Sunday, May 25, 2008

Breaking News: My Flash Died!!!

My Canon Speedlite 580EX II died a premature death yesterday. What was the culprit? My new Quantum Turbo 2x2 external battery pack! Thank God I tried this new system out at home before my wedding shoot this coming Saturday. If my flash would have died while on location, I may have had a heartattack.

For the life of me, I'm not sure what happened. Per the instructions, I charged the battery pack for three hours before using the Quantum Turbo Flash Cable "CZ," which is supposed to be the correct cable to connect the Canon 580EX II to the Turbo. I plugged it in, and the green "pilot" button on my 580 flickered rapidly and then went out! I didn't realize the 580 was dead until I disconnected the cables and then tried to use normal alkaline batteries to fire it up. Nothing happened, save for burning my own fingers, because the batteries were scorching hot when I took them out of the flash.

My flash was out like a light, and my wedding assignment was just six days away! ALL KIND OF CUSS WORDS!!!!!

I went to sleep, and the next morning I tried to put another set of fresh batteries in the flash, hoping it had all just been a bad dream. No dice. I frantically called Canon only to be told that using non-Canon external power packs can cause malfunctions. No, really! You think???? To make matters worse, I couldn't find any of the paperwork or receipts for the flash to proove it was still under warranty. Sigh.

Luckily for me, my buddies at Wolf Camera had a 580EX II behind the counter. They reserved it for me, and I picked up a new one today. The service reps there think the Turbo may have shorted out the flash. Wolf will also send my old flash into Canon for repairs estimated to cost me $150, if they can repair it at all. You can bet I bought a service plan for the new one on top of the Canon warrantee, and I placed all the paperwork and receipts in a safe place.

Canon makes its own battery pack, the CP-E4 which uses eight size-AA alkaline or Ni-MH batteries, as well as AA lithium batteries. A customer service rep at Mike's Camera said they don't even sell battery packs like the Turbo 2X2 anymore since the lithium batteries are so strong. Good Lord, I hope the Denver Pro Photo shop where I bought the Turbo will allow me to return I paid more than $500 for this piece of equipment. I'm too scared to try to use it again on my new flash. What do you think went wrong and has this ever happened to you?

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