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Thread: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

  1. #1
    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    I've gotten a little... um... "devoted" to high CRI lately. So I bought a spectrometer to help wade through the waters.
    I've also been dying to see the SST-20's for myself after reading so much about their awesomeness. So I bought a FW3A.
    And WOW. They are divine. They hug the BBL excellent and even on Turbo they are CRI 95+! And I have the data to prove it. Enjoy!



    The circles around the dots are a 1-MacAdams Ellipse, so they represent the colors that are indistinguishable from each other. So when the circle touches the BBL, it looks like the BBL.


    "FW3A SST Ceiling.pdf":https://www.dropbox.com/s/dhn7kucwgg...iling.pdf?dl=1
    TL;DR
    CCT: 3887
    Duv: 0.0010
    CRI (Ra): 97.2
    TLCI: 98

    "FW3A SST Turbo.pdf":https://www.dropbox.com/s/ninkdljk2f...Turbo.pdf?dl=1
    TL;DR
    CCT: 3921
    Duv: -0.0020
    CRI (Ra): 95.1
    TLCI: 94

    "FW3A SST Floor.pdf":https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5ztb56zcc...Floor.pdf?dl=1
    TL;DR
    CCT: 3842
    Duv: 0.0016
    CRI (Ra): 97.9
    TLCI: 99
    Last edited by joshk; 09-16-2019 at 08:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    If you would be interested in sharing details about your spectrometer, I think others on CPF would be interested.

    In fact, I am a little surprised not to have seen a thread discussing this type of equipment anywhere around here, at least any time recently ....
    ... is the archimedes peak

  3. #3
    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    If you open the PDF report it shows the spectrometer is a Sekonic C-800-U and also has some great images.

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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk View Post
    If you open the PDF report it shows the spectrometer is a Sekonic C-800-U and also has some great images.
    My point was more to try to get a discussion started, but thank you for that information.
    ... is the archimedes peak

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    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Well I just got it, so I'm not an authority on it. But if anyone has a question on this meter feel free to ask it here. It's a simple device, point-and-shoot. Measurements take about 1 second if the source is bright. The touchscreen sucks. It's old resisitive technology. And to make it worse, no one screen shows more than 3 pieces if info at once. There is 11 apps with like 3 pieces of info each in them. It's shameful there's no screen that just gives you everything. But it can't scroll either.

  6. #6

    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    I enjoy my FW3T with SST-20 also. Output is very pleasing. Looks like people are confirming that it's the FD2 bin. I still say the Nichia 219B R9080 is my favorite, though.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
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    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    I have a light with a Nichia 219B R9080 around here somewhere...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    I have an FW3C with the SST-20 4000K 95+CRI FA3 bin emitters and the tint is AWESOME! In fact I'll have to say it is the nicest tint of any flashlight I own, and I have quite a few of them!

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    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Glad to hear! I'm not sure what bin mine is.

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    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Also, I found that 219b R9080 and did some testing on it. The thread is here:
    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...9b-R9080-in-A6
    Spoiler alert: the SST makes it look bad.

  11. #11

    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Great light and tint, so easy to modify . Eagerly awaiting the 18350 battery tubes. Then the FW3A will become my EDC.

  12. #12

    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Quote Originally Posted by Archibald Tuttle View Post
    Eagerly awaiting the 18350 battery tubes. Then the FW3A will become my EDC.
    I am not informed about 18350 options for the FW3a, I was under the impression that is not in the plans due to the eswitch.. but will be happy to learn otherwise.

    fwiw, some people are unhappy with FW3 triples, due to lack of throw. I believe there is now a single LED version available, that should throw better.

    I like triples for close range and indoors, but prefer singles for better throw outdoors.

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk View Post
    Also, I found that 219b R9080 and did some testing on it.
    ...
    Spoiler alert: the SST makes it look bad....
    I did not see anything in your reviews that made me think the 219b looks bad.. can you post side by side beamshots at daylight white balance to compare the tints please?
    Last edited by jon_slider; 09-18-2019 at 12:52 PM.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* id30209's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    18350, 18500 and SS bezel for FW1A will come in following week.
    Yes, side by side beamshoot comparisson would be great


    Sent from Tapatalk

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    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Side-by-side comparison in this thread:
    https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...23#post5336023

  15. #15

    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Ordered a couple of the bare aluminum torches with SST emitters. These will be professionally buffed at the platers and given as gifts. Great to see the community involvement and suggestions for the series coming to fruition.

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    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    I concur about the SST-20 4000K in the (purple) FW3A being very, very nice. My Oveready DIP with the hand picked by Dan, 219C in a white wall side-by-side comparison would be considered by the 'warmer, rosier folks' slightly superior. I do think that my copy has a higher color temperature than 4000K though. Only had it about 3 weeks now and it makes the SC64 LE look a tad greenish (once again a white wall shootout).

    On a side note, the user interface on this flashlight has been also very good. More reliable than my three Emisar. It even has a thermometer!

    How do we say the name of this flashlight? FWaThreeA?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    The light looks very good, It is High CRI
    Life is fighting!

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    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Got this one from illumn, which left a quick note inside the box saying they adjusted the settings for increased user satisfaction (or something of that nature) but do not know what they did. I do know that the temp control kicks in promptly, which is good, but another double click will take it back to ceiling for a little while. Having to load cells from the head is a non issue with me. Partly because of the light it casts, it is my primary flashlight, supplanting Zebralights.

  19. #19

    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    I don't know... It's a sweet light. It's wonderful mod-magnet. But it just ain't as darn simple as my two favorites. A JB TCR1 with XP-L and a Tekna Splash-Lite with 5mm Hi-CRI. I've moved away from more physical work to more cerebral endeavors, and having to learn complex UI is standard fare. But I'm liking brutally simple in my old age. The Tekna is getting more pocket fast draw than these newer lights. It's served it's purpose for over 3 decades. The addition of a regulated and simple driver with incandescent like tint and LOOOONG runtimes have turned me. The FW3A is a unbelievable tool, but its still a morse code light , imo. The best of the bunch, but still morse code.

  20. #20

    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    I have been alternating between these and the Emisar V2 in my second lights position but nothing about either has made me even consider benching the SC64w for a moment.

    I really like them both but the ZL still reigns Supreme in my World and by a wide margin for EDC use.

    The FW3A is an SST-20 too and it really is so good it is tough to imagine a better all around Emitter in a light for me and I even sample a 219 and CW just to see what this light looked like in those but I am solid with the SST for mine.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    A good point about the handiness of ZL, but this beam tint with what can be a really simple interface is also a winner for potentially many. Simply click and hold to ramp up from the floor. Let off at desired luminosity. Double click to get ceiling.
    Now if a person gets to clicking by mistake or willy nilly; that would very likely require a perusal of the manual. (unless you are Jedi to the ways of this flashlight)

    I just really appreciated the additional flashlight tips in the manual as well. Many of us already knew them, but it is good to see it available for newer users.

  22. #22
    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Yea as for the FW3A interface, I guess they were trying to please everyone, which needed to be done I guess. Myself, I really only need two brightnesses - the brightest-sustainable, and the brightest-possible. All other UI tricks are just clutter to me.

  23. #23
    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Does anyone know the bin name for the emitter in the OP? It was from illumn.com

  24. #24

    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Quote Originally Posted by joshk View Post
    Does anyone know the bin name for the emitter in the OP? It was from illumn.com
    I don't think Lumintop ever explicitly stated, but the suspicion is, and your test results are consistent with FD2: 3875-4000K and roughly +0.001 duv to -0.003 duv (eyeballing from the chromaticity bin diagram in the datasheet).

    For a while after they were introduced, it appeared that FB4 was the primary tint bin available, which is fully above the BBL. A few months ago, an undisclosed manufacturer sent a flashlight community member a few samples of FD2 and FA3 to test. The FA3 in particular were reported to be good, but also very limited in availability. After that, FD2's started becoming more available.

    I like to think, although this is just speculation, that while Luminus initially focused on maximizing luminous efficacy, accepting green tint as a tradeoff, interest from the flashlight community, in particular through high volume orders from Lumintop and Astrolux, convinced them to start producing nicer tinted batches.

  25. #25

    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    green tint as a tradeoff
    I agree, most LEDs that are brighter than N219b are also greener, here is a good example.. I dont know the lumen differences

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedraven View Post
    the Lee 804 reduces output by 15%
    Last edited by jon_slider; 09-27-2019 at 11:53 AM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Looked at a Nichia Emisar D4 tint and it is more appealing than the SST-20 for many folks here, but really only when compared side-by-side.

    Also, sadly, the function of the FW3A switch is sometimes acting up; not going off when clicked, not going on when clicked, not ramping... maybe 10% of the time. Tried tightening tail but open to any suggestions.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Speaking of green. To me the bad thing is tint shift from rosy to green across the beam. The single worst thing as far as beam quality is concerned. Apart from that I strongly prefer green over magenta. Green is natural daylight color while rosy/magenta is not natural at all

  28. #28
    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    I haven't seen that in my flashlight.
    There's probably not much you can do about rosy, but you apply some Green Delete to fix the green tint.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    You cant fix the tint *shift* with a filter. There are however a few LEDs that have no tint shift whatsoever. Among them are: nichia 83a and Optisolis

  30. #30
    Enlightened joshk's Avatar
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    Default Re: [Review] SST-20 in FW3A is divine!

    Quote Originally Posted by ma tumba View Post
    You cant fix the tint *shift* with a filter. There are however a few LEDs that have no tint shift whatsoever. Among them are: nichia 83a and Optisolis
    You can with this. It's a liquid paint. You can air brush it on just the center or outside ring of the lens. Whatever you need.

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