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Thread: ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator (1200 Lumen Mega Thrower!)

  1. #1

    Default ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator (1200 Lumen Mega Thrower!)

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    Olight has a wide range of lights that cover pretty much every niche from keychain lights to mega throwers. The big brother of the SR Mini Intimidator flood light, the new SR52 Intimidator thrower is an upgrade from Olight's previous 3x18650 thrower, the SR51. With almost 1200 lumens and a huge reflector, this is a thrower indeed.


    Thanks to Olight and GoingGear for providing the SR52 for review.


    Iíll be reviewing the SR52 in two sections: first, Iíll discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then Iíll discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

    Video Review

    Below is a video review of the SR52. Due to my old image hosting site closing down, I've got new restrictions on image uploads and have replaced the "Construction" section of my reviews with a more detailed video review.


    This video is available in 1080p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


    Objective

    Manufacturer's Specifications

    Price: 120 USD




    Product Manual




    Dimensions




    Plus, here's a few shots with some good detail.








    User Interface

    The SR52 has a very simple UI, with just three brightness modes and sone strobe mode controlled by a single side switch.


    To turn the light on, just give a click to the switch, and it will come on in the mode you used last. To change the brightness, hold the switch for about a second and it will cycle to the next mode in the sequence of Low -> Medium -> High. To turn the light off, just click the switch. At any time (on or off), a fast double click will activate the Strobe mode. When the light is off, you can press and hold the switch for a few seconds, and the light will first turn on, then turn off and enter an electronic lockout, where it will not respond to clicks until you again hold the switch for a few seconds and disable the lockout.


    Also, the SR52 features a micro-usb charging port with a red/green indictor light next to it. The indicator turns red when the light is charging, green when plugged in and fully charged, and flashes red when you are using the light and the battery starts to get low.


    Action Shots

    You can click on any of these shots to see them full size.

    Light in Hand


    BeamSlice


    MugShot


    White Wall
    ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/20"


    Indoor Shots
    ISO 100, f/3.5, 1"


    Outdoor Shots

    ISO 100, f/3.5, 2.5"


    Long-Range Shots

    ISO 100, f/3.5, 5"



    Performance

    Submersion: I was a bit skeptical, but the SR52 claimed to be waterproof up to 2 meters, so I made sure the USB slide cover was closed tight and clicked into position, then did my standard water test (1 foot deep for 1 hour, clicking the switch a few times throughout). Impressively, I found no sign of water damaging or entering the light, and even the USB area seems to be fine.

    Heat: Even on Turbo, the SR52 has enough mass to distribute the heat and enough surface area to dissipate it from a single emitter that it doesn't get significantly hot before the output regulation ceases.

    PWM: I found no evidence of pulse width modulation on any mode of the SR52.

    Drop: I dropped the SR52 from about a meter onto various surfaces (including grass, carpet, dirt, and hard wood), and found no cosmetic or functional damage.

    Reverse Polarity Protection: I can find no claims by Olight that the SR52 has reverse polarity protection.

    Over-Discharge Protection: Th SR52 has a red/green LED indicator near the USB port, which will turn red when the battery gets low. In addition, there is a drop in output when regulation stops and the battery voltage gets low. These both let you know it's time to change or charge the batteries.


    Spectral Analysis


    All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. The plot below the picture is corrected for the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.

    Output and Runtime


    ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on).

    The vertical axis of the graphs below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

    Mode Comparison


    Turbo


    High



    Throwing Distance

    ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.




    Subjective Review

    Quick break down:

    + Best throw I've ever measured
    + Bright
    + Medium and Low well regulated
    + Very accurate lumen and runtime claims
    + Great heat handling
    + Great Olight style
    + No battery carrier
    + Smooth tailcap action
    + Simple UI
    + USB charging port
    + Red/Green LED indicator
    + Comfortable fit in hand
    + Still fits in a (large) pocket
    + Easy access to hidden strobe

    - Is large
    - No really low mode
    - LED indicator could be used as beacon blinker

    So, I'll start with the most impressive thing: this is the best thrower that I've reviewed so far. Sure, I certainly haven't reviewed all the big throwers, but I've done quite a few. Now, it should be noted that my throw measurements seem to usually be a bit higher than those of other reviewers, but I've tested them to be very precise, so that you can confidently compare them with other measurements that I've taken. I measured the SR52 to have a throw of 644 meters - the closest other lights I've measured are the Crelant 7G9v2 and Crelant 7G5CS U3, both with throws of 575 meters, so that the SR52 throws about 12% farther than either of those. That's pretty good. Looking at the beam shots above you can see it's got a nice, tight hotspot with some even spill. Of course the large reflector of the SR52 has a lot to do with it's throw capability, but it's also helped by the sheer output of it's XM-L2 emitter. I measured 1130, which is with the margin of error to Olight's claim of 1200 lumens. And also, while it has a small drop in output at the very beginning of the run, it actually manages to sit at just under 1100 lumens for over half an hour before dropping the regulation and beginning a steady decline. That half hour at almost 1100 lumens is one of the most impressive runs I've seen, likely made possible due to the large mass to soak up the heat away from the emitter and the large surface area to dissipate it into the air. As I said int the Performance section above, the SR52 doesn't even got really hot before the regulation drops. Another aid to it's maintaining that high output is of course the use of three high capacity 18650 lithium ion batteries in parallel.

    Now, these factors add up to it's one real negative, and that's the size. You can't have that many batteries, that much mass and surface area, and that large of a reflector without becoming a large light. That size may be a constraining factor for some applications, but really the only way to get better throw in a small size is to use an aspheric lens, which it seems often comes at the cost of losing all your spill light. There are certainly some situations where you don't care about or don't want any spill light, but generally I find that even a dedicated thrower needs a bit of spill so that you can still see some of the closer objects outside of the main beam, to see where you are walking and be aware of what's around you. So, for me the size isn't really much of a negative. My hands are a bit larger than average, but they have no trouble being comfortable holding the SR52. In addition, I usually wear pants with cargo pockets, and the SR52 can still fit in one of these easily, so I don't always need to go looking for the holster. I'm also really liking the compactness of the SR52, compared to a "plunger-style" thrower that has it's batteries in series in a long tube attached to a large reflector. So, it's definitely a large light, but not too large for it's class or so large as to be unwieldy, and it's worth it to have the high performance the SR52 gives.

    While I'm on the negatives, I'll mention the other two. The first is that there isn't a true low mode. I know for a dedicated thrower a super low mode isn't much use (the beam is too tight, and thus only covers a tiny area close up), but something a bit lower than 100 lumens would have been nice for navigating close-up terrain until you get out in the open. The other thing is that the LED indicator near the USB port is great, but would have been even better if it included a "find-your-light-in-a-dark-room" mode where it blinks red or green every few seconds, consuming minimal power but making it easy to find and grab your light when you want it. I've seen these things before, so I know it's possible, and surely there's room for the extra circuitry in there .

    So, other than it's high performance, the SR52 has quite a few noteworthy positives. I appreciate the simplicity of the user interface a lot--the SR52 is a dedicated thrower, not some general purpose light, so it's going to be mostly used for a certain sort of task, and doesn't need a complicated UI to make it more versatile, and I'm glad Olight recognized this. From there, Olight put together a lot of little things to make this an overall very attractive light. The most noticeable is that it's got Olight's style, which has been very impressive recently: the large squared grove pattern on the body, the sleekness, the blue o-ring/GITD o-ring combo, the minimal printing on the light, the flawless reflector, all lead to a great looking light. The most practical addition to the SR52 is of course the built-in charging port. I've got a few other lights with charging ports, but not all of them charge by micro-usb, which in my mind is certainly the best choice. Micro-usb is so common than most of us likely have at least one around already, and many people have several of them around their house, car, office, etc., but if you don't, Olight also includes the charging cable and AC adapter. Next, I'm glad Olight chose to drill the battery slots directly into a solid body, instead of using a battery carrier, which while lighter, is less sturdy and more complicated to use. In addition, the tailcap system is well designed in a way that keeps the appropriate terminals lined up, but works smoothly and doesn't require any extra thought from the user during battery changes.

    Overall, the SR52 has been a very impressive light. It's got the best throw I've measured, one of the highest total outputs and impressive regulation at high output, and while large, is actually pretty compact for the performance you get. If you're looking for a throw beast that uses a reflector rather than an aspheric lens, the SR52 is an excellent choice, and it's got all the extra details that make using it enjoyable.


    Long Term Impressions
    I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
    Last edited by Bigmac_79; 07-22-2014 at 10:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Peace Train's Avatar
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    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator [In Progress]

    Thanks for the review. The outdoor beam shots are great. Love the relatively small size, and build quality seems to be solid. Been looking at this one and liking what I see so far.
    Sent from my Gladeģ Air Freshener


  3. #3

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator [In Progress]

    Quote Originally Posted by Peace Train View Post
    ...The outdoor beam shots are great...
    Haha, are you teasing me, or referring to the video?

    I haven't taken the photos for the outdoor (or indoor) beamshots yet, I'm hoping to get that done either tonight or tomorrow night and get them formatted and added to the review in a few days. If you're talking about the video, then yeah, the SR52 is definitely impressive outdoors, and even the video doesn't do it justice (my camera just can't capture video at night like the human eye can).

  4. #4
    Flashaholic Peace Train's Avatar
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    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator [In Progress]

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigmac_79 View Post
    Haha, are you teasing me, or referring to the video?

    I haven't taken the photos for the outdoor (or indoor) beamshots yet, I'm hoping to get that done either tonight or tomorrow night and get them formatted and added to the review in a few days. If you're talking about the video, then yeah, the SR52 is definitely impressive outdoors, and even the video doesn't do it justice (my camera just can't capture video at night like the human eye can).

    No sarcasm intended, was referring to video. I've seen some of the vn still shots of the modified version of this light,, but they don't tell the whole story. Seeing the light in action (especially while walking) presents a more practical approach to a review. As does giving first impressions and opinions. After all, who cares about what a flashlight's like on paper if it can't deliver in the real world. Can you imagine a stereo review without knowing what the reviewer's ears were able to hear? The human aspect factors in strongly here.
    Sent from my Gladeģ Air Freshener


  5. #5

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator [In Progress]

    Quote Originally Posted by Peace Train View Post
    No sarcasm intended, was referring to video. I've seen some of the vn still shots of the modified version of this light,, but they don't tell the whole story. Seeing the light in action (especially while walking) presents a more practical approach to a review. As does giving first impressions and opinions. After all, who cares about what a flashlight's like on paper if it can't deliver in the real world. Can you imagine a stereo review without knowing what the reviewer's ears were able to hear? The human aspect factors in strongly here.
    Alrighty, I'm glad the video was helpful!

  6. #6

    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator [In Progress]

    Beamshots added, and review complete

  7. #7
    Unenlightened PCH's Avatar
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    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator [In Progress]

    This was my first flash light in many years I don't have any thing bad to say about it its a great all round flash light with a nice throw

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: ReviewTheLight: Olight SR52 Intimidator [In Progress]

    glad to see this thread is still alive! Had the SR52 since it came out and it is still one of the best LED light purchases I have ever made. Throw is ridiculous for a general purpose light. Run times are smoking and its build quality beats Surefire in my opinion

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