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Thread: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Cool Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L


    Hello everyone,

    My teacher recently told me that I write as if I am talking in person, I am not sure if that may or may not be a nuisance when you read, so if it is, I apologize and please tell me and I’ll fix it.
    A month or two ago, I received an F30C by Andy over at Nitefighter. My reviews usually never take this long, but I’ve been having it rough for some time (school ended on June, 7, fortunately).
    Back to the review:
    Before I received the F30C, unfortunately, the first unit he sent to me was lost by the shipping agent, and he kindly shipped another one as soon as he could. He answers emails very fast in case anyone was wondering, usually by the next morning.

    First, I figured it would be better if I included the official specs…
    -LED: Cree XM-L T6 cool white;
    -Max Output: 750 lumens;
    -Battery Type: 2xCR123A / 1x18650 battery
    -Run Time: High -2.5Hrs
    Medium-5Hrs
    Low- 50Hrs, 75Hrs(ex-tube)
    Strobe- 2.5Hrs
    SOS - 15Hrs
    -Color: Grey
    -Material:Aero grade aluminium alloy
    -Finish: Type III hard anodizing - (The good, “high quality type”)
    -Size: Ø25.4mm x 220mm,
    -Weight: 210g
    -Accessories: Holster, Lanyard, Clip,Spare o-rings,Ex-tube

    …as well as my first impressions:

    First Impressions:

    The flashlight was shipped via DHL, and the box was rather simple and gave the most important specs in a big sticker. I guess they like being “green”, which I personally liked, small box and using every little space in it. So, when I took out the flashlight, I thought, “wow, that’s a nice color”. The only other flashlight that I have with that color is the Klarus XT20. It’s a nice shade of grey, and the steel bezel made it look “classy”. The reflector is medium sized, compared to the TK41’s bigger reflector and the Viking X’s smaller one. For those of you wondering, yes, it throws a good distance. The light’s shape reminded me of the Xeno G42 I believe it was called, (the XP-G R5 thrower). As in, the good solid mass and slightly-bigger-than-body-head.



    And so, here is the F30C:



    Note: On my unit it was marked as a test sample and some numbers on the box, but I really doubt you’ll see this on yours.

    Construction:





    The F30C is made up of three basic parts, as usual in most flashlights: the head which has the ample and deep reflector, the body for the batteries, and the tailcap.



    However, when used with the extension tube, there are four parts (duh).




    The tailcap is quite interesting, it doesn’t have knurling, but it has a pattern of raised ridges around the circumference, so I guess it sort of counts as knurling? It’s very “grippy”. The lanyard attachment holes at the end are different though. On one side there is a full oval opening, but on the other side there are two halves. I guess it’s in case you don’t want the lanyard to slide or have a lot of play. Oh well, the more options the better, huh?


    Inside the head, there is a spring on the positive contact, so it is possible to use flat tops 18650.




    It also, numerous times when I dropped the light, absorbed the impact and kept the light and the battery unharmed. The strike bezel isn’t as sharp compared to my other lights, and really don’t think it will have much “pain capability”, but it compensates it with superior thickness, and does a really good job protecting itself from falls. The LED is well centered on my unit.



    In the pictures you can see a “CAUTION HOT” sign, and while it does get warm after extended periods, I never found it egg-boiling hot. Apparently, from what I’ve gathered, it’s a good sign the heat transfer from the LED to the metal is working, keeping the LED cool.
    I have a Cree budget light, as some would call it, in my household, my family has a nickname for it, “China”, because it came from, well, china . Anyways, the light actually has an extension tube installed, and the body was originally a 3 X CR123 body.



    So I figured that if it fits on the F30C, it’s possible to power it with 2 X 18650. And booyah! The thing actually worked! I could even interchange tailcaps, but I don’t, I like the F30C’s one much better. The clip BTW is very easy to put on, and also very reliable. Did I mention it was shiny? (For you tactical fellers, I have a feeling you won’t be putting a shiny clip)










    Comparisons:
    I realize I took many pictures comparing the F30C to the Viking X, because one, I think they’re more alike than the rest of my lights. They both use an XM-L, have clips, and same power sources.

    The clip is very similar to design compared to the Viking, but not the same color, and not as difficult to install. I found the Viking’s clip to be stronger, in my opinion.
    The F30C has a bigger head and a tighter hotspot.





    The F30 is longer and heavier basically.


    The body tube has two o-rings at both ends and the tailcap has a spring as well.




    The holster that comes with clearly wasn’t an afterthought, it has good seams, and a hole at the bottom in case you use the light with the extension tube.



    I find the F30C in a medium size light class, not small like the LD12, nor a full size light like the TK41. Some pictures there with stuff to let you know the relative sizes of the lights.






    Whitewall Beamshots:
    (All pictures have equal intervals, on my camera, I lowered the exposures by intervals of 5 units)
    Nitefighter F30C vs ArmyTek Viking X





    Nitefighter F30C vs ArmyTek Predator OP Reflector





    Nitefighter F30C vs Fenix TK20




    Nitefighter F30C vs ArmyTek Predator SMO Reflector






    Waterproof Tests:


    Note: I don’t own any CR123 nor RCR123, so I wasn’t able to test it out with the 3-cell configuration, but I’m positive it will be able to hold up just as fine.
    2 X 18650




    1 X 18650




    UI:
    The Nitefighter has a similar, but different UI as the ArmyTek Viking X. On the Nitefighter, when the head is loosened, it comes out in Turbo, its highest output (did I mention its bright?) or strobe. Those are the only modes in that position. Now, when the head is tightened, I found there is a high, which is almost the same thing as turbo, (there was barely a difference), medium, which was still bright, and low, which was in the range of a decent-low to a bright-low mode. Sufficient for trips to the bathroom at night. When you have the head tightened, if you click on and off three times, you’ll get SOS. Ironically, turning the light on and off is the only way to change outputs, so I don’t know if that counts as some would put it, “hidden blinky modes”.

    The Light as a Whole:
    This flashlight, if I was to somehow be forced at gunpoint to describe the light in one sentence, I guess it would be: “Point it at your face and turn it on, trust me, it’ll speak for itself.”No, but seriously, I never thought a flashlight powered by a single 18650 would ever be capable of such output. Without offending either, I didn’t expect a new company to release these light cannons just starting off. Boy, was I wrong. If you like throwers, awesome, me too, and this light does the job. If you prefer flooders, awesome too, so do I LOL, and this has a good spill angle and a nice, corona that smoothly diffuses into the spill. Its versatile.
    The only nitpick that I found was the UI on the head-tightened, because I frequently had to teach my little siblings how to use the light, and I would usually end up in SOS in the middle of the demonstration, and I thought, well, I should probably tell the ladies and gents over at CPF about this.
    And while it’s not a tremendous “OMG!” issue, I have to admit, it was sometimes annoying, and I think I’m a pretty positive and outgoing person (but perhaps not that patient?). Other than that, I like it, my family liked it, and my little sister always wants to sleep with it.
    My dad, on the other hand, went to work with it. He works as an aviation technician, we call him the “plane-fixer”, and sometimes works some hours at night. So, when he came home, he said all his buddies loved it and were crazy over it, asking where he got it and stuff. Yeah, not exactly your usual Dollar store flashlight LOL. I’m not sure if I ever did or even say anything though, I just didn’t know where to start. So for now, I imagine they say that “darkness fears my dad’s light stick”.
    So all in all, nice color, tight beam, bright, stylish, “lego-able in my book”, versatile, solid, and awesome.
    Here is to hoping I haven’t made Andy mad yet with the time it took to finally get this together. I had the light since towards the end of March.
    The Nitefighter F30C was kindly provided by Andy over at Nitefighter

    I hope you guys enjoyed this review, if you have any questions, I will always be glad to help out.
    Cheers,
    Firelord777
    Last edited by firelord777; 06-11-2012 at 08:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Bwolcott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

    do any us dealers stock these yet?

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    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    I honestly don't know yet, I'll look it up after I'm done. BTW, do you know another method to post reviews other than inserting the images one by one? It really gets frustrating after a while.

    Cheers

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    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

    good work so far!
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
    my lights - review of PrecisionWorks - that's Gucci Mane in my avatar

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobrien View Post
    good work so far!
    Aww, thanks bud, I'm done for now, I'll finish it in the morning.

    Thanks again for the kind words

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    Default Re: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

    Nice review. Unfortunately all images have to be 800x800 max I think.

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    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rufus001 View Post
    Nice review. Unfortunately all images have to be 800x800 max I think.
    Oops, if you're right, may I kindly ask how to resize them? My other reviews used imageshack, but I reached the upload limit, so now I used IMGUR.

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

    Normally I resize them on my computer with Windows Live Photo Gallery before I upload them. So I'm not sure how you can do it without deleting them and then re-uploading.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rufus001 View Post
    Normally I resize them on my computer with Windows Live Photo Gallery before I upload them. So I'm not sure how you can do it without deleting them and then re-uploading.
    Darn, sucks to hear that. I'm going to see what I can do tomorrow

    Thanks BTW,

    Cheers

  10. #10

    Default Re: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

    Thanks for the review!

    For my images, I used photobucket for a while, now I use razzi. Both have the option to copy the full code with [img] brackets for posting on a forum, which is a nice time saving feature for posting many pictures. Razzi is nice because you have the option to post different sizes without resizing it yourself. Otherwise, you'll have to use some program on your computer for resizing all the images, then re-upload them and re-post them.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigmac_79 View Post
    Thanks for the review!

    For my images, I used photobucket for a while, now I use razzi. Both have the option to copy the full code with [img] brackets for posting on a forum, which is a nice time saving feature for posting many pictures. Razzi is nice because you have the option to post different sizes without resizing it yourself. Otherwise, you'll have to use some program on your computer for resizing all the images, then re-upload them and re-post them.

    Thanks bigmac, I couldn't resize them so I'm reuploading them at the moment. Sorry about this guys.

    Cheers

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

    Review is finished for now guys, I am going to see if I can take some more pictures of the spill angle on the carpet and the various components that make up the head

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwolcott View Post
    do any us dealers stock these yet?
    I checked it out, and as of now, I don't believe that they have US dealers yet, most of them are from Belgium and the UK for some reason

    Cheers

  14. #14

    Default Re: Nitefighter F30C Review - XM-L

    They were in stock at illumination supply for a while, but I just checked back, and I don't see them there anymore.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Bigmac, I recalled reading something about illumination gear

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    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Hey guys,

    Just a quick update, these past two days, I had to kill three cockroaches (tons of fun with flashlights - pretending to be cops and say "you're surrounded fiend!!!" - but I absolutely hate them creepy crawlers), and so, one was originally on the wall, and took like five shots at it, but these guys are like psychics, they teleport at the last millisecond, sort of as if taunting you "oh! You've got me! Come on! You're so close! Take the shot! Oops! Hehe, Psyche!!! Tricked ya!!!". So he runs down and in between these bags. I lifted the bags and as I lifted one to check, I see him on another bag. At this point I'm like, "Mmm, if I can't crush him, maybe I'll take out the F30C and vaporize him with the heat of 100000 lumens!"

    Needless to say, it didn't work

    However, I isolated him, and he's just like "crap, where did all the backpacks go?" and once he realized he was in deep doodoo, the little bastard sprints at full speed and towards some boxes. I lost sight of him at that point. Fortunately, both my brother and my sister saw some antennas in this little corner. It's hard to explain, but he was between a box and a wooden frame. So I quickly got some shirts laying around (oh yeah, we made a huge mess all because of him), and trapped his two directions he could have gone. At this point, he's trapped, and it's pretty much a waiting game. It was like 3 in the morning, and we were tired. So we get a really skinny stick and start trying to poke him. It was hard, but he knew we were onto him. I managed to get a flashlight through this crack, and saw his shadow. Turns out, he's cracking his neck or stretching it, and cleaning his legs and all that nasty stuff

    So then, the lights we were using ran out of batteries, so rather than waste time changing them, I just grabbed the TK41. Here is where the relevant-to-this-thread part comes in Don't get me wrong, I love the Fenix TK41 and it's throw, but in that situation, it was big and bulky to aim at such a small space.

    Long story short, as I went to change the batteries for the F30C and the ArmyTeks we were using, I gave my brother the LD12 (I call him ol'reliable) and he had an idea to turn off the light. So the cockroach comes out and we killed it, first smashing him, and then rubbing him all over the floor. I forgot to mention that it was a giant American roach, here in Miami some misidentify them as Palmetto waterbugs or something like that. They don't really scare me, but what freaks me out is the fake eyes they have between the body and their head. It's absolutely hideous!

    So, basically, what I wanted to say is that, the F30C is "just the right size" for general use, or in this case, "tactical light in a war on roaches" hehe

    And for those who need some tips, after many mistakes in hunting roaches down,

    1. Never lose sight of them, not for a second (I can tell you right now, there one second, gone the next. Don't give them a lucky day)

    2. When you have a clear shot, take it, don't hesitate (I didnt mention it in my little story above, but I had various clear shots, but we figured we could somehow manage to get a better position)

    3. lastly, as much as we like flashlights, unless they're not hiding and you're waiting for them, keep the lights off or as dim as you can.

    Cheers

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    I guess you guys aren't fond of cockroach war stories eh?

    Hehe

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