Photographic Accessory Review...
See the Light
Text and photography copyright Jim Erhardt. All rights reserved.
Nature and travel photographers often find themselves working in darkness in their quest for imagery. Predawn hikes to get set up before the sun rises and making your way back on the trail as night falls are just two cases where the photographer has to see what they’re doing and where they are going. Finding high-quality lighting products that fit the specific needs of the nature and travel photographer has always been somewhat elusive.
For over 25 years, Streamlight has provided professionals both here and abroad with a constantly evolving line of personal lights. From the New York Fire Department to the Canadian Mounties, from Alaskan hunters to New Zealand mountain rescue teams, their products are the trusted source of light for many professionals. NPN has just recently been set up as a Streamlight factory authorized distributor, and we are now offering a selection of their products that are of particular interest.
Last month, I introduced our readers to the Streamlight Stylus, a small LED penlight of very high quality. The Stylus is the perfect general use light that is as easy to carry as a ball point pen, yet provides outstanding performance. Read my full review. I would now like to introduce two more Streamlight products, both of which are available in the NPN Gift Shoppe.
The Streamlight Septor will find favor with those who prefer a true hands-free personal lighting system. What is especially noteworthy about the Septor is the following;
- It is extremely comfortable to wear. The additional top strap ensures a secure fit without having to rely on a single, tight-fitting strap. The Septor is worn like a winter ski cap, and is just as comfortable.
- It offers three levels of lighting intensity. Equipped with seven LED lamps, the push button switch is used to toggle through 4 settings, including off, low power (one LED illuminated), medium power (three LEDs illuminated) and high power (all seven LEDs illuminated). Low power is perfect for making settings on your camera gear; high power is bright enough for trail use in complete darkness.
- It offers extremely long run time on three AAA batteries; 120 hours on low, 40 hours on medium and 18 hours on high power.
- Its vertically swiveling head allows you to put the light where you need it.
The Septor is a highly-recommended alternative to other hands-free personal lighting systems that are worn on the head. Full specifications can be found on the Streamlight website. The Septor is available through the NPN Gift Shoppe for $34.95 plus shipping.
Streamlight offers a wide variety of models in its exceptional Twin-Task line. The name comes from the fact that Twin-Task flashlights integrate two light sources into a single unit; multiple LEDs for long run time, and a single Xenon lamp for high-intensity lighting. Models are offered in a variety of sizes and battery configurations, but the smaller lithium battery models are what caught our eye.
The Streamlight Twin-Task 2-cell Lithium model is a fantastic choice for those who are looking for a “conventional” style flashlight that offers extremely high power, versatility and superb quality in a compact design. What is especially noteworthy about this particular model is the following;
- It operates on two CR123 lithium cells! Using a camera like the Canon EOS Elan 7? One set of spare batteries covers both!
- Small size. While it won’t carry comfortably in a dress shirt pocket like the Stylus, it carries very comfortably in a trouser pocket, photo vest or in your camera bag. It doesn’t take up much room in your car’s glove compartment, either.
- Extraordinary light output. With the high-intensity Xeon lamp powered by 6 volts of lithium battery power, this small flashlight produces an incredible amount of light. Rated at 72 lumens, it produces more light than a four D-cell Maglight and can run up to 2.5 hours on a set of CR123 batteries.
- Long run-time option. With the three LEDs illuminated, it produces almost as much light as the Septor on high power, and can run up to 28 hours on a set of batteries.
- Extraordinary build quality. This is no toy. Twin-Task lights are constructed of computer machined aluminum with an anodized finish, are 0-ring sealed, feature an unbreakable polycarbonate lens, and are water resistant.
If you are looking for a compact, high-powered, high-quality flashlight for those occasions when you can’t take chances on your light source, I can highly recommend the Streamlight Twin-Task. Full specifications on the Twin-Task can be found on the Streamlight website. The Twin-Task 2-cell Lithium is available in the NPN Gift Shoppe for $34.95 plus shipping.
See the light - no more need to fumble (or stumble) in the dark!
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