Up for review is the Solarforce Masterpiece -- the successor of the popular (and now discontinued) Solarforce L950m.
Here are some of the specs from sbflashlights.com
- Cree M Bin LED 2x18650
- 3 Level output 100% 40% & 10% brightness
- 100% Brightness 800 Lumens --- Runtime 2 hours with an additional "limp mode" with low light for 2 more hours.
- 40% Brightness 400 Lumens --- Runtime 6 hours
- 10% Brightness 100 Lumens --- Runtime 30 hours
- Stainless Steel Bezel, 319 grams (without batteries)
- Length x diameter (head and battery tube, mm): 230 x 55mm, Type III HA Anodization
A bit of background:
There isn't much information about this light -- Solarforce is usually very quiet before the release of anything new. There is one discussion thread on CPF here.
The light was provided by Jason @sbflashlights.com -(also known as jake25 on cpf)
you can buy it at his site here, http://www.sbflashlights.com/Solarforce-Lights/Solarforce-Masterpiece-LED-Flashlight-p31.html , but he only has 2 in stock.
- for reference, his old website was solarforcelights.com
here is the light:(excuse the dust)
The Solarforce Masterpiece has some similarities with the Tiablo ACE-G.
Nicely machined head with nice looking heatsinking fins (you could call them decorative) The SS bezel is a nice improvement over the ACE-G
Fine "square" knurling, which, I would suspect would be more expensive than standard diamond knurling.
Magnets not included ;) that was used to prop up the cap.
Internals of the cap
The Masterpiece still uses the same "squishy" tailcap switch.. this one is very quiet, but offers less feedback.
The Cree LED on my sample is slightly misaligned.
Removing the SS bezel allows you to remove the glass and reflector
closeup of the misalignment
Comparison with the Tiablo ACE-G
The Tiablo's switch has more a more solid "click" upon activation
double orings at one end of the solarforce tube ;)
The tiablo has a heavier textured reflector, and is also more shallow
White Wall Shots:
It is actually rather hard to do a "candle" mode, the head only seems to uscrew through the SS bezel
Solarforce Masterpiece 2x18650
Solarforce did some nice blue box for the light, yet still no accessories. odd.
At first glance, the Masterpiece has some similarities to the Tiablo ACE-G.. the tailcap is longer, but the knurling is very similar. I've praised Tiablo's knurling quite a bit in my last review, and the Masterpiece is not an exception.. very nice! Using the light is comfortable enough, it is easy to hold, but a little head-heavy as most of the lights of this caliber are. (the l950m was worse, with its giant head).
One very big difference between the Masterpiece and the ACE-G would be its Stainless Steel bezel. A feature that I love -- the durability of the ring offsets most of the problems that come with having one (the beam has some artifacts from light reflecting off the ring, and the spill is limited by it).
UI: standard 3 Mode -- I would have liked the low to be lower, but it is still quite a difference from the L950m. These 3 modes appear to be current regulated, as I cannot detect any trace of PWM, visual, and electronic. :thumbsup:
The solarforce has a nice runtime. When the batteries start going low, the light seems to jump into an emergency mode, providing more than an hour of slowly decreasing light. interesting.
Now, on the topic of runtime..
the oddities are the spikes in brightness, which could be a result of my testing method. (using a canon point and shoot camera with a firmware addon installed to log brightness levels)
here's the "limp" mode closeup. :thumbsup:
Now come the bad news.
I was a bit disappointed when I fired up the masterpiece, and went white wall hunting. I've been spoiled by the L950's perfect beam, and had expected the masterpiece to follow in it's footsteps. Sadly, this is not so.
taking it outside, though, made it vanish, and my worries disappear. oh, how us flashaholics are concerned over such small things that practically aren't important.Oddly enough, I couldn't easily capture it on camera-- you'd have to see it in real life. The donut hole is annoying if you use a MC-E light around the house :eek:
The LED is misscentered slighty, as you can somewhat see in the photos.there isn't much change I can detect in the beam..
Comparing the old and the new:
In my sample, the masterpiece has a cooler tint compared to the l950m. This doesn't seem to change color rendering much, and appears fine to me. Though I like the smoother beam of the l950m, the head is huge -- not easy to carry around at all, and the masterpiece seems to be an o.k. balance, though more of a thrower.
CPF discussion/review thread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=243264
Retail price is roughly 120$ as of 9/27/09