Recommended gear for tube light-painting
Here’s everything you need to get started with the tubes!
1- Light-painting Tubes:
If you are starting, get the 3-tubes package (White, Orange, Frosted). Most of the others are more tricky to use.
2- Tube pouch / bag
** NEW - I published my 2019 flashlight guide **
Any 1" head (25mm) flashlight is going to fit easily inside this tube. That means most of the 18650 battery type flashlight available on the market. I usually prefer a flashlight that can be powered on from the back button. It is easier to turn on/off the light when it's inside the tube.
The first two options are the one that I’m using every time I go out to shoot.
Olight M1X Striker: this is my current top recommendation. It is super bright and you can get direct access to memory, full brightness AND strobe mode right from the rear button! - Amazon (68$)
Wowtac BSS v3 - 1150 lumens (40$) Amazon
Pressure switch for the MT22c (RSW1) - Amazon
You might have seen on my older videos that I’ve been recommending the Eagletac D25LC2 a lot. This used to be my main flashlight. However, Eagletac changed this model without any notice and any indication on their website (there’s not even a way to know which version you’re going to get when you purchase). What changed? This flashlight doesn’t have constant strobe anymore. Without the constant strobe, it’s nearly impossible to make beautiful stripes. I tested dozens of flashlights over the past months, and in late October 2018, I finally found the right one. The Olight M1X Striker has pretty much everything: powerful, constant strobe, perfect size for my tubes, memory mode, 4 power levels, direct access to the brighest mode, 5 minutes before cooling down, sturdy side clip.
As of late October 2018, the Olight M1X Striker is my main flashlight for the blue hour. I’m still using the Nitecore MT22c for the dimmer. I’m not using the Nitecore at the blue hour mostly because of it’s non-equal strobe pattern (super thin lines)
From my experience, constant strobe is available on all Olight, Nitecore (non-equal), Astrolux, Thrunite, Folomov and Convoy brands. On the other hand, these brands have variable (non-constant) on some or all of their flashlights: Thorfire, Eagletac, Fenix, Soonfire and Klarus (this one can be cheated by holding down the switch).
I use mostly only Olight and Nitecore batteries. Check out Stephen Knight buying guide: http://lightpaintingblog.com/battery-safety-and-buying-guide/.
Battery charger: here’s the one that I’ve been using for about two years: Nitecore D4 Digicharge universal home/in-car battery charger.
6- Camera triggers
Yongnuo RF-603C II Wireless Flash Trigger Kit - Amazon - this is by far my favorite, but it needs to be used with non-rechargeable batteries (1.5v instead of 1.2v)
Impact PowerSync16-80 Transceiver - BH Photo
These are the tripods that I’m using. I have a long time relationship with Benro, so it makes sense to list them here. But other tripods will work too. Just make sure you get a sturdy one
Benro FTA28CV1 Travel Angel Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod with V1E Ball Head - Amazon
These are not necessarily related to the tubes, but for my photography work in general, this is what I use every day:
Computer: I work mostly with a Surface Book 2.
Camera: I totally made the switch to mirrorless and I love it. I’m using a pair of Canon EOS R with non native lenses (24mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 85mm f1.4). This is highly helping me as I can use the same cameras to film the behind the scenes, vlog, take pictures, etc. The best of all world.