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Thread: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS +

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    . . . . I do like the slow strobe of the SC50w, but would also like a secondary Hi (as a battery saving measure for relatively high output). Not sure how to implement "hidden" modes with this design, though.
    I have the SC50w+ (used to have the SC50w), and since I use 14500s, I have the secondary high with no strobe. I miss the slow strobe sometimes (usually when crossing the street or walking though a big parking lot at night), but I also really value the secondary high which appears subjectively to be almost as bright as the max high but has about twice the runtime. Most of the time, I find the secondary high to be bright enough and very much appreciate the extra runtime it provides.

    Btw, on 14500s, the SC50w+ defaults into the lower high mode every time the high mode is activated. If the higher high is needed, two quick clicks brings it up.
    Various old Fenix models; Zebralight H501w_SC50w+_SC600W; LiteFlux_LF2XT, various Solarforce with XM-L drop-ins.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    After reading your review and mulling over it a bit I'm hoping they make an sc50w tribute model. Just put an xpg in it and I'd be more than happy. I read in the headlight forum that somebody had zebralight put a green led in on of their HL's, so maybe..... Who knows?

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Not sure how to implement "hidden" modes with this design, though.
    Well, if I were asked by Zebralight how I would like the mode to be hidden, here's what I might suggest as an example - not sure if it can be programmed that way: Create a total separate & hidden strobe mode with 2 levels. From off, 5 quick presses (under 2 seconds) followed by press and hold for 2 seconds enters strobe mode. Default first strobe mode is slow 2 Hz strobe. Double press while in strobe mode give you fast 5 - 8 Hz strobe. Single press in strobe mode exits the mode, returns to regular mode and turns off the flashlight. What do you think?

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Has anyone notice on the SC50+ models, there is quite noticeable PWM on Hi2 (the lower high), when run on 14500? There is no PWM on Hi1 using 14500. There is also no PWM on Hi when using NiMH

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    This is really a great review. Thanks. I've been watching and reading for a long time now, waiting for the right moment and product to get as replacement for my beloved Novatac edc 85. Want an AA light as CR123s are more expensive over here and don't feel like getting into rechargables.

    Just one question to those who have the Zebralight SCs: do you like the side clicky? I like the regular tailcap switches and wonder if I'll get into the side clicky. What's your experience? Thanks for sharing.

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    The side click switch is great and is one of the reasons the lights are so compact. Only negative I have found with it is a tendency to occasionally activate in some pockets if the light is not locked out with the tail cap.
    Various old Fenix models; Zebralight H501w_SC50w+_SC600W; LiteFlux_LF2XT, various Solarforce with XM-L drop-ins.

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by pae77 View Post
    The side click switch is great and is one of the reasons the lights are so compact. Only negative I have found with it is a tendency to occasionally activate in some pockets if the light is not locked out with the tail cap.
    Thanks. I lock out my light all the time, just to be sure. I guess I can't find an excuse not to get that light! Woohoo.

  8. #68

    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by pae77 View Post
    The side click switch is great and is one of the reasons the lights are so compact. Only negative I have found with it is a tendency to occasionally activate in some pockets if the light is not locked out with the tail cap.
    Good point - I find this happens to me sometimes too. FYI, I carry mine in an old Fenix holster (the type with elastic side bands and no flap). So I can spot it pretty quickly if it gets turned on.

    Of course, the same can happen with all lights (even my previous EDC - the LiteFLux LF3XT - although that small rear button was harder to hit accidentally).
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    Question Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Hi

    Two questions about the beamshots in the comparison photo on page one of this thread.

    (1) In that photo since the spill of the SC51 is considerably bigger than the spill of the LD10-R4, does that come at the cost of the SC51's spill being dimmer than the brightness of the Fenix's spill ?

    (2) Based on the comparison photo, it looks like what the SC51 and the LD10-R4 have in common is a very defined hotspot of a uniform brightness and a very defined spill of a uniform brightness. In other words, it appears that neither flashlight has a beam pattern like that of, say, the Fenix E01 in which the brightness of the hotspot gradually tapers off into the dimmer brightness of the spill. Is that so ?
    Last edited by MojaveMoon07; 09-17-2010 at 05:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    I'm not sure how useful this might be toward answering the first part of my earlier two part question. The beamshots (below) are from the following site (link)

    http://fonarik.com/test/img/W_Fenix_...E_Q5_120lm.jpg

    http://fonarik.com/test/img/W_Zebra_...E_R2_193lm.jpg

    http://fonarik.com/test/img/W_Zebra_...E_R2_105lm.jpg

    In the beamshots from fonarik's website the emitters in his LD10 and SC50 are different than the emitters in the Fenix and Zebralight models in selfbuilt's review. The spill of fonarik's SC50 is noticeably dimmer than the spill of fonarik's LD10; therefore I hope that Zebralight made an improvement in the brightness of the spill in selfbuilt's test unit.
    Last edited by MojaveMoon07; 09-17-2010 at 07:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    You've put your finger on my biggest disappointment with the SC50w and +, and that is the lack of brightness in the spill relative to the bright hot spot. I think it is caused in part by ZL's insistence on making the spill on their flashlights very wide, probably in some kind of effort to emulate or maintain their floody headlamp heritage in their flashlights. But I think this apparently characteristic relatively dim spill on ZL's flashlights greatly detracts from the utility and desirability of these otherwise very nice lights. Jmho.
    Various old Fenix models; Zebralight H501w_SC50w+_SC600W; LiteFlux_LF2XT, various Solarforce with XM-L drop-ins.

  12. #72

    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    I'm definitely going to pick up one of these as soon as they come out. Was going to get the SC50 earlier this week then saw this thread so I'll be waiting for this one instead.

  13. #73

    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by MojaveMoon07 View Post
    (1) In that photo since the spill of the SC51 is considerably bigger than the spill of the LD10-R4, does that come at the cost of the SC51's spill being dimmer than the brightness of the Fenix's spill ?
    No. While it's true the SC50w spill is not as bright as the LD10-R4 (due in part to the wider dispersion), the SC51 is sufficiently brighter than the LD10-R4 to compensate. This means that effectively, the brightness of the spill of the SC51 is about the same as the LD10-R4 - but the SC51's spill extends over a wider area. The lower exposure beamshots help show this.

    Again, the SC51 is quite a different beast in terms of output on NiMH than the earlier SC50.

    (2) Based on the comparison photo, it looks like what the SC51 and the LD10-R4 have in common is a very defined hotspot of a uniform brightness and a very defined spill of a uniform brightness. In other words, it appears that neither flashlight has a beam pattern like that of, say, the Fenix E01 in which the brightness of the hotspot gradually tapers off into the dimmer brightness of the spill. Is that so ?
    The SC51 has a smoother transition than the LD10-R4, but neither is particularly floody. The LD10-R4 has a slightly more defined edge to its hotspot.

    Personally, I consider the SC51 profile to be very nice for this class of light. I like the wider spill for up-close work (i.e. walking around the house at night) - but of course, the hotspot still dominates. You would really need a diffuser to fully smooth it out.
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Another thread I kinda wish I had not seen as I may want to get a SC51 now.

    Thanks a lot

    Well At least I know it will be a great light If I do get one.

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashfirstask?later View Post
    Another thread I kinda wish I had not seen as I may want to get a SC51 now.

    Thanks a lot
    Yes, selfbuilt's reviews tend to have that effect, LOL. Aaaargh, my poor $$, now an endangered species...

    I didn't mention it before, but IMO the side-switch has been an extremely clever move by ZL. It saves on length, and it is extremely easy and natural to use. Almost all "civilian" (i.e. non-flashoholic-type) flashlights use a side-switch - from Mag to all those B&M plastic things, etc etc.
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashfirstask?later View Post
    Another thread I kinda wish I had not seen as I may want to get a SC51 now.

    Thanks a lot

    Well At least I know it will be a great light If I do get one.
    +1. Great review selfbuilt. It's pretty extraordinary that ZL has come up with a 1xAA form factor light that is designed for a max output of 200 lumens on a regular AA battery. And it seems like the parasitic drain isn't really as much of a factor as it was with the smaller SC30.
    My dog ate my flashlight...

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    Yes, selfbuilt's reviews tend to have that effect, LOL. Aaaargh, my poor $$, now an endangered species...

    I didn't mention it before, but IMO the side-switch has been an extremely clever move by ZL. It saves on length, and it is extremely easy and natural to use. Almost all "civilian" (i.e. non-flashoholic-type) flashlights use a side-switch - from Mag to all those B&M plastic things, etc etc.
    Plus I have the JETBeam BK135A taunting me and my wallet also.

    Problem is this excellent side switch light may be more expensive then many may care to spend unless they a need like for work or serious hobby and such.

  18. #78

    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by pae77 View Post
    You've put your finger on my biggest disappointment with the SC50w and +, and that is the lack of brightness in the spill relative to the bright hot spot. I think it is caused in part by ZL's insistence on making the spill on their flashlights very wide, probably in some kind of effort to emulate or maintain their floody headlamp heritage in their flashlights. But I think this apparently characteristic relatively dim spill on ZL's flashlights greatly detracts from the utility and desirability of these otherwise very nice lights. Jmho.
    I wish Zebralight has gone the other way and give their non-flood lights the most throw possible. Since they already make near perfect floody lights, why not complement them with throwy lights?
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  19. #79
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Now that Nitecore has screwed up their force high/force low ramping UI with force disco modes The SC51 looks to replace my D10 Q5 eventually.

    Once Zebralight rolls out the neutral R4 emitter--paypal locked and loaded!

    Thanks for the great review, Selfbuilt--your extensive reviews are very educational--and education costs money!

    A nice, smoooooth neutral-white beam with the switch in the heads sounds like a winner to me. Don't let the non-tech heads complaining about your circuit investigations, they can skip over that if not interested. Myself, I like to know about the circuits but I'm a geek--heck, I read posts in a flashlight forum so....
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Have you considered that the SC51 might be a ringer? The performance when compared to the Fenix (which is fairly well known as one of the leaders in circuits) leaves me wondering if the LED was hand selected. Car manufacturers have been known to do this by giving journalists cars with tweaked engines to test. I wonder if we might be starting to see that happen in the flashlight world.

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Minjin View Post
    Have you considered that the SC51 might be a ringer? The performance when compared to the Fenix (which is fairly well known as one of the leaders in circuits) leaves me wondering if the LED was hand selected. Car manufacturers have been known to do this by giving journalists cars with tweaked engines to test. I wonder if we might be starting to see that happen in the flashlight world.
    Allegedly ZL chose a driver with a very limited voltage range(1.2-2.1V) in order to achieve above average efficiency & performance. Beyond that an EE will probably have to weigh in on the matter.
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  22. #82

    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Minjin View Post
    Have you considered that the SC51 might be a ringer? The performance when compared to the Fenix (which is fairly well known as one of the leaders in circuits) leaves me wondering if the LED was hand selected. Car manufacturers have been known to do this by giving journalists cars with tweaked engines to test. I wonder if we might be starting to see that happen in the flashlight world.
    This is always a potential concern, but to date it does not seem to be a problem. I've bought a number of shipping versions of lights I've reviewed (different makers), and performance has always been within a typical expected range (so far ...).

    I would think using ringers would be a dangerous game to play. Once the shipping lights get into enough hands, any significant discrepancy to the comparison results here would be noted pretty quickly (i.e. I am not just "test-driving" but directly measuring and comparing performance metrics). And that would tarnish a company's reputation pretty fast (and for a long while, since folks here have a long memory ).

    Also, unless someone seriously altered the components, a ringer in one sense is likely to underperform in others (i.e. higher output but shorter runtime, or vice versa). Cherry-picking a good tint is always possible - most everything else would be tougher, unless defined bins were known (e.g. Vf).

    Besides, if ZL were going to send a ringer, I would think they would have picked one with a higher PWM on Low2. (although there again is an example of trade-off - lower PWM usually translates into higher efficiency).
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 09-20-2010 at 11:18 AM.
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  23. #83
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    I was looking at this again and I still find it crazy. I don't get how ZL is able to achieve this performance with a PWM circuit when Fenix, Quark, and others use a current regulated design which to the best of my knowledge SHOULD have a better output/runtime ratio.

  24. #84

    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Minjin View Post
    I was looking at this again and I still find it crazy. I don't get how ZL is able to achieve this performance with a PWM circuit when Fenix, Quark, and others use a current regulated design which to the best of my knowledge SHOULD have a better output/runtime ratio.
    Actually, I believe the runtimes above are all in current-controlled modes. I only found evidence for PWM on Med2 and Lo2. I haven't tested the runtime performance on those levels, due to the length of time it would take.

    But judging from the SC50w specs (which similarly uses PWM on Med2), you can see there's a loss of efficiency there - i.e. half the lumen output, but only twice the runtime for Med2 compared to Med1. Since emitters become more efficient at lower drive levels, that illustrates a performance hit. I'm sure a current-controlled Med2 would last a lot longer than twice Med1 runtime for half the output.

    I imagine the problem is producing low output through current-control - not easy to do (especially on circuits with a wide voltage range). You see this on some of the 4Sevens lights as well, a combination of PWM (and lower modes) and current-control (on higher ones).
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Selfbuilt, did you get any word on when zebralight is going to start sell the SC51? After reading the review, I can barely wait.
    Would be a perfect light for a lot of my outdoorsy friends who are not that keen on spending money on a good light. But the size, output((the wow factor is pretty important to convince non flashoholics), easy battery format and ability to use as a headlamp makes it perfect for about all the activities my friends are up to (backpacking, ultralight weight hiking, fishing, general use etc etc).

    And you won't happen to review the new nitecore D11?
    Would be interesting to see how the output and throw have been affected in the latest D10(well, D11). Especially compared with the new zebralights.
    Last edited by Lobo; 09-24-2010 at 08:25 AM.

  26. #86
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Your review pushed me over the edge. My first Zebralight is on it's way. Thought I'd give the SC50+ a try. The UI sounds very interesting, looking forward to trying it out first hand!

  27. #87

    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobo View Post
    Selfbuilt, did you get any word on when zebralight is going to start sell the SC51? ... And you won't happen to review the new nitecore D11?
    I don't have any details about the launch of the SC51. Probably best to check with typical ZL dealers (they would be in the best position to know). I gathered it was supposed to be soon.

    Don't know about the D11 yet ... I expect Nitecore will send it along for review, but as yet I haven't heard.
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    I don't have any details about the launch of the SC51. Probably best to check with typical ZL dealers (they would be in the best position to know). I gathered it was supposed to be soon.

    Don't know about the D11 yet ... I expect Nitecore will send it along for review, but as yet I haven't heard.
    I'll send a mail to zebralight then, and one to nitecore as well. I'll post back here if I get any informative replies.

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    it's up for preorder now, shipping est is oct 23

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    Default Re: Zebralight SC51 (XP-G R4) & SC50w (XP-E Neutral) 1xAA Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOT

    Also, according to ZL website, 14500 batteries are NOT supported.

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