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Thread: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More!

  1. #1

    Cool NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More!

    Reviewer's Note: The SR3 was provided for review by NiteCore. Please see their website for more info.

    Warning: Pic heavy!



    Manufacturer's specifications, as taken from Nitecore's website:
    • Features new SmartRing, allows user to conveniently choose brightness and functions according to own habits
    • CREE XR-E R2 high efficiency LED, Max output 220 Lumens
    • Military-grade aluminum alloy
    • Mil-Spec Type-III Hard-Anodized finish resists scratches
    • Stainless steel retaining ring on light bezel, effectively protects the light from drops and impacts
    • Tactical grip-ring on the tail
    • Special lanyard hole design
    • Anti-roll design.
    • Dimension: Head diameter 32mm, Tube diameter 22mm, Total length 107mm.
    • Weight:108 gram.
    • Battery: powered by one CR123 battery or one protected rechargeable Li-ion battery.
    • Max: 220 Lumens for up to 50 minutes.
    • Low: 5 Lumens for up to 40 hours.
    • MSRP: $120 USD

    Note: an 1x18650 battery tube is in development – scroll down this review to see a prototype.

    The SR3 is the first member of the new "SmartRing" series of NiteCore lights. The SmartRing design uses a new magnetic sensor technique to control mode switching. This is somewhat reminiscent of EagleTac's M2-series lights, but with a greater number of magnets (and modes) on the SR3 due to the matrix design. See below for a discussion of the user interface.



    The SR3 comes in the high-end Nitecore light packaging, featuring a hard cardboard presentation box with closing clasp and textured foam. The light comes with a carrying pouch, wrist-strap, manual, warranty card, spare o-rings, and spare tail-cap switch.






    From left to right: 1xCR123A, NiteCore SR3, NiteCore Extreme, JetBeam Jet-II PRO, 4Sevens Quark 123, LiteFlux LF3XT, Novatac 120P.

    Dimensions:
    1xCR123/RCR body: Weight 108.1g, Length 107.6mm x Width 32.0mm (bezel)

    The light is larger than the typical 1xCR123A/RCR light, and has a fairly rugged look. Note the pronounced scalloped stainless steel bezel ring, control switch ring with magnets (just below the head), grip ring, and protruding forward clicky.

    NiteCore intends to offer a 1x18650 extension tube for the SR3, and has sent me a prototype model to evaluate. Note that the final machining and design of the shipping version will be different from what you see below, but overall length should be the same.






    From left to right: 1x18650, NiteCore SR3, Darktort DT-E1.0, JetBeam Jet-III ST, JetBeam Jet-III M, Olight M20, 4Sevens Quark 123.

    Dimensions:
    1x18650 body: Weight 124.5g, Length 139.0mm x Width 32.0mm (bezel)

    Note the overall similarity to the Darktort light. Darktort is now known as the design testing arm of NiteCore, and the new SR3 appears to use the same reflector and bezel ring as the Darktort DT-E1.0. As you will see when I get into circuit performance and runtimes, the similarities are more than skin deep.



    The clicky feel is very similar other NiteCore lights with a forward clicky (e.g. Extreme). Thoughtful of them to throw in a spare switch, given the well-known greater failure rate of forward clickies. Thankfully, this is one area where DarkTort design has not infiltrated NiteCore (i.e. the DT-E1.0 had a flaky switch with poor feel).

    Fit and finish are excellent on my sample, no flaws in the type-III hard anodizing (glossy black). Body labels are thankfully kept to a minimum, although the lettering is not as sharp on this sample compared to some of my other NiteCore lights. Grip is certainly not an issue – in addition to reasonable knurling, the light has a large number of ridge details to enhance grip. The tailcap also includes a built-in grip ring. Note again that I do not know what the final design of the 18650 expansion tube will look like.

    Screw threads are anodized for head or tailcap lock-out. The light cannot tailstand, due to the forward clicky.




    Note the NiteCore labels on the pill around the emitter. Despite how it may appear in the second pic, the emitter is perfectly centered (the reflection of the writing in the reflector may make it look otherwise). See the first pic for an angled shot.

    The light uses the standard Cree XR-E emitter, currently with a R2 output bin. As you will see in my beamshots below, my sample seems to be a fairly warm "cool tint" (I'd guestimate WG tint bin). Obviously, there is bound to be some variability here – there is no guarantee as to what you would receive. For those of you not familiar with tints, please see my Colour tint comparison and the summary LED tint charts found here.

    Comparison Beamshots

    Note that I inadvertently set the camera to an f-stop of 2.7 for the SR3 level pics (instead of 3.2 for all the other). So that will make everything seem a bit brighter on that SR3 row.

    In 1xCR123/RCR format, all lights are on 100% on an AW protected RCR, about 0.5 meters from a white wall.










    In 1x18650 format, all lights are on 100% on an AW protected 18650, about 0.5 meters from a white wall.










    The camera is accentuating the tint difference a bit, but the SR3 is on the warmer side of "cool white" tints, similar to my Olight M20 R2. Overall beam characteristics are fairly typical for a general purpose 2xCR123A light, with fairly good throw (thanks to its deep reflector) and typical width spillbeam.

    This likely explains why the light is so large for 1xCR123A/RCR light – its reflector/head design is identical to the larger 1x18650 Darktort DT-E1.0.

    UPDATE: Some additional long-distance beamshots, to show you how the light compares to others in its class.

    Please see my recent 100-yard Outdoor Beamshot review for more details (and additional lights).






    User Interface

    The NiteCore website will explain the magnetic switching system in more detail, but actual use of this light is remarkably straight-forward.

    Light is turned on/off by the tailcap forward clicky (press for momentary, click to lock-on). Screw threads are anodized, so you could also use it like a twisty switch.

    To access any of the 8 pre-set output modes, simply turn the control ring. Lowest level (L1) is the farthest to the left/counterclockwise position (i.e. when holding it facing away from you). Highest level (L8) is the farthest to the right/clockwise. There are detents at each level, so you feel the ring softly "click" into each output level as you reach it. The total traverse of the ring for the 8 levels is just slightly less than a full turn around the body of the light.

    You can easily set the level from off by counting the number of detents, or adjust on the fly while the light is on. It is easy to adjust the output one-handed while holding the light in traditional underhand grip. A bit tricky in overhand tactical grip, but doable (its not possible in cigar grip, of course - two hands would be needed there to switch output modes).

    The light also features a "hidden" strobe mode. To access it, the light must be on and in Max output. Rapidly twist the control ring all the way to Min and back to Max within 2 seconds. However, in my testing, you don't always need to do the full 8 level Max-to-Min switch to activate it - sometimes just rapidly cycling down and back up 4-5 output levels from Max in 2 secs is sufficient to activate the strobe. To revert to standard 8-constant output operation, simply do the rapid Max-Min-Max switch again within 2 secs. When in strobe configuration, the Max mode will then be replaced by a rapid tactical strobe, and the constant output levels will be condensed over the lower 7 levels (Max and Min output remain unaltered, but the other modes are adjusted to fit into 7 total positions).

    Pulse-Width-Modulation (PWM)

    The SR3 uses PWM to create its lower output modes, but at a sufficiently high frequency that you will not be able to detect it without specialized equipment. I measured the frequency at 4.66-4.71 kHz from Min to Max on my sample (i.e. nearly 5000 cycles per second).

    SR3 PWM


    As I mentioned, strobe is at a "tactical" high level – 14.6 Hz in my testing. I certainly find it quite .

    SR3 Strobe


    Testing Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for the extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 1 meter from the lens, using a light meter.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:




    The SR3 is a heavily-driven light, in keeping with its larger build (i.e. greater heatsinking). Coupled with its R2 emitter, it is currently the brightest light on 1xRCR in my collection. With its deep reflector, it also manages to score the top mark in terms of throw (again on RCR).

    The SR3's output on primary CR123A is a bit lower at all levels, but still remains one of the highest output lights in my collection (along with the Quark 123 and Eagletac P10C). Throw again remains top of its class, thanks to the big deep reflector.

    Min output is a very respectable low level on all batteries – typically as low as some of the continuously-variable lights.



    Somewhat surprisingly to me, output on 1x18650 is higher on all levels than on 1xRCR (despite both being 3.7V Li-ion sources ). So the addition of the 18650 extension tube will provide slightly greater output along with significantly greater runtime.

    Note that the max output and throw of the SR3 with 18650 is very similar to the DarkTort DT-E1.0 …

    Output/Runtime Comparison:




    As you can see above, individual output levels are well-spaced across the total range.

    Runtime performance increases with each drop in output, as expected. The regulation pattern is a little uneven, with largely direct-drive on max on Li-ion (followed by a short jump before the battery regulation circuits kick in). The lower output runs seem a little ”noisy” (i.e. there are small fluctuations in output during the course of the run). But not to worry, these are not noticeable by eye – my lightmeter is simply highly sensitive and can pick them up.

    And now how the SR3 compares to the competition ...










    Output/runtime performance is simply excellent on RCR – this is definitely one of the best performers I’ve seen, especially on the Med output levels.

    Performance on CR123A is quite good, but doesn’t really stand out from most of the top-tier competition.





    Now, what does that SR3 on 18650 Max output trace remind you of? Or the Med L4 trace, for that matter?

    Basically, performance of the SR3 on 18650 on L8 and L4 are an exact match to the DarkTort DT-E1.0 on Hi/Lo. Output levels and circuit characteristics are identical.

    Potential Issues

    The magnetic control ring works well, and the detents are helpful for selecting your desired output level (even from off). But there is a bit of play in the movement of the ring, making it seem less firm that some may like.

    Overall length is long for a 1xCR123A/RCR light (although about typical with the 1x18650 battery tube in place).

    Regulation pattern is a little unusual on Li-ion, with mainly direct-drive on Max and slight fluctuations over the regulated course of the lower output runs. This pattern is identical to the DarkTort DT-E1.0.

    Strobe mode can sometimes be activated by only twisting over half the full traverse (i.e. down and up 4-5 output levels from Max within 2 secs), making accidental strobing possible.

    There is a brief flash of higher output when switching into the Med-level Modes (i.e. L4 and L5), but this is fairly minor (and thankfully doesn't seem to be present on the lower L1-L3).

    The light features physical reverse polarity protection in the head, requiring the use of button-top 18650 cells. Some of the newer high capacity flat-top 18650s (i.e. protected 2600mAh) may not work in this light without modification.

    General Observations

    NiteCore is marketing this light as an 1xCR123A/RCR light with the option for an 18650 battery tube. But given its obvious design heritage, you would be equally justified in thinking of it as an 18650-light with the option to run 1xCR123A/RCR.

    Indeed, this light is basically the DarkTort DT-E1.0 head with 6 additional output levels (plus hidden strobe) and a new control mechanism. And that’s not a bad thing – the DarkTort had a lot going for it, but was limited by its non-multipower circuit and slightly flaky switch. The SR3 brings NiteCore’s traditional forward clicky and new magnetic control ring interface, along with a great spacing of output levels (including a true low) and 1xCR123A/RCR support.

    The only potential drawback in my mind is the length of the light in 1xCR123A/RCR mode (due mainly to the deep reflector in the large head). But the flipside to this means that you have one of the best throwing 1xCR123A/RCR lights out there. And ergonomically it is still pleasant to handle as an 1xCR123A/RCR light – it is well balanced, and comfortable to grip in a variety of positions (especially for those of us with large hands ).

    That extra body weight should also translate into better heat exchange, which has allowed NiteCore to drive the circuit harder. Here again, you can see the SR3 typically outperforms most of the competition on RCR/18650. Clearly, a lot of thought has gone into this circuit design and body build.

    The new control ring interface worked fairly reliably in my testing - except for the previously-reported inadvertent strobe mode activation by only a partial traverse switch. The strobe mode switching does feel a little glitchy, but I can live it since I don't see myself using it very often (i.e. just need to be careful not to rapidly switch down and up from Max). I would also like a slightly firmer feel to the switch ring mechanism (i.e. a little stiffer resistance, perhaps less of a traverse), but that’s just personal preference. NiteCore is certainly not alone in going for these new sorts of control mechanisms, and we’ll have to see how they hold up and compare long-term. So far, I can say that it is certainly intuitive enough and has worked well in testing.

    In my mind, there is no doubt that this light is not meant to be a shelf queen or something that gets tucked away into a pocket/purse for slim every-day-carry (EDC). It is a show-off light, driven for max performance, with a rugged and rakish design that calls out for attention. I’m sure it will get some.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 07-24-2010 at 01:40 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* derfyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Great review again ! Thank's

    Encore du super-travail, incroyable le temps et l'effort mis dans ces évaluations pour notre plus grand plaisir, merci !
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    Flashaholic* Zeruel's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Thanks for a wonderful review once again.

    The suspicion of SR3 looking so much like Darktort is not unfounded afterall. And the addition of 18650 tube certainly spice things up, really have me considering this once again...
    Is the LED off center btw?
    Last edited by Zeruel; 07-17-2009 at 06:37 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Quote Originally Posted by derfyled View Post
    Encore du super-travail, incroyable le temps et l'effort mis dans ces évaluations pour notre plus grand plaisir, merci !
    Ça fait plaisir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeruel View Post
    The suspicion of SR3 looking so much like Darktort is not unfounded afterall. And the addition of 18650 tube certainly spice things up, really have me considering this once again...
    Is the LED off center btw?
    Yeah, the physical head design and circuit design of the SR3 are definitely coming from the DarkTort arm of the company.

    Despite how it may appear in the second front-end pic, the emitter is perfectly centered (the reflection of the writing in the reflector may make it look otherwise). See the first head-on pic for an angled shot that shows it better.
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    Flashaholic* strinq's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Great review.
    It's a looker of a light to me.
    Was wondering, does nitecore advertise OTF lumens or emitter lumens?
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  6. #6

    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Great review and pics! Unfortunately, it looks like the beam is quite yellow.
    I wasn't shooting at you, I was shooting with you.

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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Another great review, Selfbuilt. It never ceases to amaze me just how much time and effort you must put into each and every review

    Quote Originally Posted by strinq View Post
    Great review.
    It's a looker of a light to me.
    Was wondering, does nitecore advertise OTF lumens or emitter lumens?
    A friend of mine recently bought an NDI and had the same question. He emailed NiteCore and their response (and I'm sure he won't mind me quoting them) was:-

    Thank you for your email here.
    180 to 190 Lumens stated in the instruction manual is the LED output Lumens, and the 130 Lumens stated in our website is the actual output Lumens. And now, all of our new version manual states 130 Lumens.
    I therefore assume that the website gives the OTF ratings for all their lights ?
    Last edited by AbleArcher; 07-17-2009 at 07:25 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Hey selfbuilt,

    nice and very extensive review.

    One of the most important aspects for me is the ability of full one-handed-operation.

    With the extention-tube, would you be able to use the tailcap - switch and the selector-ring without changing the grip on the flashlight? Would you be able to make a picture where you can show us that aspect?

    Thank you very much!


    Stephan
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  9. #9

    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    I recieved my SR3 yesterday. Its a pretty awesome light, my first CR123 light.

    There is a minor problem with it though. On every output other than L8 there is a high pitch whining noise. Can you hear it on your one?

    I've emailed nitecore about it and they say that this is normal. What causes this noise?

  10. #10

    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Quote Originally Posted by strinq View Post
    Was wondering, does nitecore advertise OTF lumens or emitter lumens?
    Quote Originally Posted by AbleArcher View Post
    I therefore assume that the website gives the OTF ratings for all their lights ?
    Yes, NiteCore switched a little while ago from "emitter lumens" to "OTF lumens". While I always recommend you take all manufacturer specs with a grain of salt, 220 lumens doesn't sound like a bad estimate to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi Knife View Post
    Great review and pics! Unfortunately, it looks like the beam is quite yellow.
    Part of that is simply the camera accentuating the tint in comparison to the slightly bluish cool-whites. In real life, I don't find the beam as warm as my Olight M20 R2 (confirmed WH tint, slightly greenish).

    In any case, NiteCore (like virtually all makers) is not guaranteeing a defined tint bin - you could get anything in a cool-white range. Note that I have noticed that warmer WG/WH tints seem to be somewhat common for R2 output bins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephan_L View Post
    One of the most important aspects for me is the ability of full one-handed-operation.
    With the extention-tube, would you be able to use the tailcap - switch and the selector-ring without changing the grip on the flashlight? Would you be able to make a picture where you can show us that aspect?
    The overhand tactical grip shown in the review is the only chance you have to do full one-handed operation with the 18650 tube:



    Honestly, this would depend on how big your hands are - and how strong your pinky finger is! I can do it, but I find it a bit of chore to change outputs one-handed this way (much easier on 1xCR123A/RCR, as you have several fingers to allow you to move the ring).

    I guess this is one case where the looser control ring turning is actually a benefit ... I doubt you could do it one-handed on 18650 if it were any stiffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dual View Post
    There is a minor problem with it though. On every output other than L8 there is a high pitch whining noise. Can you hear it on your one? I've emailed nitecore about it and they say that this is normal. What causes this noise?
    It is indeed normal - or at least common. It is believed to be "inductor whine" due to the close proximity of certain elements within the circuitry. Although some circuit designs may be more susceptible to this than others, all lights can show signs of it. It is unpredictable and quite variable, although a given light is usually consistent on how and when it can be induced.

    In my case, I cannot detect it on Max, but can hear it on L4-L7. I would rate my sample as below average in sound intensity for it, compared to other lights in my collection. Again, most of my lights do have it to some degree - but it only shows up in certain outputs and on certain battery configurations.

    If it's any consolation, apparently it gets harder to notice as you age. It's well known that we loose the ability to detect higher sound frequency as we get older.
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Henk_Lu's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Great review, thanks!

    I already contacted my dealer because of the strobe issue, mine sometimes activates just by turning quickly from a lower level to Max. As it seems, mine is not the only one, it seems to be a general problem. No need to send it back to get another one!

    At the price the light costs, it could be bugfree!
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Great review and pics! Unfortunately, it looks like the beam is quite yellow.
    Yes, the contrast with the Extreme is quite striking in the pictures above.

    The R2 in my D20 is also rather yellow. Sadly, Nitecore seem to be moving away from the crisp white WC tint used on the Q5 models.

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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Good work and thanks!

    I think I'll wait for the 18650 version.
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    is as we run from side to side." R.O. Clark

  14. #14
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Nice, but next to the Nitecore Extreme, the SR3 looks pretty ugly.
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    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Yeah when the 18650 tubes are packaged with the head I will most certainly get one of these.


    I can't read the runtime graphs but when I catch someone else home they will help. Partial colorblindness. Thanks for the great review as always.
    Last edited by Sgt. LED; 07-17-2009 at 10:20 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Excellent review of a very interesting light. The relationship between Nitecore and Darktort is now clear, with Darktort essentially the toe-in-the-water outfit trying out beta versions of upcoming Nitecore products. A far better way to do it than having first runs with the risk of multiple failures/recalls...

    It's a chunky-looking light with a very good performance indeed, and the selector ring is simplicity itself to understand. Those who are averse to complicated UIs should have no difficulties with this one. The power options of CR123A, RCR123 or 18650 make it very flexible, too. Let's hope it proves robust and reliable in use.

    Moving to the Reviews section...
    Resistance is futile...

  17. #17

    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonshadow View Post
    Yes, the contrast with the Extreme is quite striking in the pictures above.
    The R2 in my D20 is also rather yellow. Sadly, Nitecore seem to be moving away from the crisp white WC tint used on the Q5 models.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy's Dropper View Post
    Nice, but next to the Nitecore Extreme, the SR3 looks pretty ugly.
    To be fair, I don't really think that's NiteCore's fault. I understand from a number of other China-based flashlight makers that their distributors can-not/will-not supply defined tint or Vf bins for R2s.

    In fact, I have seen some chatter that a number of the supposed R2 output bins supplied by those distributors are not be trusted either (i.e. the manufacturers pay for R2 bins but get Q5s - hard to know unless you get the whole reel). That's why some of them have paired up with US-based dealers to get their hands on confirmed R2 bins from Cree distributors in the US (greatly adding to cost, since they need to be shipped out to China).

    If I were completely cynical, I might suspect that I was actually getting a Q5 every time I saw a premium white tint in a supposed R2 light. Of course, that might very well be a trade-off some are willing to make - defined WC-tint Q5, or roll-the-dice-tint R2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. LED View Post
    I can't read the runtime graphs but when I catch someone else home they will help. Partial colorblindness. Thanks for the great review as always.
    Sorry about that Sarge ... I'm afraid I'm rather limited in my palette and resolution here. I've experimented with doing various dotted lines, but things wind up becoming even more of a mess.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    It's a chunky-looking light with a very good performance indeed, and the selector ring is simplicity itself to understand. Those who are averse to complicated UIs should have no difficulties with this one. The power options of CR123A, RCR123 or 18650 make it very flexible, too. Let's hope it proves robust and reliable in use.
    A good way to describe it - perhaps instead of Dark Torts, we should be asking for Chunky Monkeys?

    I too am curious as to how these UIs will hold up long-term, but it is nice to see progress in this direction.
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  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    if im not mistaken...thats one of the best single CR123A/RCR out there?
    how does it compare to the Spartanian II do you have any data?

    and gosh the new nitecore HA is DARK isnt it....much much darker compared to the Extreme in your picture

    I find it mildly interesting that surefire puts thier website and "surefire" on thier tailcaps, and nitecore puts it on the other end, the reflector...lol
    Crenshaw

  19. #19
    Flashaholic Tomcat!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Selfbuilt, great review. Do you know if the 18650 tube will fit an Extreme head or if Nitecore might be planning one especially for the Extreme? The SR3 looks a bit too chunky for me but the tube on my NEX would be perfect.
    Gladius; SF E1e+Veleno 2x E2e+Veleno, G3+9vLED, G2L, 9P+FM34+Z49/HO9/EO9; Fenix L2T, P1DCE, P2DCE, P3DCE, L2DCE, P2D R100, P3D R100, T1 SMO; HDS Rotary; Mini-Mag AA+TLux 5W,Mag 2D+TLux 5W, 6D; LegionII MCE; Nitecore Extrm; Novatac 120P; Solaforce L2+Thurnite XM-L; Zebralight H30-Q5&H60

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    interesting review.. this light would be a decent one(price wise) if they included the 18650 tube.. too bad that it's still in development.

    oh, did you mean, XR-E, not XP-E? it appears to be the former...

    oop, and I thought "q5" was also a bin.. not a package.. so it would be a Cree XR-E R2 Bin?

  21. #21
    Enlightened grinsekatz's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Thanks selfbuilt for another great and detailed review!
    It is a really nice flashlight and on RCR it is really darn bright.
    My lux numbers for throw are unfortunately significant lower and I'm not sure why.
    For those who can't wait for the 18650 extension:
    you can also mount the NiteCore head with the Darktort body - works fine.

    Alex

  22. #22

    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Quote Originally Posted by Crenshaw View Post
    if im not mistaken...thats one of the best single CR123A/RCR out there?
    how does it compare to the Spartanian II do you have any data?
    I've just updated the RCR graphs with the Spartanian II results (hit your browser reload to see them). As you'll see, the SR-3 clearly outperforms it at Hi settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crenshaw View Post
    and gosh the new nitecore HA is DARK isnt it....much much darker compared to the Extreme in your picture
    The SR3 is completely black, with a glossy finish. In fact, it looks just like the DarkTort ... surprise, surprise ...

    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post
    oh, did you mean, XR-E, not XP-E? it appears to be the former... oop, and I thought "q5" was also a bin..
    Typo fixed, it should now read as XR-E and R2 bin everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomcat! View Post
    Selfbuilt, great review. Do you know if the 18650 tube will fit an Extreme head or if Nitecore might be planning one especially for the Extreme? The SR3 looks a bit too chunky for me but the tube on my NEX would be perfect.
    No, the SR3 will not mate with the Extreme's E-series compatible body/head. However, as grinsekatz points out:
    Quote Originally Posted by grinsekatz View Post
    My lux numbers for throw are unfortunately significant lower and I'm not sure why.
    For those who can't wait for the 18650 extension:
    you can also mount the NiteCore head with the Darktort body - works fine.
    Good catch grinsekatz - yes, the SR3 head fits and functions perfectly on the DartTort DT-E1.0 body.

    As for lux numbers, every meter is different (depends on calibration). Mine seems to report about "average" numbers, but they actually vary quite a bit from one sample meter to another. It should be internally consistent to allow you to compare relative throw among your lights.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 07-17-2009 at 07:27 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* 276's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Nice review as always. It would be nice if they added a clip to the extended body.
    Surefire,Inova,4Sevens,Fenix,Olight,Malkoff, AEX25,Xeray50,Polarion Aybss Dual, AElight 30-50 watt,Wiseled tactical 2000,Peak, Lupine Wilma TL, .......

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    Flashaholic* NoFair's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Great review as always

    The addition of an 18650 tube greatly adds to the usability of the light imho. Might have to get one if I don't get my U2 Milkied

    Sverre

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    wow, i may just need to sell my spartanian then....

    Crenshaw

  26. #26
    Flashaholic RainerWahnsinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Thank you for this excellent review, I love my SR3 even with the Strobe-bug
    Rainer
    h8 2 w8

  27. #27
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Thanks again for a great review. Your NEX review previously made the decision for me to buy the light before. Looks like I'll be buying SR3 because of your review again

    One question, does the Darktort tailcap fit on SR3 body? Thanks again!

  28. #28

    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Quote Originally Posted by euroken View Post
    One question, does the Darktort tailcap fit on SR3 body? Thanks again!
    No, the Darktort has a different design for the tailcaps - it's not interchangeable with the SR3. You can only exchange the heads between the Darktort and SR3 bodies.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Bummer. Nitecore legos would have been exciting!

    Thank you Selfbuilt!

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* m16a's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiteCore SR3 (1xCR123A/RCR) Review + 18650 Extension: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, & More

    Edit. Question removed.
    Register your Smart PD(D10, D20, EX10) at the official registry
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