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Light shootout

Discussion in 'Lights' started by JohnnyC, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
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    Planning on doing a simple comparison between some lights. No run times, no quoted lumen output, etc. Just a photo of each at the same exposure across the board so that each light can be compared to another on a level playing field. Fixed distance, I'll throw a deco bottle and a lift bag down at the end of the pool as a reference.

    This isn't a scientific test. I'm not using an integrating sphere. I'm not quoting runtimes or lumen output by manufacturer. This is literally just a visual comparison with the same baseline.

    Lights I'm planning on using:
    UWLD LD-35
    Halcyon Focus 2.0, both wide open and full narrow
    Light Monkey 32wVF, both wide and narrow
    Halcyon 21w HID
    Light Monkey/Hog 18w HID
    Dive Rite 10w HID, both wide and narrow
    Sartek ???w HID
    Light Monkey 12w handheld
    Halcyon Mini Explorer
    Halcyon 3C Scout LED
    Halcyon 3C Scout halogen
    DRIS Shorty

    If you have anything else you'd like to see I'm willing to throw it in the mix, however, I'm not gonna go out of my way to purchase a bunch of lights I'm never gonna use, I've already got a bunch I'm not using as you can see in the list of lights I already have. You're welcome to send me a light to photograph, just pay shipping. This will happen end of August when I'm back in the States.
     
  2. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
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    Forgot a couple. Might as well throw in a couple video lights too.

    Archon DIV10? I’ll have to check the actual model.
    Big Blue 6300? I dunno. I bought it while out of the country and haven’t returned home to see it yet.

    Anybody wanna send me anything else? Any manufacturers want to see their lights side by side with the competition?
     
    Dark Wolf likes this.
  3. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
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    The question has been raised about how to deal with output fall off. It won't be a factor for constant output drivers since the output remains constant until the cut-off point. It will be a factor for those lights that do not have constant output drivers like the Big Blue. As shown in the picture below, this drop-off in output is almost immediate. Since it happens pretty quickly, my estimation is that by the time I take each light, bring it to the testing line, get it sandbagged and aimed, etc., the first drop off will have already occurred by the time I'm ready to take the photo. It is what it is. I don't have the desire to wait for half an hour to show each of those lights mid way through a dive. It's first output is what people are going to see when they are looking at lights so I want it to be an accurate representation.

    For those lights with multiple output modes, I had considered taking a shot with each at their other offered output levels if this is something people are interested in. The Focus, LM vf, UWLD and Big Blue video light have this feature. Is anyone actually interested in their lower output levels as well? It will probably double the number of photos required. Constant Output.png Drop off.png
     
    Dark Wolf likes this.
  4. Efka76

    Efka76 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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    Can you add Mares EOS 20RZ to that list? I have this light and it would be interesting to know how it compares with its peers.
     
  5. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
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    If you want to send it to me to test or get Mares to send me one. I'm not going to be buying any lights. I already own everything on the list I posted. I don't need any more lights floating around, and I'm not going to go through the hassle of re-selling something after. I'm not a dive shop, I don't have access to any samples or anything.

    Right now it's only costing me time and a couple tank fills. I'm not gonna go out and buy every light on the market considering I'm just a diver, especially not a $400 light.
     
  6. Efka76

    Efka76 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
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    ok, sorry for asking.
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Orlando, FL
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    I think it would be very interesting to test at least two levels, especially for those lights that do NOT have constant output drivers. I have 2 Big Blue VL15000PPMTC video lights. When I bought them I was aware of the falloff in output over time and that the advertised lumen rating was probably overstated, probably by a factor of 2 or so, for actual results in the wild. I've had them for about a year and been happy with the results; I normally use them at "half" brightness, so I am curious to see how the driver's perform when they are not at least trying to push out a maximum output. In my head, my 15K lights are really only about half that, the question is, if I run them deliberately at "half", are they really only 1/4 of 15K over a 60 minute dive? Thanks for setting up these tests, I will be very interested in the results. Out of curiosity, given the output of the test is photos, I'm wondering what manual settings will result in a dynamic range in the photos in which the dimmest light isn't underexposed and the brightest light isn't clipped from overexposure? I might go to the pool and see what happens between my little snoot light and my big video light in both raw and jpeg photos......
     
  8. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
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    The settings are something I'm going to have to play with a little bit. I think the limit will be making sure the can lights are not over exposed, but as far to the right as I can get. I highly doubt that my VL6000P is actually outputting 6000 lumens, and anyway it's a "120 degree" beam angle so the lux at the target end isn't going to be that great anyway, but technically that's the highest output light in the test. As long as the 3 LED can lights at tight focus aren't blown out, I think it will be ok. After all, it's a comparison. If the cans look like this, the DRIS Shorty is gonna look like this, etc. It's either normalize the exposure to what I see and get people to try and decipher the exposure differences, or deal with it being representative in comparison to other lights, as opposed to being 100% true to what your eye would see absent any comparative light next to it. I think having a fixed target that everyone is familiar seeing in-water is going to help with this a little.

    As for the multiple outputs, that shouldn't be too hard to test so I might just do it anyway. As for the non-constant driver stuff, I may just leave them burning for half an hour or so off camera and then throw them in as "also, here's this,:" in a more random fashion. "VL6000P @ max output after 20 minutes" or something like that.

    I should note that some outputs probably won't be visible. 25 lumen is the Light Monkey 32wVF's lowest output. I doubt you're gonna be able to see anything, so any photos that don't come out at all I won't even bother posting.
     
  9. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Divemaster

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: United States
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    Alright. Heading home next week so hopefully will be getting this done before the end of the month/first week of September. Anybody interested in sending me a light to put with the rest, please send me a PM and I'll send you details. As long as you're in the States, I'll cover shipping the lights back to you.
     
  10. 1atm

    1atm DIR Practitioner

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    First of all awesome idea, thanks for taking the time!

    Since you’re also doing Halcyon scouts it would be great to see them side by side with a Heser, Heser 2nd edition (new model since August this year), Light Monkey etc. I would love to send you the different Heser models for the test, but I’ll need them at the time for a diving project, and shipping to/from Europe also won’t be cheap. But hoping someone else in the US reads this and can contribute.
     

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