Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots *UPDATE SEPT 2010* - now 34 lights!

selfbuilt

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Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots Roundup 2010 - now 49 lights!

This review has been replaced with a new comparison, sumarizing all my 2011 beamshots:

Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshot Compendium 2011


Please refer to that thread for all new images and commentary. This older thread will be left up for historical purposes (i.e. comparisons of older lights no longer available).
:wave:

------------

UPDATES: As Jan 20, 2011, I have added five series of updated beamshots to this review, bringing the total number of unique lights to 49. Each additional series includes comparison shots of some of the previous lights. For animated GIFs showing key comparisons, please check out the individual reviews of the lights.

I generally leave it to others to post outside beamshots – simply because I have too much other work to do to get my reviews done! :sweat:

External beamshots are also tricky to do well – the shots will never match what you see by eye due to limitations of the camera (plus varying lighting conditions, topographical features, camera settings, etc.). Directly comparing lights is thus fraught with potential confounds that may invalidate the comparisons (especially for those shots taken at different times).

But due to popular demand – and with these caveats in mind - I’ve decided to do a limited run of 100-yard beamshots for a number of my lights. I may choose to update this round-up with additional lights in the future, but no guarantees!

It has taken me awhile to find what I consider to be a suitable location near where I live. Bear with me while I describe the location, so you can better interpret what you are seeing in the shots.

I’ve found a closed and deserted service road, located near a ravine. Here is an aerial view taken from Google maps:

Outdoor-Google.jpg


As you can see, there is a straight line from my position (pictogram) along the road, to a copse of tree located 100 yards away. There is a dead birch tree right at the red arrow-head that is a convenient marker for the photos.

I’ve also highlighted a point 30 yards from my position (blue arrow). The reason for this is shown on the side schematic for this area:

Outdoor-side.gif


As I mentioned, this road goes along a ravine, and there is a significant elevation drop beginning about 30 yards along the road. The road makes a right turn as it winds down the ravine, but you can’t tell from the indicated pictogram position – beyond 30 yards, all you see is the 100-yard trees in the distance. Here is a control shot in daylight to show you what I mean:

Outdoor-JulyDaylight.jpg


This shot is taken at eye level, and I have centered the camera on the copse of trees at 100 yards (specifically, right in the middle of the dead birch tree – red arrow). The blue arrow indicates the point at 30 yards beyond which the road “falls out of view.”

For all flashlight pictures, I have angled the light directly above the camera, focused on the center of that dead birch tree. Because of the angle, this means that a good amount of the hotspot’s corona should light up the road around that 30 yard mark. You will thus be able to see not only the center beam throw at 100 yards, but the corona spill at 30 yards, and the wider spillbeam in the foreground in front of the camera. :)

I didn’t take a control shot in the dark, but here’s the closest thing – a maximally focused Mag 3D incan on 3xD cell alkalines. :rolleyes:

Mag3D-incan-100yards-1.jpg


You can’t see much because I’ve set the camera settings to what works well for the high-output LED shots (you may be able to faintly see the 100-yard away trees in the center of the beam, plus some of the road markings near the 30 yard mark).

Something else you will see are a couple of red dots in the background – these come from the aerial warning lights on a series of communication towers located in a clearing about 650 yards away (you can't see them in the daylight shot, they are too small and far away). There's also a photo-reflective sign along the bottom portion of the road that you may notice in some of the shots (left-over from when the road was in use, warning of the steep curve)

For the sake of this round-up, all lights were run on Max, on the highest rechargeable battery option the light would take.

The camera has been set to 4sec exposure, f2.7, ISO 80 and automatic white balance. This last point is to insure the incans and LEDs don't look exceedingly warm or cool - the goal here is to compare the beam profiles, not tints.

PLEASE NOTE: the pics typically look under-exposed relative to what I subjectively saw during shooting! Most of the lights could easily light up 100 yards, but it may not look that way in the pics (e.g. the Mag incan was at least serviceable, but you can't see much in the photos). Again, this is just the difficulty of finding a good exposure that shows you everything - it doesn't match what the eye sees. You also need to realize that your monitor and graphics card setup may look very different from mine - I know from experience that this can vary widely in terms of brightness and contrast. Again, the goal is only to provide relative throw comparison, not absolute representations of what I saw.

A COMMENT ON COMPARING THE IMAGES:
To make this more manageable, I have reduced the images to 50% for this page – but each image is a link to a higher resolution scan. The best way to directly compare the lights is to open them in separate tabs. If this doesn't happen automatically when you click on them, right-click on an image, and choose "Open Link in a New Tab". Then repeat this process for a second light, and so on. This way, you will then be able to switch between your browser's tabs to see the matching higher resolution images taken at exactly the same position (i.e. the images should look stationary, with only the lighting conditions changing). You may need to zoom in, depending on your browser display settings :thumbsup:

And now for the main show ... :party:

HID/Incan/SST-90 Lights:

outdoor002.jpg





High-Output or Multi-Emitter – 2x18650 - Lights:

outdoor003.jpg







Second Batch – September 2010

I've retaken the Eagletac M2C4 & M2XC4, to allow you to directly compare to the new M3C4 series lights (M3C4 3x XP-G R5 Cool White, and M3C4 SST-50 Cool White). SUNWAYLED M40A also added, compared to the M40C.

Outdoor2002.jpg






Third Batch – November 2010

I've added to this class of the round-up the new Eagletac M3C4 SST-50 (revised Deep-SMO reflector), Olight M31 (SST-50), SUNWAYMAN M60R (SST-50). Note that the time of year means that there is little foliage on the trees now, so more of those transmission tower red lights are showing up!







Fourth Batch – December 2010

I've added to this class of the round-up the Catapult V2 XM-L (Cree XM-L) and Eagletac M3C4 XM-L (Cree XM-L). Those "streaks" you may notice in the foreground of the beam paths are from a light snowfall that was blowing through the exposures. :sssh:





Fifth Batch – January 2011

I've added to this class of the round-up the Lumintop TD15X. Note that the snowfall combined with moonlight and nearby city lights causes a lot of ambient light reflection (i.e. background brightness is much higher than on other comparisons). The snow also causes a lot more diffusion of the hotspots and spillbeams, again due to reflections.

For the TD15X, “2X” refers to 2x18650 (with two extender tubes), and “1X” refers 1x18650. All lights on Max.




Single Emitter – 2xRCR – Lights:

outdoor009.jpg








Second Batch – September 2010


I've retaken the Tiablo A9-Q5 & A10 shots, to compare to the new A9-R5 (also added the DBS R2 for comparison). Aspheric head shots included for both A9 versions. I've also retaken the 4Sevens Maelstrom G5 now that the shipping sample has arrived. Other lights added include the Eagletac T20C2-II R5, Fenix TK12.

Outdoor2003.jpg








Third Batch – November 2010

I've added to this class of the round-up the Jian Wei W1 (XR-E R2), Ray Tactical X60 (XP-G R5) and Lumintop TD-15 (XP-G R5). Note that the time of year means that there is little foliage on the trees now, so more of those transmission tower red lights are showing up!






Fourth Batch – December 2010

I've added to this class of the round-up the ArmyTek Predator (XP-G R5) and ITP R01 (XP-E Q5).

Note that I wasn’t entirely consistent in my aiming of the lights, so please take that into account when comparing the hotspots and coronas.





Fifth Batch – January 2011

I've added to this class of the round-up the Xtar D01 (XP-G R5), and a replacement ArmyTek Predator (XP-G R5). Note that the snowfall combined with moonlight and nearby city lights causes a lot of ambient light reflection (i.e. background brightness is much higher than on other comparisons). The snow also causes a lot more diffusion of the hotspots and spillbeams, again due to reflections.

Note that I wasn’t entirely consistent in my aiming of the lights, so please take that into account when comparing the hotspots and coronas.





Single Emitter – 1xRCR – Lights:

outdoor006.jpg





Again, as with all beamshot comparisons, some of the pics can be misleading.

I will be posting animated GIFs of the full resolution pics in some of my recent reviews, to show the most relevant comparisons. :)

:wave:
 
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sledhead

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

What's not to like? Beautiful job!! Great photos and excellent distance to pick . Just wish you had a WiseLed 2000 in the bunch.:thumbsup:

Thanks for all your reviews!
 

ninemm

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Thanks so much for putting this together Selfbuilt! Excellent pics and organization.
 

Midnight Oil

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Thanks for all your hard work! :thumbsup:

Downside is I'm now totally disillusioned.

I've been thinking about getting the DBS with a R2 in a SMO, hoping it will have no problem throwing around 200 yards, which is subjective. Now, based on your beamshots of the Tiablo A9 and A10, I don't think it will throw as much as I hoped.:(

Got to hand it to 4Sevens for being able to get a XPG in an OP to throw this far!
 
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Roger Sully

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Great Job SB!! Thanks for taking the time to do these.
 

Captain Spaulding

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Wow Selfbuilt, I cant imagine all the time and energy you put in to this whole project. You do such a great service to this site and all of us flashaholics.

Thanks for all of your effort!
lovecpf
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Thanks for the support guys. :grouphug:

I've been thinking about getting the DBS with a R2 in a SMO, hoping it will have no problem throwing around 200 yards, which is subjective. Now, based on your beamshots of the Tiablo A9 and A10, I don't think it will throw as much as I hoped.:(
Don't worry - the pics here are actually underexposed relative to what I subjectively saw (especially at the 100 yard mark).

All these lights - and expecially the A9/A10 - had no difficulty at 100 yards. It is just the limitations of these specific exposure settings. Part of the reason I haven't done these shots before now - it's impossible to get it to match what you see by eye. :sigh:

The goal here is simply to get a *relative* feel for how the lights perform. :)
 

Burgess

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Thank you So Much for this, Self-Built !


:goodjob::goodjob::goodjob:


'cuz i really wondered how the Maelstrom G5 compares to my Olight M20 Warrior R2

_
 

don.gwapo

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

:wow: Good job selfbuilt. Thanks. Love that small and very bright D-mini vx ultra. Wish the DD & regulated moddoo triple and M2-50 is included.
 

ASheep

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Amazing beamshots as always Selfbuilt! The performance of some of those lights is truly astounding, especially the SR-90, it always blows me away. The A6 polestar seems to be able to hold its own in that class, despite the lower price and shallow reflector. All the 1x RCR lights did surprisingly well too :) Keep up the great work!
 

Burgess

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

note to SelfBuilt --


Would you consider testing the Maelstrom G5 at HIGH level ?


Methinks this would be Very helpful and "enlightening".


Just a Suggestion.

:cool:
_
 

candle lamp

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Great Job and thanks for your laborious task. :goodjob:
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Thanks for the support guys! :wave:

Amazing beamshots as always Selfbuilt! The performance of some of those lights is truly astounding, especially the SR-90, it always blows me away. The A6 polestar seems to be able to hold its own in that class, despite the lower price and shallow reflector. All the 1x RCR lights did surprisingly well too :) Keep up the great work!
It's funny you say that about the A6 - I tested it immediately after the TK45, and subjectively felt it was quite low in comparison. But yes, it does do alright overall (depends a bit what you compare it to, of course). Basically, the shots show that it is what it is - a slightly less heavily-driven Olight M30.

The only one that really surprises me is the M2C4 (i.e. seems lower in the pics). I think the problem is the dimmer spill and dimmer centre-beam hotspot - most of the light goes to the corona, which is not well captured in these beamshots. Tint probably isn't helping either (i.e. a bit warmer than the others, so looks less white). I dunno, it may also have slipped into medium mode during handling, although I was careful to switch just below strobe for the shot.

Would you consider testing the Maelstrom G5 at HIGH level ?_
Hmmm, interesting idea - but I'm afraid its too late now. I don't plan to do one-offs, since there's no way I can ensure the conditions will be exactly the same (i.e. precise location, angles, etc.). However, I may consider this if and when I do another batch of lights ...
 
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Darvis

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Outstanding beamshots!!! Your reviews have almost been a single source of light buying info for me over these past few years, and once again, you've presented 2 lights I'm mulling over; The SR90 and the Titanium Innivations HID. I've been dying to break into the world of HID and the Titanium is the one light that keeps popping up as a great value for the money... but, ohhhhh that SR90!!!!

Thanks again for all of your hard work and great reviews!

Darvis
 

Midnight Oil

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

note to SelfBuilt --


Would you consider testing the Maelstrom G5 at HIGH level ?


Methinks this would be Very helpful and "enlightening".


Just a Suggestion.

:cool:
_

:thinking: heh? The Maelstrom was not on High? Where does it say that?

If so, WOW!, that means it could throw even more! :eek:

Its reflector is no where near the size of the D36 right, but maybe much deeper? Shows how well a custom designed reflector can be made to throw. Makes me wonder why D36 and D26 reflectors that are optimized for throw are not more commonplace.
 

selfbuilt

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

:thinking: heh? The Maelstrom was not on High? Where does it say that?
If so, WOW!, that means it could throw even more! :eek:
No, no - the G5 was on Max for the beamshots. "Hi" in this context (according to 4sevens terminology) is a level down - basically, the highest level of the Regular mode for the light.

To keep things simple, I've kept every light at its maximum setting. :)
 

bigchelis

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Really well done:wave:


I like the 100yard shootouts the best. The 200yards are good too, but it excludes the little guys.


You need a Lambdlights VARA2000 with 700 more OTF lumens then the SR90:whistle:
 

Igor Porto

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Re: Selfbuilt's 100-Yard Outdoor Beamshots - 26 lights - July 2010

Selfbuilt, your reviews are perfect, except they lack outdoor beamshots so we can "feel" the light at some distance.

Thanks for these outdoor beamshots. What do you think about adding those pics to their respective reviews?
 
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