Looking for the perfect photographers flashlight with: Zoom + (Cont) var brightness + Memory + Tact.on and >= 150 lumen

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yohandsome
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Looking for the perfect photographers flashlight with: Zoom + (Cont) var brightness + Memory + Tact.on and >= 150 lumen

As a photographer using a flashlight for the dual purpose of taking fast paced low light indoors video and photography generates a demanding list of requirements, in order of priority:

1) Price < $50 (almost forgot this one Wink

1.1) Memory - self explanatory.

2) Zoom - A wide flood is critical for video, throw can be used for interesting portraits.

3) Continuous variable brightness would be ideal, but low/mid/high pre-configured modes could be adequate.

4) Neutral or near neutral color light (~5500-6500k).

5) Tactical on - for quick "flash like" snaps.

6) >= 150 lumen output, as it will be used primarily in low light indoor situations massive output doesn't seem necessary.

7) I handed operation of zoom and brightness would be a bonus.

Some options I've found on this forum:

Tank 737 http://dx.com/p/tank007-tk737-flood-to-throw-zooming-3-mode-120-lumen-le... 120 lumen and not sure about the color, but has zoom and memory. Bonus of being able to take AAA batteries.

The Romisen RC 39 has the same features at 190 lumen tops: http://dx.com/p/romisen-rc-39-cree-q5-wc-5-mode-190-lumen-memory-convex-... White color light should work well.

YEZL T9 goes up to 800 lumen or so, not sure if it has memory.

Let me know if you have any suggestions, thanks!

Flashlight noob

Mr_Krabs
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Don’t use dimmable lights. Led flashlights use pulse width modulation, PWM, so it can interfere with exposure on camera settings. I know on my camera if I’m using a PWM light sometimes my camera can actually take a picture of the scene when the light is in between pulses and I end up getting an underexposed shot.

Don’t bother with zoom, it wastes a lot of a light’s efficiency. Get wide flood and then use a diffuser to get even light.

What you can get is a Solarforce L2P with a neutral white XM-L module and forward clicky switch. You can always make a diffuser with scotch tape or DC fix film. The L2P is a very flexible light that can be configured however you want and is far more reliable than anything Tank puts out.

Another nice thing to get would be a warm white module, the reason is you’re going to be in low light situations indoors. That often means you’ll have either incandescants or warm white fluorescent lighting. A warm white module will match these quite nicely so you pictures look natural, and on top of that you can get a high CRI warm white. This gives you the advantage that using the incan setting on your camera you’ll be assured all the colors will turn out naturally.

scaru
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Not all lights use PWM, you just need a current controlled light. I think PilotPTK is working on a driver that would fit in a P60 host. 

Mr_Krabs
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All off the shelf lights use PWM. Considering this guy is a photographer and not likely a skilled DIYer I wouldn’t say, oh just buy anything you want and switch out drivers, led’s, and swap in a forward clicky on the switch board. Consdiering PilotPTK is only just working on a driver I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on finding a current controlled light, with a neutral white led, and forward clicky. That would severely limit your choices. So it’s best to just eliminate PWM from the equation because that opens up selection much more.

scaru
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I'm pretty sure both Zebralights and Fenix lights do not use PWM. 

Chicago X
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If using the light for pics, you would be best served with a high-CRI (color rendering index) LED.  Others are deficient in (or overwhelmed by) certain colors, and the camera picks that up far better than the human eye.

The LEDs I would recommend would be the Nichia 219 or CREE high-CRI XP-G.

The CRI of sunlight is 100, and anything over 85 is considered high-CRI.  Typical LEDs in flashlights are 65-75.

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Mr_Krabs
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scaru wrote:

I’m pretty sure both Zebralights and Fenix lights do not use PWM

Zebra lights and Fenix both use PWM, it’s just a higher frequency but it’s still there and can affect how things show up on a camera if you’re using a fast shutter speed. If it were truly a current control light you’d notice significant tint shift in the light on low output levels, they’ll usually end up going green tinted.

agenthex
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I use a romsien rc-29 1-mode to take video at night. It’s a pretty wide beam at max (~35mm equiv or so?). I hold it in one of these: http://dx.com/p/universal-clamp-mount-for-tripods-holds-up-to-3-8cm-thic..., which mounts to any external flash grip or whatever.

Reading this makes you smarter: http://lesswrong.com/

agenthex
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The tank has a really cool beam, but much more powerful. You can tweak color in camera/post. Angle is slightly narrower.

The RC-29 is mostly useful indoor, but it’s very lightweight so it’s possible to mount even in a flash shoe to tripod thread adapter. You’ll need a lot more power outdoors, perhaps an xml.

A light is much better than nothing in the dark, but the angle of illumination is not going to be optimal you’re going to get a flash look.

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raccoon city
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Welcome to the gang, yohandsome!

Best0270

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Johm
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Mr_Krabs wrote:
scaru wrote:

I’m pretty sure both Zebralights and Fenix lights do not use PWM

Zebra lights and Fenix both use PWM, it’s just a higher frequency but it’s still there and can affect how things show up on a camera if you’re using a fast shutter speed. If it were truly a current control light you’d notice significant tint shift in the light on low output levels, they’ll usually end up going green tinted.

My Zebralight SC30w has 2 PWM modes and 4 current regulated modes.
Shortly after that they switched to current regulated modes only. (although i don’t know if this is true for all the new models i suspect it is.)

Quarks also have current regulated modes.

You can notice a tint shift in current regulated lights in lower modes.
(this is a characteristic of leds)