Category Archives: reviews

Rechargeable AA Batteries for Flash and Photography Compared

Is there such a thing as long lasting AA batteries?

Zulf_Photography Battery-8224
Left: Sanyo XX High Capacity Eneloop Ni-MH 1.2V 2500mAH Right: 2500mA Vapex 2500mAh Instant AA

My main use for AA batteries is in my Speedlight Flash at shows or events. It’s worth noting there are different types of batteries available

  • Alkaline AA batteries
  • NiMH rechargeable
  • Lithium AA batteries

I have been using Sanyo XX High Capacity Eneloop Ni-MH 1.2V 2500mAH rechargeable batteries in my flashes for a few years. They are amazing for lasting power and low self discharge. They are also known to maintain 85% of their charge after 1 year of storage. The eneloop pro batteries can be recharged up to 500 times.

A good charger is also important to condition your batteries. I use the Fast Smart Charger for 1 – 8 AA or AAA NiMH batteries with a LCD display.

Vapex Fast Smart Charger for 1 – 8 AA or AAA NiMH


Charging times for my batteries  is between 1.2 hours to 5 hours depending on the initial battery level.

I am always looking fot the best flash recycle times so purchased a new pair of Vapex AA 8 x NiMh+ Rechargeable Batteries.

What’s New?

  1. The batteries are ready to use as soon as you have removed them from their packing.
  2. They will stay ready for use for over a year without the need to recharge


Type AA Nimh+
Capacity Nominal 2500mAh (about the same as a good non-rechargeable)
12 months About 70% of charge is held (normal nimh would be empty)
6 months About 80% of charge is held
Capacity Rated 2400mAh
Weight 27g

I am using these at the moment so will provide a further update post with my findings.


Battery & Charger:

Photos: ZulfPhotography

Sandisk Ultra Micro SDHC 32GB Speed Test

So i got a new Sandisk Micro SD card for the Go Pro. I saw the info and this seemed like a good option. Class 10 here is the Flash bench Results.


As you can see below its only the read speed that is up to 45M/Bs. the actual write speed is more like 18M/Bs.

Most of the time they will only quote the higher speed on the website but as you can see below the write speed is also important. Read here to see if your memory card is slowing you down.


If you want to benchmark your USB flash drive:

  • Download exclusive benchmark tool.
  • Plug in your usb flash drive and run the benchmark application.
  • Choose your usb flash drive letter and start the benchmark.
  • Wait for results to be published on the site and…

Enjoy comparing your results with other published on the site!

Comparing photos of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II with Pricing the Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM

They are fast, low-priced, and can produce some of the most pleasing images in photography.

Low aperture lenses – They are truly the tiny lenses that you can stick in your bag and take anywhere. The lightest Canon EF lenses which give your photo  that “butter like” blur in your backgrounds. Lets compare the 50mm f/1.8 II with the Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM

50mm 1.4 and 1.8-0017
Left: Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Right: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

I found very little difference between the f/1.4 and a f/1.8 50mm image quality. I’ve used both for many years but lets drill down into the actual photo quality (pixel peep even).

  • Do the different lenses translate into better image quality?
  • All settings being equal, does one lens outperform the other?
  • Can we justify you spending the difference in price to the 1.4?

Let’s find out

For the purposes of this test we are using a issue of Lighting Magazine
For the purposes of this test we are using a issue of Lighting Magazine

All the images are taken handheld at a minimum of 125th shutterspeed. Both lenses are mounted on a Canon 550d Don’t forget if you have a APS-sized sensor (crop sensor) the equivalent angle of coverage of a 50mm is more like 75mm.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Overview

At around £75-85, the 50mm f/1.8 lens may be one of the most widely hyped compact, high performance standard lens in photography. So it is not a surprise that it feels like a novelty. Reminds me of a plastic cookie cutter . Not to mention the funky noises it makes when focusing, is not easy to nail your focus when shooting wide open.


Blurring the background in a picture is good

  • Isolating the subject
  • Sharp Image
  • Light

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM

A ultrasonic motor drives auto-focus extremely quickly with near silent focusing system. a full-time manual override makes it possible to adjust focus without leaving AF mode. Sharp foreground objects stand out against a smooth blurred background. It has a great build quality, feels nice, has a smooth focus action,


  • Ultrasonic focusing
  • wide open at f/1.4
  • with full-time manual focus override
  • Smooth background blur
  • Super Spectra coating

My Views

I have used both lenses for a good few years and find myself reaching for the 1.4 more frequently. This is mainly due to its better feel and build quality. Both lenses have there place and because i started with the cheap 1.8 moving to the 1.4 and finally the ending on the 1.2. Each lens holds its own place in my setups.. It was difficult to get the camera to focus where I wanted with the 50 f/1.4. I would expect more from the more expensive 50mm f/1.4. We use the 1.2 a lot in our fashion shoots, its actually out today soo I will be doing a separate review on the 1.2 soon.

I did a quick search today to see what these lenses currently retail at. As of 29th December 2014 I found these deals available at UK photography stores, Wilkinson Cameras and Jessops.


Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Canon EF 50MM F1.8 II £72.00 – Wilkinson Cameras ( Price includes a 20% discount use code: CAN20 at checkout) Offer valid: 25/12/14 to 01/01/15

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MK2 £74.99Jessops (offer Price Match)

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens £278.00Jessops (offer Price Match)

Canon EF 50MM F1.4 USM £259.00Wilkinson Cameras ( Price includes a 20% discount use code: CAN20 at checkout) Offer valid: 25/12/14 to 01/01/15