What is your favourite optic? (POLL) :)

You can see the archived poll results on the Wayback Machine:


Aspheric for me for the perfect narrow flood that it offers.
The second would be reflctor…but only as long as it’s shallow enough, so when I have the light in the hand and direct it forward, I can see the path just ahead well lit with the spill.

I don’t like TIRs and mules too much because their spill is too wide, blinds others too much. Myself from time to time as well. I don’t own recoil reflector but I doubt I would have used for one.

And I don’t like most zooming TIRs that I’ve seen. There was an exception though (Coast HP2), so I know they can be good. And I wonder whether I’d prefer a well done TIR zoomie to a well done aspheric one. I haven’t witness either yet.

I disagree. Reflectors always have a sharp cut off where the spill ends which I don’t like, and you often get flower petaling with them in quad emitter lights. I suggest trying out one of the throwy TIRs to see what they’re like. The spill is much smoother and doesn’t have the harsh abrupt end of a reflector.

TIR. Keeps it simple. Highly resistant to impact breakage. The gain in durability offsets any loss in output for me.

I have 1 throwy TIR light. Emisar D4S with CULNM1.TG.
I don’t really like its optics. It is an awesome performer but I need to keep it pointed strictly forward because when I move my hand around, from time to time spill hits my eyes.

And I just like sharp cutoff. This is one of my favourite features of aspherics and I’m glad that that reflector lights have it as well. Accidentally hitting my eyes is an extreme example. But I do care about not shining at others’ eyes and sharp cutoff is what enables that.
Petals? They compromise the sharpness by adding some dimly lit areas of a weird shape. That’s ugly and requires more care but still works better for me than unlimited spill.

I think the issue could be resolved by a deeper bezel. Maybe not Armytek deep, but a lot more than the D4S for this issue. I agree with Sunny, the soft and gradual transitions to the spill from narrow TIRs is much nicer to me than harsh ones with reflectors. Deep - as in 1:1 Depth:ID or deeper reflectors are not so bad though since the spill is much narrower and the beam overall has a more narrow TIR type of distribution. The more time that passes, I find homogenous, medium narrow (~10° fwhm) with 10% intensity field/spill angles around 30-40° ideal. If I want more flood a diffuser works. The converse isn’t true though.

Hm, let me elaborate in depth:

I like TIR. And collimator lens. And reflector. Mule rather not, looks somehow incomplete.


I like, and have all of them, but it’s horses for courses. Yes tir’s can throw, but there is throw and there is throw. For example are there any tir’s that could keep up in proper throwers? I haven’t seem any, would be interested to. Didn’t vote as there is nothing to vote for that fit’s my choice, I don’t have a single favourite - I do have more tir’s than reflectors, but mainly because I own mostly triples/quads - all my throwers are reflector.

The optic on the Emisar D4sv2 is perfect in my opinion

Option X

diffusion film

what’s not to love about an absolutely smooth beam ?

It took me a while to figure out that the sharp cut off with an aspheric kind of bugged me .

My answer should probably be mule but I don’t have any and the light just seems unfinished . A mild frost on a lens never hurt anyone :)

I would default most of my lights to throw and then add a diffuser that I could add or subtract at will .

So I like a throwy emitter and then I beat it into submission on demand .

* Favorite optic has to be that striped optic that flattens out the beam / used for bike lights .. too cool.

Mule is my least fave. They are blinding to everyone including me. I find they kind of defeat the purpose of having a light in the first place. COB LED designs fall into this category too.

I have never owned or used a recoil light. They never interested me because with the LED “floating” up off the reflector there is no thermal path so you have to under-drive the emitter by a huge amount. A throw design with a dim emitter that fades with heat… What’s the point?

The other 4, I can go any/either way on. Pretty evenly matched pros and cons to them all. I would like to try more focus-able TIR lights in the future. It’s like an aspheric but with less wasted emitter lumens.

I was at my local costco last night and they just got these in: 3 lights for $19… Might be a good way to sample focus-TIR. I despise 3-4AAA lights though… thats pretty much a deal breaker. So again… pros and cons even at ~$7 each.

anything short and light - TIR on the DQG Tiny 18650 was good for a single LED
FW3A has a good one for 3 LEDs

Big fan of optics but when I need real throw nothing beats a reflector.

90 percent of what I use my lights for I’d rather an optic. Floody for home and trails.

TIR optics for now but they are heavy compared to reflectors. I’m worried they may crack easily when the light accidentally fall off the ground.

They are far less prone to cracking than glass windows that protect the reflector. They may scratch, but that’s the only failure mode. Reliability-wise they are definitely better than reflector lights.

I voted TIR because they have the best ratio of spot and spill (spill is often too bright in reflector lights). Especially these new larger TIR’s are nice that you have in new flashlights.

I do own a few recoil lights :nerd_face:

I find it surprising that mule got 0 votes so far.

Hahaha you’re an exception :wink:

I tried to like mule lights, but I kept blinding myself and everyone else with them. I borrowed another CPF’ers XP-G2 custom built triple ($$:money_mouth_face: and I always had 3 little green dots burned into my vision. It was too easy to blind myself and others with it… IMHO of course.

Not fair, Not fair! I voted for Recoil reflector (bet you don’t own one) and my vote is not showing up! :smiley: Well, now it is after voting from the first post of this thread. I voted from the side panel first and it didn’t show.

I have two retro-reflectors - Syniosbeam and I think my German Leopard 1 short arc tank light also utilizes a retro reflector in addition to the main reflector.