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  • Stephen Knight

Review: Lensgo Smoke S Handheld Fog Machine

Until recently there were limited options for handheld, battery powered smoke/fog machines for photography and video effects. In 2023 a few new products came to the market, the Lensgo Smoke S, SmokeNinja, and Ulanzi FM-01. This review is of the Lensgo Microphone Smoke S.


Disclaimer


The Lensgo Smoke S was purchased with my own funds.

There are no affiliate links in this review.

The Smoke S is sold by a range of resellers.




Design and Construction


The Lensgo Microphone Smoke S is a 30W Li-ion battery powered, rechargeable fog machine designed for creatives. It is in the middle of the line up of the larger 40W Smoke B, and smaller 20W Smoke S Mini. The cylindrical unit has dimentions of 21.5cm length and 4.6cm diameter. The carrying case is 24cm x 13cm x 8.8cm. At the time of writing it was available for US$128.


There is a USB-C (5V 2A) charging port. This is placed on the underside of the unit when it is standing, which isn't optimal. The battery capacity is 2550mAh, and with a voltage of 7.4V, I assume this is two 18650 Li-ion batteries in series. There is a claimed total runtime of 25 minutes, though the unit cannot be operated continuously for more than 10 minutes. Charging time from empty is approximately 3 hours.


The business end of the Smoke S has a vapouriser and 12ml fluid/oil reservoir/tank. Six 12ml bottles of smoke fluid were supplied. The fluid is a vegetable glycerine and proplene glycol mix. Both the reservoir and protective heat shield are removeable. The heat shield has to be removed for re-filling, which is performed through a hole covered by a replaceable orange plug. This hole could be a little bit larger to avoid some spillage. There is also a minimum fluid level marker. The Smoke S uses 30W of power to heat the fluid, and create smoke. It is claimed that the Smoke S can produce 20 square m of smoke per minute.


The Smoke S comes with a range of accessories including a hard straight tube, hard bent tube, flexible silicone tube, high pressure nozzle, liquid smoke filter (for a dry ice effect), IR remote control, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, and the aforementioned 6 bottles of fog machine fluid.


Lensgo Smoke S Case
Lensgo Smoke S Case

Lensgo Smoke S accessories
Lensgo Smoke S accessories

Lensgo Smoke S accessories
Lensgo Smoke S accessories

Lengo Smoke S fluid
Lengo Smoke S fluid

Lensgo Smoke S refill port
Lensgo Smoke S refill port

In Use


The user interface is pretty simple. There is a slide on/off switch to enable to device. The user then needs to either double click the switch above to start the smoke running, or click the remote once. I found that I had to wait a minute after turning on the slide switch before the smoke on button would function (presumably allowing time for warm up).


To produce the fog, there is a lot of heat involved around the nozzle, so user caution is advised! It is advised to briefly stop the smoke from being generated every 3 minutes. The smoke will also stop being generated every 10 minutes to force the user to check the tank level.


I didn't accurately time how long I was using the device vs how much fluid was used. However, I would estimate that 6 minutes of use, used approx. 1/3 of the tank.


I found that the smoke/fog output was adequate for use in indoor/enclosed locations (it can easily fill a small room in less than a minute), or outdoor locations with light winds. Winds are unpredictable, so the nature of use outdoors can be hit and miss, and that isn't the fault of the device. Output is better than aerosol smoke/fog products. The fluid residue is also far less greasy than aerosol based smoke/fog products that I have previously used. For use with static portraits I preferred the hard straight tube accessory or no accessories at all.


Lensgo Smoke S side switches
Lensgo Smoke S side switches

Lensgo Smoke S tank.
Lensgo Smoke S tank.

LensGo Smoke S in use.
Lensgo Smoke S in use.

Backlit portrait using the Smoke S. Model: @goblynkattmenace

More photos of the Smoke S in use will be added when I have a few more calm nights!


Conclusion


Positives:

  • Relatively portable.

  • Reasonable value for money.

  • Less greasy fluid than aerosol based smoke/fog sources.

  • Smoke output is adequate for indoor use, or outdoors with light winds.

  • Charging and runtimes are OK.

  • Remote control is very useful.

  • Different accessories allow for a range of atmospheric effects.

  • Extra fluid can be purchased when the original supply is depleted.

Negatives:

  • Charging port on base.


I enjoyed using the Lensgo Smoke S. It is a better option than using aerosol smoke/fog products, with more output and a remote control. Whilst it will rapidly fill up a room with fog quickly, its use outdoors will be unpredictable in anything but calm conditions.


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