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I've been happy with the Anchor 189 torch which has a tight and wide beam.
To be honest, I prefer a tight beam which is formed by lenses rather than a reflector which creates a softer halo around the edges. I think this is more because a lens-focussed beam (such as the LFM 4Tec or NW7) has sharper edges, thus is more apparent when diving in the semi-gloom of a UK dive. A sharper edge is also a lot better for passive signalling, e.g. pointing your beam in front of someone in front to show them that you're behind them and are OK.
When diving in overheads I prefer to put on all lights, wide and narrow, so that the periphery is lit up as well as a penetrating beam out front. The Anchor 189 allows the brightness to be changed so it's not too bright.
The other benefit of the 189 is it works as a video/camera light.
From my research there was no single torch which was perfect in all use cases. The Anchor seemed to meet most cases, but was weaker in the tight beam. The Halcyon Focus was great as a tight beam but didn't work as a video light (and IMHO was too dim when a full width). When my NW7 was finally repaired, I realised how much I liked the tight beam, but also how it's annoying that you can't change the brightness to bring it down a bit.
Personally I value the umbilical cable as a backup strap, plus having large batteries feeding the torches so there's no concern about battery life. My 189 does have a large standalone 34650 battery that can be screwed to the light head which seems to last reasonably well. Have not relied on it though; just used it as a backup / video light in conjunction with the NW7.
I'd seen the Light Monkey focusable torch at a show. Was not at all impressed with the focussing abilities; nowhere in the same league as the Halcyon's Freznel lens, was also very expensive.
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Is there a reason the Orcatorch D630 didn't come up in this thread?
I've been going through much the same dilemma the last 6 months, LFM seeming to be the one but effectively ruling themselves out due to after service and lots of places seem to have even stopped selling them due to this.
Hi Wibbs, I'm looking for a new torch for UK waters and coming from a LFM 7XPE I also need a tight beam with sharp edges.
Originally Posted by Wibs
You sound like you know your stuff? I see from your post that sharp edge tight beams are caused by using lenses instead of refractors? I therefore assume the LFM 7XPE also uses lenses instead of refractors?
Would you mind letting me know what other torches are likely to compare to the LFM 7XPE? As I can't seem to be able to find another 2200 lumen 6 degree beam...
Dunno about knowing my stuff, but I've had a few torches so have an opinion.
I do prefer the sharper edges which in 'snotty' water produces less back scatter. I also like to have the option of a wide torch for that overall view, particularly when inside a wreck. For me, I realy like my LFM NW7 which has both beams.
Unfortunately Light for Me seem to pretty much have gone out of business. Their support is somewhere between non-existent and appalling. So can't recommend them any longer.
There's few other torches that have lenses as opposed to reflectors and the reflectors have the halo around them. Some are definitely better than others.
I guess it's one of those cases of getting used to what's available. Thankfully my NW7's still working. I'm probably going to start diving with the Anchor 189 a little more as it's a lot smaller and has more control over brightness.
The one other torch which might be OK is the Fresnel lensed Halcyon Focus. It's very expensive and has a bit of a strange handle and switch. Depends on your budget.
Would be nice to hear other's opinions on their torches.
FFS Just buy the best look at Green Force lighting systems and talk to Lumb Bros. Robust kit
I have GF with a Tristar head that's a few years old now so not sure if they've made any strides in the specific models or not but I'm wondering if there's a slightly tighter beam GF head or just a bit brighter. In fairness it might just be I should look at getting one of the newer heads but compared to my backup (a L4M 3XPG) the GF actually seems to have a wider and slightly dimmer beam. On paper, against the latest Tristar that shouldn't be the case but I'm never sure if you can trust a spec sheet.
Greenforce cant fault them.
I have to agree, can't fault GF..They might be classed as old tech battery etc but they never go wrong. Tried one of the Orca torches, went back after a few weeks, stopped working.
I agree with the pro-GF posts It's a great piece of kit even if there are some more advanced options around (and umbilical torches really aren't necessary anymore, though it's nice knowing I'm almost guaranteed not to drop and lose it on a dive). I'm happy with the torch in general and definitely don't want to shell out for a Halcyon Focus or spend the best part of a grand on a new torch. I've got an older Tristar head (one of the first LED models I think) and am wondering how the current light heads compare in terms of brightness and tightness of the beam.
For comparison, the L4Me 3XPG backup I've got seems to have a much tighter beam that's a bit brighter. On paper the newer torch heads for GF would be brighter and tighter so I'm just wondering if it's worth dropping a couple of hundred on a new light head or if I wouldn't see a huge difference. Basically would getting a newer GF head make me feel like I've got an amazing new torch or would I have spent that money getting something that leaves me wondering if the improvement is just wishful thinking or real?
Get a new head. The latest heads are streets ahead of the Tristar. You’ll feel like you have an amazing new torch.