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Thread: AR Lens coatings - just a gimmick?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb AR Lens coatings - just a gimmick?

    Since I had received a TN31 XM-L2 without AR coating on the lens, I decided to conduct an investigation to see if the AR coating truly helps bring out more lumens or not by comparing it with the original coated lens. Includes measurements on my PVC LMD.
    https://youtu.be/CsIukodVyTY

    This is by no means a comprehensive vid on the topic since there are other variables (types of glass, coating, output level, etc.) but should give an general indication on its effectiveness.

    Tim

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: AR Lens coatings - just a gimmick?

    AR lens coatings, while essential in photography, are of very little use in flashlights, except maybe to slightly cut down on off-axis spill from errant reflections bouncing around. Even if they do improve light transmission, the numbers I have seen have been in the low single digits percentage wise, which would have virtually no visual impact to the user. Even the switch from a polycarbonate to a glass lens only claims about a 10% improvement in transmission, which pales beside the fact that it takes a 400% increase in output to create a perceived 2x improvement in brightness.

    Now when talking about heat management glass lenses are almost imperative, and an AR coating can help by allowing more IR to escape through the lens and not be reflected back to the emitter.

    Another Tim

    PS: I was going to say 'The other Tim', but I am sure there are more than two of us here.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: AR Lens coatings - just a gimmick?

    I was going to comment on the similarity of our statistics - We joined at about the same time and have almost the same number of submissions. I had to do it as a separate post because This Is My 1,000th Submission! I didn't realize I talk that much here. Free popcorn for everyone!
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  4. #4

    Default Re: AR Lens coatings - just a gimmick?

    And we both use furry animals as our avatars (cues Twilight Zone music... ).

    Totally agree with your assessment. I should've clarified that I'm a big believer of AR coatings in other applications (optics, instrumentation, etc.) but I wanted to see how practical it was in our hobby. Of course this was just a sample size of one set so I plan on getting different lenses/AR coatings in the future for further comparo purposes. Also, I've a feeling the differences as measured in lumens in my PVC LMD is less as opposed to lux via beam throw so I'll be doing a throw comparo in the future with these lenses.

    P.S. congrats on the 1000th post!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* bladesmith3's Avatar
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    Default Re: AR Lens coatings - just a gimmick?

    I am a fan of ar coatings. I really do think they help. but... ar coatings can scratch easier then plain glass in my experience. so always use a micro fiber cloth and lens cleaner or lens cleaning tissue to wipe the lens off.

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