I may have discovered a handy trick for more accurately capturing beam shots.
Camera's just don't have the dynamic range of the human eye, and they also can't capture the eye's ability to dim or brighten very quickly. This means beam shots are tough to compare and judge in a real world quantitative way.
Well, here's a trick I used to get a slightly more accurate "real world" rendition of a flashlights capabilities. My tests were for fun only, and the method would require calibration and standardization for published review work, but I think you can see the general effect.
I set the exposure to get a "night vision" accurate rendition (10 sec, f8.0, 1600 iso, Nikon D5000) for a valley with bright moonlight, then hit the flashlight for a brief period during that exposure (in this case 2 seconds out of 10 total).
This gives the viewer a similar sensation to the real experience.
Obviously if one intends to use this method for reviews/comparisons, it's imperitive to carefully time the "on/off" for the flashlight. 2 seconds is only 2/3 the exposure of 3 seconds, so if a rigorous test intends to be impartial, they'd better get the on/off time right every time and not just "One thousand one one thousand two" it in their head like I did.
I put the GIF images in order so you can see the stars rotating across the sky.
Anyway, I thought it was kinda neat and the images give a good impression of what it was really like in person.