Working my way up - Mid-range thrower

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spudley112
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Working my way up - Mid-range thrower

I just got back into light technology (I have been absorbing information from posts here like crazy). I have always shopped around for decent lights, but admittedly, I knew little about what I was looking for. However, the fun part of any hobby like this is always searching for that “perfect” light. Well, as the knowledgeable people here are aware, there isn’t really a “perfect” for every situation. You have to match to tool to the job.

So far I have been focused on compact lights. After all, the best flashlight in the world is the one you have with you when everything goes dark. Now I am looking to expand to a decent mid-range thrower. The one I have my eye on is the Astrolux FT03…well, I have my eye on several, but this is likely the one I will get first.

With that being said, I had a few noob questions:

Would I be better off dishing out a few extra $$ and getting the FT02? I have seen some posts where others say they prefer the FT02.

Are there any negative issues with the FT03 to be aware of before getting it?

Does anyone know the runtime of the light at various power levels?

I hope these are not annoying new guy questions. I know it really sucks when someone comes in a asks questions easily answered with just a simple search. As I have search for information and read posts, I realize there is a lot to learn about this subject.

BlueSwordM
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The FT02 is a different class of light. Worse UI, but better driver, and much better brightness regulation overall.
So, it’ll have higher average brightness, but worse runtime.

The FT03 has the advantage of having a very large reflector, and a rather small powerful LED, so it throws quite well.

Before directly jumping to it though, I think the GT Mini would be a good start.

If this isn’t enough for you, then the FT03 would be a good bet.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

spudley112
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Thanks. The GT Mini is another one that piqued my interest. I know it sounds kinda overkill, but I have been writing down specs and prices on the different lights and comparing them side by side. The GT Mini is high on the list. Thanks for the recommendation.

California_Prepper
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I think starting with the FT03 sst40 version would be perfect. The ramping ui is awesome, it’s usb-c rechargeable, has a good run time, and as far as I know the best throw per $ ratio. I take it camping with me and people are blown away by it’s performance.

And when I wanna light up everything with a little less throw I use the FT03 xhp50.2 version.

There is also another light that currently has a groupbuy, the Nightwatch Nl40 with the SBT-90 gen 2 led. The same led as the Acebeam k75. More than double the cost of the FT03 but that is mainly due to the SBT-90 led being so expensive.

Pavlo
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I think you need to figure out how you intend on using the light. The FT02is far superior as it has a regulated and efficient driver. If you plan on using the light at its highest setting and want the same brightness regardless of battery level, FT02 is well worth the extra $$.

Lightbringer
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The GTmini is quite nice (got a couple myself) but also look into the P30.

Different UIs, depends what you’ll be using them for.

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spudley112
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Pavlo wrote:
I think you need to figure out how you intend on using the light. The FT02is far superior as it has a regulated and efficient driver. If you plan on using the light at its highest setting and want the same brightness regardless of battery level, FT02 is well worth the extra $$.

Aha…that is good info to have. Yeah, I think it might be worth shucking out the extra money for the FT02 if I go that direction.

spudley112
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Ordered the FT03 today. I will be ordering the GT Mini Friday. I am looking forward to a head to head comparison of these two lights. Now I gotta start saving up for my BLF GT…my Christmas present to myself.

Yokiamy
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spudley112 wrote:
Ordered the FT03 today. I will be ordering the GT Mini Friday. I am looking forward to a head to head comparison of these two lights. Now I gotta start saving up for my BLF GT…my Christmas present to myself.

I still have one for sale Wink

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

 

spudley112
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Yokiamy wrote:
spudley112 wrote:
Ordered the FT03 today. I will be ordering the GT Mini Friday. I am looking forward to a head to head comparison of these two lights. Now I gotta start saving up for my BLF GT…my Christmas present to myself.

I still have one for sale Wink

Have any idea what shipping costs would be to the USA?

Yokiamy
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Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

 

spudley112
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Well…looks like I get an early Christmas!

Yokiamy
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spudley112 wrote:
Well…looks like I get an early Christmas!

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

 

spudley112
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I am pretty impressed with the Convoy C8+ so far. Tried it out last night and all I could think about was the times I had paid more $$ for less light. Tomorrow, my FT03 arrives and I am looking forward to giving it a go.

ValuseekeR
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Congrats on all the new lights. Would love to hear your thoughts on the C8+, GT Mini, and FT03. I’ve been close to pulling the trigger on all of them.

Usually don’t “need” a lot of throw, but I still get the itch from time to time. Right now the SS BLF Kronos X6 is my throwiest light. It’s pretty sweet, but also a bit outdated and heavy as hell lol.

spudley112
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ValuseekeR wrote:
Congrats on all the new lights. Would love to here your thoughts on the C8+, GT Mini, and FT03. I’ve been close to pulling the trigger on all of them.

Usually don’t “need” a lot of throw, but I still get the itch from time to time. Right now the SS BLF Kronos X6 is my throwiest light. It’s pretty sweet, but also a bit outdated and heavy as hell lol.

The Convoy C8+ is a great little light. For a light you could put in a jacket pocket…or tucked into your back pocket, it has a lot of power. Keep in mind that up to this point I have not had a lot of experience with these types of lights. Many of my lights are super small (AAA, AA etc) lights mainly good for ease of carry. The lights I have owned in the past do not hold a candle (haha) to the lights we have available now. Just let me say, I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything by owning the C8.

When I get my FT03 and BLF GT, I may feel differently, but like may here would probably tell you, there are few lights out there that can do absolutely everything. I am very happy that I bought the C8…it was definitely a welcome surprise.

Lightbringer
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As long as you keep in mind that an Überthrower is nigh useless close-in, they’re still nice to have around.

Close-in, the spill would be quite dim relative to the concentrated hotspot, that the hotspot would wash out any semblance of night-vision to see what’s in the spill, whether bright or dim. It’s almost like shining a laser in your path.

That said, keep a flooder for close-in viewing (dark trail, etc.), while the second light, a thrower, will be able to light up what’s off in the distance that your flooder couldn’t even hope to reach.

Eg, over the summer I brought an assortment of lights to show the gf, and my GTmini seemed anæmic shining on the ground, such a teenytiny hotspot on black asphalt. Yet it lit up the trees in the distance very nicely.

My DC7, throwier than my BLF (vs Sofirn) Q8s, going full tilt, almost blinded both of us up close, but couldn’t reach those trees to save its life.

People often make that same mistake, thinking that one light will be able to do it all.

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spudley112
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Great point. I usually have my Thrunite T1 in pocket. It is a great portable floody light. I just bought a Sofirn SP31 from a member here and I have to say it is pretty close to being my “jack of all tades” at the moment. It has some great throw and works out really well on evening walks.

I think a lot of my desire for a super thrower is the same as when I owned a sport bike. Do I really NEED to go 200mph? No, but the possibility is there.

Besides, I might need to light up the next town over if they lose power.

Lightbringer
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Throwing in here once more… I pocket both my Nitecore MH20 and my Xeno E03. It’s WW and has diffusion film on it, so it’s a nice wiiiiiiiiiide even flood. For most of what I use a light for in a pinch, the E03 seems handier, as most quick dashes for a light happen up close. So it may seem redundant to carry 2 lights (3rd, an SP32Av2 on my bag) is probably overkill, I don’t want to be caught without a beefier light like the ’20 for more “reach”, and much longer brightness and runtime… and onboard charging.

In fact, being that the regular MH20 is semi-floody, I could get the best of both worlds with the MH20GT (throw+flood) instead, but I’m happy with the MH20.

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Lightbringer
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Yeah, one more… Facepalm

A lotta people bitch’n‘moan about Nitecores being horribly CW, but even comparing it side-by-side with my WK30 (with its wonderful ’351 under the hood), the MH20 is actually a bit warmer than the WK30!

Again, dunno if it came with a NW option, or if I just won the CT/tint lottery, but I’m really really happy with it.

 

Oh, and moonlight is phenomenal on it. It ain’t firefly mode (I wish people’d make that distinction, and not want 0.00015lm “moonlight” mode), but it’s quite low and still quite useful.

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spudley112
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I appreciate all the input I can get. I am in the learning phase and every bit of insight is appreciated.

Lightbringer
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Skip all the advice above and do this.

Buy one.

Buy another.

Buy another.

Rinse, repeat.

You’ll eventually find one you’ll really like… ‘til a “better” one comes along.

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ValuseekeR
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spudley112 wrote:
The Convoy C8+ is a great little light. For a light you could put in a jacket pocket…or tucked into your back pocket, it has a lot of power…

Haha, yeah, I know. I’m a little stoopid. Have 3 S2+ and no C8s. Party

Lightbringer
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Only 3? Piker…

I could practically open up Convoy America here with all the S2+es I got.

 

Okay, I didn’t quite mention my C8 Army™, but…

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tatasal
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How about this small beast: the Nightwatch NI0L with Osram white flat:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/68465 —- comparative shoot-out shots between throwers

ValuseekeR
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Lightbringer wrote:
Only 3? Piker…

Guilty as charged. Facepalm

Pavlo
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Lightbringer wrote:
The GTmini is quite nice (got a couple myself) but also look into the P30.

Different UIs, depends what you’ll be using them for.

I’ve always been tempted by the Nitecore P30.
What makes you like it so much?

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Pavlo wrote:
I’ve always been tempted by the Nitecore P30.

What makes you like it so much?

Crisp clean beam with a nice tight hotspot, so it throws like Hell, and it’s a forward-clicky with a fully exposed button (no silly U-shaped cutouts), with a sideswitch to change modes, so is great for flash’n‘dash.

And I think (just goggled it, and yep) it can also take a pair of ’123s as well as a single 18650.

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Pavlo
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Lightbringer wrote:
Pavlo wrote:
I’ve always been tempted by the Nitecore P30.

What makes you like it so much?

Crisp clean beam with a nice tight hotspot, so it throws like Hell, and it’s a forward-clicky with a fully exposed button (no silly U-shaped cutouts), with a sideswitch to change modes, so is great for flash’n‘dash.

And I think (just goggled it, and yep) it can also take a pair of ’123s as well as a single 18650.

Seems to throw very well given its “lower” output compared to XHP35 lights.
Looks like a nice host for Osram White Flat too.

Thanks for your feedback!

Lightbringer
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At first I was wondering, “Okay, what’m I gonna do with Yet Another Compact Thrower?”, given my C8 Army™, but I got one, then got another. They’re really nice.

And while I’m using my GTmini in rotation (as far as throwers), the P30 is definitely the one I keep going back for.

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Sillen
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I shocked my sons team mates with the throw of the GT Micro!

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