The Fenix LR40R is the second light that I’ve purchased and extensively used within the Fenix product line up. I call the Sierra Nevada mountains of California home, and I am actively working in the still photo and commercial film industry, volunteering on the local Search and Rescue team and frequently engaged in outdoor adventures with my family and friends.
This light is rock solid, and it’s difficult to find anything negative about the design, overall size and weight, battery life and actual light output. Putting the light to test, I’ve detailed a few notes below to help highlight what I like best about this product and a couple suggestions for improvement.
1. Light output and battery life: On a recent avalanche training exercise with my local SAR team, we spent 3.5 hours outside in 10 degree F weather. I ended up using the LR40R to light up our command and staging area, hanging the light off a nearby tree. I set the light to the 2nd brightest output setting in Flood Mode, without fail the LR40R produced more then enough light for us to work and the battery was consistent for the entire duration of our training. I’d love to see a mounting ring or clip that would help allow the light to be mounted on a ski pole or small light stand. If this were possible, you’d be able to use the light as a stationary light, would not require a person to hold the light and could position or aim the light more accurately. In the photo industry we’d use a Big Ben, Cardellini clamp or maybe a bungee of some sort. Either way, this light is so powerful you can easily use this as a work light, even in cold temps.
2. Portable Hot Light Option: More specific to the film industry, I recently turned my friend David McMurry (www.davidmcmurry.com) on to the LR40R. Given its small form factor and overall 12000 lumen intensity, we determined it could be the perfect light for a commercial film project that he was directing. In short, he ended up buying a single LR40R and using it to light a nighttime motorcycle drag race scene in the desert outside of Joshua Tree National Park a couple weeks back. By switching the light into the highest setting in Flood Mode, David was able to handhold the LR40R and illuminate his talent. While directing the talent and following his talent with the light, his camera team was able to follow the light and in turn set up their seamless camera movements and shots. They were shooting with 2 Bolex cameras with Kodak 500T film stock. They experienced a rough 2ft hot spot at the center of the light’s beam, however at outer edge of this hotspot, the light dropped a full stop on the light meter and the found an exposure of a 2.8/4 aperture split. The one stop fall off, ended up creating a beautiful light for them to work in and meet their exact creative goals. In addition they metered a slightly blue color balance and added an 1/8 CTO color gel on the exterior of the light to slightly warm up the output color. Overall they ran the light for 90 minutes without any issue to intensity, battery life, flickering, etc. They immediately became fans and have plans to incorporate the light into future film projects, I’ll share the final film once they finish editing. A question to the Fenix development team.. is it possible to create a version of this light that would allow the user to change the color temperature output on the Kelvin scale, even just a few warm or cool options would be greatly beneficial to the film industry?
3. Overall Power: Lastly, a quick note to recognize the incredible output of this light. I’ve included a few sample photos below showing the output at the highest setting in both the Spot and Floodlight modes. I live on the edge of the forest in the Sierras, and we have a ton of wildlife passing through our yard, primarily black bears and coyotes, the occasional bobcat. That said, this light has been great to illuminate our back yard and get a closer look at our local wildlife as they pass through.
Overall this is an excellent light and I feel like I am just scratching the surface of it’s many use cases. Thanks Fenix!