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02-25-2010, 02:28 PM   #1
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*ist DL battery problem (old news I know but I'm a noob)

Hi, I know this is my first post and I'm sorry to bring this up again since others had discussed it recently but it was actually while I was browsing this forum for info on LSD rechargeables that it started.

Anyway, long story short, I bought a 2nd hand *ist DL as a 30th birthday present to myself in the summer, and after the first set of batteries I put in (Ultimate Lithiums) ran out, I went out and bought a set of Kodak NiMH rechargeables (2500's) and a charger in Wal-Mart (uninformed decision I know) and sort of dealt with the constant recharging over Christmas until I found out about the hybrids/LSD/eneloop style batteries.

So, while waiting for the funds to become justifiably available to buy some, I recently needed my camera when we just had a new daughter. Knowing that the Kodak's probably were on their last legs, I stupidly threw in a set of 'emergency' alkalines. Depleted battery meter flashed, fair enough - I thought they were just not powerful enough so I threw in the Kodaks which held out at 1/2 charge enough to take plenty of pics of my new baby girl.

The problem was, in between I had gone and bought a new set of Ultimate Lithiums, which I thought would give me another 500+ shots like the first set, but the depleted battery warning flashed (and continues to flash). The really weird thing is, well over a week after the last charge, my Kodaks are still showing a half-full reading when I stick them in.

Am I missing something really obvoius here, or did I somehow screw up my camera by putting in the alkalines? Perhaps I just got a dodgy set of lithiums, and I'd try a new set, or some CRV3s but that would become an expensive experiment. Can someone shed some light on this before I get the eneloops? Other than this, I really love the *ist DL and I was looking forward to buying some new lenses and having fun over the summer with it. I'd hate to have to go back to film again because processing is getting to be a real hassle these days and I still have undeveloped rolls from who knows when!!

Well, sorry for retreading old ground but I appreciate any help you guys can give me!

Thanks.

02-25-2010, 06:49 PM   #2
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DL batteries

Try turning the camera off, remove the batteries and let it sit at least overnight, or longer. Then put good batteries in and try again.
02-26-2010, 07:16 AM   #3
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Thanks - luckily the camera had been already sitting without batteries since the other night when I last tried the lithiums in it. I have left them out over last night and I'll try again when I get home tonight.

Are the new Ultimate Lithiums I bought last week still considered good or should I buy a new set? They are essentially brand new as I doubt the camera has drawn much power from them in the few times I got the error message.

Also, I read somewhere in another post about cleaning the contacts with rubbing alcohol - is that something I should try before I put batteries back in again?

Fingers crossed this works, then I can buy a bunch of eneloops and get the battery issues sorted once and for all!
02-26-2010, 09:17 AM   #4
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Cleaning the battery contacts is a good idea every once in awhile. I can tell you from experience that I used Sanyo Eneloops in a *istD for a few years and that included shooting weddings (at the time it was the best low light camera available as a Pentax). I never once had any issues with the camera and Eneloops.

I'd suggest you keep using the Kodak batteries and get the Eneloops when you can. buying more Ultimate Lithium batteries is just a waste of money, better saved for the Eneloops. I think I paid $25.00 for my set with a charger and now own 5 sets of these in AA and 4 sets in AAA. I won't use anything else.

02-26-2010, 09:24 AM   #5
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Good stuff. Is the charger that comes bundled with the batteries a good one? Amazon currently has a set with 8 AAs and 2 AAAs with a charger and C/D adaptors for $33.00 that looks like a good deal that I could probably take advantage of over the weekend.

My main concern was that even if I get the eneloops that they will end up giving me the same problem but by the sound of things I should be OK. I'd like to get back to the only thing to worry about being what new lens to buy, rather than is it going to work when I switch it on!

Thanks for the advice
02-26-2010, 09:37 AM   #6
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That's a good price for the kit. You're basically paying $4.00 for an extra set of 4 AA's and the 2 AAA's in the kits I bought. If these don't work, then the camera might have an issue. I'll offer you this. If they don't and you decide to sell the Eneloops, send me a PM and I'll buy them at your cost plus postage. I always have a need since I work as a photographer and go through a lot of batteries in my flashes.
02-26-2010, 09:41 AM   #7
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My ist*DL is about 4-5 years old now and has had the same problem since we got it. But I usually find it is related to long periods of heavy use - like a trip to Disney World or something where I'm taking hundreds of photos per day and the camera is on nearly all the time, almost like it is overheating. The batteries run down so I switch and then it doesn't turn on but after an hour or two or more it turns on just fine like there was never any problem.
02-26-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
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Sorry I forgot to say, the charger is somewhat basic. It's a slow charge unit and takes around 3 hours to recharge from a set of dead batteries (does 4 at once). But enelopps are unique. You can charge up all 8 batteries and the 4 spares will hold a full charge for months. So you'll always have a fresh set ready.

A slow charger is the best for long battery life. The quick chargers damage battery cells when they heat the battery up. I have some Rayovacs we use for flashlights and remotes. The quick charger that comes with that will heat the batteries up to the point where they will almost burn you. Not good for the batteries at all.

So it does not have a battery meter in the charger but that doesn't matter much. Eneloops don't need to be cycled (drained and recharged) and can be "topped up" any time.

02-26-2010, 09:54 AM   #9
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This is starting to renew my confidence a bit in my camera because I would guess if there was an issue then even my Kodaks wouldn't work. Must just be an anomaly with the lithiums I have because that was the kind I put in after I bought it.

Oh well. Lots of things to try over the weekend!
03-04-2010, 03:33 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gp1806 Quote
Try turning the camera off, remove the batteries and let it sit at least overnight, or longer. Then put good batteries in and try again.
Sorry to bump the old thread but I tried this - actually let it sit several nights but to no avail. Kodaks still believe it of not have a bit of charge left in them but it is getting slightly worrying because one time I had to reset the date and time and everything. I hope my camera isn't on the way out

I still have to try cleaning the contacts, which I will do tonight, then I will look into buying the eneloops. In the meantime - is there any likelyhood that the ultimate lithiums I bought were just duds, or at least one of them anyway?

Ah, I'm just thinking out loud - Peter, I will still be taking your advice that more lithiums is a waste, and if I can get use out of the regular rechargeables then the eneloops look good.

Will update when I can. Thanks for all the help
03-04-2010, 07:41 PM   #11
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Battery

I had an old Canon P&S that would do this. I tried replacing the little battery on the main circuit board. That fixed it. The battery I'm writing about is inside the camera - you need to disassemble the camera to get to it. It is like the small battery on a computer motherboard. It keeps the CMOS memory intact when the computer is turned off so that the computer will know the date and time, etc when it boots up. You might contact Pentax service for an estimate. Or better still - get a K-X.
03-05-2010, 07:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gp1806 Quote
Or better still - get a K-X.
Ah, would it were that simple! Much as I'd have loved a K-X (or K20d or K7 for that matter), I don't have the funds for an upgrade just now.

If the internal battery issue is just causing me to reset the date/time every so often, I'm not too worried but if it is causing the other issue then I'd need to get it looked at. I'm going to guess that the camera was at least 3-5 years old when I bought it, so that little internal battery might be due a replacement, because my 5 year old watch battery just bit the dust last month and they're similar kinds. Is this something that is not recommended to be a DIY attempt though, or is it just unscrew cover, replace battery, screw back cover?

I'm half tempted to get a pair of CRV3s over the weekend as a stopgap while I wait for the eneloops, or is that a bad idea? I'm still hanging on to the glimmer of home that the still working Kodak rechargeables are providing.

I am very sorry about all the beginner questions - I should be out taking pictures to post on the forum instead. I'll get there though!
03-05-2010, 04:43 PM   #13
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UPDATE!

Well, I got pretty despondent today after doing some reading in work, which made it look like I had a busted camera on my hands.

Feeling pretty dejected I headed to Walgreens on my way home from work, with a view to buying some CRV3s to try and lo and behold, they had a bunch of white-topped Duracell precharged, which I had heard being referred to as Duraloops. Bought a set for $15.00 and threw them in the camera and it powered up, full battery charge. I'm very happy and think I will definitely look into that eneloop bundle from Amazon now to keep me stocked up.

Whether these indeed are re-branded eneloops I will never know but they are the Made in Japan white-tip ones, and they were marked as 'new' on the packaging. So check out your Walgreens if you need some new ones!

Thanks again for your help and patience, and I will work on getting some pictures up for you to critique and advise me on how to get better. One day I wil get that K-X/7/20D/whatever the new one is when I have the money, but for now I think lenses and a decent flash gun are the way ahead.

One more +1 for the eneloop/hybrid rechargeables, they seem to be the way to go for these cameras. Of course, the real test will be next week to see if they still retain a decent charge. I'm sure they will!
03-05-2010, 04:45 PM   #14
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Internal battery

I don't know if that battery could cause start up problems. I would take the bottom off and see what's there before I would dump the camera. I will open a camera up as a last resort. If I am going to pitch it, I figure there is not much to loose. Here is a link that has some service manuals.

Downloads

Look for older model service manuals. Hope this is a help.
03-05-2010, 04:53 PM   #15
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Dear Redspecial,

Just something worth checking out- does your camera have a battery selector section within the menu system?. Later models do, where you select the type of battery being installed in the camera. If it does, this could well solve your problem.
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