Convoy S21D w/ legendary Nichia 219b :) - Review & comparison w/ Nichia 519a, E21a & other lights with Nichia LEDs incl. Emisar D4V2, Convoy S21F. (Summary & measurements on P. 1)

Jon, whom I didn’t know might also be a shutterbug :+1: , did an excellent analysis of my pictures by cropping the red hat. Why the red hat? For those not familiar, most lights quote the “general” CRI number that shows rendering of 8 pastel colors (and not strong red), CRI 95 for example. With Nichia you often see the number 9080 for the famous 219b 4500k LED. 9080 means the general CRI is at least 90, and the red CRI (rendering of “strong” red) is at least 80. This is the best possible rating and is the reason why we sing its praise.

One of the most important/common question I’ve seen as far nutty Nichia fans are concerned, is how the new 519a compares to the legendary 219b? The crop above leaves no doubt that they are in fact very different from each other, at least in this Convoy batch of 519a. Besides the red, look at the white window screen in the background, and how golden/yellow it is with 519a, and magenta with 219b.

I think cropping (shutterbugs call this pixel peeping :innocent: ) is an excellent idea. Thanks Jon; I will be doing more of it. Lastly, for a good discussion of CRI, Ra, R9 see this article R9: More Important Than CRI?. Some new lighting standards call for… | by Greg Yeutter | Medium .

Sadly the Convoy S21D is terrible ugly .

LOL let’s just say the look is “industrially functional” :innocent: . I’ll write detailed impression of 219b Convoy vs Emisar later, but S21D is the brightest light in my small collection of Nichia’s and the only one that I feel is actually useful in my walk. That is, leaving “boutique,” edging towards “functional.” At 30 bucks it’s a steal, and at 30 bucks something has to give. Despite of the look, I still recommend it without reservation. It’s THE 219b light to buy and deserving backbone of any enthusiast’s light collection IMvHO.

thanks for the kind words

I actually have no photography experience, and dont own a camera… I just have been comparing my flashlights to each other, and taking photos of them with my iPhone (auto white balance), for several years.

Over time Ive come to realize that R9 CRI is the single most important selection criteria, for me. Followed by Tint.

Beam color comparison photos like this one:

show Tint and CCT, but they do not show CRI. (although all the lights Are high CRI R9, 9080 LEDs)

To illustrate CRI in a photo, a white wall wont work, I need to actually use the light to illuminate something with Red pigments… If the LED does not produce Red, then things with Red pigments will not show their true colors…

here is one of my first, most dramatic comparisons of Color Rendering…

Chicken ala CRI:

Recently I realized that White Balance is not just about white, its also about Tint. iow, D55 uses a higher DUV than the Incandescent reference used for the BBL below 5000k… hence the jog in the BBL at 5000k in this next image (I was comparing the Tint DUV and CCT of two different nominal 3000k LEDs)

btw, when I use the word Tint, I mean DUV, not CCT… the majority of time when someone talks about “tint”, they are misusing the term to mean Color Temperature… easily confused factors, but they are independent. To add to the confusion, photos, and our eyes, see Tint and CCT in combination, as “color”.

and as many will confirm, the colors in a photo, are not necessarily identical to the apparent colors we see with our eyes. This is one of the most confusing aspects about Tint, CCT, and CRI discussions. I dont expect photos to be identical to what I see with my eyes. My perception of color is strongly altered by the White Balance of my Brain at the time of observation…

here is a glaring example (both photos of the exact same light, but at different times of day):

@cannga, thank you for all your contributions… extremely informative, and rich in detail :wink:

btw, some thoughts about why the sw45k became the Gold Standard for High CRI… imo it is because it was one of the first 9080 LED to become available. Because it has very Pink Tint, I initially associated Pink Tint with High CRI… but Ive since learned that the 519a has CRI R9 that is just as good as sw45k, but without the Pink Tint.

iow, I mistakenly ASSuMeD that Pink Tint equals High CRI… which is not correct. It is possible to have an LED with High CRI R9, and still have no Pink Tint… in fact, the SST-20 is a 9080 LED, but with Green Tint… and the 519a is also a 9080 LED, but without the green and without the pink Tints…

imo, the 519a replaces LH351d, and SST-20, and even sw45k whose Pink Tint is unnecessarily low DUV… Ive become a huge fan of 519a… though I still like tint below the BBL… and the dedomed 519a gives me that too…

I also like warmer CCT lately, Im using lights mostly at night, whereas the sw45k was originally most useful to me as a daytime EDC. I tent to use warmer LEDs at night, and cooler LEDs during the day. The neutral Tint of 519a 4500k is arguably a “better” option during the day, than the hyper pink Tint of sw45k. I think this is partly because the Tint of 519a is closer to the Tint of daylight, than sw45k.

spoilt fer choice :wink:
pause wall of words… LOL

Now we come to the interesting part, how does Convoy S21D Nichia 219b compare to Emisar D4V2 Nichia 219b?

Convoy S21D w/ 219b sw45k
Beam & color/tint quality: Floody and bright for a Nichia light. Brightest in my small collection of Nichia’s and this plus the other Convoy S21D (with 519a) are the only ones that I feel are somewhat useful for our evening walk. That is, S21D is leaving “boutique,” edging towards “functional.”
As for color/tint, for all practical purposes it’s the same between Convoy and Emisar.
Construction & cosmetic: “Functional,” in an industrial way :innocent: . One example: there is really no knurling to speak of and flashlight therefore just a tad slippery. Doesn’t feel solid like my Olight (the best among my lights) but then the cost of 1 Olight equals three (!) Convoy S21D’s so I’m not complaining.
Design & Use:
21700 battery, which means a larger body than Emisar, but still only about size of my Olight M2R and still pocket-able.
The LiitoKala 21700 battery that comes with the light shows 4877 mAh and internal resistance 52 with my Opus. I don’t know max current draw of this battery but it works fine.
No Anduril, which is a plus or minus depending on your point of view. I prefer Anduril.
No Anduril also means nutty hobbyists cannot play with settings such as thermal regulation’s max T (factory setting is 55 C per Simon), but then judging by the result, maybe we don’t need to.
Rear switch only - I prefer side switch for this type of light but again, personal preference.
Comment The Convoy at 30 bucks is an incredibly compelling flashlight. A deserving backbone for any light collection if beam quality and color are priorities. Nichia 219b sw45k LED is discontinued so who knows how long supply will last; if you’re interested I would buy it quickly. IMHO if there is one Nichia light that you should buy, it’s this one, primarily because of its lasting brightness. The give away price and 21700 battery don’t hurt either.

Emisar D4V2 w/ 219b sw45k
Beam & color/tint quality: Floody with a central hotpot that is brighter than Convoy at Turbo start, but after just a couple minutes, step-downs occur and brightness begins falling behind Convoy. The useful part of the beam becomes very small and hence not much area is covered (you could see the difference between the 2 lights in the beam shot below). This is observed in a D4V2 that has been calibrated and max temp limit raised to 55.
Construction & cosmetic: This is one of the most popular lights for hobbyists for good reasons: it’s pretty, construction quality very nice, a notch above Convoy. The auxiliary lights are fun. I enjoy taking pictures of this light. This is a great gift light.
Available in 4 anodized colors, plus brass, copper, titanium material available. All very pretty. Keep in mind copper and brass are very heavy. Almost too heavy.
Design & Use:
18650 battery, which means a very nice small light that fits nicely in the hand. But, will a 21700 be coming?
Anduril 2
Side switch: One of the nicest I’ve used, clicks nicely and clearly. I have one with the raised ring around button option, and I don’t like it at all.
Comment Emisar sells 219b and E21a lights in several different CCT’s. This means you ARE going to end up with an Emisar one of these days :slight_smile: . To be at Emisar’s web site (oddly named makes me feel like a kid at a toy store Christmas time. I applaud Hank’s effort to supply us with such a dizzying array of fun lights.

Both owners, Hank of Emisar and Simon of Convoy, responded promptly to my multiple questions. Customer service is top notch for both. All above discussion is IMHO & I could be wishy washy so opinions likely will change.

Beam shot during run-down from Turbo. Convoy 519a and 219b are brighter and the beam cover a larger area.

The lights to either left or right side (not the 2 in the middle) have a small brighter white spot at the medial edge of the beam. That’s a reflection artifact from the plastic background and not part of the beam.

I’ve often mentioned the Nichia 219b’s remarkable ability to distinguish different colors & shades. For example, things I see on the trail: light grey vs dark grey vs brown of the barks, light green vs dark green of leaves, flowers. Every shade, every color stands out and makes me aware of how beautiful the trail is (Palos Verdes Nature Preserve).

I hope the following set of pictures from my front yard best capture this quality. It’s not the green tint of Olight’s XHP35 or Sofirn’s SST20 that I am trying to show (that we already know), it’s how that tint obliterates shades and throws a yellow-greenish blanket over everything. Note the pastel purple plant at left forefront of the picture that is captured so extremely well by the Nichia. Just looking at this front row of small plants make me realize what an offender :innocent: my beloved Olight is with respect to accurate color rendition.

The flashlights are different from one another as far as being throwy or floody, and that’s why some pics are dark at the edge. Pics shot in RAW with fixed White Balance 5000k. T tried to set exposure such that central area is similar among the shots.

Thanks for sharing these pictures. To my eye, crops clearly show 219b’s rendering “details” better.
Would love to see more pictures like these comparing 219b/519a though :wink:

You’re welcome. LOL I was afraid someone is going to ask about the popular 519a. It was the one LED I didn’t do. 519a has sort of a golden glow and less magenta than other Nichia’s at same CCT. I agree it would be a very interesting comparison.

Will re-take pictures including 519a and E21a later when it’s dark (funny hobby, can’t do anything unless in the dark :slight_smile: ) .

I only take pictures during the day, thats why you can see the hosts:

This set of picture shows 219b at its finest. In particular, the lavender color of the plant is reproduced the closest to how it looks in real life. 219b has extremely high R9 (strong red) CRI, so to me it’s no surprise that no other LED reproduces red, lavender, etc. quite like 219b. This is its unmatched quality.

The lavender plant lost its “pop” with 519a, OTOH the bark of the tree is more true to life with 519a than with 219b. I love 519a’s more golden-brown tint because it provides a break from 219b’s very strong magenta tint, such as the bark of the tree.

SST20 has a strong greenish yellow tone that I have not noticed until I do back to back comparison with Nichia. The magenta color of the plant nearly vanishes in this picture unfortunately. To compete with 219b, SST20 needs filter help IMO.

BTW there seems to be some “anniversary sale” that gives $7 off. If so the S21D light with Liitokala 5000 mAh battery is now ~$30. That’s about $10 less than what I paid since I bought Samsung battery. I’ve tested that Liitokala battery - no change in brightness vs my Samsung, and the capacity is close to 5000 mAh.{"sku_id"%3A"12000027589268680"}&pdp_pi=–1%3B40.8%3B-1%3B-1%40salePrice%3BUSD%3Bsearch-mainSearch

EDIT: This $7 discount requires min purchase around $80 US.

Nice ! I find the light magenta of the 219b more complete ; my eyes are reaching more . The anniversary sale is asking $100 basket .

Thanks for clarification - yeah it does have min purchase requirement. Great for anyone who would like the trio of two S21D’s 219b & 519a and the M21B GT FC40. This amazing trio still costs less than 1 Olight Warrior (!).

I have not written about the M21B with GT FC40 yet but it’s a game changer also and also recommended without reservation :slight_smile: .

BTW the Littokala battery included with the Convoy light tests great with my Opus and performs the same (same brightness, actually higher 5000 mAh capacity) as my Samsung 40.

Last time i bought over $100 in one order from a chinese seller, they decided to use DHL and declare a value over $20 . So $2 of taxes and $23 of fees . And you have to pay with a check true the mail . In Canada, it’s better to do small purchases .

Ouch. For US buyers: I did buy all 3 together and all I had to pay was 9.5% tax. Shipping was “AliExpress shipping” and was free.

Just a warning for potential buyers: Convoy packaging is at best err… “elemental.” I was actually mildly shocked at how minimalist it was. LOL I am exhausting my euphemism vocab. Don’t expect Olight box at this give away price .

Flashlight porn :partying_face: . I’m surprised how much I like antique brass, but keep in mind it’s very heavy.
The aux lights are pretty and fun. I bought too many lights at the same time & at this point the color coding helps me to remember which light has which CCT .

Up until recently my favorite walk light has been Olight M2R Pro Warrior. A comparison with Convoy’s Nichia 219b 4500k shows just how horribly greenish the M2R’s Cree XHP35 LED is. (Edge of Olight pic is dark because M2R is a throwy tactical light with bright hotspot, whereas Convoy is floody.)

How does Olight XHP35-HI 4900k handle the pastel leaves? Unfortunately this “errroneous” greenish tint once you see it, is very hard to un-see :person_facepalming: :slight_smile: .

No offense, but are you kinda brand new to lights and/or ordering from China? I see your join date is very recent but for all we know you’ve been around for a decade. :slight_smile:

I mean this is typical and there’s also some reason to it. Simon actually packages most items very well, even going to the extra small expense of using plastic lip balm snap-lid containers to send things like drivers and emitters and other little bits…it’s an extra step that you generally will never see from any other vendor (except perhaps Sofirn and some other suppliers that do glass lenses or delicate electronic parts). Simon has always been an enthusiast like us and wanted to bring higher quality at lower prices compared to other companies, which he has mostly excelled at over the years. The sparse packaging, lack of printed manuals, etc, is a way to simplify process and reduce costs so that the money you are paying is IN the light and materials rather than superfluous junk like most companies. He brought out the nice white gift boxes for the colored S2+ models some years back but that’s about as fancy as it’s gotten.

Noctigon/Emisar is the same way, for the same reasons. Sofirn does this to an extent although some of their models do have slick printed box packaging and whatnot (manuals, too)…they’re aimed at the larger market but blessedly cater to us enthusiasts as well.

If you’ve ever ordered from Banggood, Gearbest, Fasttech, and many many sellers on aliexpress…often you just hope that anything remotely able to be damaged makes it to you in one usable piece. An example…Banggood will ship drivers without any padding whatsoever (no bubbles, no foam, no box, no case…nothing but a ziploc)…and all that in a thin plastic overwrap bag (they do the same with flashlights, so if they are in a box it’ll likely be crushed in one or more places upon receipt). This is just kind of the norm for the big ball of snafu’d yarn that international china logistics and commerce are. It’s the companies that start to target the US market and/or greater retail outlets that put the money into “shelf packaging”, and we all pay for it…even more when they do that and begin perception pricing.

So it’s nice that folks like Simon and Hank and others keep it simple…imho. To me it’s only a niggle if I may want to gift an item…then I just get a little creative and make it fun for the recipient.

Good points. No offense taken. Needless to say (as reflected from the first two posts of this thread and the coming M21B GT-FC40 impression thread :+1: :slight_smile: ) I am a huge fan of Simon’s and Hank’s work.