Preon 2 High CRI vs. Preon 2 Warm... This just in!

applevision

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***LOTS OF GOOD COMPARISON PICS ADDED AT POST #20!***

Hi team,

Just received my Preon 2 High CRI from 4Sevens... I am very excited about this light!

I have been using the warm for over 1 year and I love it, absolutely love it. It pains me that we haven't seen a re-run of the warm in awhile, however, and I constantly worry that if that light eventually breaks, I have no backup. I use my Preon 2 warm every single day: it is my most relied upon tool as a dermatologist. The warm tones really help me see the redness of skin lesions and get a sense of the contours of a lesion when I sidelight illuminate. So when I heard about the High CRI, I was sold!

IMG_0184.jpg

Here they are, together! (Note: the perspective is a little funny--they are identical in size and construction)

I want to make a quick note about fit and finish of the new High CRI--it is OUTSTANDING. My old light is very good, but the threads on the new one are even better: buttery smooth out of the box! Otherwise, it is just as we expect from 4Sevens: gorgeous anodizing, excellent clicky, a wonderful UI.

Now onto the light!

IMG_0194.jpg

Warm on the Left and High CRI on the Right.

You can see from the beamshots that they are very similar in profile. However, there is no doubt that the High CRI light puts out more light--it's actually fairly impressive vs. the warm. In this photo in particular, you can appreciate how clear/clean and neutral the High CRI light is. As we understand here on CPF, high CRI does not necessarily mean a neutral tint, but in this case they have a very nice tint, thank goodness. My warm is a bit more brown on beam tint.

But what about where rubber meets the road?

Well, this is the hardest thing to show since cameras/monitors/user error all play a role in making this difficult to share and measure properly for us non-professionals.

So I think the key thing is going to be my impressions... but I wanted to show a series that captures my experience well:

IMG_0188.jpg

1) Natural early afternoon sun shining on a checkerboard with red and black pieces, an orange bench and off-white walls.



IMG_0189.jpg

2) The warm Preon 2 really bringing out the reds and giving a full, rich color to the orange.


IMG_0192.jpg

3) The High CRI Preon 2 giving good color, washing things out a bit because it's so bright, but certainly appearing more--how to say--reserved. But clearly doing a great job.


Impressions:
I feel a little like one of those folks who leaves his camera on "vivid" knowing that it is not TRUE but looks prettier. It's phony in a way, it's inaccurate, but we often find ourselves preferring more "pop". At the end of the day, despite its lower output, I prefer my old Preon 2 Warm due to this "pop" and enhancement of those colors which are so important to me in my line of work: reds, pinks, browns. This holds despite the dimmer, browner beam, and despite it's many hundreds of hours of use. BUT, and this is a big but, the High CRI is a GORGEOUS light, that is head and shoulders above my stock Preon in terms of color. (I know, I should have added that to the mix, but I can assure you--it's WAY worth it to go High CRI vs. the regular bluish one if you care anything about color rendering over sheer brightness--my question was which would be better: warm vs. this particular High CRI light for my purposes).

Discussion:
Things we cannot say: Warm is "better" than High CRI. Why? This is preposterous, as these are two totally different concepts. Ideally, I think, we'd want a super high CRI light in a very neutral tint to most reflect sunlight. Until that day comes, however, we have different options to weigh and trade-offs to make. In this particular setup, and with my specific units (there is probably some tint lottery as well...), I find that the warm best suits my needs. That said, my High CRI HDS EDC trumps my Preon 2 warm in both tint and color rendering--that's the best of all I have, though it's not ideal for my daily EDC light given my needs.

I am delighted with this light, however, and know that it will scratch an itch felt by many of us here. I can safely recommend this over the base Preon 2 unit without hesitation: still nearly as bright (minimal trade off to my eye), but SIGNIFICANTLY better color than the blueish hue of my stock unit.

Final image showing just how similar the High CRI and Warm actually are (these are subtle differences):
IMG_0196.jpg

Brighter High CRI


IMG_0195.jpg

Slightly dimmer Warm...


I'm very curious to hear everyone's thoughts!

-Applevision
 
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run4jc

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Very nice - thanks for sharing these! Making me think seriously about trying one of these...:thinking:
 

nickdolin

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Great shots... man... humm... I may have to ask the wallet if it can handle yet another flashlight related purchase.
 

applevision

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My honest sense is that, for me at least, the warm is a bit better for the things I'm looking at. I think that, in theory, a high CRI light is what we really want and need, but that in practice, this particular sample/emitter is not quite as good in the red range as the warm sample that I have. [I hate to add so many qualifiers, but I really think that there is enough variability that different units could yield different results.]

So, PSM, I'd say: one MAJOR advantage: It's notably brighter on high; but, in some ways, a minor disadvantage: the reds do not pop as much and this combo means that for clinic on Monday I will be still carrying my WARM. Compared to the regular Preon: Nearly as bright, and MUCH better color rendering.

p.s. those photos were taken on an iPhone 4S! The camera is pretty darn amazing!
 
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brandocommando

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The tint on your high cri preon is suprisingly cool! Are the pictures pretty equal to what you see in person?

I have 2 on the way, (how are you guys getting your lights so fast??):scowl:

I am looking forward to doing a side by side comparison with the 2 high cri preons I have coming to see what kind of variation there is between the 2 identical lights. Also, I have a Malkoff M31HCRI (90+ emitter on that one) to compare with, along with a 3000K XM-L from NB as well.

The tint on your looks GREAT BTW!
 
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mvyrmnd

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Unless your camera is doing something weird to the coloring, you may very well have the coolest tinted WW and HCRI Quarks in existence.

From all the other pics people are showing, the tint on the new HCRI's is extremely heavy on the yellows and looks like they are in the 2700k range. You pics make the HCRI look like a neutral-like 4000k.

He may well have lucked out in the tiny lottery. His standard WW could be 2700K and his HCRI WW could be pushing 3200K or even slightly higher. The comparison would make the HCRI look awesome.
 

ITPython

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He may well have lucked out in the tiny lottery. His standard WW could be 2700K and his HCRI WW could be pushing 3000K or even slightly higher. The comparison would make the HCRI look awesome.

Its either his camera or there is the possibility he is actually comparing neutrals. Even considering the tint lotto and the chance of pushing ~3500k, the tints on his pics shows something in the range of 4000-4500k, reminds me of the Zebralight XP-G neutral 4200k beamshot pics I have seen.

The highest kelvin the 85+ CRI XP-G's are rated at is 3200k, which is still very warm, and is nowhere even remotely close to the tints in the above pics.
 

Derek Dean

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First off, applevision, I thoroughly enjoyed your comparison/review. It was heartfelt, evenhanded, and informative. I've been very curious about this new series of high CRI lights from 4 Sevens, and your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Now, to the photos. As has been pointed out, your new hi CRI Preon 2 appears, at least on my monitor, to have a very white tint, which is contrary to what I was expecting.

Can you tell me how you have the white balance set on your camera? For most comparisons of this type it is usually helpful to have it set to "Daylight" rather than "Auto", that way the camera isn't adjusting for the tint of the light, it's simply recording it as it is.

In any case, thanks for sharing your impressions of your new light, and don't worry, I've got a feeling your favorite warm Preon 2 will continue to give you many more years of faithful service.
 

UnknownVT

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Unless your camera is doing something weird to the coloring, you may very well have the coolest tinted WW and HCRI Quarks in existence.

From all the other pics people are showing, the tint on the new HCRI's is extremely heavy on the yellows and looks like they are in the 2700k range. You pics make the HCRI look like a neutral-like 4000k.

EDIT: You know, the more I read your post and look at the pics, the more I think you are actually using neutral whites and not a WW and HCRI.
er... I don't think applevision is mistaken about the light being a High CRI Warm -
especially since he also referenced it to another warm white.

It's the camera -
it is more than likely the iPhone 4S camera is on Auto White Balance (AWB)
instead of fixed Daylight balance.

So the camera is clever in correcting for the "tungsten" like (yellow/red) light
and trying its hardest to render it like "sunlight"/"daylight"
hence the almost Neutral White looking pics. -
which probably IS the way we see the light in isolation away from any other light reference.

There is an advantage of taking side-by-side comparison beamshots
not just to see the difference in brightness,
but to see the difference in tint/color etc.
 

Jekyll & Hyde

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It's the camera -
it is more than likely the iPhone 4S camera is on Auto White Balance (AWB)
instead of fixed Daylight balance.

J: Yep, that's the issue. EXIF indicates AWB.

H: Really only good for comparing side by side, and not overall.

J&H
 

UnknownVT

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J: Yep, that's the issue. EXIF indicates AWB.
Thanks J&H (like the "schizophrenic" way of posting!:cool: )

and DoH! didn't even think to look at the EXIF metadata -

High CRI checkerboard pic:
Camera Maker: Apple
Camera Model: iPhone 4S
Image Date: 2011-11-12 15:49:24 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 4.3mm (35mm equivalent: 35mm)
Aperture: f/2.4
Exposure Time: 0.067 s (1/15)
ISO equiv: 800
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: program (Auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: 5.0.1

High CRI pedestal pic with the "Valentine" heart card:
Camera Maker: Apple
Camera Model: iPhone 4S
Image Date: 2011-11-12 15:54:23 (no TZ)
Focal Length: 4.3mm (35mm equivalent: 35mm)
Aperture: f/2.4
Exposure Time: 0.033 s (1/30)
ISO equiv: 64
Metering Mode: Spot
Exposure: program (Auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB
GPS Coordinate: undefined, undefined
Software: 5.0.1

My highlights in bold italics
EXIF shown with FxIF :: Add-ons for Firefox
(even better is: PhotoME - Exif, IPTC & ICC Metadata Editor)

Auto White Balance (AWB) attempts to adjust the white balance of a picture to either a sunny scene or something that resembles the way our eyes would see.

Most of us "see" common tungsten lighting as "white"
(even though a lot do know it is very yellow/amber when compared to sunlight/daylight).

There is a very good reason for this,
as our eyes/brain adjusts for what we perceive as "white" for different light levels,
please see:

Kruithof curve
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Color of White
 
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applevision

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Hi guys,

Many thanks for the feedback. Agreed--this was non-optimal for these subtle types of comparisons. I do have a better camera and can try to do some more standardized shots, but I maintain: what I see on my monitor here (and on my wife's monitor too) very closely matches what I am seeing in real life.

My High CRI Preon 2 is amazingly white. It does have a little yellowish hue to it, but it is pretty darn white, and not very red/brown/orange. My Warm Preon is also fairly white, which is perhaps why I adore this particular little buddy. I actually had a NW Preon which I liked okay, but after a similar compare and contrast, kept the Warm and gave the NW to my wife--it was still not warm enough for my tastes (though better than my cool white sample which clearly has some blueish tones, especially compared to all of these).

All this said, there is a wonderful thread here that does an amazing standardized job of comparing warm, neutral and High CRI Quarks that--honestly--mimics exactly my impression. Check it here.

I will try to post something with my good camera asap.

:)

-Apple
 

UnknownVT

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All this said, there is a wonderful thread here that does an amazing standardized job of comparing warm, neutral and High CRI Quarks that--honestly--mimics exactly my impression. Check it here.

Apple thank you for your clarification.

However just a minor/pedantic point - those photos on that wonderful thread which you referred to (thanks for that)
is using fixed Daylight White balance -
as opposed to AWB (Auto White balance)
otherwise we would not see the differential in tint/color quite as easily.
 

applevision

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Apple thank you for your clarification.

However just a minor/pedantic point - those photos on that wonderful thread which you referred to (thanks for that)
is using fixed Daylight White balance -
as opposed to AWB (Auto White balance)
otherwise we would not see the differential in tint/color quite as easily.

Thanks, Vincent! Yes, indeed: I knew it was done with the fixed white balance on that thread--and so I was sending folks over there to see it done right! :)
 
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ti-force

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Apple,

Nicely done! And thanks for spending your time to share your opinion and data with everyone here.
 

applevision

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Well, as Emeril says: "let's kick it up a notch!"

I've put together an interesting set of photos for you all to compare. Special thanks to Vincent (UnknownVT) for inspiration and guidance with photos. I've followed his work here for many years and have always been grateful for the amazing shots! I hope these are even 1/4th as helpful!


Camera: Canon Powershot S90, set to Daylight white balance, AV mode.


The players:
IMG_1951.jpg

From L-R: Preon 2 High CRI (Brand new!), Preon 2 warm, HDS EDC High CRI, Streamlight Stylus Pro, Zebralight SC51w, Quark MiNi CR2 (cool), Zebralight H51c (High CRI!), and Zebralight H501w.

The shots...
Control of the room with noontime light from window on a partly cloudy day here in the windy city:
IMG_1922.jpg



Now, high CRI Preon 2, first with a focus in the middle of the collection of stuff:
IMG_1935.jpg

Now with a focus on the abacus so you can see the colors there better (I've done this for all of them):
IMG_1936.jpg


Now the Preon 2 WARM, first focused in the middle, then on the abacus:
IMG_1937.jpg

IMG_1938.jpg



Now the HDS EDC High CRI first in the middle, then on the abacus:
IMG_1939.jpg

IMG_1940.jpg



Now, the old Streamlight (very blue!), first in the middle, then focused on the abacus:
IMG_1941.jpg

IMG_1942.jpg



Now the Zebralight SC51w, first in the middle then on the abacus:
IMG_1943.jpg

IMG_1944.jpg



Now the Quark MiNi CR2 (cool) first in the middle then on the abacus:
IMG_1945.jpg

IMG_1946.jpg




Now here comes the H51c (High CRI!) first in the middle, then on the abacus:
IMG_1947.jpg

IMG_1948.jpg



And finally, we have my favorite bedtime reading light in the world, the Zebralight H501w. Now, I did "aim" it at the middle and at the abacus, but because it is pure flood, you can barely tell!
IMG_1949.jpg

IMG_1950.jpg


Whew!

That's a lot of pictures and a fair number of lights.

My impressions: from using them, I still feel like the HDC EDC high CRI is KING for color rendition. I dream of a McGizmo Sundrop to compare (one day, perhaps!) but for now this is my king. However, for different uses, I prefer different lights. My Preon 2 Warm (which, some have noted, may be more towards white/neutral than other units) is my favorite light for looking at skin and mucous membranes. It brings out the erythemas of vital tissue like no other, and it's beam profile suits me well. For reading and close work, my H501w from Zebralight is amazing and my go-to light. I love my H51c and the high CRI is great and the tint is great, but for the way I personally use a headlamp, it's harder for me given the beam profile... I think that when the H502w comes out (with an XM-L!), that may finally move the H501w over...

Thank you guys and I can't wait to hear thoughts!

-Apple
 
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