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11-13-2011, 09:07 AM   #1
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Need recommendation for flash external power pack

I desperately need some guidance and recommendations for a flash external power pack. I use a Sigma EF 610 DG Super as my primary flash and a (repaired) Pentax AF 540 as backup so ideally I'd find something that accommodates interchangeable power cords. Been reading up on this issue but not finding anything helpful.

The Sigma does not have any inputs -- something I failed to take into account when I made a panic purchase after the AF 540 died the week before a shoot. I'm wondering if those battery pack cords with connector ends that slip into the flash's battery compartment, replacing the 4 AAs, would work (assuming the right configuration is even available ). I'm fine leaving the battery door open while shooting so that's not an issue. What's most important to me is being able to shoot a lot longer without changing batteries or even better, not having to schlep around with 36 of those suckers.

I've been looking at the lower priced Quantums, like the QB1 or 1+ but it's not clear to me that Quantum produces cords compabitable with either of these flashes.

Any information, suggestions, recommendations, ideas, etc. would be greatly appreciated.


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11-13-2011, 02:04 PM   #2
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This isn't a troubleshooting question- going to go ahead and move it to the flash section so that the flash experts will see it

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11-13-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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You could get a power pack tr-3 for the at 540. Perhaps sell the sigma and buy another better 540 secondhand. Even if you did leave the door open and find a AA battery adapter you still need to hold the adapter in the compartment for it to make contact. You might find the reliability of such a setup questionable, if it is that important I'd get the proper equipment.
11-13-2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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Do you want the external pack for longer life or for faster recycle times?

11-13-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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IMHO, low voltage (essentially replacing the internal battery power supply) is not worth the hassle. Good rechargeable AA batteries give you as short flash cycle time as you can get. A low voltage external power supply gives you more shots, but not necessarily shorter cycle time.

So forget about Quantum QB1 or QB1+, or anything that does not supply high voltage.

Best option IMHO: get rid of the Sigma, then buy a Pentax 540. Get a Quantum Turbo (the classic that uses SLA battery) and a Quantum CN3 cable (+ another one for backup if you have the means). The Quantum Turbo is heavy, but costs less and is the easiest to maintain.

In term of cost, a used Quantum Turbo with new SLA cell costs about $150 + shipping. The Quantum CN3 cable is about $50 new (used is difficult to find, unless you're lucky).

Pentax TR Power Pack III is also an option, but I prefer Quantum Turbo for a few reasons: (1) the Quantum gives you better cycle time (1.5 sec full-power vs. 5 sec from the TR-III), (2) You can use the Quantum with other flash units, just buy the appropriate cable, and (3) the TR-III is out of stock from most stores.

BTW, a full charge of the Quantum Turbo lasts about 400 full-power shots of the Pentax 540. If you use p-TTL or Auto mode, you can easily get thousands of shots.

Please check your PM.

Last edited by SOldBear; 11-13-2011 at 03:45 PM.
11-14-2011, 04:27 AM   #6
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Power pack for Sigma + AF 540

I'm looking for longer battery life rather than faster flash recycling. Most of the events I shoot (large affairs held in reception halls) run 5-7 hours and my primary concern is flash batteries conking out at the most inconvienent moments.

Good point about the unreliability of having to keep the battery door open on the Sigma, but then that makes me wonder, how do cables like this Quantum (image attached) remain secure?

Truth be told, I actually prefer the Sigma to the Pentax. I find I'm getting consistently better exposures with the Sigma's P-TTL (then again, I haven't been using the Pentax very much since the repair). Still on the fence about what to do.
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11-14-2011, 02:00 PM   #7
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Can you use multiple flashes?
I used to bundle 2 or more flashes.
One flash 1/1 power gives 400 shoots
Two flashes 1/2 power gives 8-900 shoots
And so on.

Also depends on reflection surface, or umbrella, or placement of the light source/flashes relative to subject, i can manage even lower power output. My fav setting is at least 1/4 power so i can shoot at least 3-4 frames before i have to wait for recycle. When circumstances allowed, 1/8 power, with 6 secs recycle time, i can shoot almost freely. I put once 4 flashes in one spot and fire the whole evening.
06-25-2013, 02:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
Can you use multiple flashes?
I used to bundle 2 or more flashes.
One flash 1/1 power gives 400 shoots
Two flashes 1/2 power gives 8-900 shoots
And so on.

Also depends on reflection surface, or umbrella, or placement of the light source/flashes relative to subject, i can manage even lower power output. My fav setting is at least 1/4 power so i can shoot at least 3-4 frames before i have to wait for recycle. When circumstances allowed, 1/8 power, with 6 secs recycle time, i can shoot almost freely. I put once 4 flashes in one spot and fire the whole evening.
NECRO ! YAY!


Could you go into a little more detail about your flash placement for events?

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