EN-EL3e stored for a long time?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rene|4, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. After reading Shun's comment on another thread http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Zes5 about sells of all the products using the above batteries being stopped I took a look on many on line stores. Some of them don't have these batteries in stock anymore but there some others that do....
    I use a D50, D300 and D700 and I am not planning to upgrade any time soon. At the same time I only have 4 batteries.....
    So, what would happen if I buy another 4 batteries but don't use them??? Just to keep them in case the ones I have now go bad. How long can they be kept? Will they loose their native charge capability?
    Can anyone comment about it? Cheers!
  2. Yes the products using that battery are going out of production, but he did not say the battery was being discontinued.
  3. That's right.... He didn't say the battery is being discontinued but some of the big stores in Tokyo don't have the batteries in stock anymore. That is what I am concerned about...
  4. Rene', odds are the battery will be readily available for some time. The sheer numbers of cameras using them will pretty much ensure supply.
  5. I wonder if my D200 batteries are a hazard?
  6. Uhmmmm!?

    If anyone could answer my question i would apreciate it......
    Do EN-EL3e batteries get damage for being stored new for a long time?????????

    Thank you!
  7. Any battery has a shelf life in addition to a "use life". If you store a rechargeable battery without using it for a long time, it won't last as long as if you waited till you needed the battery and bought a replacement. I suspect that Nikon will make that battery for at least 5 years. Wait to buy batteries you don't need until they say they are discontinued... that's what I'd do...
  8. if you're going to 'store' a battery like that for a 'long time', then discharge it down to about 50% capacity. Do not store them full or empty.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Rene, since you live in Japan, you can take a look at that nikon-image.com news article (in Japanese) yourself: http://www.nikon-image.com/support/whatsnew/2011/wnew111108.htm
    While Nikon has stopped selling EN-EL3e-based cameras and battery packs in Japan due to safety concerns, they will continue to sell the EN-EL3e battery itself after 20th November, 2011 (specified in the next paragraph).
    Nine years ago, I bought my first DSLR the D100 woth the original EN-EL3 batteries. Those batteries are largely the same as the latest EN-EL3e with the same Li-ion technology. Those old batteries are still working ok today although I don't use them much. My wife uses Sony camcorders and she has Sony Li-ion batteries from 1996 or so (we use a permanent marker to write down the purchase year on each battery). Since Li-ion batteries does gradually lose their capability to hold charge, we have concerns about really old ones. The ones we have from 14, 15 years ago can hold about half as much compared to new ones.
    Since Nikon has been using EN-EL3-based products from 2002 to now 2011 in a span of 9+ years, I am sure that new EN-EL3e batteries will still be available for a while. If you have concerns, you may want to stock up another 1 or 2 just in case. After another 5 years, I kind of doubt that you still want to use that D700 when everybody else is capturing 3D video with their digital cameras. :)
  10. Thanks guys!

    Shun..... Yeah, i read the second paragraph and after words i look for the batteries on line..
    Well, in Japan we over do things..... There was a tsunami on the other side of the country and all the markets were
    completly empty on my side even though we didnt have any damages. So, i guess after people reading that on the Nikon
    site maybe everyone is getting batteries. I have become one of them too after 20 years being here.
    I think the original EN-EL3 that you mention is the one on my D50. I mean my son's D50 and it was bought used with the
    camera. Until now it works perfectly even on my D300 and D700. And i dont want 3d videos from my dslr's. Where did
    you come out with that??? Hehe! :)
  11. I guess it would not be that great to find your gear useless due to the battery situation. I just have a D200 but will keep my eye on the situation. I have always thought the contact position on the battery needed some respect so I have always used the little plastic case for the extra one. However I guess at the moment there would be no chance of me buying a D700 which is my favorite of the current models out.
  12. Rather than store new batteries for possible future use, rotate them with the batteries you already have. This lets you monitor their life, and is perhaps healthier for the batteries.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As far as I can tell, there is no shortage of EN-EL3e batteries in the US. In particular, there are many 3rd-party imitations although quality varies. Again, if you have concerns, get an extra one.
    For those who don't read Japanese (neither do I, for that matter, but there is enough Chinese in written Japanese such that I can get an idea what is going on), while the Japanese use the Western calendar like the 11th month and 20th day, they don't use 2011 as the year. Instead, they specify it as the 23rd year of the current emperor's reign, which started in 1989. That is where the 23 year in the date comes from. I am surprised that Google translate completely breaks down on something so basic.
  14. When I look back thru my assortment of Nikons (F, Nikkormats, N65) and lenses (AI, non-AI, AF, AFS) I see evidence of a company that values maintaining support for their products for the long term. Nikon may have reason to stop making the EN-EL3e battery right now, but it would be completely out of character for them to abandon all the customer-owned cameras that use it. I expect they will come up with a solution that will allow customer cameras to keep working.
  15. If the worst happens and those batteries go completely out of production, it's still not a disaster. The Lithium cells inside the plastic case are absolutely standard and could be replaced with new ones. I did this with a Nikon En-El3e that had gone bad. I cracked the casing open and replaced the dead cells with Sanyo branded ones (Sanyo actually make and supply Lithium cells to many other manufacturers). The reassembled battery doesn't look pretty, but at least it's fully functional again.
    WRT buying in spares. Why not? The shelf life of Lithium cells is pretty good as long as they're not left to completely self-discharge. Just charge them up about once a year and they should be fine. In fact I'd just add the spares to your stock and use them in turn with the existing batteries.
  16. Joe, do you have the part number of the replacement cells you used? They are 2/3-AA size, correct?
  17. I think Nikon will make the batteries for many years because they are required in so many of their models. One of the things I liked about the current crop of camera's as they were sticking to the same battery. However you never know what will come about. Remember the mercury battery was taken off the market when there were millions of camera's that required that battery. The intent was to replace it with an alkaline battery of a slightly different voltage. Other solutions came around also.
    With this battery apparently the problem is the exposed contact points located close to each other. I suppose it's a safety issue. I know the airlines are wound up over batteries of this type. Seems like some guy got in trouble a few years ago because he had to many batteries for all his gadgets.
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Again, Nikon's announcement has made it very clear that after November 20, 2011, they would continue to sell EN-EL4a, EN-EL3e, and EN-EL9a batteries in Japan. In other words, the EN-EL3e is not discontinued.
    Outside of Japan, Nikon will continue to sell new D300S and D700 bodies as well as the EN-EL3e battery. Apparently this change is due to some safety regulation in Japan. Maybe Rene can provide additional information. I don't think there should be any concerns about availability of EN-EL3e batteries for several years to come, especially there are several other sources outside of Nikon. The main problem with other sources is that quality varies.
    However, I think it is also very clear that the days for the D300S and D700 as current models are numbered. Nikon cannot possibly leave two major holes in their DSLR line up for the Japanese market. Therefore, I would expect successors to those two models in the coming months, and any new camera will use something other than the MB-D10 vertical grip.
  19. I haven't heard anything about this new law except what it's been told by Nikon on their web
    site. One thing I remember is that the last time I was leaving Japan at Narita airport they made
    me get the batteries out from my cameras and battery pack, then they were looking at them
    and made some noise about them. Another person came with list and they were checking that
    list. Then they gave them back to me and asked me if I had any more spare batteries or if I
    only had those on my equipment. I didn't have any spare ones and they just let me go without
    any more questions.
  20. If you are worried about continuing availability of D700/D300 batteries, you could buy the battery grip. Then you can always power it from AA batteries.
  21. Li-Ion batteries typically have an average life of 2-5 years from the date of production ( so not starting first use..) .
    You can prolong the life of those batteries by "keeping them cool" ( not freeze them but between 0 - 4 % Celsius is optimum), and storing them charged around 40% ( so not fully charged, the higher the charge during storage, the shorter the lifetime becomes..) . This is why manufacterers deliver them charged around 40% so that their "shelf life" is maximised..
    Completely depleting them can damage them and render them unusable, also fully charging them ( more then 97% ) can shorten their lifetime, but both these conditions should be prevented by the build in electronic cirquit .
  22. @ Michael. Sorry, I don't have a part number for the replacement cells, they were extracted from a new but obsolete camcorder or camera battery that I found in a remainders bin in a camera store. The battery pack had the same voltage, capacity and size as an En-el3e, so I just swapped the cells over, while keeping the controller chip and contacts from the Nikon battery.
    However it appears that Li-ion cells are all pretty standard. The type number stamped on the cells in the Nikon battery was SF US18500GR, an equivalent of which is readily obtainable. The picture below is of the one remaining good cell I kept out of the original En-el3e.
  23. I second keeping batteries partly charged, having had two pretty new batteries of the above type die on me within a short time period.
    One after being more or less completely discharged for a week or so, the other one dead after normal use, running below 10% charge as I recall. This has been discussed on photo.net before.
  24. You can still find 3rd party batteries for the D1. I wouldn't worry about it. I've got two D1 batteries like this myself.

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