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Thread: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)


    The Zebralight SC5Fc is an AA flashlight that uses a frosted - hence the F - lens for an even and wide beam. It is available in c (4000 K) and d (5000 K) tints. There's also several lower CRI models available with both clear and frosted lenses.


    Manufacturer specifications

    * Battery type: AA (alkaline, NiMH or lithium), 14500 not supported
    * LED: Cree XM-L2 EasyWhite
    * Color temperature: 4000 K
    * Body material: Aluminum
    * Waterproof: Yes, IPX-7 (2 m, 30 min)
    * Impact resistance: not specified
    * Switch type: side clicky
    * Battery protection: Voltage indicator, battery polarity
    * Temperature regulation: No
    * Tail stand: Yes
    * Tripod threads: No

    * Length: 81,3 mm
    * Head width: 25,4 mm

    * Modes: 13
    * Special modes: Beacon strobe (4 Hz), Strobe (19 Hz)
    * Mode memory: Only sub mode
    * Button lock: Loosen the tailcap
    * Direct access from off: L1/2, M1/2, H1/2, Strobe

    Included in the package:
    * Zebralight SC5Fc flashlight
    * Two spare o-rings
    * User manual
    * Eneloop AA battery (only some vendors)






    A single click from off puts the light to H1/2, whichever was last selected. Submode L2/M2/H2 can be selected with a double click while the light is on. A long press cycles the modes. A long press from off goes to L first, then M and finally H. There's a half a second delay when turning the light off with a short press.

    There three main modes L1, M1 and H1 with sub modes L2, M2 and H2. Single press goes to H1/2, whichever was last selected. The sub modes can be programmed to a different level from three options. Each of the modes are directly accessible from off, but the medium shortcut (double click) goes to high first.

    Zebralight UI hasn't changed for a couple of years. For operation, see the manual that covers the programming and usage here:
    http://www.zebralight.com/assets/ima...E_V40_2013.pdf


    The fit and finish is exceptional. The removable pocket clip is very stiff.




    The tailcap has pogo pins instead of a spring.


    AA battery, Zebralight SC5Fc (AA), Olight S10 (CR123), Olight i3E EOS (AAA)

    Measurements
    Please note: lumen measurements are only rough estimates
    My diy 30/40 cm integrating styrofoam spheres have been calibrated using a Fenix E05 on high with manufacturer’s claim of 85 lumens. Verified with an Olight S10 that has been measured with a Labsphere FS2 integrating sphere by valostore.fi. Results may be more inaccurate with especially throwy or floody lights.

    For spectral information and CRI calculations I have an X-rite i1Pro spectrophotometer with HCFR for the plot and ArgyllCMS spotread.exe for the data. For runtime tests I use spotread.exe with a custom script and a i1Display Pro because it doesn’t require calibration every 30 minutes like the i1Pro.

    Explanation of abbreviations
    CCT = correlated color temperature, higher temperature means cooler (bluish)
    CRI (Ra) = color rendering index consisting of 8 different colors (R1-R8), max value 100
    CRI (R9) = color rendering index with deep red, usually difficult for led based light sources, max value 100
    TLCI = television lighting consistency index, max value 100
    CQS (Qa) = Proposed replacement for CRI, RMS average of 15 color samples
    CRI2012 (Ra,2012) = Another proposed replacement for CRI, consists of 17 color samples
    MCRI = Color rendering index based on the memory of colors or 9 familiar objects
    x,y = coordinates on a CIE 1931 chart





    My sample was a bit off form the spec'd CCT of 4000 K. I was not able to achieve the advertised lumens. Even after testing with several meters, light boxes, integrating spheres in addition to the ceiling bounce method, the maximum output lagged about 28 % behind Zebralight's claimed output of 375 lumens. It could be that none of my methods work accurately with a frosted lens light, because I have noticed the same problem with the Zebralight H600Fd Mark III.

    Spectral distribution (H1)



    Color rendering (H1)

    Read more on color rendering indices here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ement-examples


    Beam and tint


    The beam is very floody and smooth with no discernible beam angle.



    The tint has a smooth and linear transition towards the spill.


    Tint in different brightness modes stays quite consistent.

    PWM
    PWM is used to control output on all modes except H1. The PWM is not visible to the eye, because of its low amplitude, but possibly shows up on camera. The cycling frequency is higher on higher output modes and ranges from 775 Hz to 5000 Hz. The amplitude however is higher on the higher modes.



    Oscilloscope screenshot at H2 ("81 lm").


    Zoomed in.

    See the whole album of scope screenshots here:
    http://imgur.com/a/IbSg6

    Runtime (H1 and H2 "81 lm")

    Batteries used: Panasonic Eneloop Pro 2500 mAh (BK-3CHDE)


    Temperature and regulation
    Heat is not an issue. The SC5Fc never gets very warm to hold. There's no thermal regulation. The light has a hard stepdown at 3 minutes.
    Last edited by maukka; 10-25-2016 at 08:29 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Great review, great photos! Thanks.

    This thing is one heavy pipe bomb! I love the looks and feel, but honestly don't use mine much at all. Actually, mine is the SC5w OP version.
    GOOD TINT!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Thanks for the review, maukka.
    So ZL still uses PWM in some of their lights huh...
    Oh, I see. The specs for it don't say, "All levels are current regulated."
    In fact, NONE of the SC5 model specs say that, so they all use PWM at all levels other than max?
    The catch is typically in the fine print, but in this case, it's what the fine print DOESN'T say that's important to notice.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    Great review, great photos! Thanks.

    This thing is one heavy pipe bomb! I love the looks and feel, but honestly don't use mine much at all. Actually, mine is the SC5w OP version.
    So why don't you use it more often, mark?
    Imalent, Armytek, Gearbest, and Banggood are still in business for the same reason Logan Paul is still making money.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by scs View Post
    So why don't you use it more often, mark?
    I just like my SC63w and SC600w II more for the output and more importantly runtime. If I need a smaller light to EDC, it's the SC52w since it's more comfortable. Or even my L11C which is better yet in a pocket. That's too bad since my SC5w is a perfect tint - always a big deal for me.
    GOOD TINT!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by scs View Post
    So ZL still uses PWM in some of their lights huh...
    I wouldn't worry about it if you're not going to use the flashlight as a video or photography light. Because the output never drops to zero like in a traditional PWM, it is very difficult if not impossible to see with the naked eye. I cannot see it even if I wave the light itself or my hand in front of it like a madman.

    Does someone know if this sort of low amplitude modulation is actually even called pulse width modulation or is it something else altogether?
    Last edited by maukka; 02-19-2016 at 02:47 PM. Reason: typos

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    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    I just like my SC63w and SC600w II more for the output and more importantly runtime. If I need a smaller light to EDC, it's the SC52w since it's more comfortable. Or even my L11C which is better yet in a pocket. That's too bad since my SC5w is a perfect tint - always a big deal for me.
    I also think that the SC5 is a bit too large and heavy. Just get the 18650 model of your choice. Those are just a tiny bit longer.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Tachead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Thanks for the excellent review maukka

    Hey, is there any chance you have the Color Temp Meter app? I would like to see how accurate it really is. Any chance you could compare it to your professional measuring equipment by taking a reading with it in a dark room bouncing this light off a piece of white paper? Thanks.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by maukka View Post
    I also think that the SC5 is a bit too large and heavy. Just get the 18650 model of your choice. Those are just a tiny bit longer.
    Yeah. Some people like AAs for "emergencies" but I don't really look at that. If something huge happened (has not in 35 years of my life), my small supply of 18650s would last me months without trying. And I would probably be more focused on things like water, food and security anyway.

    But even after all that, I do like some AA lights just because they're "the standard".

    And I'm tempted to try a $1.99 CCT app on my iPhone...but assuming the results would be useless.
    GOOD TINT!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Great post and very informative. I too have a certain ceiling bounce method I use to approximate lumens, and I get lower readings with the H600Fd III particularly on the medium levels. The high levels don't seem too far off of the specs though so I'm not sure if my M1 is actually only about 45 lumens... Thanks for the review.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Tachead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    Yeah. Some people like AAs for "emergencies" but I don't really look at that. If something huge happened (has not in 35 years of my life), my small supply of 18650s would last me months without trying. And I would probably be more focused on things like water, food and security anyway.

    But even after all that, I do like some AA lights just because they're "the standard".

    And I'm tempted to try a $1.99 CCT app on my iPhone...but assuming the results would be useless.
    Mine(Color Temp Meter for Android) seams to work pretty well actually as long as you center the hotspot inside the window(it seams to take its measurement from the center). The measurements I have tried are close to manufactures listed CCT's anyway.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Not sure I'm using it right. There are a bunch of settings about setting a white point. I selected the "Horizon Light CCT 5003K" which you see here; probably not the right one. But maybe it doesn't matter since I did it in a dark room with no ambient light?

    It's pretty cool that it measures it in real time; no need to take a photo.

    Dang, look at this with my SC63w (4500K)...4503K! Yeah, close enough.



    But even so, my eyes find this warmer than 4500K. And more yellow than my 4500K Nichia. But I guess the app doesn't care about the tint bias (greenish, yellowish)?

    Edit: My SC600w II is measuring 4760K. That seems right since I always called it a cooler tint than the rest of my Zebralights.
    Last edited by markr6; 02-19-2016 at 03:18 PM.
    GOOD TINT!

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
    Hey, is there any chance you have the Color Temp Meter app?
    Just bought it and tried it with a Motorola Moto E and a grey card on a couple of lights.

    Flashlight i1Pro App
    Astrolux A01 3960 K 4180 K
    DQG Tiny AAA 5610 K 5050 K
    Eagletac MX25L3C 4750 K 4520 K
    Olight i3E EOS 5770 K 5260 K
    Zebralight SC5FC 3640 K 3800 K

    The White Balance Color Temp Meter app for Android does give an idea of the color temp but it's not terribly accurate or even consistently inaccurate. From those couple of lights it seems that it can estimate color temp better on lights with higher CRI (only about +-200 K error). I'll check some more lights tomorrow.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Tachead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by maukka View Post
    Just bought it and tried it with a Motorola Moto E and a grey card on a couple of lights.

    Flashlight i1Pro App
    Astrolux A01 3960 K 4180 K
    DQG Tiny AAA 5610 K 5050 K
    Eagletac MX25L3C 4750 K 4520 K
    Olight i3E EOS 5770 K 5260 K
    Zebralight SC5FC 3640 K 3800 K

    The White Balance Color Temp Meter app for Android does give an idea of the color temp but it's not terribly accurate or even consistently inaccurate. From those couple of lights it seems that it can estimate color temp better on lights with higher CRI (only about +-200 K error). I'll check some more lights tomorrow.
    I find that with this app it is very important that you perfectly center the hotspot in the viewing window, especially with non-diffused lights.

    Thanks a lot man, I really appreciate it. If you could check your H600Fd MKIII tomorrow that would be great as I have one too. Thanks again maukka

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* maukka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
    If you could check your H600Fd MKIII tomorrow that would be great as I have one too. Thanks again maukka
    Got 4520 K with the app vs. 4740 K with i1Pro.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    This is another great review!

    Thanks, maukka.
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    What a great review. I, too, wonder what the "PWM" really is.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Brasso's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    4000k isn't warm, it's neutral.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brasso View Post
    4000k isn't warm, it's neutral.

    Rosy-orange is the new white I guess.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Tachead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedraven View Post
    Rosy-orange is the new white I guess.
    There are literally thousands of different whites. Just go and try to pick a white at a paint store to paint your ceilings(it is not fun, been there )

    Neutral is a range, not a set temperature(although the range isnt really agreed upon and varies depending on the source). Not to mention that tint can vary a lot even at the exact same colour temperature depending how far above or below the black body radiation line the particular emitter falls. I personally define neutral as being between 4000ish and 5000K.
    Last edited by Tachead; 03-13-2016 at 08:03 PM.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* shrike2222's Avatar
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Thank you for great review!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Zebralight SC5Fc measurements (AA, warm tint)

    Quote Originally Posted by maukka View Post
    I also think that the SC5 is a bit too large and heavy. Just get the 18650 model of your choice. Those are just a tiny bit longer.
    Agreed. Not only is the SC62/SC63 just a tad longer. It's also smaller in diameter (which can be more important for an EDC light than length). But most importantly, you get MUCH more runtime and, generally, greater brightness. Even the high CRI Philips Luxeon SC62c/SC62d are fairly comparable in terms of maximum brightness to this light. But they will both run for three hours on a full charge with NO STEPDOWN (and the regular SC62/SC63 lights feature PID control rather than timer stepdown, like the SC5). The longer runtime makes small 1x18650 lights GREAT EDC lights that work well for that unplanned night hike or roadside emergency. Granted, the SC5 is one nice and well-built light. But for real world use, the SC62/SC63 is more practical. Even in emergency situations (where you may run out of battery power), Li-Ion offers easier solar charging. So the fact that they don't use a common battery isn't much of a liability. Without the ability to use a 14500, you just have to REALLY like AA batteries to prefer the SC5.

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