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Thread: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

  1. #1

    Lightbulb "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    Here's another take on my original "Practical" Beamshots? (link)

    Late last night I described how I saw outdoors with the River Rock 1.5w 2AA spot beam compared to various other flashlights -
    please see this thread River Rock 1.5w 2AA.

    I thought some more about this and tried to take some photos of the beams shone on the pampas grass late last night - for another varient of the "Practical" Beamshots .

    Exposure was below my camera's metering range so it had to be trial and error - after a few tries I settled on the optimum for the Nuwai Q3 on 3.6V RCR123 and LightHound V3 - the brightest lights in this ad-hoc trial test -
    so all the night beamshots were fixed at the same exposure settings -

    ISO100, f/4.8, 3.2secs, fixed Daylight white balance - with the lens fully zoomed to 105mm equivalent.

    Camera obviously tripod mounted, and fired via 2 sec delay -
    flashlights were held as steady as I could rested against a post on my deck.

    Lights were shone with their hotspot centered at the base of the front-most pampas head.

    The daylight reference shot was taken this morning trying to frame it as close as I could to last nights beamshots - the position was probably within inches of last night's.

    Camera settings were ISO100, fixed Daylight white balance, lens fully zoomed to 105mm (equivalent) -
    exposure obviously had to be different - I used my camera's Evaluative metering - which set the camera at f/4.8, 1/640sec.

    I tried to measure the distance to the pampas grass heads with my optical rangefinder - but it was below the minimum distance of 12 yards - so I stand by my estimate that it's over 30feet - so probably in the range of 30-35 feet - let's "call it" at 33feet or 11 yards.

    Daylight Reference

    Nuwai Q3 on 3.6V RCR123 .................................................. ..... LightHound V3 - 3watt 3.6V RCR123

    River Rock 1.5w 2AA .................................................. ............ Fenix L1 v2.5 (fresh alkaline AA)

    Costco 1w 2AA

    These beamshots should speak for themselves........

    But a few comments if I may -
    there was some street lighting which turned kind of red/orange in these shots.
    The Q3 on 3.6V RCR123 is spectacular....
    The (cheaper) LightHound V3 (also on 3.6V RCR123) is even more so in this outdoors situation.
    These two lights are simply in another class.

    The River Rock 1.5w 2AA spot beam (to me) shows more in its hotspot than the Fenix L1 v2.5, and marginally better than the Costco 1w 2AA - for the latter one has to look at the outermost pampas heads - the River Rock spot includes them and illuminates them about as well as the center of the spot, whereas the Costco shot shows them much less illuminated - although as described previously the center of the Costco beam could be considered better.

    I like the River Rock because its spot is very even and for outdoors an adequate/useful size.... and reversing my previously negativity toward spot type lights - to actually quite liking this River Rock 1.5w 2AA for outdoors usage.

    The possible problem with these "practical" beamshots is consistency and repeatability -
    the grass is going to be seasonal - there will be seasons when those fluffy heads just won't be the same or even there at all - and it is very weather dependent it could be raining or windy......
    also during the Summer it won't get dark until much later - reducing the opportunity for me to do these.

    Also for these shots it was F***ing Cold! out there last night!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Pleasanton (Bay Area), CA, USA

    Default Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2

    Hi Vincent

    Thanks for the info. I follow your postings in this area of practical beamshots, and am attempting to duplicate some of your settings. This is a good basis to work from.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Yooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan

    Default Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2

    Good work, Vincent. Keep it up. I'm warming up to the idea of a spot beam due to your efforts. I'm thinking it might be a good fishing at night light, when I don't want a lot of spill but need to look at something specific or penetrate into the water to see something. Might have to visit Target while the 2AA is on sale....

  4. #4

    Arrow Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2

    Yooper wrote: "I'm warming up to the idea of a spot beam due to your efforts. I'm thinking it might be a good fishing at night light, when I don't want a lot of spill but need to look at something specific or penetrate into the water to see something. Might have to visit Target while the 2AA is on sale...."

    Thanks... yes, it's always better to keep an open mind -
    afterall there are plenty of spot type lights around - so they must be useful for some people, or some purpose.

    I find if I'm negative/biassed about something without giving it a real try first - it always seems to come back to bite me on the you know where

    It appears the 2AA 1.5w River Rocks are going fast at this vastly reduced price - but the 2C version looks real interesting too - with a very long runtime - I would think the brightness level is similar, with a slight chance it might be just a bit brighter and maybe a slightly larger defined spot beam due to the larger head - but I guess it would be at least the equal.

    One of the other criticisms of the 2AA version is that it is l-o-n-g IMHO unecessarily bigger/longer than regular 2AA flashlights -
    whereas the 2C version looks about the same length - but obviously fatter due to the large capacity C cells - the 2C version looks compact for the batteries used......

    Hmmmm..... I think I might have just talked myself into getting a 2C version

  5. #5

    Arrow Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2

    UnknownVT wrotez: "I think I might have just talked myself into getting a 2C version "

    I did...

    and posted a comparison review - River Rock 1.5w 2C (link)

    where I said the beam output between the 2C and the 2AA versions were like two peas in a pod.

    Pampas grass Practical outdoors beamshot -
    River Rock 1.5w 2C

    I also did some well known incandescents as reference benchmarks -

    3D MagLite .................................................. .......................... Scorpion xenon 2x CR123

    SureFire 9P xenon 3x CR123 .................................................. ... MiniMag 2AA

  6. #6

    Exclamation Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    People have asked numerous times for outdoor beamshots of the new Fenix P1D-CE.....

    My pampas grass "target" has changed since I last took beamshots - they've grown more plus there seems to be an overhanging branch from my deck that catches the side-spill and is somewhat distracting - but this is all I am prepared to do while it's this frigging cold outside!

    Fenix P1D-CE .................................................. ..................... Cree XR-E in Fenix L1/2T

    seems like the P1D-CE is brighter than the Cree XR-E mod L1T/L2T even on 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeable RCR123 - but this could be due to the orange-peel textured McR18 reflector which gives a less intense hotspot.....

    Compare this to the other astounding light I have the $5.48
    Dorcy 1watt 3D - yes, that's 1watt Lux1

    very concentrated hotspot due to wider and much deeper reflector - that's a RWAH Lux1 directly driven (via a 1.2ohm resistor) by 3x D alkalines........

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Silicon Valley CA

    Default Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    Thanks for spending the time to show such a variety of lights! A "Practical" setting is pretty difficult to come up with - since people use flashlights in so many different settings. Maybe start a poll asking what a typical setting for most flashlight users is... besides "well it was dark out..."

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* windstrings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    N Central Texas

    Default Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    Wow...those are nice shots...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    Nice work as always Vincent. I have quite come to enjoy your reviews and find them to generally be spot on from my own experiences. I have even picked up a few lights after reading them now. I am glad to see you finding a newfound appreciation for one light (RR 2 AA) I have long liked but has been generally under appreciated by most.

    It has some very nice applications in hunting, and hiking outside after dark. Some flashlights are too bright with too much spill which I find disconcerting at times as they reflect off foliage too much making the trail hard to concentrate on.
    Nice look "back" with fresh eyes on the reevaluation I enjoyed it.

    Life is too important to be taken seriously: Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Concept's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Townsville, Australia.

    Default Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    Cheers for the shots Vincent. Always interesting to see lights you may not have in real life action.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Whitelitee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    Wow thats great, thanks so much vt
    Fenix P1dce,G&P Scorpion R500, DS Firefly III seouled, Moded PGL IIIA,50mw leadlight, Golston7w, Fenix LOP (lost), Ledbeam 3c (faild), Fenix L1p (gave to father), couple mags and other cheap lights.

  12. #12

    Arrow Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    Looking at my past outdoors pampas grass beamshots I thought the Fenix P1D outdid the very bright SureFire 9P incandescent (xenon 3x CR123)

    However the very different color rendition makes the call harder.....

    Remembering a technique I had used previously when trying to compare the brightness of a "white" LED with that of a Blue - I desaturated the colors from the beamshot to get rid of the color and left the black & white information so that one could directly compare the brightness levels -

    Desaturated outdoors (pampas) beamshots -

    Fenix P1D-CE .................................................. ...................... SureFire 9P (xenon, 3x CR123)

    Cree XR-E mod L1/2T .................................................. ........... Streamlight Scorpion (xenon 2x CR123)

    Dorcy 1watt 3D .................................................. ................. 3D MagLite

    and just for comparison another LED light that I thought was spectatular on 3.7V Li-Ion rechargeable RCR123 - the LightHound V3 3watt RCR123

  13. #13

    Exclamation Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    4sevens kindly lent me this to play with -

    MicroFire Warrior II HID "flashlight" - so I thought I'd take my standard outdoors pampas grass beamshot with it to see how it compares.....

    it is so bright that the pampas grass heads are grossly over exposed with my standardized settings of ISO100 3.2secs at f/4.5 - so I took one with auto exposure (but still daylight white balance) - the HID is so bright that "corrected"/adjusted exposure was basically 1/13 the standardize.
    One can see that the ambient street lighting is reduced to almost nothing.....

    How about a 1,000,000 candle-power spot light?

    eh, brighter than any other flashlight in this group - bit a lot less than the HID.....

    Just for reference here's the ambient condition shot with the standardized exposure....

    One can see the ambient street lighting - but it clearly does NOT affect the "test target" of the pampas grass.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Nitroz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Default Re: "Practical" Beamshots? pt.2 (outdoors)

    I just came across this post and noticed that you also had the pleasure of playing with the MicroFire. I had it in the woods and it puts out so much light that it would actually blind me from light being thrown back.

    David has some awesome lights!

    We need to have another get-together so I can meet some more of the people in the ATL area.

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