Review: Sofirn SF31 in... WARM WHITE!!

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Lightbringer
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Review: Sofirn SF31 in... WARM WHITE!!

Imagine my surprise when I just received this new bugger today, an SF31 (nb: no relation to the SP31 dual-switch) tail-clicky in a wonderful warm-white! I’m kind of eager to get a quickie “review” out there, so it’ll be brief. No pix nor disassembly, but I’ll try to “flesh it out” as I get the time.

As far as color-temperature and tint, my best guess in Cree parlance would be a 7D tint (just eyeballing it, no instruments). Not a hint of green, and I don’t look positively jaundiced (skin tinted a sickly yellow) as I would with other lights, even a 4C. It’s very… “incandescent”… ie, quite orangey, but it shows off colors across the spectrum quite well. Reds just pop, blues are vibrant, yellows show up very well… I’m impressed! If I don’t get bit up by skeeters and lose a pint of blood in maybe 30sec (I’m like sugar to them), I’m going to go outside later for an outdoor viewing. Big Smile

Sizewise, it’s shorter than a Zanflare F1, and about on par with a Convoy S2+.

Goodies: removable pocket-clip (which I immediately removed, haha), O-rings, lanyard, silica gel (do not eat!).

Oh… my… God…

Everything comes apart! No glue! The head unscrews from the battery-tube. The driver’s held in with a retaining ring (2 holes for ring-pullers). The front bezel unscrews with a little prodding. The (very mild OP) reflector comes out, and I can see the Cree chip on the 16mm mcpcb… with thermal goop (probably Fujik… I don’t want to go poking at it quite yet) clearly in evidence around the wires coming out from the pill!

I think I’m in love… Love

The beam is quite nice, too. There’s a bit of a “bullseye-ness” to it, different fading concentric sections of light, but no nasty artifacts at all. And I can’t find any “tint-shift” to save my life. The color seems quite uniform from hotspot to the outermost edges of the spill. Certainly no “fried-eggness” to the beam. Big Smile

I can’t guess as to the actual number of lumens on high, but it’s definitely “mellow”, not nearly as strident as CW or even cooler NW. It doesn’t quite daylight the room when used via ceiling-bounce, but it’s still bright. And I’m using (for now) a LG cell pulled from a usb power-pack-thingy. No idea if it’s even charged worth a damn, as I was EDCing it for a few months without a charge. Big Smile I’ll throw in a topped-off 30Q when I get the chance.

Modes are pretty simple: moonlight (pretty low, quite nice), low, medium, and high. Doubleclick and you get to Evil Strobe (yecch!), but a single click shakes it loose and back to whatever mode it was in previously. Mode-spacing is nice and even across all 4 levels!

In a word… wow! I thought this would be a WW version of the SP31, but it’s not. It’s a whole different light. Honestly, I never really got used to the side-clicky of the SP31, and the up/down stepping threw me even more, so this back-to-basics tail-clicky low→high interface we all know and love is a pleasant surprise.

What’s funny is that with my experience with 4C lights (again, looking jaundiced under that light), I figured 5s and especially 7s would be hideously yellow. Nice to know that this CT/tint shows up things really well.

My only suggestions? Ditch strobe and have doubleclick for high. This way you can keep it at moonlight or whatever lower setting you want, and doubleclick for running it wfo, then a singleclick to bring you back to your previous mode.

And a forward-clicky. God, how I love FCs for flash’n‘dash… Okay, most lights have RCs and that’s what people seem to want, or at least are used to. But hey, I can dream…

There seems to be a bit of a delay to change modes, especially doubleclicking to get into strobe, so it’s not too in-the-way. I guess I can live with strobe, even though I know it’s there. Big Smile

In short, I’m… happy! Big Smile This is my first warm-warm light (I considered 4000K on the edge of “warm”), and I’m getting to like it quite a bit. Maybe it’s the novelty of it all, but I definitely like the pseudo-high-CRI, at least as far as reds and browns. And there’s definitely no shortage of yellow (seltzer label) or blue (backpack), as these show up very well. So yeah, I’m happy! Big Smile

 

Anyway, thanks to Tracy at Sofirn for the late-birthday/early-Christmas surprise. Big Smile

(I didn’t buy the light, not even for a discount, but then again, I don’t even see it listed anywhere yet.)

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Edited by: Lightbringer on 09/11/2017 - 23:37
stephenk
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Good to see more warm whites on the market.
My 7A tint S2+ is one of my most used lights!

Barkuti
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Aaah! I see, another faithful conversion to the evening sun spectrum. 

Scientific reasons endorse the supremacy of warm (lower actually) temperature tints for flashlight use: Kruithof curve, photoreceptor cell theory, the fact that warmer tints tend to be of higher colour rendering, etc.

 

White balance was set to daylight for the above picture (ThorFire TA13 ≈= Sofirn SF30). 

What model of ThorFire flashlight matches this SF31?

 

Cheers Party

The Light Innocent I am

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Wildcat
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VG15S

keltex78
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@ barkuti: I see you have the N64 out… Nice! Cool


Keepin’ the “B” in BLF

Don wrote:
It sounds like the XM LEDs won’t really be suitable for flashlight use. Pity…

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stephenk wrote:
Good to see more warm whites on the market.
My 7A tint S2+ is one of my most used lights!

Indeed, warm white is amazing. A Convoy M1 on 7A was my mainstay EDC for several months with absolutely no hope of being replaced by anything else I have. I’ve only benched it now because I’m waiting for the replacement lenses I bought off Simon (managed to crack the edge of it when I fumbled on a drop and slapped it hard towards the ground, nothing serious but I’m playing it safe with waterproofing) and I’m doing a trial run on a Biscotti S2 that I really wanted.

Warm white lighting = the illumination of winners Crown Cool Grad

P.S.: The S2 is in 4C, but unlike what Lightbringer constantly gripes about, I see absolutely no fried egg distortion. Could be because the reflector is OP, because it’s rather deep unlike the S2+‘s shallow one, or because the lens is AR-coated; either way, the tint is as uniform creamy-white as you’d get with a TIR optic.

Lightbringer
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stephenk wrote:
Good to see more warm whites on the market.

My 7A tint S2+ is one of my most used lights!

To me, warmer lights just need more brightness. On moonlight, it’s hard to make out the color (probably only scotopic vision, not photopic), but even at modest levels at a distance, I feel the itch for more “brightness”.

Once it’s got a healthy amount of light (based on distance), things just pop. Could be that cooler lights are just that strident if not abrasive, that they jar the eyeballs into thinking, “This is bright!”. Big Smile

What I was gonna do is take a 5D and stick it into an S2+ with a TIR lens. Don’t have any 7As/7Ds floating around, else I’d probably try one.

Anyhoo, my S2+ pills should be coming from Simon any day now, so I’ll give it a whirl…

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Lightbringer
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Barkuti wrote:
Aaah! I see, another faithful conversion to the evening sun spectrum.

Huh… Seems you just confirmed my comment above. Warmer lights need photopic vision to “register”, as scotopic vision is kind of in that “hole” of cone response, and right smack in the bluegreen part of the spectrum (where LEDs are notably deficient anyway).

Pushing the spectrum towards the redder end also seems to push it farther away from rods’ response, too.

Barkuti wrote:
What model of ThorFire flashlight matches this SF31?

No idea, probably a TK-something, if I had to guess. I normally don’t keep up with tubelights.

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Lightbringer
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Wildcat wrote:
VG15S

Big Smile

Twins!

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Jack Kellar
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Lightbringer wrote:
To me, warmer lights just need more brightness. On moonlight, it’s hard to make out the color (probably only scotopic vision, not photopic), but even at modest levels at a distance, I feel the itch for more “brightness”.

I agree on that. I have a Thrunite Ti3 (the older XP-G2 model) in a 4C-ish neutral white and its firefly mode is terrible to see more than 30cm away from a surface. The CW one was considerably better at that.

From personal experience, the 0,1% mode on a 7135×8 is an amazing moonlight. It’s still a dim mode so it doesn’t bother the eye, but it’s still bright enough to clearly tell shapes and colors.

Lightbringer wrote:
Anyhoo, my S2+ pills should be coming from Simon any day now, so I’ll give it a whirl…

Can you buy fully assembled pills from Simon? If so, nice LOL Although I still plan on purchasing a pair of standalone Biscotti drivers.

Lightbringer
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Jack Kellar wrote:
P.S.: The S2 is in 4C, but unlike what Lightbringer constantly gripes about, I see absolutely no fried egg distortion. Could be because the reflector is OP, because it’s rather deep unlike the S2+‘s shallow one, or because the lens is AR-coated; either way, the tint is as uniform creamy-white as you’d get with a TIR optic.

Don’t have a regular S2 yet, just S2+es. And yep, even a 4C in my S2+ looks quite… “incandescent”… in the hotspot. Very orange, to me. The spill is decidedly cooler.

That’s why just replacing the reflector with a TIR — no other changes — made such an incredible difference. Beautiful creamy off-white color, almost a pale peach tint. Same fried-egg 4C as was behind the reflector.

Just for s&g, I should take before’n‘after pix to show the difference…

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Lightbringer
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Jack Kellar wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Anyhoo, my S2+ pills should be coming from Simon any day now, so I’ll give it a whirl…
Can you buy fully assembled pills from Simon?

No idea. I asked here where to get S2+ pills, people suggested to just ask him directly, and I did. So even though it’s not on the menu, he threw in a few pills when I ordered some ZWB2 filters and a buncha spare switches. Nice!

Given how he’s really really good with accommodating people, I imagine if you were to buy the drivers+pills+LEDs, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’d even wire ‘em up if you asked.

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Geuzzz
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Lightbringer wrote:

What I was gonna do is take a 5D and stick it into an S2+ with a TIR lens. Don’t have any 7As/7Ds floating around, else I’d probably try one.

Anyhoo, my S2+ pills should be coming from Simon any day now, so I’ll give it a whirl…

You will love the 5D in a tir lens! I notice it is hard for me to use my not 5D flashlights.

Lightbringer
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Geuzzz wrote:
You will love the 5D in a tir lens! I notice it is hard for me to use my not 5D flashlights.

I got a bunch of 219BTs coming in, wanted to try those, but the 5D is definitely on my list.

Guess it’s a race to see which I get first. Big Smile

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Lightbringer wrote:

I got a bunch of 219BTs coming in, wanted to try those, but the 5D is definitely on my list.

Guess it's a race to see which I get first. :D

If that is like one of those 219Bs 4000K Ra9050, that is a ≈CRI92 emitter with a minimum R9 of 50 points, which usually reached 70, if I recall correctly. Just shy of the Ra9080, I'd say. 

 

Cheers 

P.S.: I have one of those on ≈3mm copper DTP (two 1.6mm MCPCBS soldered). Lower board was milled.

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Lightbringer
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Barkuti wrote:
If that is like one of those 219Bs 4000K Ra9050, that is a ≈CRI92 emitter with a minimum R9 of 50 points, which usually reached 70, if I recall correctly. Just shy of the Ra9080, I’d say.

No idea yet. Missed the Clemence sale, goggled around, and found that Illumn had nekkid Bs, which I’ll reflow onto 16mm rounds (Cu from FT, think you said they were stealth DTP). MTN has ‘em, too, but only on 20mm stars.

In a S2+, I think I can get away with pushing it with 1.75A constantly, as long as I can give it a nice thermal path.

That’d be sweet… Big Smile

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Amazing if these are coming stock in the 7D tint range. I might have to ask for one to get an actual temp measurement. Is there an official statement on color temp?

Lightbringer
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SoCalTiger wrote:
Amazing if these are coming stock in the 7D tint range. I might have to ask for one to get an actual temp measurement. Is there an official statement on color temp?

Hmm, nothing that I could goggle around, but I looked back, and while I couldn’t find a color-bin for the chip, I did find that Tracy mentioned:

“The 3000K SF31 are ready in our warehouse in Shenzhen, China.”

So, lessee… acto ‘ansi-white.jpg’, 3000K splits the 7s (A/B and C/D) right down the middle.

I don’t see any green on skin-tones (unlike my 4C), so I’m betting it’s on the A/D side of the BBL.

Woo-hoo!

Where’s… “maukkona”? Okay, I know I just mangled his handle, but I think youse know who it is I’m referring to.

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