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12-14-2015, 04:59 PM   #1
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Battery Life

This winter I have noticed a marked decline in battery life in the field. Doing a Google search I found this link Advantages & Limitations of the Lithium-ion Battery - Battery University which says:
" Aging is a concern with most lithium-ion batteries and many manufacturers remain silent about this issue. Some capacity deterioration is noticeable after one year, whether the battery is in use or not. The battery frequently fails after two or three years. It should be noted that other chemistries also have age-related degenerative effects. This is especially true for nickel-metal-hydride if exposed to high ambient temperatures. At the same time, lithium-ion packs are known to have served for five years in some applications."

I have not had my batteries for five years, more like two or maybe three years years. I use mostly Wasabi batteries with one or two original Pentax batteries in the mix. Amazon.com : Wasabi Power Battery for Pentax D-LI90 and Pentax 645D, 645Z, K-01, K-3, K-5, K-5 II, K-5 IIs, K-7 : Digital Camera Batteries : Camera & Photo

I am going to try ordering some of the Watson Batteries from B&H Watson D-Li90 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 1800mAh) B-3704

I do a lot of wildlife photography shooting in continuous mode. This winter has not been especially cold but when the temperature gets to the high 30's to low 40's the batteries die fast. I shoot with the battery grip and usually need to take about 4 or 5 batteries with me on a cool day to get three hours of shooting.

Should two to three years be the life expectancy of the Li90 battery?

That's the thing about photography, there is always something else to consider

12-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #2
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Heat can also damage Li-Ion batteries, so the type of charger used can make a difference. The Wasabi charger is quicker than the Pentax OEM, but the batteries get noticeably hotter while charging.

That said, all my three-year-old OEM batteries are still going strong. My Wasabis don't seem to get quite as many shots, but they don't get as many turns in the rotation, so they may still be breaking in.
12-14-2015, 05:52 PM   #3
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I have 3 D-L190 batteries that will be 4 years old now and are still going fine. They have probably lost some capacity but its not really noticeable. I use the standard Pentax charger and would not want a faster charger as I would expect a faster battery degradation.
12-14-2015, 06:26 PM   #4
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Indeed, I have been using the Wasabi charger - I really appreciate the help here. I will be ordering some replacement batteries and will be careful no to use the Wasabi or other fast charger. Yes, for sure something new I learned. Thank you for your help.

12-14-2015, 06:31 PM   #5
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There are so many variables with batteries. But probably the most prominent one for all battery types is the number of charge-discharge cycles. Unfortunately this is not a strong point of Lithium Ion batteries. Good NiCd batteries are the best in this regard, but of course are seldom used in modern electronics because of the low capacity. Also fast charging will reduce the life of batteries and as mentioned above, overheating will as well. Also I am discovering that quality is a major issue, I am leery of really cheap batteries.

I have several "Power2000" brand batteries that seem to be up to par with the first party batteries and Adorama seems to have a good selection of them.
12-14-2015, 06:39 PM   #6
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I just ordered 5 new batteries Watson D-Li90 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.4V, 1800mAh) B-3704

I will only use the Pentax charger. The fast charger only goes to prove - there is no free lunch.
12-14-2015, 07:28 PM   #7
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Gentle charging, and running though deep cycles every now and again, seem to be the keys to a long battery life.
12-14-2015, 08:50 PM   #8
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The two original Pentax batteries bought with the K10 camera and the grip were holding their charges fine after nearly 8 years. Google Wasabi batteries and see if they are more prone to aging than other brands.

12-14-2015, 10:25 PM   #9
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I just got a Watson D-Li90 for my K3. I notice that it says when storing the battery for an extended time, store it at about 40% power, to increase the life of it. It also says usage 15 degrees, and not above 105 degrees.

I also am charging it in my Pentax charger.
12-15-2015, 08:23 AM   #10
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When I return from outings I usually recharge my batteries. They are probably lower than 40%. Does anyone have a recommendation about charging them and then storing or storing them fairly depleted and then charging before an outing? Thanks
12-15-2015, 08:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
When I return from outings I usually recharge my batteries. They are probably lower than 40%. Does anyone have a recommendation about charging them and then storing or storing them fairly depleted and then charging before an outing? Thanks
As I mentioned, Watson recommends storing for extended times at 40%; rather than fully charged. If you are using them frequently, I wouldn't think it would matter much.
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