Giving up on Nikon batteries

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tholte, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. I am giving up on Nikon batteries for my D300. In one and a half years I have had three battery failures out of four. The batteries were all Nikon originals purchased from my local camera store. I used to ridicule cheapskates that would buy non-Nikon but now figure they can't be any worse and cost less than half the price. How can a company make such great cameras and supply such lousy batteries?
     
  2. WoW Tim,
    In the years I've been shooting digital, going back to my Nikon CoolPix 4500, I've only used Nikon original batteries for my cameras. I have yet to have one fail on me. So - my 4500 that's going back almost 7-8 years & since the D200, D300, D700 & my D70 IR - - all with Nikon original batteries - - no issues....
    Are you sure you're not doing anything strange to them?
    Lil
     
  3. Ever thought of blaming the camera? i'd send the three batteries and the body in (free to ship, free to estimate), and have them fix the problem.
     
  4. Im with Ian
     
  5. Can't help but wonder if something else is wrong. I have two Nikon batteries for my D300 that I rotate (use one and charge the other). I have heard you should not run the batteries all the way down. So I've been stopping when I get about to about a quarter charge left. Have not had any Nikon Lithium battery failures with the D300 or the previous D100.
    Have heard that there are fake Nikon batteries out there. Search this site for details. Seems like they were not as reliable!
    Paul
     
  6. I agree with Ian that it could be the camera that's at fault as well. As for rotating batteries - - I have all my batteries labeled & I always rotate. Then there's the fact that I almost always run them all the way down - - no problems so far....
     
  7. I hate to repeat a theme but I've had a D50 with two recent Nikon batteries and now I have a D90 with two more recent Nikon batteries. I'm not very careful about when to recharge them and I've never had a problem. So if I had a chronic battery problem I think I would look at the camera or the charger. Most likely the charger. It seems to me that the camera could only discharge the batteries which wouldn't normally cause damage. But if the charger is overcharging the batteries then it could be causing all kinds of havoc.
    I don't know what kind of test might indicate whether the charger is the problem but I expect that chargers can be had for about the same price as batteries. Maybe you should buy, or better yet, borrow a charger and see if that solves the problem.
    And Tim I can't help this. I loved you in "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre".
     
  8. Nikon batteries have ALWAYS worked great for me. Maybe the voltage at your place is out of tolerance.
     
  9. Seems like I'm part of the choir here ;)
    I would suspect the charger, the camera, or your local shop before suspecting 3 (!) batteries in a row...
    I of course do not know your local camera shop, but would not be entirely surprised if they could be deceived by a bad battery supplier. I remember a discussion here on the forum, where members were trying to establish which bateries were original and which not. Color, stickers, etc sometimes looked awfully similar to original batteries.
    I'd contact Nikon, and ask them how they propose to solve this for you...
    Good luck.
     
  10. One of the biggest mistakes people do is charging to much, like some always charge even though the battery is still almost fully charged, this will create a memory in the battery so it only keeps a short charge. The older nicads were really bad for it. You can do it to lithium batteries too if you do it all the time. Better to run it down till at least a quarter charge before recharging. That is why it is always good to have a spare. I have never had a battery fail me. Not in all the yrs I have been using batteries. Lithiums will outlast nicads quite easily. There are chargers out there that can fix this memory effect if it hasn't ruined the battery yet...
     
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have been using Nikon EN-ELn type batteries since I bought my D100 back in 2002. So far I have used two EN-EL3, three EN-EL4 and six different EN-EL3e batteries plus additional samples from Nikon. I just went to the sub-Antarctic South Georgia Island and the Falklands for three weeks with five EN-EL3e, shooting under near-freezing conditions. I found that I typically lose about 2 bars on the EN-EL3e after 600, 700 captures on the D700 and D300s (including some video) and a fair amount of chimping, under fairly cold conditions.
    So far I have never had any problems with any one of the above Nikon batteries.
    Of course, my positive experience doesn't quite help Tim's situation.
     
  12. Storage conditions also affect LiON batteries. If they are stored fully charged, in a warm environment, they will wear out much quicker than if stored partly charged in a cool one. Worst case is, for instance, a laptop that is usually kept on and plugged in. Battery is fully charged and constantly heated. A charger that doesn't turn fully off when the battery is charged could have the same effect.
     
  13. I have 7 Nikon batteries, the oldest is 5 years old and all of them still work just fine.
     
  14. I'm a stubborn guy, I think it's the batteries. I am going to buy some non Nikon batteries and see what happens. I had two Nikon batteries for my D70 and they lasted two years with no problems. "I loved you in "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre"." That was definitely one of my better acting jobs.
     
  15. I have a pile of Nikon batteries going back to the two I got when I bought my F5 when it came out. I'm still using those batteries and over the years I have bought Nikon battereis for all my other cameras as I got them with never a failure.
    Because they are getting really old, every time I charge the batteries for the F5 I think it might be the last time but they keep on going.
    I'm with the choir here and I'd check those cameras that demonstrate battery problems.
    Conni
     
  16. First thought I had was an issue with the camera or charger. Could also be a problem with his household electrical outlet- excessive spikes or noise on the line? Just a thought.
    As for LiIon batteries - there is no memory problem with them. I charge mine whenever one gets below about 60% - I'm a light user. I use the MB-D80 grip and check them when I am done shooting or the night before a big event. I've had the same two in the grip since April 2007 and they both show as new on the camera meter.
     
  17. I have used after market battries, yes most of the time they have higher Apmres than the OEM and cheaper then OEM but they only last about a year or two at the most. After going through couple of them, I find them complete waste of money..... from Now on I am sticking with OEM ... You can get it cheaper from Ebay!!
     
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I should also point out that there are a lot of counterfeit EN-EL3e batteries; recall that a few months ago we had several threads on that topic:
    Some of those counterfeit batteries look very similar to the genuine ones. In one case Matt Laur apparently received a counterfeit EN-EL3e in the box along with a brand new D200 body he purchased. We have no idea exactly how that happened, but potentially someone might have swapped out the genuine battery somewhere down the distribution chain.
    Therefore, I would suggest that Tim double check his batteries. All EN-EL3e batteries are made in Japan. Some of the earlier EN-EL3 (not e) were made in China while some where made in Japan.
     
  19. I've never had a problem with the batteries in my D300, D50 or an earlier D100. The fact that you had no trouble with your D70 batteries seems to reinforce the possibility that your D300 has some sort of problem. Given the feedback here and the number of batteries you have tried, it definately sounds like a camera problem. The only other possibility is that your local store got a whole batch of bad batteries. If that was the case, however, I think they would know it by now and alert their customers.
     
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    One more point: some of the initial D300 bodies have the "false battery low" problem that was fixed with firmware version 1.2. I would also upgrade the D300's firmware to the latest, which I think is now 2.0 or something like that: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00OT2O
    If the firmware vesion and batteries are all fine and genuine, it could well be a problem with that specific D300 body.
     
  21. The use of Nikon Li-ion battery is a relatively new experience for me. Prior to that, I was using Ni-MH AA with the vertical grip. I carry a Li-ion spare with me. However, I read an article from a popular website that is not acceptable to this forum, therefore cannot be quoted about the proper use of Li-ion battery.
    Essentially Li-ion battery usage. according to his recommendation, is radically different than alkaline, Ni-Cad, Ni-MH, etc because it carries no memory. He advocated that "Li-ion battery likes to be frequently charged". He went as far to suggest that his cell-phone battery still acted like new since 1991. I am experimenting with one of the Nikon battery with frequent charge, perhaps at 25-50% discharge while the other one perhaps at 75% discharge before recharging to see if there is a difference. I like to hear more opinion also in this regard.
     
  22. My experience with generic EN-EL3e purchase was posted in the following thread, and repeated below. Here's an update after five months and about 5,000 shutter releases. The two generic and one original Nikon batteries were used equally, and charged with the Nikon charger after each shoot of about ~150 to ~200 releases. They all behave the same in terms of battery level in the menu, number of releases and charge time, etc. In a blind test, I would not be able to tell them apart. I consider the generic ones great value, and would order them again if they don't last for more than a couple of years. BTW, does Nikon make any claims how long their batteries would last?
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Tx0p
    ======
    After reading these threads, I came across other helpful links:
    http://sportsphotoguy.com/nikon-d300-battery-compatibility/
    http://thoughts-on-film.blogspot.com/2008/04/review-phottix-battery-for-nikon-en.html
    I ordered two D300 compatible Phottix batteries for $24 including US shipping from eBay seller etefore. Received them within a week. After charging, my D200's menu shows all the battery info, including 100% charge. So far they both work fine.
    The batteries have no Nikon reference on them, only Phottix. There is no hologram. I only want batteries of good value. Genuine Nikon parts, Nikon logo and hologram mean nothing to me.
     
  23. I am getting ready to buy my fourth Nikon battery for a spring trip. No problems in the past three years of use. I don't take great care of my batteries but I don't over charge them either. I use batteries in other hobbies and have learned that LiPo's do not have a memory, they do not like over charging which is common and LiPo's don't discard as much as other types of rechargable batteries. How long do you leave the batteries in the charger?
     
  24. D300 firmware version is now at 1.10
     
  25. It would be very interesting, indeed, to find out if the batteries in question pass the counterfeit tests or not. Having been stung with a counterfeit unit (passed along by a large retailer, now out of business), I would not be at all surprised to find that replacement batteries on the shelf at a local camera store could be of the not-real variety. Keep us posted!
     
  26. If you were to change the original Nikon batteries with third party batteries - which brand should you use for your D300? I remember that when the D300 was brand new, the only batteries that could be used were those originals from Nikon.
     
  27. First off, make sure you are on the latest firmware release. I believe we are on the third version now...v1.10. There were battery issues fixed in the second update.
     
  28. Lithiums shouldn't have memory. I agree with the charger. It's usually the charger not working correctly. I worked in a hobby store and we dealt with this problem and most of the time it's the charger. You'll know for sure if the new batteries are failing too. The camera shouldn't be the problem. If you overdischarge the battery, it is rougher on them over time, but I don't see it cooking them. Lithiums have the tendency to flareup or explode when extreme discharge is present. I've seen it happen. Are you shooting continuously a lot? if so, that could wear over work the battery and make their charge cycles shorter. I hope that kinda helps.
     
  29. Ditto to what everyone has said. None of my batteries has ever failed, in D70s, D300 or D700. I marvel at their longevity and reliability. This is how the world works. Just read above.
    You have an empirical test going on. I conclude differently than you do. Either the dealer sells bad batteries, or you have a freak camera condition.
    I suggest getting stubborn about all of the reality testing that has been presented to you on this topic rather than buying off brand batteries which are likely to be inferior than the real thing.
    Buy a Nikon battery from B&H. You know something about batteries from your local dealer. Why know it again? Label the battery from B&H immediately on receipt.
    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
     
  30. What exactly are they doing to be considered failed? Not taking charge? After charging, use a volt meter to check it's voltage. The reading should be a bit higher than the rated voltage. If you get under so many volts, your charger may not be smart enough to read it and it will give you something called a "false peak". Meaning the charger thinks the battery is charged when it's not. This happens when you over discharge it, or leave it set on empty for a long period of time before recharging it. I've seen it happen to lithium polymer batteries. Lithium Ions shouldn't be any different. My D50 would sit for loooong periods between use sometimes, but it would only be on 3/4 charge or more. Don't let your batteries "bleed out" while empty.
     
  31. "What exactly are they doing to be considered failed?" I put the battery in the camera and there is nada, zilch. That's my final test, I put it in the camera and NOTHING shows up. I appreciate all of the responses, believe it or not and I am going to try something. I am going to get a new charger. I am not going to send my camera to Nikon and wait three weeks for an answer. Three weeks without my camera would push me over the edge and I am already a little shaky to begin with.
     
  32. Lol, really, try charging it and hook up a multi-meter to it and look at the voltage. There is no way for you to hook up the meter while charging, but that would be a sure way to see if it's working. Good luck.
     
  33. Tim. first I would sugest you make sure the firmware is the latest and also get an other charger. by the way do you have an MBD10? attached to the body?
     
  34. Have you cleaned the contacts of your batteries and camera with DeOxit? I had one battery read dead after charging on my D200 and after cleaning both, I've never had a problem again.
     
  35. That was definitely one of my better acting jobs.​
    Yeah, especially since you played that role some two years before you were born and you changed your surname along the way. Pretty impressive! :)
     
  36. Geez you are cynical Arthur! Don't you ever lie about your age? Jose, I have the latest firmware and I am getting a new charger. Merci Beaucoup!
     
  37. Tim I'm sorry to get you into all this hassle about your movie career. I suspected all along that you were not the one and same Tim Holt featured in THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE. But I thought maybe you were a distant relative or something.
    But I'm still betting that the charger is your problem.
     
  38. Tim,
    I'm a lie and a cheat, so don't worry. However, I rarely say that I'm 40+ older than my actual age.
    I was just curious about the actor in the "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre" and I had a big laugh when I saw that the movie was filmed before you were born.
    If I were cynical I would have congratulated you on being active on this forum some 26 years after you passed away, since Tim Holt - not Holte - continued his career elsewhere since 1973.
    So keep on acting buddy, I'll be around to watch the show!!!
     
  39. Two things: Make sure your firmware is updated. As others have stated it was a problem early on with the D300 to get low battery errors.
    Second, try buying your batteries elsewhere. It could be that your local shop is buying from a distributor who is getting bad batches of batteries. (say that three times fast - bad batches of batteries!) :)
    I have been using nine Nikon batteries for a year now and have never had a single failure. I charge most of them more than once each week and I hardly go though a single one on a whole day's shoot. I just carry lots of backup in case of problems. I don't usually bring all of them but I take four or five in the bag.
    I don't think third party batteries will do any better. I used to buy third party batteries for my Canon system without issues but the price difference was incredible. The Nikon batteries are not too expensive to justify a third party product.
     
  40. Curtis, Arthur and Lou, you guys got me! I am not the Tim Holt that was in Treasure of the Sierra Madre and want to fess up to that fact right now. I am going to get a new charger and see if that does the trick.
     
  41. Tim, I hope you haven't slung out the batteries before confirming its the charger's fault. That would be a pity.
     
  42. Andrew, I still have the dead batteries and if the new charger does the trick I will kiss all of you. I am a cheap skate extrodinaire!
     
  43. If the charger thing does not work out then you would have to send the camera in to Nikon. 3 weeks without a camera is kind of tough. It is a good idea to have a second camera. Digital camera's are kind of expensive but a Nikon film body such as the N80 is only about $75.00. Pick one of those up and go shoot some film until your camera/batteries are over the swine flu. I have a D200 and a N80 and they are both fun to use. I think Kodak VC160 is amazing actually. Or you could just wait the 3 weeks and spend some time painting the kitchen or something.
     
  44. ross,
    I have about ten film cameras laying around (about fifty if you count my old antiques). My film cameras don't fill the needs of my attention deficit disorder syndrome that my wife says I have.
     
  45. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Could we all stay on topic only only discussed Tim's EN-EL3e issues? Earlier there was an off-topic question about my Antarctic trip, and I deleted that as well as my own short reply.
    Whether Tim needs a backup camera or whether batteries are made in China have nothing to do with this thread. All genuine Nikon EN-EL3e batteries are made in Japan, and they can look like any one of the following three. (I finally have all three types to take this image.) Anything that looks slightly different or says made in China (but has a Nikon logo) is a counterfeit.
    00V11Q-190955784.jpg
     
  46. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Now over a month later, it looks like Tim's problem is resolved by using his older charger that came with his D70 to charge his new batteries. See this thread for Tim's follow up: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00VJE9
     

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