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Thread: Optics Review: Carclo Precision and Others....

  1. #1
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    Default Optics Review: Carclo Precision and Others....

    Zman sent me samples of some new unfimiliar collimators designed for use with Luxeons for me to evaluate (thanks Zman!). As of now, these are not available in the US yet. I was suprised when he choose me to ask if I could help. As promised here is my review along with some other contenders for comparison.

    These optics are made by Carclo-Optics, the Technical Plastics division of Carclo plc, located in England. More info can be found here. They are made of a harder plastic, polycarbonate, as opposed to acrylic (I noticed the difference immediately when grinding/cutting away some of the tabs), so they should be stronger, withstand higher temperatures, and a bit more scratch resistant. EDIT 4/23: A quote from Ian of Carclo Technical Plastics, "The material these lenses are made from is polycarbonate but the material isn't in fact harder, it does take higher heat but does scratch more easily. The reason we went for this material is the refractive index, which enables us to get a tighter beam output angle.

    There are 6 in total along with 3 different types of holders. 3 models of the optics are nothing I have seen before and are very interesting (marked with *). They are classified into two categories:

    Classic Range (Datasheet PDF):
    Narrow/6 deg. - p/n. 10003
    Medium/15 deg. - p/n. 10003/15
    Wide/25 deg. - p/n. 10003/25
    Eliptical (Line)/25x6 (*) - p/n. 10003/L25

    Specialist Range (Datasheet PDF):
    Super Narrow/2 deg. (*) - p/n. 10025
    Fibre Coupling Optic (*) - p/n. 10034

    The pics below will help show why the 25x6, 2deg, & Fibre caught my attention. The Fibre lens was designed for reflecting light into fiber optic cables/bundles and "backlighting" applications such as screen displays, etc. They also have an optic in development for use with HD/Lambertians that emits a 5 degree wide beam in a full 360 degree area coverage.

    There is one circular and two hex type holders which are available in different colors, black, clear, & white. These are also made of polycarbonate material. The circular type holder is identical to the ones found on Star/Os. The two hex holders are designed for use with stars, LuxI & LuxIII/V. They also have a tri-optic holder available. Please view the datasheet for more info and specs. (Holders Datasheet PDF)

    Ok, enough jibber jabber, on with the pics!

    From left to right: 6deg, Fibre, 15deg, 25deg, 25x6deg



    The 2deg! (ooooh, ahhhh, [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinser2.gif[/img])






    It fits into a MagC/D head perfectly. An additional lens o-ring like the one that comes stock will be needed to fill in the gap (prevent it from moving foward and back). Too bad the head doesn't screw down no where close to bringing the collimator into focus. Nothing a little machining away of the threads or additional threading can't fix. Or a heatsink designed long enough to bring the emitter well into the head would work too.



    The optic holders (clear hex for LuxI, black hex for LuxIII/V)



    The contenders, from left to right,
    Top row: MagAA reflector, MagAA sputtered reflector, S017XA Reflector, Polished McFlood
    Bottom row: NX-01, NX-05, Fraen LP, Fraen 30 degree



    Beamshots taken at 3ft. from the wall. The ruler used for scale is 2ft. long. The camera's focus, exposure auto balance, & shutter speed were all locked (I don't know all the features of my camera yet and I didn't know what else I should have locked). I choose only to test with HD/Lambertion since that is what most of us are using these days and limited the review to only optics/reflectors in the same size category. The test luxeon used in all but one beamshot is a Q3J-HD BB500. The LuxV is a V2T BB700.





    The 6deg optic is identical in dimensions and performance as the optic used in the Longbow Micra. I'm not sure if the Mini uses the same optic but I'm assuming it does. I won't say that LongBow does in fact use Carclo optics in their lights because I don't know that for sure but they are identical.

    The 2deg is something I would like to get a hold of and modify a Mag to use. I must return the one I have now back to Zman but at least I got to play with it and get to keep the others. The 25x6 optic caught me by surprise, something I never expected to come out of an optic. The 15deg performed very similar to the Fraen 30deg when de-focused as seen in the pics. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be that way since most of the Carclo optics perform best when spaced out a bit from the emitter. The holders of course provide the correct spacing for most of the optics if not supposed to be all.

    After evaluating all these optics, the NX-01 is still my favorite optic in it's size class for use with HD/Lambertians, second would be Carclo's 6deg.


    Some McFlood comparisons:
    Beamshots taken on the ceiling with me laying on the floor, about 7ft. distance. The widest part of the flood beam is 8ft. (not seen in the pics). The outermost ring just ouside of the "hotspot" with the LD (barely seen in the pics) is just short of 6ft. The "intense" part of the "hotspot" of the HD is just over 4ft.



    TIA for any comments/feedback and thanks for viewing!

    -darkzero-
    Last edited by darkzero; 09-25-2009 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Updated pics host

  2. #2

    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Great post! Excellent beamshots and a well-done comparison.

    While the NX01 and 6 degree carclo certainly have a nice hotspot, I prefer the S017XA. It has a slightly less intense hotspot, but with spill!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    I can see why Zman picked you [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

    This is an awesome review. Thanks!!!

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    What Hoghead said. Nice going DZ! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    EXCELLENT post!

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    [ QUOTE ]
    IlluminatingBikr said:
    Great post! Excellent beamshots and a well-done comparison.

    While the NX01 and 6 degree carclo certainly have a nice hotspot, I prefer the S017XA. It has a slightly less intense hotspot, but with spill!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img], man I never knew how hard writing and putting together a review can be!

    Aaron, good point. I forgot about how good spill can be. The MagAA reflector has more spill and a brighter hot spot than the S017XA reflector. It's kind of like a baby PM6 reflector. The NX-01 and Carclo 6 deg are my preferences when in regards to optics of this size only. They both don't have any spill though. The MagAA reflector is still my favorite reflector in it's size although I heard Brinkmanns perform better but I haven't tried them. Just my opinions though.

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    I find this optics review very helpful. After read this, I could decide what to choose between Fraen LP or NX-05 for FireFly 2. Thanks darkzero [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Now them's what I call *Beamshots*. the CU's of the reflectors are pretty darn nice as well. Thanks. I'm heading to England in June. Any clue how available they are over there?...Oh! you have a link..never mind. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
    Good Grief! I went to school not 10 miles from them- I think I'll pay then a personal visit.

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Aten, if your serious about paying them a visit when you travel there in June, we definitely need to talk! Please check your PM.

    BTW, what is "CU"? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grinser2.gif[/img]

    thx

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Great review darkzero! I wonder if Mr. Bulk or Otokoyama might want to test the 2 degree optic to see if it could be a Bulkhead candidate? Gentlemen are you interested?

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    The 2 degree, it looks the same size hotspot as other optics. Does it stay smaller at longer distances vs other optics? or is it just simply brighter? Would this be comperable the "alien light beam" optic Jarhead made?

    The 25 looks more of a flood than the McFlood!
    The eliptical looks neat. Would be good headlights for an RC car!

    The 360/5 se optic looks neat too. would make a killer acrlyic back/side light device!

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    [ QUOTE ]
    IsaacHayes said:
    The 2 degree, it looks the same size hotspot as other optics. Does it stay smaller at longer distances vs other optics? or is it just simply brighter? Would this be comperable the "alien light beam" optic Jarhead made?

    The 25 looks more of a flood than the McFlood!
    The eliptical looks neat. Would be good headlights for an RC car!

    The 360/5 se optic looks neat too. would make a killer acrlyic back/side light device!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Isaac, yes the 2deg does a better job at keeping a really tight focus at greater distances than the others. Of course at greater distances it doesn't stay as small as the in the beamshot pictured. It was the brightest of all the contenders in the review. I wish I still had the 2deg so I could take a beamshot at a further distance. It's on it's way back to Zman already. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    Yeah, the 25deg is way more flood than the polished McFlood in the review but the McFlood was used with a HD here and not a LD as it was designed for. I just included the polished McFlood in the review because it's performance with a HD was unexpected and I wanted to share.

    Hey that's a good idea for the 25x6! If I still had my gas car it would be on.

    I'm curious how the 360/5 will perform too. The first optic for a SE if someone else doesn't come out with one first. Not for any flashlight of course. I wonder if it will work together with a large reflector? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

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    *Flashaholic* IsaacHayes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    DZ: the 360/5 isn't made for the SE. It's for the HD but makes it emit light like a SE. They say the HD with this optic is 4x as bright as a SE alone. They say you can use it for signal beacons or lighting up acrylic displays/etc.

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    oops, guess I didn't read it fully. Wonder how I missed that as it clearly states it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img] And here I thought it was going to be the first optic for a SE. Thanks for pointing that out, I will edit my post.

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    *Flashaholic* IsaacHayes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    DZ: you list 5 optics, but only show 4 pictures here:
    6deg, Fibre, 15deg, 25deg, 25x6deg I guess the 25x6 is missing? What does it look like? Is it round?

    Also, does the polished McFlood hotspot widen up more when aimed into a room? Is it still huge even flood enough? Does it have the added bonus of being a little brighter but still even flood vs the LD?

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    great post!
    and this huge optic is soooo beautiful!
    I'd be in for one just to have it in my hands ... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
    bernhard

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    [ QUOTE ]
    IsaacHayes said:
    DZ: you list 5 optics, but only show 4 pictures here:
    6deg, Fibre, 15deg, 25deg, 25x6deg I guess the 25x6 is missing? What does it look like? Is it round?

    Also, does the polished McFlood hotspot widen up more when aimed into a room? Is it still huge even flood enough? Does it have the added bonus of being a little brighter but still even flood vs the LD?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I posted the wrong picture. The 25deg was left out of the old picture. The 25deg looks very similiar to the 15deg and is hard to tell them apart. I have updated the pics.

    The hotspot with the polished McFlood and HD does widen out at farther distances but is still more "intense" than with a LD. The widest part of the flood beam is the same as a LD but the "flood" of the beam is not as even as a LD would be as you can see in the pics. I have updated the post with some McFlood comparisons.

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Should I gauge interest on a POSSIBLE group buy?

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Yepper.....

    Super, super stuff darkzero.

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Just received the optics back from darkzero and the little surprise. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Thanks again for doing the review and for the little extra. Kudos to darkzero--yet another a stand up good guy to interact with on CPF.

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    OH man...GREAT find and great review!!!

    Those Carlco 25x6 optics would be GREAT for custom LED bike lights.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Nice update w/ the mcFloods. It seems polishing does up the output quite a bit. Also broadens the hotspot a bit. Looks like I'll be doing this to mine.

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    DZ, awsome review!! I need to stop by this fourm more often! Thank you! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

    Larry

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    if it was not for the link in the other forum I would have missed this post!

    I hope these are available soon! VERY NICE BEAMSHOTS! EXCELENT REVIEW!

    Need to find someplace that sells NX-01s!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Hi all I am the contact at Carclo Technical Plastic who have designed and manufactured the parts tested here and all I can say is thanks for the results. There are a few points that I would like to point out a few points that are incorrect.

    The material these lenses are made from is polycarbonate but the material isn't in fact harder, it does take higher heat but does scratch more easily. The reason we went for this material is the refractive index, which enables us to get a tighter beam output angle.

    These are currently only available direct from me and I can send a few parts out as samples if any one is interested please e-mail me on ian.bryant@carclo-optics.com with your needs and a postal address, a UPS account to use for shipping would be nice as a help. Please all keep up the good work and if I can help any one with any further technical data please ask and I will do my best to get the information.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Darkzero!

    Nice job man!

    How about you do a 300ft or 100 yrd or 100 meter beamshots on the narrow ones so we can compare with other long throw optics.

    Something like this (TWOK Lux III and Aspherical):

    High-Res here: http://www.molalla.net/~leeper/beam3.jpg


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    [ QUOTE ]
    Optics_Man said:
    Hi all I am the contact at Carclo Technical Plastic who have designed and manufactured the parts tested here and all I can say is thanks for the results. There are a few points that I would like to point out a few points that are incorrect.

    The material these lenses are made from is polycarbonate but the material isn't in fact harder, it does take higher heat but does scratch more easily. The reason we went for this material is the refractive index, which enables us to get a tighter beam output angle.

    These are currently only available direct from me and I can send a few parts out as samples if any one is interested please e-mail me on ian.bryant@carclo-optics.com with your needs and a postal address, a UPS account to use for shipping would be nice as a help. Please all keep up the good work and if I can help any one with any further technical data please ask and I will do my best to get the information.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ian, first off, Welcome to CPF! Thank you for taking the time to share your info here. I look up to the manufacturers that take the time to answer questions or comment here. I will update my post.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Darkzero: Excellent work and exceptional post! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  29. #29

    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    I agree with everybody else, great review and excellent pics DarkZero. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
    Those are very interesting optics... I'm like you though Dark, I find the NX-01 to be the best compromise in brightness/beam quality and useability. Still, I understand there's nowhere to find these at the moment, right? Well then, e-mail sent to Ian..

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Carclo Precision Optics Review and Others....

    Great review DZ

    Klaus

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