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Thread: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

  1. #1
    3d Visual Effects artist
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    battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    So the battery on my digital pentax spot meter died yesterday.

    I really only use it on the weekends, I've only had the meter for about a year, and the battery already died. Is this a normal expected lifespan?

    I guess there is no way to check the status of the battery (without a battery checker, heh!) So I guess I'm just going to throw a few extra batteries into my little tool kit for the future. I didn't do this before because I was expecting the battery to last a very long time (since it gets used very little, only on the weekends, and probably only for about a total of 1 minute throughout each the trip!).

    Does this meter drain the battery when it's not in use? or does it only drain when the trigger is pulled?

    Just curious
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
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  2. #2
    Bob
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    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    Mine usually takes quite a while to need a new battery. The one time it quit quickly I figured out the trigger must have been depressed while it was in the carrying case due to a roll of film I had tucked away at the end of the day and forgot until the next morning.

  3. #3

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    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    The battery should only drain when the trigger is pulled. I am not sure how long the battery in my Pentax digital spot meter lasts. I think I have gone for a couple years on one, but when I plan to be on the road photographing for a month or two I usually change the battery to avoid an unpleasant surprise. I also keep a spare battery in whichever camera case or backpack I have with me.

    Unless you got a battery that was weak already from sitting on a store shelf for a long time, I would think it should have lasted longer baring environmental factors such as extreme temperatures for an extended period.

  4. #4
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    I would expect that battery to last a couple years at least, but it could have been a bad bat. Always carry an extra, because with a bat, they aren't much use. Or just change all your bats once a year (I think this is a bit wasteful, but maybe not).

    By the way, no reason to use the lithium here. Alkaline will work just as well and last just as long. Lithium is for high current use and your meter probably takes 10 or 20 mA.
    my picture blog
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  5. #5
    3d Visual Effects artist
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    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    Thanks for the replies!

    Bob, you may be right, I may have stuffed the meter into my bag and the trigger may have been pressed! I'll have to look and see how I throw it into my bag and try to avoid that :-)
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
    3d work: DanielBuck.net
    photography: 404Photography.net - BuckshotsBlog.com

  6. #6

    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    Hi Daniel,

    I don't know if my experience is applicable to yours but FYI... I own the digital version of the Pentax spot meter. I noticed I was replacing batteries a little sooner than in the past.

    Eventually, after shooting slide film rather than the Black and White I had been using, I noticed my metering seemed a little off. I sent the thing into Pentax and they replaced some of the electronics. I haven't changed a battery since and my metering is back on track again. The charge was over $100.00. They also fixed the diopter adjustment lock on the eyepiece which had never worked correctly.

    The only problem was that the repair took longer than their estimate which was a little frustrating as it is my only meter.

  7. #7

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    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    The advantage of Li is shelf life, which makes it perfect for a light meter. Li batteries are good for at least 10 years just sitting around.

  8. #8
    Weekend Warrior Sanjay Sen's Avatar
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    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    The batteries should last a while - I got my meter about a couple of years back, and the battery is still good, and it's the one that came with the meter.

    I usually carry a (new) spare battery, just to be safe.

  9. #9
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    Ed

    True enough. Li is about 0.5% per year at 20C while Alk is about 3.5% per year at same. At 40C it is 2.5% and 10%. So if you are buying batteries for sporadic use oveer 10 years or more, then get the Li. If you live somewhere that it's very hot all the time, then Li is better. Li is a little more expensive, but worth it for the above conditions.

    From personal experience, my spot meter has the original alk. battery from 5 years ago and doing fine. I don't use it every day and the meter I use can tolerate about 4V and still operate as long as the current is about 10mA.
    my picture blog
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  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Re: battery on digital pentax spot meter died?

    I used to change the ones in mine ever 7 or 8 years whether I needed to or not! Check how you're packing it, get a holster (and the all the related TSA problems.)

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