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Old Saturday 5th December 2015, 13:53   #1
Steve Babbs
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torch for spotlighting

Hi all

I presently use a Lenser P14 and P7 for spotlighting. They are good but I would like a little more reach. I asked a tour guiding friend who recommended the Fenix tk 75. It looks excellent but at 150 - plus the cost of batteries and charger - it's rather more than I'd hoped to spend. I know it's a small fraction of the cost of binoculars, scope, camera gear and foreign trips but I'd be keen to save a bit on that. I know it's only been a couple of years since this was last asked but technology seems to move on pretty quick with torches.

Any recommendations appreciated.

Steve
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Old Saturday 5th December 2015, 16:23   #2
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Much smaller than the Fenik and the P14, I use a 25 Lifesystems LED torch. The small size means it is really portable and you can easily hold it against bins or DSLR to get views or shots. I've seen lots of great nocturnal stuff with it.

I realise that this is the type of thing that you are probably upgrading from... that Fenik looks amazing!
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Old Saturday 5th December 2015, 16:44   #3
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This TN31 at 56
looks good for the price:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/ThruNite%C2%...words=thrunite
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Old Saturday 5th December 2015, 20:08   #4
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Olight M3X Triton, but I read recommendations for Olight M3XS-UT, Fenix Tk41 and Fenix TK61.

If you are seriously into mammals, I recommend not saving on a good spotlight. The cost difference is in the order of tens of euros. Chance of seeing (or missing) a mammal is usually rarer than for a bird, so every encounter with a mammal you should 'milk' much more than sighting of a bird.
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Old Saturday 5th December 2015, 20:55   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve Babbs View Post
This TN31 at 56
looks good for the price:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/ThruNite%C2%...words=thrunite
What distance?

How long will you be out in the wilds?

What weight?

What size?


I've used everything from weapon mounted sure fire to wide area search lights. Are you walking in a forest where good wide spill is better than a precision beam, or over vast areas of grass land / Heather / bare rock where distance is your primary driver?
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Old Sunday 6th December 2015, 08:39   #6
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I've just bough an Acebeam T20. It's a fantastic long-throwing beam, with a lovely warm tint. I previously owned a Fenix TK41 and this is much brighter and longer throwing. It runs on 1 or 2 18650 batteries though, though so you would need a good charger too. I got mine new off a UK seller on eBay, with absolutely no problems. About 90, and comes with two Acebeam batteries.
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Old Sunday 6th December 2015, 15:11   #7
Steve Babbs
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Originally Posted by Ratal View Post
What distance?

How long will you be out in the wilds?

What weight?

What size?


I've used everything from weapon mounted sure fire to wide area search lights. Are you walking in a forest where good wide spill is better than a precision beam, or over vast areas of grass land / Heather / bare rock where distance is your primary driver?
Over the next few years in could be all of the above. I'm generally close to a way of recharging even if it's only the car. As for size, the smaller and lighter the better but it's a compromise. I'd be keen to keep to around 500g though.

The Acebeam does look impressive.
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Last edited by Steve Babbs : Sunday 6th December 2015 at 17:03.
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Old Friday 4th November 2016, 23:39   #8
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This is an old thread but I'm surprised that flashlights aren't of more interest on this forum. I really can't justify $5 - $10k for decent night vision so I use flashlights. Many people may be unaware of the advances in Flashlight technology? Anyway flashlights are an integral part of my wildlife watching kit. The lights mentioned previously are all good.
Really today you want to be set up with lights that take 18650 batteries (get high quality rechargeable ones obviously)
Currently I use:
1) TK61 - 1000 lumen (highest) long distance 'thrower' light (a thrower light means that it has a concentrated beam) with long distance reach
2) TK35 - Compact 2000 lumen (highest) has a holster easy portability - my 'go to' light
3) A couple of slightly outdated TK11 very compact 260 lumens
I'll typically take all these lights on a birding trip (they really don't take much space up)
I use Fenix because so far I haven't had a problem with any of them

In addition I'll occasionally take a big rechargeable HID spotlight. Currently I have a 9000 lumen one. This is really useful if you want to look across pantanal, savannah, across a valley etc. However the wavelength range on mine isn't ideal for picking up eyeshine in the far distance. to put this in perspective those old 2D Cell maglights are around 40 lumens.

Oh and IMO Fenix do the best headlamps as well.

Using high power flashlights doesn't mean that you need to blast the heck out of wildlife at close range either.
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Old Monday 7th November 2016, 11:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassowary View Post
This is an old thread but I'm surprised that flashlights aren't of more interest on this forum. I really can't justify $5 - $10k for decent night vision so I use flashlights. Many people may be unaware of the advances in Flashlight technology? Anyway flashlights are an integral part of my wildlife watching kit. The lights mentioned previously are all good.
Really today you want to be set up with lights that take 18650 batteries (get high quality rechargeable ones obviously)
Currently I use:
1) TK61 - 1000 lumen (highest) long distance 'thrower' light (a thrower light means that it has a concentrated beam) with long distance reach
2) TK35 - Compact 2000 lumen (highest) has a holster easy portability - my 'go to' light
3) A couple of slightly outdated TK11 very compact 260 lumens
I'll typically take all these lights on a birding trip (they really don't take much space up)
I use Fenix because so far I haven't had a problem with any of them

In addition I'll occasionally take a big rechargeable HID spotlight. Currently I have a 9000 lumen one. This is really useful if you want to look across pantanal, savannah, across a valley etc. However the wavelength range on mine isn't ideal for picking up eyeshine in the far distance. to put this in perspective those old 2D Cell maglights are around 40 lumens.

Oh and IMO Fenix do the best headlamps as well.

Using high power flashlights doesn't mean that you need to blast the heck out of wildlife at close range either.
And assuming you don't want to take any clothes as part of your baggage allowance!!


A
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Old Monday 7th November 2016, 12:23   #10
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And assuming you don't want to take any clothes as part of your baggage allowance!!


A
Typically I fly UA where I get 210 lbs free checked (which I have maxed out once) ... or star alliance where I get 100 lbs free checked .... so I haven't paid for excess baggage in years. Those lights weigh very little really and are compact, except the HID, which I take only infrequently. One thing I've avoided are those huge camera lenses...as I would hate traveling with one of those things.
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Old Monday 7th November 2016, 17:42   #11
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Typically I fly UA where I get 210 lbs free checked (which I have maxed out once) ... or star alliance where I get 100 lbs free checked .... so I haven't paid for excess baggage in years. Those lights weigh very little really and are compact, except the HID, which I take only infrequently. One thing I've avoided are those huge camera lenses...as I would hate traveling with one of those things.

Can't do it in Europe, max allowance on most airlines without paying a lot in excess is 23kgs (51 llbs), cut price airlies allow 15kgs (11 lbs) plus a carry on bag usually limited to max 8kgs.

My wife takes a 400-600ml lens, camera and laptop as carry on.

My carry on will be my optics of course with just a tripod in the checked bag but dependent on destination, books can be a significant weight especially on long trips to several countries. I do take a flashlight and playback gear as well as batteries and / or chargers so it doesn't leave much to spare!


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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 10:33   #12
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I've recently been using the Fenix TK32 2016 edition and have to say I'm impressed.

Its got one hell of a range for a none thrower, five brightness levels of white light and the added bonus of two levels of red and green only. I've used the brightest levels of red and green on mammals and owls recently with great success, doesn't appear to bother them.
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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 14:50   #13
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I've recently been using the Fenix TK32 2016 edition and have to say I'm impressed.

Its got one hell of a range for a none thrower, five brightness levels of white light and the added bonus of two levels of red and green only. I've used the brightest levels of red and green on mammals and owls recently with great success, doesn't appear to bother them.
That looks like a great light. I might have to get it. Run time isn't brilliant though as only one 18650 and I don't like the idea of carrying an external 18650 as they often have PCBs in them as stabilizers.
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Old Wednesday 9th November 2016, 21:36   #14
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That looks like a great light. I might have to get it. Run time isn't brilliant though as only one 18650 and I don't like the idea of carrying an external 18650 as they often have PCBs in them as stabilizers.
I've been getting a good nights use out of it but think I may get the extension tube now to run two batteries overseas.
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Old Thursday 31st August 2017, 07:25   #15
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I purchased the Fenik T32 this week and am impressed with it in many ways, also as the perfect all rounder for general use. Pleasantly surprised at it's "jizz" and ease of use.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 00:11   #16
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I purchased the Fenik T32 this week and am impressed with it in many ways, also as the perfect all rounder for general use. Pleasantly surprised at it's "jizz" and ease of use.
Enjoy, a very useful piece of kit.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 21:56   #17
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I also have one of these and have incorporated it into my latest night camera rig boresighted with the lens. It allows full autofocus freedom in the dark and the results are improving daily. I anticipate being able to use the rig to find small mammals and take pictures on the fly with red light. My local foxes don't even mind the white light (only using setting 2 of 4, the higher settings come with a health warning!) though admittedly they are habituated and expect a chicken reward. Very much recommended.

The battery life seems to be more than adequate.

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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 22:20   #18
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I also have one of these and have incorporated it into my latest night camera rig boresighted with the lens. It allows full autofocus freedom in the dark and the results are improving daily. I anticipate being able to use the rig to find small mammals and take pictures on the fly with red light. My local foxes don't even mind the white light (only using setting 2 of 4, the higher settings come with a health warning!) though admittedly they are habituated and expect a chicken reward. Very much recommended.

The battery life seems to be more than adequate.

John

I also used it for photography at night, the combination allowed me the same freedom you've found.
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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 22:28   #19
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Really today you want to be set up with lights that take 18650 batteries (get high quality rechargeable ones obviously)
I'm not really sure about that myself. Alright, nowadays the chargers for 18650 rechargeables are better and safer than they used to be, but having an 18650 basically blow up in my charger years ago made me a bit wary about them, especially when I'm travelling and may have to charge batteries in the car.

I standardized my travel kit to AA NiMH rechargeables (Sanyo/Panasonic Eneloops) as a consequence, and I don't think I'm losing out by preferring them over 18650 rechargeables. The Fenix LD41 for instance is more than bright enough for my purposes, and there are plenty more options using AA rechargeables in the Fenix lineup. The FD20, for instance, is a really nice, slim light with decent throw. Zebralight makes very nice headlamps for AA rechargeables BTW. I prefer them to the Fenix offerings.

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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 23:01   #20
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Zebralight makes very nice headlamps for AA rechargeables BTW. I prefer them to the Fenix offerings.

Hermann
Yes but you can get awful tired of headlights going bonk on your camera/flash unit and for that matter the latter blanking off the light from the former.

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Old Friday 1st September 2017, 23:44   #21
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Yes but you can get awful tired of headlights going bonk on your camera/flash unit and for that matter the latter blanking off the light from the former.
True. But I wouldn't use a headlight in combination with my camera. It's pretty useful when you're looking for something in your car though, or when you set up your tent somewhere in the middle of nowhere ...

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