Sunday, February 09, 2014

New Tool for Light Painting (A New Addition) & The Forgotten One

I was shopping at the local supermart yesterday afternoon when I came across this Mini Maglite flashlight displayed on the shelf rack. The whole package as shown here, comes with 2 AA size battery cells (which I've loaded into the flashlight), a filter lens holder and 3 filter lenses namely Red, Blue and Clear (if only they include a Green filter), a wrist lanyard and a removable pocket clip. It has a durable aluminum alloy case. It also comes with a reasonable price tag.

Somehow I got interested in this product and it got me thinking "What can I do with this light?"

Find out more after the jump.

Another question pops out. "Why do I need another flashlight since I already got 4 powerful lighting-painting tools i.e. 2 big lights, FENIX TA21 and CGi Lightman T2X (shown below; the forgotten one. Will talk about this LED flashlight shortly)?".

Well one reason why I purchased Mini Maglite is that its 14 lumens light power has an ultra beam distance of 96 meters. IMHO, for such a small light I don't really need that beam distance as most likely I'll be using it for close-up or shorter distance light-paintings on still objects.

The second reason is that its light beam is adjustable from a wide flood to an intense spot. With this useful function, I can light-paint on smaller subjects for emphasis in contrast to a wider view I photographed. A good example is the nocturne I made recently of a farmer house.

By twisting the flash head clockwise direction (just like opening up a water bottle cap), the flashlight is turned on in wide flood mode. Unscrew further, the light beam is adjusted to an intense spot. Upon seeing the intense spot light beam, I find it's not too bad but still has a light halo which I can use a black foam paper as snoot to further reduce unwanted spills. Unscrew all the way to remove the flash head, this flashlight converts quickly into candle mode, or in photography term, bare bulb. The bulb is a Xenon lamp which produces warm incandescent light. Most of the time I set my camera WB in Tungsten and it would neutralizes the warm light to white. There's a spare bulb safely secured inside the tail cap which I couldn't open up to check. Anyway I'm glad they provide one. 

Maglite has also released 2 all new models with high power LED light. One version comes with 77 lumens light power, 4 function modes and accessories. The other is a PRO version that has 226 lumens light power without multiple modes. Well, I've yet to find out if their LED light temperature is towards cool or daylight white. So I won't talk much about them in this blog.

OK now we come to the 2 colored filter lenses and holder which are useful. The filter holder caps on the flashlight head firmly and securely. When light is on, the colored light effect in wide flood mode is weak i.e. the color hue and vibrancy. It gets stronger when set in spot mode. I guess that's OK as I'll be using it for more close-up light-painting on small still objects without creating overwhelming hotspots.

So I see I'll be bringing this Mini Maglite as an additional light-painting tool in my future night outings. Now let's talk about this powerful LED flashlight which I've forgotten to mention in my blog since the day I purchased it - CGi Lightman T2X.

If I remember correctly I purchased this light at a local tactical shop that sells real-size plastic toy armory, army haversacks, pocket knives, flashlights, etc etc. It comes with a nice holding pouch.

I have used this light more often than my favorite FENIX TA21. It has super bright LED light which can brighten up a room. It has a cooler light temperature compared to TA21 which is more daylight white balanced. This opens up options for me in choosing the right lighting tool for the creative light-paintings.

Currently there isn't much technical spec information about T2X on the internet so I can't tell you what's the light power strength. I estimated the light power range between 150 to 250 lumens. I must say T2X has served me well and I like the solid built case and design.

If you have followed and read my recent blog, First Nocturnes in 2014 I used this light for most of the pictures made. I would continue using all the flashlights I owned to make more night photographs. Before I end this blog, there's a phenomenal lighting tool called Protomachines which I got to know a few years ago when they first launched. We'll talk about it in the next blog.