1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Maratac Tactical Personal Flood (TPF) AA

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Cprrckwlf, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Cprrckwlf

    Cprrckwlf Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    765
    EDIT: Now with pictures!

    So I haven't seen anything on this light and I've been meaning to write something either here or in reviews. Not having a lot of time at the moment, I'll just give you a mini-review here.

    Mini-review: Fantastic.

    Seriously, I'd been looking at one of these or some other angle light for a while to put through some MOLLE on a pack or pack strap (the clip is designed with MOLLE in mind) and just hadn't gotten around to picking one up. Now that I have, I wish I'd ordered more than just the 1.

    First, the size is unreal, it's only about 2.75" long, and .75" in diameter. That's fatter than, but barely longer than, a Maratac AAA. Shorter than my Beta-QR, shorter than any CR123s I currently have. Combined with a super low weight (around .7oz w/battery) from the mostly Al construction and you've got an AA that carries like an AAA. If it had a place to attach a split ring I might consider it as my new keychain light (well, technically, it would also have to be made of Cu for me, but you get the idea. . .)

    Really, though, what makes this light stand out is the "beam". That's in quotes because by-and-large there isn't one. There is no throw. This is a flood light and by the time you are 10' or so away from a wall you've got either an overall diffused glow (5 lumens on low) or (135 lumens on high) light like a directional lantern, nothing like you think of from the lights we are used to playing with. (There's also a 40 lumen medium.)

    This light doesn't even really have a reflector. Instead it's got a piece of glow-in-the-dark plastic masquerading as one, but it doesn't do any actual reflecting.

    What the light does have is an AR-coated lens/dome that protrudes from the body and casts the light into a perfect circle onto whatever you want illuminated. The neatest thing about this all in the lens/protruding lens/no reflector shaping is that the light has 0 hotspot and almost no perceptible drop off. Just a great big, hard edged, evenly lit spotlight on whatever it's pointed at. At 1' from a target the spotlight is about 18" in diameter, and it scales rapidly from there.

    I'm out of time, but for me this is pretty clearly my new second favorite light. It's not going to replace my HDS (my favorite), and it isn't designed for keychain carry but you can bet that if I have a bag with me there will be one of these on or in it. I'll almost certainly be ordering another 1 or 2 in the near future.

    Anyway, anyone else play with one of these? What are your thoughts?

    Anyone have experience with one of these and one of the Zebra floods? I know Zebra puts some out with much higher outputs but are the beams the way I'm describing? And how do they compare size and weight wise?

    The lineup from left to right
    AAAs: 2 Maratac AAA Cu (rev 3 and rev 2 from my keychain, in that order), New and Old Prometheus Beta QR
    AAs: the TPF, Maratac AA Cu, L10C
    CR123s: Maratace CR123 Cu, HDS Clicky
    [​IMG]

    And again, from the top
    [​IMG]

    The TPF alone
    [​IMG]
    Note the die shape and orientation, it does affect the shape of the flood a little

    [​IMG]

    Showing the clip in profile, from the bottom curve to the start of the deep carry style hump is the 1" for MOLLE
    [​IMG]

    I'm guessing I could force the webbing into the hump if I really wanted, sitting as shown it is a little, I don't know, turny. Not enough to call it floppy. and you can rotate the body on the clip so I don't see this being a problem
    [​IMG]

    Something that surprised me: the tail cap, body and head are all separate pieces. This means you can use either the head or the tail to turn it on (and if you tighten the tail just before on you can push on it for momentary). Makes me wonder if the Maratac 2xAA Extreme is built the same way and if parts might be swappable. . .
    [​IMG]
    (sorry about the focus on this one, I didn't realize I had nudged it and only took the one frame)
    The magic dome in all it's glory the ring is steel, I'm not sure about the lens but I'm guessing acrylic. I've not really seen a light designed this way. No experience with the zebralights, but from photos it doesn't look like their lenses protrude.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have never before taken a beam shot, and I think this one is showing more gradation than the eye sees. What the eye does see is the dies shape that is evident here. The light is ~48" from the wall, and the spot is ~68" across.
    [​IMG]
    For you photo buffs: Fuji X-T1 w/an XF35mmF1. R (~50mm equivalent); f/5.6 1/32s iso 800 +0.33EV
    And, at the end of the day, a satisfying glow. . .
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by Cprrckwlf, Nov 7, 2014
    Water-Rat, bigfoot, jag-engr and 2 others like this.
  2. jabe1

    jabe1 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    162
    Pictures?
     
  3. Cprrckwlf

    Cprrckwlf Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    765
    Mini-review! (Yes, when I have more time, maybe later tonight.)
     
    jag-engr and thePlumbah like this.
  4. davidt1

    davidt1 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    189
    I would buy one if it comes in neutral white and is sold by another retailer.

    Tactical is a marketing term, as there is no strobe and no quick access to the highest mode.
     
    jag-engr likes this.
  5. Cprrckwlf

    Cprrckwlf Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    765
    Pictures.




    Don't look at me, I didn't name the thing!

    I don't know, I'm guessing I could find a light with the two requirements you laid out that wasn't rugged enough to be a tac light. Or something without one of them but a fantastic strike bezel. . . To some degree I think it's probably how you use it. This one seems like it will be fairly rugged over time and it would be a fantastic map light. If they could put out a red dome . . maybe I'll cut some gels.

    That said, you are right "Tactical" is marketing and there is 0 chance of this replacing that HDS Tac 200. I guess the term is just so overused that I no longer pay enough attention to it to care.

    Do love some neutral white/High CRI and I'd pay a little extra for it. For me without any real reason on this one. I'm more likely to use it to read or as a work or set camp light -- nothing where I really worry about color rendition.

    I know some have had issues with CountyComm (and, of course, shipping), don't know your specific aversion. I've not and the couple of glitches I've come across they immediately set right. That's me, and I'll continue doing business with them until it changes. Won't sit here and try to defend them, and I think overall it's probably a good do-your-homework reminder.
     
    jag-engr and tmedina like this.
  6. Zatx

    Zatx Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    115
    I'd worry about the protruding lens. That feature pretty much takes this out of pocket carry use.
     
  7. davidt1

    davidt1 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    189

    While it's useful the way you use it, it could be a lot more useful if you carry it on your person. I wear my angle light around my neck and let me share with you -- my standard flashlights are jealous because they rarely get used. These days my regular flashlights only get used tailstanding in the bathroom so I don't feel guilty for not using them. My angle light is actually better at tailstanding because the beam angle can be adjusted, thanks to the swiveling clip. May I suggest the following additions to your new angle light:

    1. A headband; mine is a homemade shoelace type because it takes up very little space.

    2. Add some magnets to the swiveling clip and you have a hand-free work light.


    I had Zebralight mule angle lights before. They are brighter and more advanced than your TPF but cost a lot more too.
     
    Last edited by davidt1, Nov 7, 2014
    jag-engr likes this.
  8. Cprrckwlf

    Cprrckwlf Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    703
    Likes Received:
    765

    Some good ideas here, thanks. Think I'll use some shock cord for a headband, though. Got some extra if you want me to stick a few feet in an envelope for you PM me.
     
    jag-engr likes this.
  9. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,909
    Likes Received:
    90,881

    I think the better way to carry it would be behind the PALS webbing with the clip directly below the emitter. Sort of like what's pictured below.

    [​IMG]

    The one bummer about this light, you know, besides paying outrageous shipping charges to County Comm, is that there are no options for colored filters. While I can see many times where an up close white flood would be nice, in a so called tactical illumination tool, it might not be that useful.
     
    Nighted likes this.
  10. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    7,732

    "Tactical" is always a marketing term. If only because nobody can ever agree on a singular definition of "tactical".
     
  11. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,108
    Likes Received:
    7,732
    I like it a lot, but the shipping is always what kills my desire to impulse buy toys from CC - which is a good thing, because otherwise I'd be broke, fast.
     
  12. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,532
    Likes Received:
    4,062
    I have the Zebralight H502w. It's undoubtedly a higher-quality light, and comes with a neutral LED and clicky. THe ZL is the best headlamp I have ever owned. I do, however, see this light having three advantages over Zebralight: 1) compact due to twisty switch, 2) better clip, and 3) price. ZL has this light beat on other fronts, but these three advantages are still significant. I think ZL made a mistake when they completely abandoned the H50 design. A twisty light has some distinct advantages over a clicky, most significantly reliability.

    i think this light's 3-piece design is quite interesting. If it could be fitted with a clicky, it would make an additional facet of utility as a headlamp.
     
    davidt1 likes this.
  13. davidt1

    davidt1 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    189
    I favorite ZL light was the H501. I liked the 80 degree flood beam and lens design of the H501 a lot. Zebralight did away with those designs.

    Does the super wide 120 degree beam of the H502 work well for you?

    I hope Maratac sells many TPF lights and continues to offer future versions.
     
    jag-engr likes this.
  14. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,532
    Likes Received:
    4,062
    Apparently, I lied. I have the H501w+, not the H502. I can't imagine a light with a wider beam - the H501 projects a wall of light.
     
  15. davidt1

    davidt1 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    189
    I envy you. Lost my H501 a few years ago.
     
  16. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,311
    Nice review! Not sure what I want more... the light or the Fuji X-T1 w/35mm! :p
     
  17. cowboyarcher

    cowboyarcher Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    155
    Old thread, I know, but how would you see the lack of beam on this in a headlamp type role?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    5,532
    Likes Received:
    4,062
    Most headlamp tasks are best suited to a diffused, wide-angle light like this. With a diffused beam, you don't get tunnel vision and the light is spread evenly over your immediate area. If you're wanting a light for caving or hunting, where you're going to be looking further off into the distance, this is probably not the light for you. If you want a camping, hiking, or general utility light, the diffused light is great.