Mini Review: TLF/BLF FW3A Strobe Modes

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stephenk
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Mini Review: TLF/BLF FW3A Strobe Modes

I’ve written a review of the TLF/BLF FW3A aimed at light painting photographers, which is here: http://lightpaintingblog.com/flashlight-review-tlf-blf-fw3a/
I decided not to copy and paste the review here as there are plenty of more detailed reviews aimed at the BLF user base. However, I thought I would share a few photos of the FW3A’s two strobe modes.

Party strobe at maximum frequency – 112Hz, with approx. 1.3ms on time. This is trippy! Due to the extremely fast strobe pulse (in Ledlenser slow-PWM territory), this mode appears dimmer than the lumens would suggest.

Party strobe at minimum frequency – 3.5Hz, with approx. 1.3ms on time. This is amazing for “freezing” objects in mid-air.

Tactical mode at maximum frequency – 80Hz, with 33% on time. Beautiful light trails.

Tactical mode at minimum frequency – 2.5Hz, with 33% on time. Love this effect.

The strobe modes are excellent for light painting photography. The beam profile, lack of momentary access to strobes, and non- adjustable strobe brightness prevent it from being the best flashlight for this purpose ever, but it is certainly a flashlight that every light painting photographer should own. Well done to the FW3A team, and also to Toy Keeper for having such great strobe modes in the Anduril firmware.

PS: For those who didn’t put their name down in time, I have an affiliate link and 20% off code: SKFW3A

Edited by: stephenk on 05/14/2019 - 06:42
M3CSL
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very interesting use of a flashlight or light source!
thanks for sharing

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Nicolicous
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nice work Stephen

Think i already asked but forgot where to buy the tube for light painting.

can you pm me the source ?

Nico

Nico -.-

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I’m hoping to add momentary to the strobe modes sometime soon… I’ve just been really busy.

The plan is to make the light keep track of whether it was last used in regular mode or a strobe-group mode… and then momentary would automatically use one of those two. So if you want a momentary tactical strobe, go to the tactical strobe mode, adjust the parameters how you want, then turn the light off. Click five times to go to momentary mode, and it would do tactical strobe as long as the button is held.

This would also work in the other four strobe-group modes, though I’m not sure it would actually be useful to have a momentary candle mode or momentary lightning mode. It’s just easier to do all of them than to do only one or two.

stephenk
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ToyKeeper wrote:
I’m hoping to add momentary to the strobe modes sometime soon… I’ve just been really busy.

The plan is to make the light keep track of whether it was last used in regular mode or a strobe-group mode… and then momentary would automatically use one of those two. So if you want a momentary tactical strobe, go to the tactical strobe mode, adjust the parameters how you want, then turn the light off. Click five times to go to momentary mode, and it would do tactical strobe as long as the button is held.

This would also work in the other four strobe-group modes, though I’m not sure it would actually be useful to have a momentary candle mode or momentary lightning mode. It’s just easier to do all of them than to do only one or two.


That would be a great feature. Also, if the strobe mode could remember the last used ramped brightness, as per the tactical mode in Anduril, that would be great too. If that UI was in an 18650 light with a single XP-L and smooth reflector, it would be the ultimate flashlight for light painting!
ToyKeeper
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Oh, er, BTW… the strobe brightness isn’t adjustable. It’s hardcoded to use full power on FET+1 lights, or use the highest regulated mode on FET+N+1 lights. So with the FW3A, the strobes run at about 800 lm.

This is, of course, adjustable if you modify the code.

stephenk
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Thanks for the update. I thought it used the ramp ceiling? I’ve modified my review.

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Thanks for sharing stephenk, I love these photographs…. Beer

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I like too

Sorry for my poor english.

stephenk
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Thank you all. Looking forward to using the FW3A in more complex scenes.

Omega_17
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Nice artistic pictures. There is endless possibilities thanks to the Anduril UI.

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Those light painting pictures look beautiful! Cool

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Omega_17 wrote:
Nice artistic pictures. There is endless possibilities thanks to the Anduril UI.

Anduril doesn’t make pretty pictures… it just blinks a light on and off. Stephenk makes the pretty pictures. Smile

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Stephenk makes the pretty pictures. • •

I agree and would love to have some….

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Nice picture, very interesting (y)

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Thanks for the comments. Can’t wait to do some serious light painting creations with the FW3A.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Oh, er, BTW… the strobe brightness isn’t adjustable. It’s hardcoded to use full power on FET+1 lights, or use the highest regulated mode on FET+N+1 lights. So with the FW3A, the strobes run at about 800 lm.

This is, of course, adjustable if you modify the code.

Lightning Storm mode in a BLF GT type light would benefit from using full power FET instead of the highest regulated mode. just saying…

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Ryzbor wrote:
Lightning Storm mode in a BLF GT type light would benefit from using full power FET instead of the highest regulated mode. just saying…

Lightning mode pays no attention to FET vs regulated modes. It spans the whole brightness range… at random.

Looking at it now though, I did find a small bug. The range is level 2 to 143, but it was intended to be 2 to 150. So I just fixed that.

It won’t hit the highest level very often though, because it’s random with a low bias. This makes most of the flashes less bright, and the really bright ones only happen once in a while… like in a real storm. When I was writing that code, I had an actual lightning storm outside for comparison, so I adjusted things to look like what I saw out the window.

stephenk
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I used the candle flicker mode for a romantic evening last night.

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@ stephenk, I knew you’d do something gorgeaus with all the strobes on the FW3A Wink Awesome work Wink

ToyKeeper wrote:
I’m hoping to add momentary to the strobe modes sometime soon… I’ve just been really busy.

We can wait for that TK Innocent It has been nice to play with the light so far and all the blinking modes Party

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Great job, we like it, and more! Thumbs Up

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Thanks for all the kind comments. A couple more:

Bike flash mode

Tactical strobe 80Hz

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@StephenK — excellent work! I’m intrigued by your results. On your site is there a video showing a little of how you produce these?

ToyKeeper wrote:
Ryzbor wrote:
Lightning Storm mode in a BLF GT type light would benefit from using full power FET instead of the highest regulated mode. just saying…

Lightning mode pays no attention to FET vs regulated modes. It spans the whole brightness range… at random.

Looking at it now though, I did find a small bug. The range is level 2 to 143, but it was intended to be 2 to 150. So I just fixed that.

It won’t hit the highest level very often though, because it’s random with a low bias. This makes most of the flashes less bright, and the really bright ones only happen once in a while… like in a real storm. When I was writing that code, I had an actual lightning storm outside for comparison, so I adjusted things to look like what I saw out the window.


I used to work in meteorology while serving the USAF. I observed many lightning storms. I have to say, the FW3A lightning mode is very convincing! I’m very curious to know what kind of mathematical randomizing formula you came up with for it. Naturally, real thunderstorms can have long gaps between lightning, so yours are shortened a bit for user satisfaction. But it’s nicely done.