Tonight I was photographing at Rob Hulett’s mixed martial-arts training gym for a story on some of the people training for the “Battle at the Blue Note” on Friday in Columbia, Mo. as part of a group project in my Advanced Techniques course. I’ve been using the Canon ST-E2 wireless flash commander quite a bit recently, and on my mental “to-do” list I had added “get a spare battery,” but that never did happen. As luck would have it, the battery that’s been plugging along inside of it since 2007 chose tonight to kick the bucket.
“Fortunately,” I thought, “there’s a grocery store across the street.” The 2CR5 that runs the ST-E2 used to be a very common lithium battery, and I know that I purchased the previous two batteries for the ST-E2 at places like grocery stores and pharmacies. However, not the Gerbes/Kroger, nor two Walgreens carried the 2CR5. Out of absolute desperation, I asked my GPS to find a Radio Shack and, sure enough, they had one…….for $20. No joke. This is a battery that should cost no more than $12. I grumbled and bought it any ways, jumping back into my car to rush back to the Hulett House Gym.
But, what did I discover upon my return? The 2CR5 that Radio Shack sold me–their own brand, of course–is so weak that the ST-E2 did not turn on at first, and then, once it did, it allowed me to get one photograph before pausing to recycle for six or seven seconds. This is a transmitter. It has NEVER had a recycling time in the past.
To my horror, I realized I hadn’t packed a TTL cord in my bag, and I had to bounce the flash off of the ceiling of the room while mounted on camera. I know that you just shuddered from reading that–believe me, it wasn’t easy to do!
I am left to wonder if this is a battery format that is simply on its way out. I am going to order some (name brand) batteries online and also try to return the Radio Shack P.O.S. battery tomorrow. In the mean time, I do wonder about the future of the 2CR5, and with it, the Canon ST-E2.