Doing astrophotography in the field, you are obviously looking for the complete darkness. As it’s perfect for the quality of your final pictures, it’s not entirely comfortable to setup your astrophotography equipment without being able to see it. The solution is simple: a flashlight. Better yet, a one that you don’t have to hold in your hands. Don’t know which one to choose? Fear no more: in this review, I will show you why the Petzl ACTIK CORE (view on Amazon) is the perfect headlamp for astrophotography.
Petzl ACTIK CORE is a headlamp designed and built for general night outdoor usage. You can use it for night running, camping, or cave exploring. As it’s great to have that additional use cases, it’s not why you are reading this article. Let’s look at the Petzl ACTIK CORE from the astrophotographer perspective.
What I like in Petzl ACTIK CORE as an astrophotographer
Customizable lightning – color, intensity, and mode
Petzl ACTIK CORE has customizable lightning options:
- Color – it can be white or red. White is useful to setup astrophotography equipment; red is better to preserve your night vision.
- Intensity – three levels when glowing white, one when red.
- Mode – when lightning red, it can glow normally or flash.
Replaceable and rechargeable battery
Every Petzl ACTIK CORE comes with a CORE battery. The battery is easily rechargeable via micro USB port. You can charge it straight from your computer’s USB port, or if you are in the field, you can easily use an external power bank. When I’m out and in need to load some energy into the CORE battery, I often use my Celestron PowerTank Lithium to do that.
Forgot to get or load the CORE battery? Use three AAA batteries instead
The battery holder in the Petzl ACTIK CORE headlamp is compatible with AAA batteries. Throw a few into your astrophotography backpack and never be surprised in the field.
It pivots down to aim lower
You can easily customize the angle of glowing to aim lower or higher depending on your needs.
It fits to your head size
The strap is customizable/adjustable, so no worries if you have a non-standard circuit of the head. It will fit.
What could have been done better
Sometimes (especially in the Winter) I have to click a few times to find the right spot to turn the headlight on
When it’s cold, it’s a little harder to turn this lamp on. The switch is on the strict center of the rubber button and you have to push it perfectly in the middle to make it work. But after a few uses, you will learn it.
Petzl ACTIK CORE (view on Amazon) headlight is the essential item in your astrophotography equipment bag. It gives you enough light to perform a whole-night astrophotography session. It will preserve your night vision by using the red light. Also, you can charge it in the field, or power-up with AAA batteries in a case when not having access to other sources of electricity. I highly recommend this headlamp for astrophotography.