Updated 8/21/2013 to include EB2T-TN
Thanks to spyrish's earlier thread I was able to order and receive one of the new EB2 Backups last week. Now that I have had a few days to play around with it, I have completed my initial review of this new light. The full review can be found on FlashlightGuide.com.
I can't say that there were a lot of surprises from the performance of the EB2 Backup. I already had a good idea of what to expect based upon my review of the E2DL Ultra and the EB2 did not disappoint. From the standpoint of light output, beam profile, and performance they are essentially the same with the major differences being in the body designs.
Like the Ultra, the EB2 is definitely a powerful yet small light. The beam provides a wide hot spot with a ton of spill around it. The TIR rings of the past are virtually gone and are only noticeable if you plan to use the light to light up your ceiling or a nearby wall. The spill is fairly smooth and even without the dark spots (rings) found in some earlier lights. While it seems like the 500 lumen rating is the big selling point of this light, I continue to be impressed by the improvements with these latest optics. They aren't perfect and they aren't for everyone but they produce a very nice and effective beam.
As far as tint is concerned I would describe it as slightly cool but not terribly so. In general it is much warmer than many past lights and for the most part allows for fairly good color rendition. As with other recent lights from SureFire there is a slight tint of color, particularly around the corona of the hotspot. If you look hard enough you will see some green in it but it's not an issue to me.
The beamshot below was taken at a distance of 45 yards from the wooden swing. The garage on the left is white while the screened porch on the right is a very light blue color. The faint reddish tint seen on the garage door is the reflected glow from a street light that I tried (unsuccessfully) to block with my truck.
You can see from the photos that the EB2 has a slightly broader spill beam due to the E2DL Ultra's crenelations blocking part of its beam.
The width of the spill beam can be better appreciated when you compare the above shots against the SureFire Fury.
(Edit 7/30/2013) A comparison to the EB1 gives an indication of how much brighter these new lights are.
More beamshots and side-by-side comparisons to other lights are in the full review linked at the beginning of this post.
As far as looks and appearance are concerned, I am very pleased with the EB2. It has a really nice matte finish which looks good and has just a tiny bit of texture which improves grip on the light.
The EB2C in my review is finished in black . . .
. . . and the EB2T is tan
The finish on both lights is fairly even with only a very slight mismatch between the body and the other parts.
With the smooth design of the EB2 it obviously doesn't provide the same amount of grip as some other lights but it was never intended to. The design is perfect for a light that is meant to easily slip into and out of a pocket. As far as usage is concerned, I normally use an overhand grip with the carry clip at the 12 o'clock position, just as I do with the LX2. When in this configuration, my fingers prevent the light from wanting to slide front or back in my hand.
As already mentioned in other threads, the light is awfully long for a 2x123A light, measuring in at 5.8". For comparison purposes, this is about 0.2" longer than the E2DL Ultra, 0.4" longer than the LX2 Lumamax and 1.4" longer than the EB1 Backup.
Although the tail cap on the EB2T must be loosened to turn the light off, the overall length between the two stays nearly the same due to the rubber switch boot being slightly shorter on the EB2T.
The EB2 comes provided with 2x123A lithium primary batteries and can accept LFP 123A rechargeables. The EB2 did not exhibit any of the erratic behavior observed with the EB1 when running on freshly charged LFP 123A's.
(EDIT 8/10/2013) WarriorOfLight was kind enough to share some information from the German Messerforum where they had discovered the E2DL Ultra utilizes temperature regulation. Since the electronics of the Ultra and EB2 appear to be very nearly the same, it stood to reason that this would be the case for the EB2 as well.
My original tests were conducted with the EB2 simply sitting in a holder with nothing to pull away heat (no hand on the light, no air movement, etc.). Following WarriorOfLight's suggestion I conducted additional tests utilizing a small USB powered fan to provide some air movement. With the benefit of added airflow the EB2 demonstrated the ability to maintain considerably higher output using CR123 primaries as well as LFP123 rechargeable batteries. The results from both sets of tests are shown in the following graph.
Further discussion on this can be found beginning at post #118 of this thread.
For the most part, I have been able to pocket carry the EB2 comfortably. However, it does require more careful pocket placement than smaller lights and it is approaching the limit, in my opinion, of what can be comfortably carried in a jeans pocket. It may already be past that limit for some people. It is a perfect light for a jacket or cargo pocket where the extra length is not an issue.
The straight tail cap and smooth finish can make it a little difficult withdrawing the EB2 from a pocket. The use of the EB1C shrouded tailcap makes retrieving the light much easier (will only work with the EB2C).
Clicky versus Tactical
Over the course of 2 weeks of use, the EB2C has operated flawlessly, reliably coming on in high mode first, followed by low with another press of the switch. Rapid switching on and off gave the expected high/low output levels and I did not experience any mode jumping or other surprises. The switch provides adequate travel to easily activate the EB2C in momentary mode without accidentally clicking into constant-on mode. The click-type tailcap can be locked out by loosening it just over 1/4 turn.
The two-stage tailcap on the EB2T functions smoothly and is easily operated in momentary-on low or high modes. Twisting the tailcap to achieve constant-on output first triggers the low output mode with high mode following after an additional 3/4 turn. In normal use the EB2T operated as expected, producing the desired level of output in the momentary and constant-on modes. During testing I did experience a few instances of a high output flash when cycling the EB2T between off and constant-on low.
There is a very small amount of play in the threads of the EB2T tailcap which can be felt when using momentary switching. As a result, if the tailcap is loosened just enough to turn the EB2T off, a slight side pressure on the tailcap can cause the light to momentarily turn on. To prevent this from happening, the tailcap must be loosened approximately 1/8 turn from constant-on low. Full lockout can be achieved by loosening the tailcap approximately 1 3/4 turn.
Although they appear identical, the heads on the EB2C and EB2T are programmed differently. The EB2T head is effectively a single output light, with the lower output level a function of the 2-stage tailcap (as with the LX2 LumaMax). The EB2C head is a true two-mode head, similar in operation to the E2D LED Defender and E1B Backup.
Several people have expressed interest in seeing the EB2 head on other SureFire bodies. The following are a few I could come up with:
EB2 head + AZ2-S body
EB2 Head + LX2 body
EB2 head + E2DL Ultra body
Thanks for stopping by!