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Author Topic: 600ex-rt overheating?  (Read 6322 times)

jaayres20

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600ex-rt overheating?
« on: June 10, 2012, 09:03:43 AM »
I love the 600ex flashes and don't think I will go back to using pocket wizards, however I have one major complaint about them and I was curious if anyone else had the same problem.  I have three of them that I use at wedding receptions.  One on the camera and two slaves on stands.  I always have the slaves set to manual at a low power (usually 1/32 or 1/64).  I started to notice that some of the slaves stopped working and I just figured the batteries were out.  I got battery packs hoping that they would last all reception which they should because my 580exII flashes lasted all reception with no battery packs.  Well even the 600ex flashes with battery packs stopped working at really bad times which is annoying because if you have them all linked and one stops working then they all stop firing.  I hate that so much and I don't know why it works that way.  Last night I noticed the back of the flash that stopped working the whole display was a a reddish orange.  Anyone know what that means?  I turned the flash off and turned it back on and it worked perfectly the rest of the reception.  Then the other slave flash did the same thing and again I turned it off and back on and it worked perfectly the remainder of the time.  I just don't understand what is going on.  I am using them at a very low power level it isn't like I am rapid fire shooting at full power.  These wonderful flashes seem to have a serious problem.   

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600ex-rt overheating?
« on: June 10, 2012, 09:03:43 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 12:40:29 PM »
What does the overheat indicator say?  I think it would give you a hint.  If the rear is turning orange, as in badly discolored, I'd sure return it to Canon.
 
A quick google search of the issue returns nothing, so it is not apparently a big issue, or not at least yet.  There has been a lot of testing and pushing the flashes to their limits, but a bad batch certainly can get thru.

FunPhotons

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 05:29:10 PM »
No, if the back LED light is red then the flash has over heated. If it's orange it is slave (by default, this can be changed in cFn), and green is master (by default). I haven't overheated any of my 3 600-RT's so I can't comment if 'reddish orange' is the red backlight indicating overheating, but that makes sense to me. This is all documented in that thick manual they sent along with the flash.

Don't know your exact circumstances, I do know that these flashes can't take too many pops. The manual states (by memory) that after 10 consecutive flashes it needs a rest. 1/64 or 1/32 should be a light load, but maybe they were also in the sun? Not like these little flashes have heat sinks, and they're dumping a goodly current off those caps.

jaayres20

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 05:31:54 PM »
What does the overheat indicator say?  I think it would give you a hint.  If the rear is turning orange, as in badly discolored, I'd sure return it to Canon.

It isn't discolored I think it is supposed to turn that color but I don't know the reason.  The back display turns other colors as well.  For example green is master and orange is slave.  I had not seen the red before so I am assuming it turns that way for a reason like overheating.  But what I don't understand is why would it overheat when the power level is only at 1/32 or 1/64 power.  I could shoot all night with my 580exII flashes at that level with no problem. 

jaayres20

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 05:38:18 PM »
No, if the back LED light is red then the flash has over heated. If it's orange it is slave (by default, this can be changed in cFn), and green is master (by default). I haven't overheated any of my 3 600-RT's so I can't comment if 'reddish orange' is the red backlight indicating overheating, but that makes sense to me. This is all documented in that thick manual they sent along with the flash.

Don't know your exact circumstances, I do know that these flashes can't take too many pops. The manual states (by memory) that after 10 consecutive flashes it needs a rest. 1/64 or 1/32 should be a light load, but maybe they were also in the sun? Not like these little flashes have heat sinks, and they're dumping a goodly current off those caps.
They are not in the sun they are in a dark reception. If they can't shoot off 10 or 20 consecutive pops at 1/64 power then I am very disappointed because like I said before my 580exII flashes never did anything like that.  What is also frustrating is if one of them overheats it causes the rest to stop working until you turn it off.  It also doesn't "recover" until you flip the switch off and turn it back on which isn't always convenient when you are in the middle of something important at a wedding reception and the flash is 10 feet in the air across the room through a crowd of people.  This seems ridiculous and it doesn't look like there is a possible fix.       

jm345

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 05:53:15 PM »
This may be a dumb question but are you sure they were firing at only 1/64?

Try test firing one at 1/64 ten times in a row and see if it overheats and activates the red screen. Then wait and try 20. It shouldn't overheat at that power level.

mrmarks

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 09:04:27 PM »
This may be a dumb question but are you sure they were firing at only 1/64?

Try test firing one at 1/64 ten times in a row and see if it overheats and activates the red screen. Then wait and try 20. It shouldn't overheat at that power level.

This will be a good way to test it. I have one 600EX-RT on order and wonder if I should hold on now.

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 09:04:27 PM »

jaayres20

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 09:22:02 PM »
This may be a dumb question but are you sure they were firing at only 1/64?

Try test firing one at 1/64 ten times in a row and see if it overheats and activates the red screen. Then wait and try 20. It shouldn't overheat at that power level.
Yes they were on a lower power setting like 1/64 or 1/32. I know for a fact that they can shoot 10 in a row at 1/16. I love the flashes for the most part. They overheat at wired and random times. It is like they know when is the worst time to act up and do it just to make things hard. Kind of like my kids.

pwp

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 11:32:00 PM »
Do controlled tests as suggested side by side with the 580's. If the 600's really do quit way ahead of the 580's I'd be talking to Canon about a swap-over.

PW

Chris Geiger

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 11:40:17 PM »
I have been using my 3 600's for the past 9 weddings. My weddings are 6-8 hours in length. I have only needed to change batteries a couple of times while on a job. I use more on camera power bouncing light and I generally use the off camera flashes at lower power settings. If I swap my on camera flash sometime during the day, I can go all day without changing any of the flash batteries. I use enloop rechargeable batteries. I've never had a problem with overheating. I don't use external batteries. I love these flashes. I have my slaves set to sleep after 10 minutes. If needed they wake up quickly.

Daniel Flather

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 11:10:57 PM »
It isn't discolored I think it is supposed to turn that color but I don't know the reason..

Page 106 in the manual. 
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Daniel Flather

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 12:06:33 AM »
Well even the 600ex flashes with battery packs stopped working at really bad times which is annoying because if you have them all linked and one stops working then they all stop firing.

Mine will fire if one of them has dead batteries.  In the photo my set-up was 5D3 with ST-E3-RT and two 600RTs.  One 600 set to group A, and the other to group B.  In the photo one flash did not fire because its batteries were almost toast, but the other flash fired. 

What I'd like to know is: if you have a two or more flashes in the SAME group and one unit has dead batteries, will that affect that group only?  I doubt it will as the system is radio.

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jaayres20

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2012, 05:07:47 PM »
Well even the 600ex flashes with battery packs stopped working at really bad times which is annoying because if you have them all linked and one stops working then they all stop firing.

Mine will fire if one of them has dead batteries.  In the photo my set-up was 5D3 with ST-E3-RT and two 600RTs.  One 600 set to group A, and the other to group B.  In the photo one flash did not fire because its batteries were almost toast, but the other flash fired. 

What I'd like to know is: if you have a two or more flashes in the SAME group and one unit has dead batteries, will that affect that group only?  I doubt it will as the system is radio.

I have mine set up into three groups.  A is on my camera set to ETTL.  B & C are my other two flashes on stands.  If A, B or C "overheats" then they all stop firing until I turn that group off or switch the power on and off.  If I leave the power on the flash will never recover.  Switching the power on and off seems to reset it and is is good to go usually for 1000+ more shots.  I often take 2000-3000 shots at a reception so they get used quite a bit.  I did the same thing with the 580exII flashes and pocket wizards without any problems.   I can't do a side by side test because I sold my old 580ex II flashes. 

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2012, 05:07:47 PM »

Daniel Flather

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2012, 11:45:45 PM »
Well even the 600ex flashes with battery packs stopped working at really bad times which is annoying because if you have them all linked and one stops working then they all stop firing.

Mine will fire if one of them has dead batteries.  In the photo my set-up was 5D3 with ST-E3-RT and two 600RTs.  One 600 set to group A, and the other to group B.  In the photo one flash did not fire because its batteries were almost toast, but the other flash fired. 

What I'd like to know is: if you have a two or more flashes in the SAME group and one unit has dead batteries, will that affect that group only?  I doubt it will as the system is radio.

I have mine set up into three groups.  A is on my camera set to ETTL.  B & C are my other two flashes on stands.  If A, B or C "overheats" then they all stop firing until I turn that group off or switch the power on and off.  If I leave the power on the flash will never recover.  Switching the power on and off seems to reset it and is is good to go usually for 1000+ more shots.  I often take 2000-3000 shots at a reception so they get used quite a bit.  I did the same thing with the 580exII flashes and pocket wizards without any problems.   I can't do a side by side test because I sold my old 580ex II flashes.

How do you set the on-camera unit to group A?  I can't seem to replicate your set up (I only have two 600RTs), and the manual leeds me to believe you can't do that.  It's the same with the ratios on the flash that's a master, you need to also have two or more slaves to use the ratios.  With a flash as a master it seems to be excluded from any group, and any tests I'm doing seem to prove ratios are useless with an on-camera 600rt and a single slave 600rt.  With the st-e3-rt mounted on the 5D3 it all works as you'd expect, and works well imo.

Also, let it be known the manual is a lesson in ambiguity.  The top of the manual's page 49 seems to back up my claim of ratios not working with a 600rt at a master.  Quote: You can divide the slave units into two or three groups and perform E-TTLii/E-TT auto flash shooting while changing the flash ration (factor).  In addition, you can set and shoot with a different flash mode for each firing group, for up to 5 groups.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 11:51:26 PM by Daniel Flather »
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jm345

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 12:30:31 PM »
I recently did a flash ratio test with the 600EX as master on my 5D3 and a 580EX as slave. I did 8:1 and 1:8 ratios and there was a distinct difference. I don't have my equipment with me at the moment and don't want to mis-remember the settings but it does work. Although the LCD display menus on the 600EX are much better than the 580EX it still requires consulting the manual too much for fairly simple settings.

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Re: 600ex-rt overheating?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 12:30:31 PM »