LCD.

I may have to sell all the N gear in the near future. It's a luxury in the face of the new Leica DMR and 5D which combined cost me an arm and both of my legs. But it won't be because it can't make beautiful images, that's for sure. Hmmm, maybe business will pick-up even more and I can avoid selling this wonderful system.
 
i have just taken another,60 shots..mixture of raw and some tiffs...
and my little digicom xtreme 4000mah...stills says full power...
that is close to 500 shots...i got this off ebay in the states...39 us dollars..i will tell you when it dies...but for such a tiny cheap battery,it is pretty impressive.can also be used with video cameras...
thanks for the comments guys..
marc,i think your shot of the root cellar rusted door,is fantastic...lovely tonality.wow.
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Alan,

on the photos of that battery pack, the whole item looks quite big and heavy. Can you make a comparison in terms of weight and size vs. the battery-slide within the ND filled with batteries? Is it a lot bigger and heavier?

How dangerous is it to damage the power input device when having the cable all the time in it? I know from other electronic items, that as soon as you use this too often and push it a little bit, the connection can break. Any experience with this so far with the ND?

Thanks in advance
 

dirk

CI-Founder
@ Marc

"...I may have to sell all the N gear in the near future...."

no, no, no. I am sure I can speak here for many poeple, we do not not allow you to sell your N-gear. We will fight for every N-user to keep this system alive


I would love to announce good news about Contax future, but it is deadly silent. Rumours about Sony cooperations pop up, but rumours are not worth a lot nowadays...
 

kdemas

Well-Known Member
I too really no longer have a battery problem as I have 3 battery carriers and I use 2500 MAh batteries. I also have a Quantim 1+, which can power the camera all day. The downside to that.... I cannot manage to keep the power cord from popping out of the camera with the Quantum cord. Any experience with cords that might work and stay in place?

Alan- That is a VERY slick little power supply!

Kent
 
i have to use a little bit of tape on connection,to body...
and this thing just goes in the shirt pocket..
quantum and digital batts are great,but to heavy and very expensive... even the custom made power leads cost a lot...
you can see the size of this thing in relation to shirt pocket..just a fraction bigger than a pack of 20 cigarettes...
if your powering flash as well go for heavy duty batts...
but for camera power, the digicom will last all day as well..
i am mainly sticking,with this now ...simply because everything seems to run better at 5.5volts,with the digicom...and as you know the ac adaptor is 5.6v...
 
well you should try try the ac adaptor,that comes with the kit...
the camera seems very happy,with that..
likewise,when i use AAs even with 2500mah cells,the camera seems a little slower,more sluggish inc focus....
for your info i put 8.2 volts through the camera,and everything worked fine..... but please do not do this.....i think 5.5volts is best for me....fast and zero problems,since using external power....
 
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