Battery Drain on Phase One 645AF/Mamiya AFDIII

Discussions regarding Phase One 645 AF and Mamiya 645AFDIII Camera

Battery Drain on Phase One 645AF/Mamiya AFDIII

Postby dpreview » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:15 pm

I recently bought a Phase One 645AF (Mamiya AFD III) from Capture Integration.

I use a HM401 film back with it.

I noticed from the beginning that battery life was dismal. Often a set of newly charged AA batteries (2400mAH Maha Imedions or 2700mAH Maha Powerexes) would only power a few rolls. In the cold weather, often the camera would die after one roll. When left *off*, the batteries would be dead within 2 days.

So I did some testing with my multimeter. I put my ammeter in series with my Phase One 645AF + batteries & found a 27mA continuous draw when the film back is in place. 0mA draw when the film back is detached. Removing the battery from the film back has no effect.

27mA! That's crazy! Assuming linearity, if you have a set of 2700mA-hrs AA batteries in there (pretty much the highest capacity AA you can find), that means they'd all be *fully* drained in 100 hours! Half-drained in 50 hours (2 days)! And since half-drain is enough to lower the voltage so as to fall well below 9v, it's no surprise that my camera dies within a day or two even when off!

I hear tons of mixed reports -- some people reporting similar issues, others reporting no issues when batteries are left in there for months, even with the film back on.

Could people report back with their experiences? I find it hard to believe that a company would release a Mark III version of a product that has a continuous drain of 27mA!

If anyone else wants to try with their body, all you have to do is connect a multimeter in current mode in series; i.e., connect a wire from the + terminal in camera to + terminal on battery holder (top of exposed AA battery), then connect - terminal on battery holder (bottom of exposed AA battery) to + terminal on multimeter, then connect - terminal on multimeter to - terminal in camera (alligator clips or leads do the trick just fine). Leave camera in 'locked' position.

Cheers.
Last edited by dpreview on Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Battery Drain on Phase One 645AF/Mamiya AFDIII

Postby Aztecaphoto » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:34 pm

Hi:
If you don´t want a battery failure, always use alkaline ones.
If you want to use rechargaeble, use cadmium type (yes, the old ones)
New ones tend to fail. I don´t know why, but they do.
I´m usually using the camera and back, and then remove batteries for sstorage. I never leave the batteries on body or back.

Regards
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Re: Battery Drain on Phase One 645AF/Mamiya AFDIII

Postby dpreview » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:58 am

It's obnoxious to remember to always take the battery pack off, even when driving from one vantage point to the next, for example (the drain is so bad, that even hours count).

But, regardless, I kind of figured out the problem. When I attach an older 645 AF film back to this body, there's no current draw when off. So it's the film back, which is a modified HM401. This modified film back (a quiet upgrade from Mamiya, AFAIK) avoids bent film leading to out-of-focus exposures by removing one roller in the magazine & advancing the film more between shots (so you only get 13-14 exposures per 120 roll).

Just my luck that I'd find a combo that actually takes good pictures (I don't see why anyone would put up with the old 645 film backs that grossly bend your film & then place the bent film on the exposure field) but has some ridiculous flaw like this.

Good grief.
Last edited by dpreview on Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Battery Drain on Phase One 645AF/Mamiya AFDIII

Postby dpreview » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:20 am

When on, the respective current drain is:

645AF back: 100mA
My HM401 modified back: 150mA

Suddenly, it's no longer surprising my batteries barely last me one roll sometimes.

*UPDATE*: Got a new modified back that does not show this drain, nor does it have any current drain when the camera is off (the other modified back did). This modified back, however, does not put as much spacing in between frames. More than the normal back, but less than the previous modified back I have. But it may be OK as I haven't noticed any flatness issues yet. I think it's really the re-design of the rollers in the modified back that helps.
Last edited by dpreview on Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Battery Drain on Phase One 645AF/Mamiya AFDIII

Postby NN192559UL2 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:20 pm

I have had problem with 2500/2700 mAh NiMi batteries on my Mamiya AFDiii. The camera thinks they are empty while they in fact are more and less full-loaded. When I use Sanyo Eneloop NiMi 2000 mAh batteries the camera works well and the battery capacity is good; the works several days or weeks, depending on how pictures I take.
/Joa
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