I am glad to sponsor Fenix products and I am looking forward to testing, grinding, unsuccessfully breaking, more of the lights that Fenix is able to develop for hard use extreme conditions. Fenix produces amazing products and I always bring Fenix flashlights on my extreme adventures around the world.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
|Fenix SD10 lighting up a cave.|
I was contacted by Fenix regarding a new light they are marketing specifically to divers to test out on a couple of "dry"cave and diving trips we had planned shortly after receiving this light. When I got the package in the mail I opened it up and immediately found that it had that durable feeling I find with most of the Fenix products I have. The orange rubber lining and black finish was solid and made this light look good like some of the other Fenix models. I inspected the inside and there appears to be two o-rings inside of the threading which makes sense for a light rated for diving. Double I-rings should allow for a better seal against water and water pressure among other factors. The weight without the battery comes out to be 160 grams and the dimensions are 144 mm long x 26 mm in diameter. The light has a twist on off tail piece and a unique function where you give it a shake to brighten the light with three modes of brightness. The output has a nice cree XM-L2 T6 neutral white LED with a 930 lumen output for 1h 30 minutes 385 lumen's for 4hours or 110 lumen's for 10 hours. The throw had a max distance of around 900ft and is rated to a working operational depth of 300ft underwater. The Neutral white I find advantageous for photography like with some of the other Fenix lights I use for photography. The light takes (1) 18650 battery. I was eager to put this light to the test it see how it would handle a dry cave trip and how it will handle on a cave dive, paying particular attention to how this might effect my dive buddy in terms of communication and being a possible distraction when cave diving. I brought this light to Tennessee with me and we venture into a series of dry caves over a four day period. One of the caves we ventured into had a lot of water, so I was able to utilize this lights capability and test its limits. The light itself was dragged through tons of mud, sand, and took quite a beating as it was attached to my backpack for quick deployment. I was happy to see that this light was able to to keep up with me and perform flawlessly as I expected under these conditions. This particular trip consisted of 12hr days in wet, muddy, and vertical caving conditions spending time in deep water. I was able to get some pictures with this light performing underwater without any concerns that the light itself would flood, furthermore the type of light that it gave made the colors pop out which worked great for the photography. Afterwards, I sat down with my dive buddy and we discussed how motion technology contained in the light might have a influence on a overall dive operation. We played with the light on the surface and found that the motion technology might not be the best idea for us underwater since shaking the light with be a common occurrence to increase the intensity which is also a formal way of communicating attention to a dive buddy. Cave Divers typically use canister lights as a primary light source, but if this light was being use as a primary source of light, this might distract a dive buddy by seeing light shaking in the corner of his eye and might trigger curiosity in his dive buddy's light or his buddies well being. This might cause the dive buddy to be distracted, mis communicate, and lose focus. Even a little distraction can be a big problem. If the light had a twist function that increased the intensity, this might be a remedy to that and can provide a good alternative to the motion technology. Overall this light is a quality piece and I trust it's Durability and it's output for a solid Fenix quality light that I will continue to take caving with me. Fenix lights have been put through some intense environmental situations that I have brought them through and they have always worked flawlessly.
|Fenix SD10 lighting up a cave system|
Thursday, December 5, 2013
|TK 76 lighting up a room in Blowing Hole Cave from the back|
I had a chance to give the TK 76 a good run through a couple caves the past few weeks and I wanted to share my honest opinion on this light. When I first got my hands on it, it appeared to be a photon gun star trek looking device that had some blue energy level lights on the sides of it. The construction was similar to the TK 75 but the TK 76 has the option of utilizing three different lights in one lighting system. From what I understand, This is designed to be used for search and rescue and it was actually able to be used as a search light underwater in our gear recovery trip we went on last week.
I like how the devices main light is a thrower and the two side lights are flood lights, one side is a cool white flood and the other side is a warmer flood light. This allows the benefit to utilize a warm floor, cool flood, both warm and cool, the main throw light, or all three together. I was most impressed with this as this allows for colors the warmer colors to pop out when taking photgraphs in caves. The cooler flood also allows for some colors to pop out so when the warm and cool colors are combined, It appeared that the light system worked well with taking pictures inside of caves.
The TK76 was tossed around in dirt and mud, dragged through gravel, dirt, and mud without any problems. The cave enviroment is pretty unforgiving when it comes to tearing away at the life of your gear so when I am able to test out new equipment inside of a cave, it can help to understand how reliable this gear can be in other situations.
Overall, I recommend the TK 76 as a solid light to light up the darkness. This light is great for LED cave photography BUT it is bulky and can turn on inside your bag from time to time with ease. It will need to be kept in a box which can create more bulk and weight in the bag not to mention the TK76 is a bit bulky and heavy. Personally, I dont mind carrying this light with me for cave photography as I have found it to be worth its weight in value to me.