Vari-angle, 18650, OW lights - BigBlue CF1200P-II, Tovatec Fusion 1050, Kraken NR-900Z/NR-1500Z, or ????? - Feedback requested

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-JD-

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Note: This is an "update" on a 3-year old thread of mine. (Choice of a new "primary" light: Kraken NR-900 Zoom vs. Tovatec Fusion 530/1000?) My aquisition decision 3 years ago was preempted when Scuba Santa brought me an OrcaTorch D620. I appreciated the feedback then, but there are new and brighter choices. tbone's suggestion of a video light is still a good one (and under continued consideration - specifically this: (SecurityIng-Flashlight-Underwater-Photography-Fluorescence ), but it would be another somewhat bulky thing to carry for air travel (maybe if I was planning on diving every-night.


Black Friday is coming and I'm looking for a Vari-angle general purpose handheld (although it may be mounted in a soft or hard goodman at times depending on circumstances) for (most urgently) blue-water travel use. It would probably become my all-dives belt light (I have a SeaSoft retractor-holster) as well when not being used as a primary for a night dive.

I have a couple of different lights currently:
  • Orcatorch D620 (nominal 2700lm, 14° angle) canister light for use in the soup locally, but it is a bit much for air travel and the cord is a bit of an annoyance for "fun" dives.
  • (2) cheapo Volador branded (nominal 1000lm, 9° angle) handhelds which I bought as starters, but have been bulletproof for me. Night dive backup(s).

I would greatly prefer sticking with single 18650 batteries (as opposed to some of the new larger cells that are proliferating in the latest generation, as all of my other lights (above and below surface). I am specifically looking for a variable beam model to give me flexibility. The tight beam is great for penetrating, signalling, or daylight cracks/crevices - Until at night you are searching for something or need it for a task, and then it is less effective than wider light.

My current options:
  • BigBlue CF1200P-II (nominal 1200lm-max, 120lm-min, 7°-37° angle). It has been noted that BB lights tend to be Lumenously "optimistic." Having the lowest "Low" setting is Very Good IMO.
  • Tovatec Fusion 1050 (nominal 1050lm-max, 315lm-min, 12°-100° angle). Points off for no built-in tether/lanyard holes!
  • Kraken Sports NR-900Z Zoom (nominal 900lm-max, 225lm-min, 10°-45° angle). Discontinued with limited availability.
  • Kraken Sports NR-1500Z Zoom (nominal 1500lm-max, 375lm-min, 10°-45° angle). 21700 battery - after-market 18650 adapter is available.

Are there any other comparable units in the <$300ish category that I've missed? (I'm not buying a Halcyon Focus right now :wink:) OrcaTorch and XTAR don't seem to play in this particular sandbox.

Thoughts on zooms:
  • I like that the Tovatec can get really wide, but am wondering if the 12° minimum is really tight enough in actual usage.
  • The BigBlue can get nice and tight at 7°, but is the max 37° enough?
  • The Krakens split the difference on angle.
  • And and none of them specify if those ratings are in air or water, and how much is hot spot, vs. main beam, vs. true spill ...


Folks that have used (and maybe even compared) these lights for a while ...praise, raves, gotchas ...
  • How easy is it to adjust the beam underwater?
  • Are the usable beam angles at all consistent with the specs under the water?
  • What haven't I asked that I should be?

ETA: Sorry if anyone was reading - I found a bug, and then found myself in BB code hell for a while.
 
OP
-JD-

-JD-

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Well, just to update.

I found a (hopefully) very good BF deal on the Big Blue CF1800P (nominal 1800lm max / 26650 cell version of the CF1200P-II), delivered for less than 1/2 of the $339 MSRP/MAP. Actually only $7 more than the best BF prices I could find for the CF1200P-IIs

This technically "violated" my battery cell requirement, but has an easy work around. Since the 18650 and 26650 cells are the same 65mm length all that is needed is a circumferential spacer to keep the smaller 18650 cells centered and that can be as simple as a couple of properly sized o-rings - so, I can use an 18650 in the light (at less than max setting and obviously shorter runtimes) in a pinch for trivial cost and space.

OTOH, I'll have more punch or longer equivalent runtimes typically.

I'll report back with once I get my hands on it.
 

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