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Sci Fi Lasers SF501B 405nm * 800mW -1W *

Aardvark777

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Foreword

Just please bear in mind that my exposure times go up to 18 seconds on some of these photographs, as I was trying to showcase the beam. In reality it's a slightly deeper colour to the human eye.

All of my pictures were taken by my Nikon D90. I've placed them throughout the review to break it up and give you some eye candy. I had the two lasers featured clamped on tripods. Any Qs are welcome... So, on to the review...



Ordering

Eitan over at Sci Fi Lasers puts up with me pestering him by E-mail A LOT! He answers all my absurd questions, and in pretty good time too. He sent this little ripper over to me, I struggled to contain my excitement as I waited around a week and a half. Sure enough though it arrived safely in the usual way, a plain cardboard box lined with bubble wrap. I've had this laser a while now, so excuse the lack of arrival pictures. This isn't the first laser from Sci Fi Lasers that I've had, and I have to say, I'm just as impressed with this one as the rest I've seen in terms of performance, and quality.



The Host

The 501B host is fairly standard, I've even got a couple of flashlights which use it. It's an ergonomic, proven host. Sci Fi Lasers stuff it full of 405nm magic and the end result is fantastic. I've only ever had cheap Ebay 405nm "Violet pen" type lasers, or the kind you see in a cheap 850 host. Up til now I thought they were fun, but nothing too spectacular... Until I started using this. In contrast the 850 types are obsolete.



Performance

Well where to begin?!?! :drool:

This is truly king of the 405nm lasers. I've seldom seen a 405nm with the clarity this one boasts, or with such a high power output. It's also very reasonably priced, at $169 shipped.

In all the photographs where 2 beams are present, the weaker beam is from an 850 host with an output of roughly 25mW - 50mW. The 850 host laser pictured can melt a bin bag if left there for a while, but that's about all. The SF501B literally carves through any black plastic in it's way.



Eitan assured me before sending it my way, that the SF501B was going to be 800mW - 1W. Let me confirm this is an accurate claim. It burns things with fearsome ease. Especially as it is focusable. I've a 1.6W 445nm and this can burn holes in objects even faster. As for it's range, I've watched through binoculars over a mile and a half away as it's landed on target. I'm sure it goes far further, but I lack a safe way to test my suspicion.



Due to the nature of the 405nm wavelength, and how far down the spectrum it is, it can be hard to make your eyes focus on it. Not so with this. I tried a test shot with my D90 and it turned out Blue... Realising my mistake I hurriedly removed the UV filter from my camera lens. I ventured outside to do this beast justice, and get some pics for a long overdue review... You'll note that my pictures are taken on varying exposures and in reality the beam is not quite as bright or as neon pink to my own eyes. My Panasonic video camera picks it up as neon pink. My eyes and those of my father detect it as being a very deep purple, with a hazy surrounding. My mother seems to think it has a green border surrounding it?!? (Maybe she is colour blind? Does anyone else see green when viewing a 405nm beam?)

It seems that 405nm really is something which differs from person to person.





You can adjust the focus with precision, it can be wide as pictured above ^ or a fine point, and happily I'm yet to burn my fingers whilst focusing it. I've etched wood and plastic with this laser so far, and pierced many objects for amusement. The "dot" collimates very well. I've not measured the divergence, but from what I can tell, it's far better than that of my 1.6W 445nm.




Overall

I think to sum up, if you are after quality service, and a fantastic 405nm laser housed in a sensible host... Then at this affordable price, you have to grab one. I'm very happy that I did, the power, and the colour are wonderful to watch at night. There are no fluctuations or issues what so ever. Just a lovely beam. Honestly I really enjoy the laser. The SF501B 405nm 800mW - 1W, and in fact Sci Fi Lasers as a company are both fully recommended by me.





Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the beamshot pictures. I'll get a video at some point soon and maybe edit it to show how I personally see the beam for real. It's lovely to witness.

Thank you, Vark :thanks:
 



BowtieGuy

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Very nice beamshot photos Aardvark, enjoy your new Sci-Fi laser! :D
Looking forward to the video.

:kewlpics: +rep!
 
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Aardvark777

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Thank you BowtieGuy! :) much appreciated. Yea I really enjoy this. It's a lovely bit of kit.
 

Davidx

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Beautiful beam shots. Always wanted to see an over 1 watt 405. Thanks. Rep given and deserved

Eitan a a patient fellow. He always answers my dumb questions. :)
 

micheal rosen

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i was surprised by the brightness of a 900mW 405nm beam the first time i saw it. its much more visible than i thought it would be.
 

Aardvark777

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Thank you for the + Rep. Yes it is bright in person. I'm receiving a 250mW 650nm and a 7W 445nm soon so I'll be posting some insane pictures of the 7W.
 




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