Quark disappointment

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brted
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Quark disappointment

After a lot of thought, I bought a Quark 123-2 Tactical with a neutral white XP-G R4. It's a really nice light. The beam is nice, I love being able to program the two modes (tight and loose). Moonlight mode is impressive. Even the size of the light is just right: not as big a P60.

BUT!

Preflash! Holy crap. Not all of the time (typically only when you were on High last time or if the light has been off for a while) the light will flash at Turbo brightness and then be at Low like you want. Now I have a lot of lights and I have *never* had a light that does this. Even the cheapest DX stuff I have doesn't do this. But the fanboys on CPF act like this is the most normal thing in the world and still sing the praises of 4Sevens. I'm returning the light. This is just a huge defect and I expect a lot more from such a reputable (and expensive) light. It seems to be a symptom on the Tactical lights only. All of the lights have a mild preflash on Moonlight mode where it preflashes to Low just to get the LED to light up and then pretty much instantly goes to Moonlight.

Edited by: brted on 10/20/2010 - 20:28
agenthex
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How long do you estimate the flash to be? From my search it only seems like a fraction of a sec?

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sb56637
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That's sort of a bummer.

If you're in the mood for a review Ted, of course it would be welcome here. It would be interesting to see how an expensive brand compares to a budget light. I would never spend more than about $25 on a light (I generally stick to less than $18), but if I were to buy an expensive brand it would be Quark. Quark is not as ridiculously expensive as some brands, and their designs and mode layouts are almost perfect. But I'm just rambling, because I'll never buy one! Wink The budget lights are just getting too good.

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brted
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I took a few wall shots to compare against other lights last night. I'll try to get some pictures of the light too. I like to take them during daylight outside because that's where I get the best light. I also did a real quick video of the preflash. So I will probably write something up officially. The brightness and beam quality are very similar to my other two XP-G neutrals. Where Quark has the advantage is very good regulation for constant output and letting you pick the levels you like the most. The flash is just really quick. But it is almost like a camera flash going off, which is not something you want when you are using a Low mode. There are solutions like covering the light when you first turn it on or turning it on High and then turning the bezel to Low before turning it off, which seems to prevent a flash once you turn it back on, but I just want a light to work. I can't believe they've been selling these lights like this for all this time without fixing it. Supposedly it can't be fixed because that's just how the circuit board works, but there has to be a way to redesign the circuit board and get rid of this.
berg
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Hey brted

I can't recall where, but I think I read somewhere that this flash issue could be avoided by switching Moonlight to either tight or loose head. That means, that if you have moonlight set to loose now, try changing it to tight - and vice versa. Hope it works...

- And in case you want to sell it, let me know Wink

 

Cheers

 

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Hey berg, welcome to BLF! Thanks for joining, enjoy your time here.

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brted
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Hi berg. Welcome and thanks for the tip. I checked out some posts at CPF last night where I read about swapping High and Low, but that didn't work. It doesn't flash every time and I think that throws people off when they're making suggestions about what works. From what I can tell it flashes under two different conditions: if the light is on High, you turn it off, then you loosen (or tighten, I'll have to check) to get to Low and then turn it on, you get a flash (but not all the time). The second way is if the light is off for a few minutes, even though it has been on Low the whole time, and you turn it back on, you get a flash.

Don't think I'll sell it, when it is pretty easy to return it. I've been wanting to stop by Going Gear's store, so I may do that this weekend. I'll burn more gas than it would cost to ship it back to them, but hopefully I'll be able to play with (I mean evaluate) some other lights.

SirJohn
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I had heard other people compalin about the preflash on the quarks before. A lot of people dismiss it as minor, but obviously from your description, it is not. As an alternative, you could try to return the quark and get the Zebralight SC51 which should be available in a few days.  A little bit more expensive though. There'a a review of a pre-production sample here:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=291124.

 

From the review it appears that Zebralight's claims for lumen output on their website are accurate. I could never afford the light, but at least I know what is possible for output on 1xaa now so I will patiently await until the budget lights catch up.

http://www.zebralight.com/SC51-Flashlight-AA-200Lm_p_43.html

brted
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There is another kind of preflash that Quarks have where in Moonlight mode it flashes to Low for an instant. That is noticeable and Quark says that is the only way to get Moonlight to work (don't know that I believe that either), but it isn't bad. So some people say preflash isn't bad but are talking about that one. And I guess some people wouldn't mind the Tactical's 1-pulse strobe preflash, but it isn't something I want to put up with.

The Zebralight sounds neat, but I liked the Quark's neutral XP-G (that's why I jumped on it, because it was a limited edition and I didn't know if they would keep selling them). I like the idea of Quark's forward clicky with momentary on and a way to set whether it will come on in High or Low before the light comes on, even if I'm not crazy about turning the bezel to do it (because that generally takes another hand).

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Its amazing how many led lights that are advertised on CPF that get completely blown away by cheap lights that cost just a small fraction of their cost. It just goes to show you the awesome power of advertising and collective internet hype on forums full of people with money burning holes in their pockets. No wonder the mods are Nazi worshippers. They protect their market with the diligence of top Colombian drug cartels and have the inflated egocentric attitudes to go with it. Even the most respected reviewers seem to miss many important negative attributes and give high marks to otherwise mediocre and far overpriced lights. To add insult to injury is the relatively high failure rates for many of these pricey pieces of junk. To bad many haven't experimented with cheap lights that can be taken apart by its user. Id almost think that even a monkey could be taught to solder in a new driver or emitter if the light were simple enough... as many of them are. If one can Google and read, almost anything is possible - and one need not spend a fortune in doing it.

Sorry your light wasn't what you had expected. I've gone through the same learning curve.

how2
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FlashPilot wrote:

Id almost think that even a monkey could be taught to solder in a new driver or emitter if the light were simple enough... as many of them are.

 

That's were i'm going wrong.  Note to myself Ditch Dad get monkeyLaughing