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Thread: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    Reviewer's note : Armytek Viking v2.5 and Viking PRO v2.5 were supplied by Armytek for review.

    Armytek has launched the rebranding of the Predator and Viking, which are Viking v2.5 and Viking PRO v2.5, with an upgraded emitter, variable bezel colors. They are tactical lights run on 1x18650 Li-ion or 2x(R)CR123A batteries. Note that Viking v2.5 is rebranding model of the Viking X, and Viking PRO v2.5 is rebranding model of Predator v2 & Predator X v2. It means Viking PRO v2 has user programming interface with an extremely wide range of constant output modes and various flashing modes.
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    The packaging is basic, but a solid cardboard box. The both lights come packaged between two pieces of styrofoam, with a holster with closing flap, removable stainless steel clip, lanyard, rubber grip (attached), rubber ring instead rubber grip, tailcap rubber switch boot, two spare O-rings, and user manual. (The manual is available for download on Armytek website.)
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    Manufacturer Specifications from user manual :

    Common Spec.

    • Excellent beam distance 250-300 meters
    • Hotspot & spill angles - 10°:40°
    • Ultrabright light output and relatively wide beam
    • Newest Cree XM-L2 LED (USA)
    • Multi-purpose lights for Hunting & Outdoor activities
    • Weapon mountable
    • Original gun accessories
    • Flat stainless steel bezels with titanium coating

    Viking v2.5

    • Light output 1010 lumens
    • STEP brightness for longer runtimes
    • 4 most required modes
    • Easy operation by tail button

    Viking PRO v2.5

    • Light output 850 lumens
    • Full Time CONSTANT brightness
    • 5 modes: 3 most required modes + Strobe + Firefly
    • Comfortable operation by flashlight’s head
    • Fully programmable settings


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    Note that I will focus on the Viking PRO v2.5 here for the general build discussion, updating with additional pictures from the Viking v2.5 when aspects differ.

    The same anodizing (type III) as Predator v2 I reviewed is a very matt black and consistent throughout with no damage or blemishes of other faults to be found on my samples. There are letterings & identification labels on the head, battery tube (i.e., body), and tailcap. All are sharp, clear, and bright white against the black background. There is no real knurling to speak of on the light, but grip is much better than expect, thanks to the unique anodizing finish. The rubber grip is on the end of the body. The light looks a lot like the Predator v2 from Armytek - fairly strongish, with same sized body & tailcap.
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    The light has 3 parts (i.e. head, body, and tailcap).
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    The light comes in a choice of flat stainless steel bezel colors (black or gold or silver). My review sample is the black color bezel.
    There's very shallow cooling fins on the head. It seems the light has an O-ring & extra L-ring of a specific shape between the bezel and reflector like Predator v2. There is a raised positive contact disc in the head, so flat-top 18650 batteries should work fine. The below left is Viking v2.5 and below right is Viking PRO v2.5. There is a golden connection ring for detecting head tight/head loose. The light has reverse polarity protection to protect from incorrect battery installation (i.e., the electronics of the Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 have in-built reverse polarity protection.)
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    The light uses ultra-transparent (transparency : 98~99%) and tempered AR coating lens. The greenish blue hue is reflected on the lens of the light. The aluminum reflector has a smooth pattern and is fairly deep. Surface finish on the reflector was perfect from visual inspection, and each well-centered LED sits at the bottom of the reflector cup.
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    The head has five shallow cooling fins. These also provides good grip for twisting body.
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    The body has a clean cylindrical design with two flat faces machined on where manufacturer name & model name are printed. The body lacks knurling to speak of, but grip is much better than expect. There's a quite difference in feel and texture of the light anodizing comparing to other brands. I couldn't find it is slippery even when twisting the body with wet hands. The surface finish is unique and very good.
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    The screw threads are standard triangular-cut. Threads on both ends are well machined, with those on the rear end being anodized which allows the light to be locked-out when the tail cap is slightly loosened. There are double O-rings on both ends. As supplied, threads on both ends are well lubricated. As supplied, threads on both ends are well lubricated. Threads on either ends on the body mate well with the head and tailcap with no issues of cross-threading or grinding on my sample. I found the heads, bodies, and tailcaps between the Predator v2 and the Viking (PRO) v2.5 are physically interchangeable among thems, as they have common threading and diameters for the heads & bodies.
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    The wall thickness (more than 3mm) of the body is thick, and the light feel solid.
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    The rubber grip is removable. It can be removed after taking off the O-rings on the body first . It also works as a good anti-roll device, and helps with holding the light in a cigar style grip. You can put the rubber ring on the body instead of the rubber grip. The rubber grip has a hole for lanyard attachment. However the thickness of the grip is too thick to insert the small split-ring into it. So it's better to use the lobster-claw for lanyard attachment, by detaching the split-ring from it.
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    You can remove the rubber ring to install pocket clip.
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    The clip-on pocket clip looks basic, but it's holding on very tightly. The clip is head-facing, and not reversible.
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    The light can tailstand if you use rubber grip come with the light.
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    The tailcap switch is a forward clicky. The negative terminal at the tailcap has a strong elastic spring covered with a metal flat disc to increase surface contact area and have no risk of scratching battery. There are no holes allow you to unscrew the metal ring to access the switch. You can access by unscrewing the outer stainless steel ring on the tail end. The switch has average tension with short travel is very similar to Predator v2, and tactile clicking feedback.
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    User Interface

    1. Common

    The light is turned on/off by the forward tailcap switch (i.e., press for momentary on, click for lock on).

    2. Viking v2.5

    There are four constant brightness modes. Head tightened (First line) will always come on High (1010lm) only (i.e., no other mode is on First line). For other outputs, starting with the Head loosened (Second line), click on to activate Lower Low (8lm). Soft-press to advance to Low (85lm), Med. (200lm) in sequence.
    If you turn the light off-on, you will advance to the next mode (i.e., act as a soft-press). There is no mode memory.

    For when you absolutely need High quickly, a quick tightening of the head will give you just that.

    3. Viking PRO v2.5

    The light has two default factory presets (i.e., Military and Outdoor) and one user's preset.
    Military is set with full regulation, with First line having three constant modes : High (850lm), Med. (200lm), Low (70lm), and Lower Low (6lm). Second line has two modes : Strobe (15Hz) and Firefly (1.5lm). You can switch between modes by loosen/tighten (First line) head twist in under 1 second or tighten/loosen (Second line). There is mode memory.

    You can make your own preset for output levels, the number of output modes, the strobes frequency, the battery types, the type of output regulation (stabilization), the type of auto-memorization.

    You can learn easily or read the programming interface on the Viking PRO v2 there : Predator v2 & Predator X v2 review or simple manual or download manual of Predator v2.
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    From left to right, VicLite 18650(2600mAh) protected, Olight M22, Armytek Viking v2.5, Armytek Viking PRO v2.5, Rofis TR31, Armytek Predator X v2, Nitecore MH25, Nitecore P25.

    The head size & light weight excluding battery of five lights are as follows :
    M22 - 41mm / 148g, Viking v2.5 - 39.4mm / 160g, Viking PRO v2.5 - 39.4mm / 161g, P25 - 40mm / 172g
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    It is good size to hold and can be used as an tactical light. Overall grip is fine.
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    Measured Dimensions & Weight


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    The light comes with a basic nylon holster with a velcro strap on the head (both lights are the same). The elastic at the side gives a nice snug fit. So the light fits in the holster either head-up or head-down. It has a loop allows to carry it in horizontal position.
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    The CR123A & 18650 fit well in the body. All types (i.e., true flat-tops, wide and small button-tops) of 18650's work fine on my samples. Overall build quality is excellent.
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    PWM

    1. Viking v2.5


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    2. Viking PRO v2.5



    The lights show no sign of PWM at any output level as manufacturer claims. Both lights seems constant current controlled as the manufacturer claims. I notice there is no buzzing sound at any levels.
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    Relative Output Comparison



    The numbers on the above table are not Lumens but Lux, measured at 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on in my home-made integrating box (i.e., those numbers do not directly denote the lumens output comparison). All measured lux values in my integrating box are just converted to relative output percent for each light. You will compare each light's output percent in each column.
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    Runtime

    I tested on only maximum output on different battery sources with 1x18650 and 2xCR123A's.
    The Viking PRO v2.5 was set to default factory presets (i.e., Military and Full stabilization).

    The runtime to fall to 10% of its initial output from 30 seconds after the point the light is first turned on (i.e., based on ANSI FL-1) for High & Med. output is as follows :

    1. Viking v2.5



    The runtimes for 10% of max. output are as follows :
    1) 1xVicLite 18650 (2600mAh) protected : 105 min. (1hr 45min.)
    2) 1xPanasonic NCR 18650 (3100mAh) unprotected : 132 min. (2hr 12min.)
    3) 2xPanasonic CR123A : 85 min. (1hr 25min.)

    The Viking v2 shows the step stabilization. Step is regulated in a multiple flat-output and step-down manner as the battery is near depletion. In my view, the driver looks very powerful and perfectly holds the specified brightness and current 2.6A, without decreasing in 3~5 minutes, as in most flashlights.
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    2. Viking PRO v2.5

    [New 13.06.10] I exchanged e-mails with Armytek today. I have decided to send my Viking PRO v2.5 review sample back to Armytek due to the strange behavior and will receive new one soon.
    So I've deleted the Viking PRO v2.5 runtime graph to prevent confusion. I will do runtime test on the new sample again and post the relating results. [New 13.06.10]
    [
    New 13.06.29]


    I got the above runtime grpah from the new Viking PRO sample Armytek supplied again.

    The runtimes for 10% of max. output are as follows :
    1) 1xVicLite 18650 (2600mAh) protected : 60 min. (1hr)
    2) 1xPanasonic NCR 18650 (3100mAh) unprotected : 76 min. (1hr 16min.)
    3) 2xPanasonic CR123A : 32 min. (0.53hr)

    The 2hr 40min sepc. on Max. on Full stabilization is optimistic in my view, because I got 1hr and 1hr 16min on 2600mAh 18650 and 3100mAh 18650 respectively.
    Maybe you will get more runtime on condition of 3400mAh 18650 and LiFePO4 3.2V setup. But 2hr 40min on Full stabilization would be almost impossible.
    I assume that 2hr 40min sepc. on Max. is possible on condition of the Step stabilization setup.

    The regulation in the Viking PRO v2.5 is quite the same as the Predator v2 which has a perfectly flat regulation (i.e., no step-down), followed by a sharp drop at the end of run. I found the light didn't turn off on all the three batteries at the end of run. It did blink 3 times every minute for a while and automatically switched to the lower Firefly mode for a long time as shown in the above runtime grpah. Like Viking v2.5, the driver looks very powerful and perfectly holds the specified brightness and current 2.1A, without step-down in few minutes. Note that I didn't test runtime on SEMI & STEP stabilization, I'm sure the light will run longer time with gradually decreased output or step-by-step decreased output as the Predator v2 though.
    [New 13.06.29]
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    Interesting that lower Firefly mode at the end of the run is dimmer than Firefly mode (1.5lm) in Second line.
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    3. Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5

    [New 13.06.10] I exchanged e-mails with Armytek today. I have decided to send my Viking PRO v2.5 review sample back to Armytek due to the strange behavior and will receive new one soon.
    So I've deleted the above runtime graph to prevent confusion. I will do runtime test on the new sample again and post the relating results. [New 13.06.10]

    [New 13.06.29]

    [New 13.06.29]
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    Beamshot

    1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door)

    - ISO100, F/4.0, 1/500sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO100, F/4.0, 1/1000sec, Auto white balance


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    - ISO100, F/4.0, 1/1250sec, Auto white balance


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    2. Indoor beamshot (about 7m from the target)

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1/5sec, Auto white balance



    - M22
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    - Viking v2.5
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    - Viking PRO v2.5
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    - P25
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    3. 55m Outdoor Beamshot

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance



    - Control Shot
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    - M22
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    - Viking v2.5
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    - Viking PRO v2.5
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    - P25
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    4. 60~65m Outdoor Beamshot

    - ISO100, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance



    - Control Shot
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    - M22
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    - Viking v2.5
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    - Viking PRO v2.5
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    - P25
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    [New 13.06.30]
    Armytek developed Predators as focused
    and far-throwing light (i.e., hunting with rifles). New Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 are very bright lights with relatively wide beam. Armytek said that "they could make XM-L2 reflector with 7 degrees spot for new Vikings. But they are made especially with 10 degrees for comfortable beam pattern (i.e., hunting & outdoor)." From the above beamshot, you can guess Viking series are not so long-distance throwers due to the relatviely warmer tint than others. However they are very nice throwers as well. [New 13.06.30]
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    Thanks for watching!
    Last edited by candle lamp; 06-30-2013 at 05:35 AM. Reason: [New 13.06.30]
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    Thanks for the review. A great job as usual

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    Thanks for the review. A great job as usual
    Thanks for your good words. kj2!


    [New 13.06.10] I exchanged e-mails with Armytek today. I have decided to send my Viking PRO v2.5 review sample back to Armytek, due to the strange behavior and will receive new one soon.

    So I've deleted the Viking PRO v2.5 runtime graph to prevent confusion. I will do runtime test on the new sample again and post the relating results. [New 13.06.10]
    Last edited by candle lamp; 06-10-2013 at 04:51 AM.
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  4. #4
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    Thanks for the review, candle lamp! I've admired the Armytek brand for a while but was weary of the company.

    What do you make of the tint difference between the Viking and the Viking Pro? From what I can tell in the pictures, the Viking Pro has better color rendering and even though its lux is lower, the more accurate rendering seems to me to be beneficial in identifying targets and whatnot. Would you agree based on your eyeballin' the situation?

    Also, I'd really dig it if you could do a durability test. Maybe a 2 meter dunk? Those are some pretty crazy ratings that Armytek gives to its lights water/dustproofness.

    Anyhow, I've enjoyed a lot of the other reviews you've done, too!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by AltTab View Post
    What do you make of the tint difference between the Viking and the Viking Pro? From what I can tell in the pictures, the Viking Pro has better color rendering and even though its lux is lower, the more accurate rendering seems to me to be beneficial in identifying targets and whatnot. Would you agree based on your eyeballin' the situation?

    Also, I'd really dig it if you could do a durability test. Maybe a 2 meter dunk? Those are some pretty crazy ratings that Armytek gives to its lights water/dustproofness.


    From the spec., both lights are same cool white tint 5500K.
    As you see the beamshot, there seems to be little difference between the lights, but you can't distinguish the difference in real life. I haven't noticed difference.
    Regarding Armytek's spec., I don't think their spec. is exaggerated, considering the robust build quality. I dropped my Predator X v2.0 review sample from about 1.5m height onto the linoleum floor of the room (the floor is concrete slab) two or three times. But it's working fine. The users who have Viking or Predator will prove whether the spec. is true or not.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    Thank you for an excellent write up review! This is a alight I am considering purchasing and your review definitely helped! Kudos!!!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    Thank you for your review and comparing the two Vinking's.
    Great job.

    I own both of them.
    I am really happy with this two guys.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    How do you find the narrow spill angle? Is it restrictive? I could see it being an issue indoors especially.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggle View Post
    How do you find the narrow spill angle? Is it restrictive? I could see it being an issue indoors especially.

    The spill angle of the Viking v2.0 is about 60 degrees from my measurement, and it's much larger than the spec. (40 degrees) in the manual.
    The light shows high output with an wider hot spot and a proper spill (i.e., not so wide, but much brighter spill than other lights). So I think it's comfortable for both outdoors and indoors.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Armytek Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 [ XM-L2 U2, 1x18650 or 2x(R)CR123A ] Review

    I've finished runtime test for the new Viking PRO v2.5 sample supplied by Armytek.
    [New 13.06.29]


    I got the above runtime grpah from the new Viking PRO sample Armytek supplied again.

    The runtimes for 10% of max. output are as follows :
    1) 1xVicLite 18650 (2600mAh) protected : 60 min. (1hr)
    2) 1xPanasonic NCR 18650 (3100mAh) unprotected : 76 min. (1hr 16min.)
    3) 2xPanasonic CR123A : 32 min. (0.53hr)

    The 2hr 40min sepc. on Max. on Full stabilization is optimistic in my view, because I got 1hr and 1hr 16min on 2600mAh 18650 and 3100mAh 18650 respectively.
    Maybe you will get more runtime on condition of 3400mAh 18650 and LiFePO4 3.2V setup. But 2hr 40min on Full stabilization would be almost impossible.
    I assume that 2hr 40min sepc. on Max. is possible on condition of the Step stabilization setup.


    The regulation in the Viking PRO v2.5 is quite the same as the Predator v2 which has a perfectly flat regulation (i.e., no step-down), followed by a sharp drop at the end of run. I found the light didn't turn off on all the three batteries at the end of run. It did blink 3 times every minute for a while and automatically switched to the lower Firefly mode for a long time as shown in the above runtime grpah. Like Viking v2.5, the driver looks very powerful and perfectly holds the specified brightness and current 2.1A, without step-down in few minutes. Note that I didn't test runtime on SEMI & STEP stabilization, I'm sure the light will run longer time with gradually decreased output or step-by-step decreased output as the Predator v2 though.
    [New 13.06.29]

    [New 13.06.30]
    Armytek developed Predators as focused and far-throwing light (i.e., hunting with rifles). New Viking v2.5 & Viking PRO v2.5 are very bright lights with relatively wide beam. Armytek said that "they could make XM-L2 reflector with 7 degrees spot for new Vikings. But they are made especially with 10 degrees for comfortable beam pattern (i.e., hunting & outdoor)." From the above beamshot, you can guess Viking series are not so long-distance throwers due to the relatviely warmer tint than others. However they are very nice throwers as well. [New 13.06.30]
    Last edited by candle lamp; 06-30-2013 at 05:35 AM. Reason: [New 13.06.30]
    Latest Review : Spark SP2-NW Review

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