Flashlight for photography

I normally use Klarus P20 on low setting to provide some extra light on the subject indoors during longer exposures. Nichia 219C and a smooth beam pattern.

Here’s one recent example:

Maybe a noctigon meteor M43 with SST20 3000k high CRI. Then you can buy the carclo triple optics to control the beam from spot to super diffused floody. It can easily sustain 1000 lumens and uses a constant current driver with no pwm.

That’s clever!

Wow! Results are lovely. You’ve clearly spent a while perfecting your craft.

Looks perfect for close-ups. Nice moody product shot!

Looks great and easy to control. Couldn’t swap the optics on a job though - a zoom would be easier.

From all the discussions, it’s looking like a strong contender with the back of its lens slightly frosted. Do you know if it’s easy to change its existing operating system to make the interface easier, and if there’s a slightly higher CRI emitter option?

I assume your “voice activated light stand” would provide a zoom capability i.e. feet.

True! Using feet and using zoom give different lighting effects, though, and that’s what I want the zoom for - it’s not just the size of the beam. Getting close with feet increases the falloff of the light, so close things get massively brighter while distant things barely brighten at all. Hanging back and doing it with zoom makes the closer and distant things both increase in brightness. The camera amplifies this effect compared to what our eyes see, letting me choose from a huge range of looks just by changing the zoom and distance of the light. It lets me get expressive and change the relative brightness of things with one light. I can’t do that with a fixed beam.
Also, because light in nature nearly always comes from above, we’re often using poorly-placed balconies etc, so I can’t always choose my distance. I need an assistant with wings.

Thanks, everyone - you’ve all been super-helpful with fabulous suggestions. Here’s the summary (assuming a zoomie), and a final question: which is easiest to get modded to perfection, or to mod for a person who has never wielded a soldering iron… ever:

Jaxman Z1 or UF-1504 each with a slightly frosted rear to their aspheric lens for smoothness and removing the coloured fringe. Maybe DC-fix to frost, maybe 1000-grit sandpaper and LOTS of care. Huge thanks to djozz and JaredM for confirming this, djozz even sacrificing gear to confirm it!

UF-1504 would need a substantial mod, and the suggestion is XHP35 driver and a GT-FC40 5000K 95CRI emitter.

Jaxman Z1 has 90 CRI, 5000K emitter available as off-the-shelf option - very close to target. Is there any easy upgrade to improve?

Looks like I’ll have to sacrifice the easy rotary UI for brightness. Can either the Jax Z1 or UF-1504 use Anduril or Ramping OS? I don’t see either on the list of build targets from Toykeeper Index of /torches/fsm but I’m not sure if I’m reading it right (or reading the right thing!).

Huge thanks to Goshdogit, MaxMx, djozz (thanks for sacrificing lenses!), JaredM, MikeC (love the pictures), MacaratumB, samyy, Pete7874, Pavlo, and Mr.Scott for making me feel welcome and all the great input.

It’s great to see so much activity in this thread! Kudos to everyone involved, including dholland for being so interactive with folks offering advice. :+1:

A ramping UI would be great for your application. I love Andúril, but it requires a light with an electronic switch. Most other ramping UIs do too.

One exception is ‘Crescendo’ by ToyKeeper, which works with a simple on/off tailswitch instead of an e-switch. Here’s a video demonstrating it on another flashlight.

It seems like a zoomie would be great for you, and the Jaxman Z1 is well respected.

I’m not sure if the Z1’s driver could be reprogrammed with Crescendo, but swapping a replacement driver running Crescendo would only require basic tools and a few soldered connections.

I’m not up to date with all the different firmware options and drivers these days, so others can chime in on that front.

I think the simplest option could be the Jaxman Z1, DC-Fixed lens, and Samsung LH351D in 5000K or 5700K. I’m sure with some patience and an hour or so of practice, you surely could handle an emitter swap. It’s just two wires and many folks here would be glad to help you along the way.

With minus green filters, Maukka has demonstrated impressive color rendering and tint from these Samsung emitters (5000k and 4000k). Djozz has tested the 5700K I believe, as he mentioned the results in the “what did you mod today” thread. Maybe he could post some screenshots of that here? Unlike most other emitters that decrease Duv (get less green/more pink) with increasing current, these actually get slightly more green the harder you run them, and most of their shift runs parallel to the BBL, increasing in CCT with drive current. This could actually be advantageous to you, comparatively.

I actually have a Z1 in like new condition that’s on my for sale or trade list. I could swap in an emitter for you if I had time to acquire one. I’d love to see how it works for you and iterate on some designs. Right now it’s got the stock 70CRI XPLHI.

PS: If there’s a need for 100+ degree flood beams, a second, compact light would be your best bet instead of trying to do it all with one light. Just use the same emitter in a wide angle triple/quad host like an FW3A or any other one on the growing list lights in this format. The few that grab my attention besides the FW3a are Emisar D4, Wuben T050R, and Jaxman E2L. The D4 might be my top suggestion of them all, balancing price, performance, and modularity. If you want a real powerhouse flood light, the Emisar D18 with the wide optic option would be really sweet (but ~$100). The good news is that you can EDC this second light, so it’s not just one-dimensional! Could be a good excuse to treat yourself to a nice torch :wink:

Thanks, Goshdogit - there are some great folk here!

That’s perfect for my application! One tap to ramp brighter, two for darker and a blink at the ends so you know you’re there. I’ll look into how you define the ramp and how you reprogram the driver, and come back if I need help with it. I see there’s an enormous thread on modding the Z1, so I expect it’s there. Looks like I’ve found my ideal light. v1.0 of my ideal light at least.

Thanks! Dean

That’s my video :smiley: I’m famous on YT now :stuck_out_tongue: :person_facepalming: :smiling_imp:

I am still using Crescendo on that light (a zoomie), so in case you need some help, let me know !!

Yup. I’m sold on the Z1 as a host.

Thanks for making me aware of this. I’m used to flash where there’s only a minor shift of colour temp through the power range - I hadn’t thought of green/magenta changes with power. Won’t be a problem with this light as it’ll be used solo and won’t need to match others in a studio.

I’d originally hoped to start using v1.0 of the light in about 2 weeks, but AliExpress quotes a vague lottery of 15-60 days for delivery. It’s US$68 including postage for the 5000K 90 CRI CREE XHP50 version (close enough to get me started while I work on v2.0). Your reduce, re-use, recycle idea might work out quicker! Any idea on timeframe? The 70 CRI wouldn’t work, but the Samsung or CREE 90+ CRI in 5000K or 5700K would work well.

PM incoming.

I hope to see you enjoy your time here at BLF - a belated Welcome as well. Lots of fun and learning to be had.

Any updates on the project? :slight_smile:

Yes! JaredM did a fantastic job of customising a (safe!) Cometa for me, and it’s fabulous. It’s got a Samsung 90CRI LH351D emitter, a better switch and DC-Fix diffusion just above the emitter (away from the lens). The beam shape is great, with just slight variation in colour across the beam. I also got an Emisar D18 with SST-20 4000K 95CRI emitters as a complement - the Emisar as a sledgehammer for power, and the Cometa as a stiletto for highlighting the subject.
Before the lockdowns I did two professional commercial shoots with the Emisar and a cheap zoomie (I didn’t have the awesome Cometa then), shot on iPhone 11 - this is all to show that you don’t need what’s traditionally thought of as “pro” gear to get pro results. The client loved the outcome. I’m writing an article about the experience, which I’ll share with everyone here. I’m currently moving my whole business online, and that’s taking over everything… hoping to get back to writing in a couple of weeks.
Thanks for the follow-up!