PK Design Lab
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 42

Thread: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    This is a review of one of Surefire's new lights in the Z2 range; the AZ2 (AZ2-BK-WH).

    You can click any image in this review to get a larger view.

    This is the first time I've ever attempted to review a torch. I don't mean to make a habit of it and I have only done it this time as I feel CPF is lacking on information on the AZ2 and think that perhaps others considering purchasing this light might appreciate some firsthand reflections on it.

    The stated specs of the light are as follow:
    Max Output: 150 lumens
    Low Output / Runtime: 35 lumens / 10 hours
    Tactical Runtime: 2.0 hours*
    Length: 5.70 inches (14.48cm)
    Bezel Diameter: 1.25 inches (3.18cm)
    Weight w/Batteries: 5.1 ounces (144.59 grammes)
    Batteries: 2x CR123A

    *Total runtime at highest setting until output drops below 50 lumens



    The AZ2 was slimmer than I thought it would be from looking at the images on the Surefire site. It fits nicely in my hand in many different grips. Like the earlier Z2 series lights, this one has the same overall silhouette with a slim body portion with flat sides at the middle, a wider bezel at the front and the typical rubber "CombatGrip" ending with the tailcap. Unlike previous lights in the Z2 range however, the AZ2, like the new Z2-S do not use a P60 style modular drop-in, instead they use a sealed bezel unit with integral light engine the same way the E-series does. The reflector used in this light is textured similar to the typical "orange peel" style and quite shallow compared to P60 drop ins and other lights of similar size such as the Fenix TK11. This may be why the light has such a dramatically wide diameter of spill.



    The light is supplied from Surefire with batteries, and a lanyard which fixes to a ring near the tailcap of the light, which is removable.

    The AZ2 uses the traditional Surefire twisty UI: Push halfway for low momentary on, which activates a ring of four 5MM white LEDs giving a reported 35 lumen low flood of light. Push further to activate the main Luxeon TFFC LED which is apparently 150 lumens. The Luxeon main LED to my eye gives a slightly warmer colour output compared to some of the more recent cool white Cree LEDs. I don't however have any specifically "neutral white" or "warm white" LEDs to compare it to so this is hard to qualify. I think it's possible that Surefire have chosen this LED for it's colour temperature when driven at this level.



    Like other Surefire lights that utilise this low/high UI with multiple different LED arrays, the AZ2's low LEDS remain on while the light is in high mode. Constant-on can be activated by twisting the tailcap, again low is activated constantly first, followed by high if the tailcap is further screwed down.

    I was surprised that this twisty UI required so many turns to go from off, through constant low to constant high. I found it uncomfortable trying to activate the constant-on high mode with one hand, although this is my first experience with a Surefire light with the "twisty" UI so this may be normal. The step up from low to high output in the momentary push tailcap does however feel nice and positive.

    In terms of heatsinking, I have used the AZ2 while hunting around in my loft (attic if you're in the States) and noticed that the bezel does heat up quite quickly when on high mode. It feels like the light has decent thermal transfer from the emitter to the bezel.

    Here are a couple of wall hunting shots to show the beam profiles and tint compared to other lights.

    Here's the flood pattern given off by the 4 flood LEDs:


    Here are the lights used for comparison for the rest of the review:
    Left to right there is, the Surefire AZ2, Surefire E2L, 4Sevens Quark 123_2 Turbo, A Dereelight P60 XP-G R5 drop in in a Solarforce L2 Host, Fenix TK11 R2. A CR123 and an AW protected 18650 are also in shot for size comparison



    A series of lights to show the beam profile. As you can see the AZ2 seems to have a warmer tint and a much larger spill diameter than the others.
    Left to right are; Quark Turbo XP-G R5, Fenix TK11 R2, Dereelight XP-G R5 P60 drop in, Surefire AZ2. The tints as shown in the images are accurate to my eye. All lights are on their highest output setting.


    Stepped back a little on exposure you can see the spill isn't quite as bright as some of the other lights but then again these lights are all rated much higher in output than the AZ2, between 206 and 300 lumens.

    You can also see a small doughnut hole in the middle of the AZ2 beam. This is only visible if the light is at very short range from a wall it's shining on.

    Now for some indoor Beamshots:

    Indoor Control:


    AZ2 on low/flood indoors:

    The flood is a little brighter than this in person, however I kept the exposure setting to show off the main beams better

    AZ2 main beam indoors:


    Quark Turbo XP-G R5 main beam indoors:


    Dereelight P60 XP-G R5 indoors:


    Fenix TK11 indoors:


    Outdoor shots:

    AZ2 main beam outdoors:


    Surefire E2L high beam outdoors:


    Quark Turbo XP-G R5 outdoors:


    Dereelight P60 XP-G R5 outdoors:


    Fenix TK11 R2 outdoors:


    Finally a few more shots of the light:





    Hopefully this satisfies some curiosity people may have about this light. If you have any other questions or photo requests do ask and I'll do what I can to accommodate.
    Last edited by SuperTrouper; 07-03-2010 at 11:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* rookiedaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    A Place Called HOME
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    This is a very good review of AZ2. Thanks a lot.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* DimeRazorback's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,992

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Great review and beamshots!

    I will definitely have to try find one now!

    Where did you get yours from? Being international and all

    ^^Click for my beamshots!!^^ My Flashlights

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by DimeRazorback View Post
    Where did you get yours from? Being international and all
    I couldn't possibly say

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* DimeRazorback's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,992

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    PM's are a marvelous thing

    ^^Click for my beamshots!!^^ My Flashlights

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
    DM51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Borg cube #51
    Posts
    13,341

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Nice work! This gives a good impression of the light, and those are very useful comparison shots.

    I'm moving it to the Reviews section.
    Resistance is futile...

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Apologies if anyone looked at this earlier and some of the beamshot images weren't loading or it was asking for authorisation. I had some minor issues with where I hosted the images. It should all be sorted now and they should all be showing up.

  8. #8
    Administrator Size15's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Kettering, England
    Posts
    18,408

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    May I suggest that it would be very helpful to see a photo or two of the various lights you've compared the beams of.
    All too often beamshot comparisons are done without photos comparing the flashlights themselves.
    I encourage you to buck the trend please!

    Al

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by Size15's View Post
    May I suggest that it would be very helpful to see a photo or two of the various lights you've compared the beams of.
    All too often beamshot comparisons are done without photos comparing the flashlights themselves.
    I encourage you to buck the trend please!

    Al
    I'll see what I can do

    I didn't think anyone would be particularly interested in seeing the Quark or Fenix really as they're quite common lights around here.

  10. #10
    Administrator Size15's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Kettering, England
    Posts
    18,408

    Party Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    It's easy enough to find photos of them individually but to get some context it is better to have them in the same photo.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    There you go, I've added a couple of photos with the rest of the lights used in the review for comparison.

    Enjoy

  12. #12
    Administrator Size15's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Kettering, England
    Posts
    18,408

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Brilliant. Thanks

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Thanks for the wonderful review! Very nicely done! Now looking at it, is the beam really so narrow visually? I have seen the Quark turbo's beam profile and I am using that as a comparison. It seems that the AZ2 has a tighter beam profile than the Quark. Is it really true visually or has it to do with the camera exposure?
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    The beam hotspot is rather narrow, however if you look at the whitewall comparison shots, you can see the AZ2 has massive spill.

    It's not so easy to show the spill in the outdoor beamshots however.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperTrouper View Post
    The beam hotspot is rather narrow, however if you look at the whitewall comparison shots, you can see the AZ2 has massive spill.

    It's not so easy to show the spill in the outdoor beamshots however.
    Yes that is so very true. It has to do with the camera's lack of exposure latitude to capture from the whitest white to the darkest shadows. That's why I am curious as to what the beam profile is actually like in actual use.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    So I was looking at the back of the head of the AZ2 and I had an interesting discovery...I thought it looked like a familiar contact....now where had I seen that head before......



    It's only E-series compatible!!!!

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Wow! That is an interesting discovery! I have a black E2e and I am sure it would be a good match. Are you able to ascertain if you are getting the same amount of power from the AZ2's head on an E2 body as compared to the original AZ2's configuration? Does it run brighter or dimmer than a stock AZ2?
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by pjandyho View Post
    Wow! That is an interesting discovery! I have a black E2e and I am sure it would be a good match. Are you able to ascertain if you are getting the same amount of power from the AZ2's head on an E2 body as compared to the original AZ2's configuration? Does it run brighter or dimmer than a stock AZ2?
    The AZ2 on the E2L body loses the modes. It's on in high mode only.

    They look like they keep the same levels of brightness, however it's light here, and I don't have any lightmeters to do anything other than eyeball it so it's not a very scientific or precise measurement.

    From this it seems that the modes are in the AZ2 tailcap, but they're in the head on the E2L so both modes are still available for the E2L head on the AZ2 body.

  19. #19
    Administrator Size15's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Kettering, England
    Posts
    18,408

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    This what we'd expect since the electronics for both the two-stage output models such as the AZ2/LX2, and the dual output models such as the E2L/E1B are in the bezels. It's the TailCaps that trigger the mode change. For dual output models its simply momentarily breaking the circuit, whereas for the two-stage models the difference in resistance of the positions of the TailCap push button is sensed by the bezel.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    SuperTrouper,

    Thanks for the tips regarding the interchangeability of the bezel between the AZ2 and the E2L. I just bought the AZ2 together with the S2 Stratum from my local dealer and I am happy with my purchase. I even got the bezel of the AZ2 fitted on a black E2e body and boy, it looks cool! The only gripes I have about the AZ2 is that the main beam profile is a little too narrow for my liking but I do love the flood that the 4 LEDs are providing.

    The overall tint color is very nice and pleasing to me (based on my preference). I don't know about your AZ2 but mine is a little on the yellowish, or warmish side. Nearer to neutral white than cool white. More in semblance to an Osram energy saving lamp but cooler and so is my Stratum. Very useful for me since I am using my lights mainly in the outdoors. Sure beats having a bluish white tint. Is your AZ2 exhibiting the same tint characteristic?
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    As you can see in the pics it has a much warmer tint than the XP-Gs I tested it against.



    I'm quite enjoying the tint, but other than that I simply cannot stop playing with this light The hotspot of the main beam may be a bit narrow but the spill is huge!

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Thanks. I apologize for having missed that in your review.

    Even though it is a nice light to have, I can't help feeling that I would be leaning more towards the LX2 or the Stratum for my daily use. I guess only time would tell whether I favor the AZ2.

    The Stratum has a slightly brighter (by a slight margin) and bigger hotspot but with the same amount of spill as the AZ2.

    The LX2 is just a different beast altogether. It has a bigger and brighter hotspot than the AZ2 and Stratum and although it is not as bright and wide in the spill, it is still ample. At about 50 meters, the throw of the LX2 just wins both hands down.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  23. #23
    Moderator
    Kiessling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Germany, Old World
    Posts
    16,140

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    E-Series compatible ... who would have though. Cool!

    But .... I wonder why they opted for this ridiculously wide spill and needle like spot? I really want this light, but the beam pattern ... ugh!

    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Awesome review

    I still EDC a Surefire E2e in stock form, LOL...

    Jason

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling View Post
    E-Series compatible ... who would have though. Cool!

    But .... I wonder why they opted for this ridiculously wide spill and needle like spot? I really want this light, but the beam pattern ... ugh!

    bernie
    I guess it has to do with the 4 LEDs in there, always wrongly referred to by many as "small LEDs" as they are even bigger than the main LED. They sort of took up the extra space from the reflector which indirectly affects the main beam profile. My main beam is not exactly round in shape. In fact, it looks a little bit like a triangle with very rounded sides. Not too bad, just not so circular overall.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* DimeRazorback's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,992

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling View Post
    E-Series compatible ... who would have though. Cool!

    But .... I wonder why they opted for this ridiculously wide spill and needle like spot? I really want this light, but the beam pattern ... ugh!

    bernie
    It appears the same beam shape as the Z2-S, and it would be great for clearing rooms imo. Then you have the extra throw from the hotspot, to pinpoint and light up an offender.

    ^^Click for my beamshots!!^^ My Flashlights

  27. #27
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Do any of you guys who own an AZ2 know whether or not the tailcap is C-series compatible? That would be awesome if the AZ2's two stage twisty would work on a C2... Perhaps if you could buy the tailcap separately from Surefire this could be a replacement for the discontinued McGizmo McC2s switch... which is much needed, in my opinion. If anyone who has an AZ2 could check that would be great...

  28. #28

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    The switch is not compatible with the C series, as the tail threads of lights with this UI are square.

    I wonder who will be the first to lego up a LZ2?

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    Quote Originally Posted by whitedoom34 View Post
    The switch is not compatible with the C series, as the tail threads of lights with this UI are square.

    I wonder who will be the first to lego up a LZ2?
    What do you mean by square threading? AZ2 does not have square threads. Btw, the tail cap diameter of the LX2 and AZ2 are not the same so it won't fit if you intend to Lego them. On the other hand, the bezel of the AZ2 does fit on an E2e and switches on in high mode with all the LEDs lit up.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
    Beam shots Night Trekking with HDS high CRI and McGizmo Haiku & Mule high CRI

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Surefire AZ2 Review with pictures and beamshots

    The tailcap from the AZ2 fits on a Solarforce L2 so I assume it's P-series compatible and all those similar.

    I'll try out a 6P with the AZ2 tailcap tonight though.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •