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So what's the ideal third flashlight ?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by el_murdoque, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    ...since I enjoyed the last thread in search of the not-quite-EDC light and it made me break with the list of what I thought I'd need in that light to make me happy (the Zebralight I chose has no internal charging which I initially wanted), I'm going to annoy you with another one of those.
    Only now, things get turned around. Instead of providing an immaculate list of relevant specifications, I'll be horribly vague.

    So in my active roster of duty I have the following Items:

    EDC: Olight S1RII Ti (winter edition). It's the same as the normal S1RII, only it's got a titanium body and the emitter is MUCH warmer. 3000k of oldschool flashlight yellowness, but with a turbo mode spitting out modern 850 Lumens. I love that one. It's been with me every single day since I had it in the mail.

    In my bag that I carry most of the time, I have the regular S1RII as a backup.

    Things I like about these two:
    • The UI suits my needs just fine. Low-Mid-High per normal operation, moonlight and turbo per easy 'special presses'.
    • Recharging inside the lamp
    • simple visual indicator of battery status
    • magnetic tailcap
    • the tint of the Ti version
    • the size vs power ratio
    • the good balance of a large hotspot and spill, very good for EDC, but will reach way over the 100 yards mark in a pinch.

    Not-quite-EDC: Zebralight SC600w Mk IV HI
    I've not had this one very long, but I liked it from the moment I slid an 18650 cell into it and turned it on for the first time. I kept clear of all the guides and manuals on how the UI works and tried to figure it out myself. Lo and behold: I mastered the muggle mode within mere moments.This one has a bit more juice than the Olight, it has a bigger reflector and a smaller hotspot, so it reaches further, stays on longer and while still being tiny, it's actually something that fills your hand while working with it. Not too large to hold it in your mouth, if you're into that. In some ways, it is the exact opposite of the Olight.
    Where the Olight comes with a UI that offers more modes close at hand (5 instead of 3), the Zebra comes with so many options to customize it that it's baffling.
    Where the Olight comes with a set of nice-to-have extras (magnetic tailcap, magnetic charger, two way clip) the Zebra seems to focus on the job at hand (use the juice in the cell as good as possible to make light come out of the fat end) and do that exceptionally well.
    The Olight with the sexy knurling around the barrel and the flashy beadblasted titanium seems to suggest to be more than a mere flashlight, it aspires to be a work of design and art.
    The Zebra is a flashlight. No doubt about that. It looks a bit unique, but it's so flashlighty that no one could ever confuse it with anything else.

    So the Zebralight hops in my bag when I know it's likely that I'll need a flashlight.

    My Quest could be over here. I have my EDC and I have a slightly bigger one with more power. I also have spares I did not mention because they are sitting somewhere in the house waiting for the first power cut in decades.

    But in the last thread I said that I'm a three flashlights kind of person.
    I said It's about having an EDC, a not-quite-EDC and a thrower.
    I claimed that I sometimes need to scan for deer which needs a 1000ft range before I let my dog off the leash.
    I also said that the kid in me requires a thrower because back then, the best light was the one that could shine further than the others.

    So I went and got an Olight Javelot Pro. I always liked the looks of that one, especially in Coyote Tan.
    I found one for a ridiculously cheap price, so I had to get it. I toyed around with it for a few minutes, but realized that it's a bit too big for what I like it to do. It won't fit into my coat pockets. And it's too expensive to have it 'just because'. So I sold it on with a profit. And that money needs to go somewhere.
    I gave away my old Dereelight DVB v3 thrower, so ATM the Zebra is the flashlight that shines the furthest.

    So what do all these words mean?

    I'm looking to get a flashlight that has me grinning when I pull it out of my coat pocket.
    My intended budget is a two figure sum, but could stretch further if I really like what I see.
    I do have an unused 14500 and a pair of protected 18650s in my possession that have nowhere to go.

    Objects I looked at so far:
    -One of them LEP laserbeams. HUGE grin potential, but all I've found are north of 200 bucks and the used market does not hold any of them.
    -Thrunite Catapult v6. This could be an obvious choice. It has many things I like and fits the bill rather well.
    -Lumintop GT mini and GT micro. I don't like ramping that much, but the micro is so tiny, yet powerful that it intrigues me somewhat.
    -Prometheus Mini Turbo MKIII. Too weak. I mean, incredible numbers for the size. But too weak for me to consider it.

    So that's where you guys come in and suggest something I have not thought of, we start a discussion, I realize you've got a point and somewhere on this planet, someone packs a flashlight, writes my name on the parcel and puts it in the mail.
     
  2. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Well this one is easy.

    Convoy C8+ thrower under $25.00 typically.
    Get the one with the latest UI so you might get it how you lie it before throwing the instructions away too!
    Sure there are many bigger and brighter lights but nothing simple,cheap and satisfying like this one that I have tried?
    I promise that this one will blow you away.

    If you want to spend more money the Malkoff Hound Dog is what I would try,read some reviews to get the idea!
    Mine is one of the earlier versions but the Neutral is very warm and there are no things to learn to operate these Malkoff other than deciding which one to get!
    At least check one out online and it should not take long to get a feel for how popular these lights are.

    These 2 lights make me giggle a little every single time I bring them out to play/work!

    Also let me tell you that if you did not read and try to grasp the ZL manuals you are probably leaving some major usability sitting in there and do not even know it!?

    As an example the light is not just a 3 level light at all!
    You can easily and quickly pick from within any mode other levels and when further programmed you can customize which levels there are from any of the levels that the light can choose from.
    This is tougher to explain than to learn for sure but lets say that the low is not high enough for a situation,a simple double click from low will get you other low level options!

    Learn it,Live it,Love it!

    You already own it!
     
  3. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    I like the C8 idea.
    Something cheap that offers an incredible distance per $ ratio.
     
  4. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    I'm still going to suggest the Astrolux FT03. Larger than a C8 class light, but has correspondingly greater reach & on-board USB-C charging. With a code you can find around thirtyish dollars.

    FT03 Review

    Another review with beamshots compared to C8+ (FYI this review page is also a reseller).

    The GT Micro is a fun little light, I have a soft spot for tiny throwers and it slightly beats my Manker T01 & BLF X5.

    I recently picked up a BLF D80v2, it's slightly smaller than a C8 but holds it's own well.

    If you aren't in a rush the second generation Emisar D1S (renamed the Noctigen K1) ought to be a very competitive entry in this category as well.

    I have a Nightwatch NI40 & Amutorch TC500 on the way, I'll be able to give an opinion on how they match up once I have them in hand.
     
    Last edited by BigGreenTick, Thursday at 10:03 AM
    #4 BigGreenTick, Nov 14, 2019 at 9:49 AM
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019 at 10:07 AM
  5. turbo6

    turbo6 Loaded Pockets

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    C8 is always a good choice; lots of companies make variants of it so it's nice to have the ability to find more specific options to suit you...and they are cheap.

    A small AAA type light is also nice for daily pocket carry to supplement anything larger you carry. Sofirn C01 is a good one.
     
  6. Mabrowns

    Mabrowns Empty Pockets

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    UltraTac k18 running a10440 is a nice bright small carry
     
  7. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    Would you say that it beats my Zebra SC600w HI ?
     
  8. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    Here's the story to that:

    I googled Zebralight UI.
    There was a flowchart. I looked at it for about two minutes and got scared.
    A day later, I tried youtube with similar results.
    Then I did the unthinkable.
    I went to the cupboard (the one with all the boxes inside, I wager everyone has one), took out the cardboard box the ZL came in and opened it.
    I took out the manual and unfolded it.
    Three minutes later, I went to my bag and took out the ZL.
    Now I can switch modes to suit my needs.
    :censored:. What an awesome light.

    So what about the ZL AA lights. Do they work with 14500s ? How small are they? Like jeans pocket small?
    And what about the SC700 ? Is that a serious upgrade - serious enough to own both a 600 and a 700 ?
     
    PragmaticMurphyist likes this.
  9. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    The AA's are best with Eneloops or Eneloop Pros. The dimensions are on the website. I have a weakness for the H53Fc...

    I have no experience of the 700 series.
     
  10. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    Comparison of the beams:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Your Mk IV is going to have a little more output (than the Mk3 in the pic) but it won't be a huge difference. The GT Micro will have a slightly brighter hot spot & throw a little farther but again it's not going to be a massive difference and the hot spot will cover a relatively small area.
     
    #10 BigGreenTick, Nov 15, 2019 at 6:17 AM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019 at 6:53 AM
  11. el_murdoque

    el_murdoque Loaded Pockets

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    AFAIK the MkIII has a slightly narrower beam than the MkIV, which should just about cover the slightly larger output of the MKIV.
    Sadly, I see no real gain here.
     
    BigGreenTick likes this.
  12. BigGreenTick

    BigGreenTick Loaded Pockets

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    The SC52 & earlier could handle 14500s, but ZL removed that capability with the SC5 & later SC53. They are definitely small enough for jeans, they'll fit a coin pocket.

    Size comparison:

    [​IMG]
    LtoR: SC53, SC5, GT Micro, FT03, C8+, D80v2
     
    #12 BigGreenTick, Nov 15, 2019 at 8:54 AM
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019 at 9:19 AM
    el_murdoque likes this.