Need help choosing night-time video flashlight

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Abarr
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Need help choosing night-time video flashlight

Hi there. I’m new here and I’m from Israel so please be patience with me……

My son is looking for a strong flashlight to take pictures at night, he is a nature photographer.
we thought on the BLF-GT but can’t find how to buy it in a Sane price.

Can you help us to figure out how to do it?

Thank you so much.

Aviram Barr

Edited by: Abarr on 06/18/2018 - 18:11
goshdogit
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Welcome to the forum!

M4DM4X is a member here and has a good deal for the BLF GT on his website.

Have you seen videos of the BLF GT? It makes a very focused beam.

Are you sure the GT is good for your son’s nature photography?

Have you considered the BLF Q8 flashlight? The Q8 is brighter and makes a wider beam, but does not shine as far as the GT.

BlueSwordM
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@Abarr, yeah the BLF GT is completely overkill, and very expensive for what you want to use it for.

The BLF Q8 is brighter, smaller, and costs a lot less at less than 50US$ with a coupon:
https://m4dm4x.com/blf-q8-arrived/

Since he is a photograph however, there is the option of using the Noctigon Meteor M43. With the Nichia 219C LED option, it has very good color reproduction, and makes for a very good nature photo light at 98US$:
https://intl-outdoor.com/noctigon-418650-meteor-m43-p-864.html

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

goshdogit
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Since he is a photograph however, there is the option of using the Noctigon Meteor M43. With the Nichia 219C LED option, it has very good color reproduction, and makes for a very good nature photo light at 98US$
Very good suggestion. Thumbs Up

The Meteor makes a very broad, floody beam. I have the Nichia 219C version and I like it very much.

Here are two comparisons I made between the Meteor and Q8. The center tree is 35 meters away in both photos.

The BLF Q8 has a tripod mount, but the Meteor does not. I modified this clamp to mount the Meteor to a tripod:

Abarr
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thank you so much friends, היי i didn’t expect to get so many answers and so quick. The issue is that he is taking videos and not stills, and he’s using a long-distance lens so we’re afraid that we won’t find a flashlight that is bright enough. We don’t know Well this world of led flashlights so I think I have to trust your opinion. is it the best suggestion to use the Nichia 219C LED ? I so glad that I found you guys thank you very much and sorry about my English….
freeme
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Astrolux MF04 throw is as good. 

1thedeals.comyoutubeAstroluxNealsgadgetsolight

goshdogit
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Abarr wrote:
he is taking videos and not stills, and he’s using a long-distance lens
How far away is his subject?

What camera and lens is he using?

Maybe you should change the title of this post to, “need help choosing night-time video flashlight.”

There are many helpful people here on BLF. Thumbs Up

clemence
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By the way, for long range photo shooting, you better shine the object sideways – not from the same camera position. Unless the sky is very dry and clear, you’ll haze the pictures.
I usually only use long throw flashlight to aid focusing.

- Clemence

BlueSwordM
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@Abarr, do not worry about your English. It is fine, and with time, you will get better.

And, yes, the Nichia 219C is best because it has very good color reproduction, like the sun. In photos, good color reproduction is important, so the Noctigon Meteor 219C is the best choice.

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

Abarr
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Thank you people.
He use canon 7D and the len is Tamron 150-600mm.
The problem with wildlife in the dark is that he can’t know from where the object will come, so he have no choice then shine it from the frontal and not from the sides. The object can be between 65 to 150 feet far from him.

spaceminions
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When at 600mm f6.3 on 7D (an apsc sensor) especially for video where you cannot use longer shutter speed with a tripod, you want much more throw than meteor m43 or q8 or other lights. I think because of haze and that the light is coming from a small point it will not make pictures that look anywhere close to as good as in sunlight. But if you just need the best that is possible even if it’s not going to be like national geographic photo quality, something with lots of throw and not less than perhaps 12 or 13 degrees angle of spot would be necessary to cover the diagonal dimension of the image at 150mm; yet even to take pictures of wildlife takes lots of light so maybe you need less wide spot so that at distances where you need 600mm you can still have enough light. To have a chance of good light at that distance you might need the GT or something that is close to the same numbers as it if it is not suitable. (It may be too narrow and also too expensive.)
Edit: For 65 to 150 feet you do not need the BLF GT so disregard that.

Abarr
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To have a chance of good light at that distance you might need the GT or something that is close to the same numbers as it if it is not suitable. (It may be too narrow and also too expensive.) Edit: For 65 to 150 feet you do not need the BLF GT so disregard that

Thank you. I’m a little bit confused here, for your opinion, what kind of flashlight does he need?

Enderman
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He should probably get a flood flashlight like the Q8 if he doesn’t know where the next shot will be at.
It works perfectly fine at 150 feet distances.

The GT gives very uneven lighting, a bright spot in the middle and dim spill to the sides.

Abarr
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Two more questions.

I heard that somethime when you take video with LED lightning you get blinking picture because of the LED technology. Did any of you ever suffer from this problem?

The secound question is what kind of bataries do you recommand for the Q8.

Thank you so much guys, you are great!

SKV89
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Get a M43. It’s on sale now. Swap the lens with Carclo 10509 Optics and you will have a wall of light for night time photo taking.

Abarr
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The Noctigon Meteor M43 is on sale? where?

Thanks

adam7027
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Sorry, if I add confusion, but with the Canon APS-C, the zoom of the Tamron 150-600 mm lens translates to somewhere 10 degree to 2.5 degree wide field of view. If somehow the aiming of the flashlight could be done simultaneously with the aiming of the camera, one should consider a narrower beam for better illumination (not like any of the dedicated throwers like BLF GT, though).

Looking at the images supplied by goshdogit, I think, the Noctigon M43 Meteor won’t supply enough candela.

Let’s fix aperture to f/8, but change shutter speed from 1.3 seconds to somewhere around 1/50 (safe shutter speed to calculate exposure for low light video footages). That means, he will have to crank up ISO from 400 to 25600 to achieve the same exposure.
Let’s open up aperture to f/6.3, it is still ISO16000 (I think, for a 1st gen Canon 7D – or any APS-C camera, that would be barely usable).

I think, the best options could be some throwy, but wide beam flashlights with XHP70/XHP70.2 (And some multi-emitter lights like BLF Q8) – my first guess is we need around 100 000 – 200 000 candela to have a good illumination for the mentioned Tamron telephoto lens, and the given distance.

(For photography, I would also prefer a high CRI option, but as we got the use case outlined, there will be some raw power needed for sure, I guess)

Also, I think, we need to target the illumination with not the maximum output of the flashlight (which could be for just a few minutes, before some regulation kicks in), but the sustainable output.

Has somebody candela numbers for the Noctigon Meteor M43 Nichia 219C 5000K variant (both maximum, and sustainable) ?

goshdogit
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Abarr wrote:
The Noctigon Meteor M43 is on sale? where?
The Meteor is on sale from the manufacturer here.

I own two Meteors and love them very much, but they are ‘floody’ lights and I do not think they are suitable for long-range video.

Abarr wrote:
I heard that somethime when you take video with LED lightning you get blinking picture because of the LED technology. Did any of you ever suffer from this problem?
I am not an expert, but I will offer an explanation. On many flashlights, the LEDs are turned on and off very rapidly when used in lower modes in order to decrease brightness. This is called ‘pulse width modulation.’ When PWM operates at low frequency, it can be annoying to some people and appear as colored or darkened stripes in photos and videos. This effect can also be seen with fluorescent light fixtures.

High frequency PWM is not bothersome to most people but can sometimes still be detected by cameras. It depends on the frequency of the PWM and the framerate or shutter speed of the camera.

The Q8 uses high frequency PWM should not cause problems with cameras in most situations. The Meteor does not use PWM, but instead adjusts the current applied to the LEDs in order to create lower brightness modes.

Some people are very sensitive to PWM and most flashlight reviews will address it.

Abarr wrote:
The secound question is what kind of bataries do you recommand for the Q8.
If you are not familiar with lithium-ion batteries, please review the safety information here.

The Q8 and Meteor require button top batteries. This is due to how the batteries make contact with the terminals inside the flashlight. I use Samsung 30Q batteries in mine.

Choose a trusted brand from a trusted seller. Some quality brands include Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, and LG. Be aware that counterfeit batteries are common. The best prices are found online, but shipping restrictions of lithium batteries vary greatly around the world. Perhaps a BLF member from your area can suggest an online seller that can ship quality batteries to your location. You will also need a trusted battery charger.

adam7027 wrote:
Has somebody candela numbers for the Noctigon Meteor M43 Nichia 219C 5000K variant (both maximum, and sustainable) ?
The manufacturer states that the peak intensity of the 219C Meteor is 30,000 candela. Most reviewers measure the Q8 at 50,000+ candela.

Abarr, please ask more questions and tell us your intentions before making a purchase. Smile

clemence
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For video shooting there are some important considerations:

- Constant current or very high PWM regulated light is to be preferred to avoid blinky or banded movie. PWM has advantage of being constant in CCT and tint. Constant current in the other hand will fluctuates the CCT and tint, you may find the tint move from slightly greenish in low mode to pinkish in higher mode. But since most videographers are usually use a single mode for the entire shooting, this should not be a big problem. Constant current is the most efficient in battery consumption.

- Constant brightness or at least no SUDDEN step down. Many small high output flashlights usually stepping down after very short period of maximum output to avoid damage. This is a big no in video shooting, picture shooting is OK as you can always wait for the flashlight to cools down or adjust the exposure accordingly. Try to find any lights with big battery capacity or external power capability. But again, big battery capacity in small light that will steps down after 30 seconds is useless. Or….just use the next constant mode.

- As high as possible CRI (90+) with neutral CCT (4000K – 5000K). This will make post editing so much easier as you have more colours to begin with.

- Ability to use/change multiple optics and filter is a big plus. This gives you the flexibility with a single equipments. The easiest solution is to carry several flashlights for different scenes.

- Smooth beam profile. IMHO, reflectored light will give you spotlight style movie with high contrast between center and surroundings. TIR (Total Internal Reflection) optics or OP (orange peel) reflector with smooth beam profile is the best for this application. And to make things worse, most cameras have somewhat limited dynamic range. What looks normal and evenly lit to the yes will looks like a presenter in a spotlight on a stage.

- Clemence

SKV89
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goshdogit wrote:
Abarr wrote:
The Noctigon Meteor M43 is on sale? where?
The Meteor is on sale from the manufacturer here.

I own two Meteors and love them very much, but they are ‘floody’ lights and I do not think they are suitable for long-range video.

Yea the Meteor is good for close range night photos or indoor photos but doesn’t have great range. I’m not sure what kind of range OP needs. The DX80 with specified 32k lumens would provide much farther range but it only comes in 70CRI 6500k CW, unless that’s what you prefer. You can also get the Haikelite MT09R and have TA mod it with 80CRI 4000k emitters, which throws pretty well for a high lumen flood light.

If buying the Meteor M43, I don’t recommend getting the XPL-HI version. I bought it for $180 and it is actually a slight bit dimmer than the $98 XP-G2 option and the 5D tint is more yellowish than the XP-G2 5D tint. The XP-L HI 5D on my D4 is so much more rosier than the same emitter on the M43 (probably different batch of emitters). I also heard there was a batch of 219c used in the M43 at the end of the year had some greenish tint.

goshdogit
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Yes, it’s important to know that most high-powered flashlights cannot run at full brightness for more than a few minutes because of the heat they generate.

Quality lights will automatically decrease in brightness to avoid damage to the light or danger to the user. This will be a problem while shooting video.

Abarr
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,Thank you so much guys, you gave me a lot of information to think of. What’s budder my most is the fact that no matter what, the best LED flashlight will not last more than a few minutes on full brightness mode… So, it makes me think, what if my son will carry a large 12v or 24v battery on his back, such as car battery or something close to it, and we will look for a big spotlight, like they use in theaters or movies, with bigger bulb or other LED options

Do someone here knows this field?

clemence
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Abarr wrote:
,Thank you so much guys, you gave me a lot of information to think of. What’s budder my most is the fact that no matter what, the best LED flashlight will not last more than a few minutes on full brightness mode… So, it makes me think, what if my son will carry a large 12v or 24v battery on his back, such as car battery or something close to it, and we will look for a big spotlight, like they use in theaters or movies, with bigger bulb or other LED options

Do someone here knows this field?

BLF GT will give you constant output for almost 2 hours with stock LED (Cree XHP35 HI). The body size and the battery capacity is enough for most of your requirement. If you bring some more backup batteries then it can be a full night long distance video light.
The only problem is the beam shape and probably the low CRI LED used. With little modification it can give you broader beam and very high CRI. For example:
- Broader beam, less runtime, MUCH brighter output: Change the LED to XHP70 CRI 70+
- Broader beam, less runtime, brighter output, very high CRI: Change the LED to XHP70 CRI 90+.
- Custom broader beam, equal/slightly brigther, ultimate CRI : Change the LED to 4x E21A CRI 9080 and controlled Luminit diffuser film on the lens to get slightly brighter output with the best CRI available for such package.

The other option is to carry big battery powered stage spotlight. This is in my opinion is the best as you can stuff whatever LED and battery you want. Weatherproofness is another thing to think about though.

- Clemence

Abarr
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Dear Clemence, what’s CRI stand for?

BlueSwordM
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Color
Rendering
Index

Or how well it reproduces colors compared to sunlight.

For LEDs:

70CRI+ is average
80CRI+ is good
90+CRI is excellent
95+CRI is extremely good.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
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Hi Abarr, already answered by Blueswordm. But you can further learn more from Maukka’s posts. If you need to ask anything about colour rendering stuffs you better start from him.

Below is the BLF GT runtime chart from Narmattaru:

FYI, if you can carry portable stage lighting, you better start with COB LED and gigantic TIR optics such as Ledil Seanna.
Citizen and Nichia are two of my favourite COB maker for ultra high CRI. They come in various output as high as 10.000 lumens stock rated. And we all know that we can at least double the output with some BLF spirit! Wink

- Clemence

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I’d throw in an alternative way of assessing, what is actually needed. Abarr, if you do not own any of the li-ion battery flashlights, I would buy a cheap thrower first, with a known hotspot illumination (measured in candelas).

Since your camera + lens combo is pretty limiting, the first thing is to check, if your camera + lens combo worth the efforts at all. I know, that stepping up for bigger optics is not a budget friendly thing, but first, you should check, if you can make the desired illumination at all.

An Astrolux C8 is probably a fine thrower flashlight for checking your target illumination, as its hotspot is similarly bright, as some floodier lights’ (difference is they have wider beam, and more total output), and if you are lucky, you can get it around $20 from BangGood. So I won’t think you would regret buying one regardless of it is usable or not for your outlined plans (it won’t give you the ideal beam pattern, and the desired high CRI, but the hotspot intensity will be a good reference).

I can fully agree on the importance of the CRI, as everybody emphasized it, but I think, you might want to check your possibilities the way I outlined. Seeing the numbers, I am afraid, that you need either ‘ground-breaking’ illumination, and/or some more sensitive camera + lens combo ( e.g. 400mm f/4) to make usable video footages.

Other notes:
Regarding of the availability of XHP70 and XHP70.2, XHP70 is easier to get in high CRI, but I haven’t seen merchants selling XHP70.2 90+ CRI yet. (XHP70 is older, a bit less efficient, can be less overdriven, needs TIR optics or orange peel reflector, but has better color consistency across the beam)

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clemence wrote:
FYI, if you can carry portable stage lighting, you better start with COB LED and gigantic TIR optics such as Ledil Seanna.
Citizen and Nichia are two of my favourite COB maker for ultra high CRI. They come in various output as high as 10.000 lumens stock rated. And we all know that we can at least double the output with some BLF spirit! Wink

- Clemence

Probably the only suitable method for his camera + lens if he can find a 5-10° wide beam optics for that Smile

(EDIT: and I’d strongly suggest TIR /total internal reflection/ optics in this case, as it can align most of the LED’s light the desired way. Metal reflectors cannot align the light, which is not reflected, but are better at extreme focus, if they are big enough – Edit 2: Clemence already mentioned TIR Smile )

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+1 Adam,

Abarr, Adam was right. If this is your first time dealing with such powerful long range flashlight then investing in something cheaper yet proven is the way to go before spending more. Who knows?
Besides, here in BLF we don’t own only a single flashlight Wink .
From my experience, if you only have one precious flashlights, it will only make your works much more difficult. When you have at least two, then you’ll use it as intended, not baby them. Back then, I never dropped my one and only USD 10 flashlight for years. Now I often dropped USD 50 flashlights during outdoor shooting. LOL

- Clemence

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I'm now using XTAR Walrus D08 for night time photography and video since I was given the opportunity to review the light a few months back.

I'm using the inbuilt Red light to spot the subject (if it's a living thing, Red or Green tend to not spook the subject too much), and use the High mode or Low mode depending on the scene. It uses 4x18650, so it lasted quite a while (a couple of hours) before needing a recharge or change of battery.

I'm still learning... I found that a camera (mounted on tripod) with large sensor and high ISO works well, and a little light does go a long way for night photography to bring out the details of the shot. I like to use very diffused light source instead of spot light coz my preference is to preserve the natural habitat of the scene as much as possible. But note that I'm no professional photo/video-grapher... tongue-out

 

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Abarr
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Hi all .
We decided to buy the meteor M43 and try it.
What kind kf LED & Tint do you recommend to buy with, and what kind of charger? Thank you all.

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