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Thread: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

  1. #1
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Rolleye11 Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    All the flashlights from Fenix PD series are maximum compact and powerful.
    Equipped with the latest,high efficiency components to give us the maximum we can get from a flashlight at the moment.
    PD 35 is the latest and most powerful(850 lumens) in this series and allows the user to have powerful lighting tool that is easy to carry
    and use always when needed.
    Fenix PD35 gives to the user outstanding performance in compact,lightweight body,longest runtime using a single 18650 battery
    or two CR123A batteries,high maximum brightness thanks to the latest and high efficient Cree XM-L2 U2 emitter.

    First impression-excellent machining,anodizing,knurling,lightweight body(only 87grams),excellent shape of beam.
    Only 14cm long and 87gr weight.


    PD35 comes well packed in a cardboard box. Accessories-holster,lanyard,2 spare O-rings,spare switch boot.
    In the box you will find also a Warranty card and User manual.
    Optional accessories can be purchased separately-Transparent diffuser tip;Traffic wand;Remote pressure switch;Belt clip;



    Nice holster,fits well.There's a simple loop for belt attaching.No velcro option for attaching on the back.


    As expected machining is excellently made with no sharp edges. Excellent design provides a very good grip.
    The shape of the PD35 makes it easy to carry in a pocket and use it with bare hands or gloves. Very sturdy pocket clip,securely attached.
    A little bit more tight than needed in my opinion. The flashlight can not tail-stand. There are 3 cooling fins on the head.
    They help for heat dissipation that improves the efficiency and lifespan of the components.
    The fins have also anti-roll function. Top notch Type III hard anodizing,excellent all over the body.



    Technical Parameters
    ·Cree XM-L 2 (U2) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
    ·Uses one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries
    ·139mm (Length) x 25.4mm (Diameter)
    ·87-gram weight (excluding the battery)
    ·Digitally regulated output - maintains constant brightness
    ·Low-voltage warning function to remind you to replace the battery
    ·Reverse polarity protection guards against improper battery installation
    ·over-heat protection to avoid high-temperature of the surface
    ·Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
    ·Tactical tail switch with momentary-on function
    ·Side switch on the head
    ·Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
    ·Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    ·Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
    -Peak beam intensity 8600cd /185 meters max throw
    -Waterproof- IPX-8,underwater 2m





    The flashlight can be disassembled on three main parts. The battery tube is good thickness.
    The most important thing-there is enough space in the tube for all types 18650 batteries-flat top,button top,big protected batteries.
    All they fit excellent in the PD35.I am happy that I can use protected batteries with the highest capacity.
    There is a spring at the both ends.This ensures excellent connection with the battery and good protection against damage from impact or drop.
    Reverse polarity protection guards against improper battery installation.
    Using protected batteries that are too long,like non branded Panasonic 3400 cell protected is not recommend because the springs will be under extreme pressure and this will interfere with their functioning.
    The flashlight uses a tactical tail switch(forward clicky)with momentary-on function for turning the light On/Off.
    PD35 has a side switch for changing the modes Eco-Low-Medium-High-Turbo and Strobe.

    Excellent knurling. Trapezoid-cut threads,perfectly anodized for wear resistance. One of the best made threads that I've seen.
    Very clean.The same size at both ends.








    Smooth aluminum reflector with diameter 20mm.
    I am impressed of the beam pattern.It is absolutely flawless result for a 20mm smooth reflector and XM-L2 LED.
    Very clean beam with no any circular patterns or dark zones.
    Very bright and homogenous central spot with perfect round shape.Very useful,bright spill.
    I have never expected so good beam from such a small head flashlight.It is better than many bigger-head flashlights.


    High brightness and efficiency Cree XM-L2 U2 LED.
    Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating.Reflector and glass absolutely clean of dust.
    Perfectly centered LED for maximum concentrated hotspot and best possible beam shape.








    User Interface
    Using the PD35 is easy to remember and convenient.

    Five constant brightness levels Eco-Low-Mid-High-Turbo and one flashing mode-Strobe.
    Pressing the tail switch lightly activates the light momentary.
    Full press activates the light constantly.Full press again to turn the light off.
    The lighting mode can be changed easily by pressing the side switch.
    Strobe can be activated by press and holding the side switch for 1sec from any mode.
    Press the side switch again to return to the mode used before Strobe.
    There is instant(fast) memory for the last used mode.
    The memory is really quick and when you turn off the light you know for sure what mode will start next time.
    The response from the electronic driver is excellent.Different modes can be cycled really fast.

    Eco 10 Lumens /140h
    Low 45 Lumens /29h
    Mid 170 Lumens /7h45min
    High 450 Lumens /2h30min
    Turbo 850 Lumens /1h15min
    Strobe 850 lumens-dual frequency

    The modes are well spaced.The Turbo is extremely bright.The Low and Eco are very useful when a long runtime is needed.
    5 modes are quite enough choice for most of the time,but my opinion is that a 2 lumens eco mode would be very useful in certain situations.

    As a high performance light,the PD35 accumulates significant heat while at Turbo output.To protect the light and battery,PD35 drops down into the High brightness level after running at Turbo output for about 5 minutes.
    There is another step down to Mid brightness level after about 30 minutes working on High mode.
    These steps down are time controlled,so If you want again the higher mode you just have to reset the light(If the flashlight is to hot,reset is not recommend and can cause damage to the flashlight).

    The flashlight is lightweight which makes it easy to carry and use,but also means that the thickness of the aluminum is not enough to manage the heat from the LED,running at maximum current for extended period of time.This protection is really necessary here.
    Fenix PD35 has also a low-voltage warning function.
    When the voltage level drops below the preset level,the flashlight is programmed to downshift to a lower brightness level.When this happens in Eco output mode ,the flashlight blinks three times every five minutes to remind you to replace the battery.

    The brightness is current controlled,so there's no any sign of pwm.

    My measurements

    Peak beam intensity 11000 Lux measured at 1 meter distance.
    Current Draw
    U battery=4,16V
    I turbo= 2,88A
    I High= 980mA
    I Mid= 300mA
    I Low= 87mA
    I Eco= 28mA

    I measured only for about 80 minutes.After that I stopped measuring.
    Battery Sanyo 2600 protected

    All measurements are taken with a non-calibrated Lux meter
    This measurements are maximum values,not ANSI.




    This is brightness comparison with other lights,similar and some bigger.
    All measurements are taken 30sec after activation in a 'light box' which is still in testing phase so the best use for this values is comparing one light to other similar light.






    Beamshots

    The beam that Fenix PD35 produces is very well concentrated in a big hotspot with very bright spill.
    Transition from spot to spill is not so smooth as the beam from the Orange Peel reflector lights,but the PD35 has a great throw for a 20mm reflector.
    There's no any circular pattern in the beam.This is really beautiful beam.
    Excellent work done by Fenix.



    1m,white wall, 1/20sec, WB locked

    The images are not in their best quality because the image host site has compressed them.
    You can see the pictures in higher resolution here- http://imgur.com/a/6tzlY/embed








    1meter, White wall, 1/250sec, WB locked



    5 meters,Wallpaper, 1/6sec ,WB locked







    5 meters,1/50sec,WB locked



    Outdoor Beamshots
    Distance ~30 meters, 3,2sec ,WB locked



    Fenix PD35 Turbo (850 lumens)


    For higher resolution pictures,see the album here- http://imgur.com/a/TYtMv/embed
    Distance 30 meters






    As confirmation of its quality Fenix PD35 won The Best Of Show Award in AFTA(The Australian Fishing Trade Association)
    Trade Show 2013.
    The award is for best outdoor and camping product.


    I tested the waterproofness of the PD35 in the nearby river.The water was very fast and relatively cold.
    As expected from a high quality product,the flashlight performed exellently.No leaks,no fog under the glass.
    I used the both switches a few times under water.Everything is well sealed.
    Half of the pictures and the video review are made after this test.You can see that the flashlight is in perfect condition.
    The PD35 is an excellent choice for all outdoor activities-fishing,hiking,camping,etc.






    The flashlight's body is well balanced and stays very stable in hand.
    Very good grip even in a wet hand.
    The shape of the flashlight allows also a 'cigar' grip-a very useful feature.






    In conclusion,Fenix PD35 is a right choice for everyone that wants an extreme powerful and at the same time compact flashlight,easy for EDC use or any outdoor activities.This is a trusted light that you can count on it. Definitely this is my choice for a 18650 flashlight for close and medium distance illuminaion.





    Thanks for reading!


    This great flashlight was provided by Fenix for review.
    Last edited by FlashLion; 02-09-2014 at 09:26 PM. Reason: more info

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Default Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Dude, you are one hardcore photographer!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    The tint looked somewhat greenish on the lower power settings.

    Is that the actual case, or is that just poor white balance on the part of the camera?
    Last edited by wjv; 09-23-2013 at 03:19 PM.
    Bill
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    Flashaholic* LightWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Nice review, the PD35 looks like it has pretty good throw for such a small light using a XML emitter, on burst mode any way.
    I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. Jesus Christ - John 12:46

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    nice work, you did a wonderful review!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    I think you just took the title for flashlight photography, and it was a great review. Thanks for all that work, I will be sending people to this thread.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    What a thorough and excellent review and great photography. If you're not working for Fenix marketing, you should be!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Superb review with excellent photography :-) My PD35 recently arrived and I'm very impressed with this little lumen wonder - build quality, form factor and performance (so far). I'm finding that the surprising thing isn't the lumen output level, its the overall quality of beam, giving a superb balance of throw and flood. My only negative issue is its inability to tail stand,but I may work on a home made fix for that !
    Last edited by YetiFlash; 09-24-2013 at 01:35 AM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Great review and pics! Thanks very much.

    Seems like this light is longer than it needs to be....I wonder why?
    "Be careful, even in small matters" - Miyamoto Musashi

  10. #10
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by firelord777 View Post
    Dude, you are one hardcore photographer!
    Thanks
    I think I improved my photography skills while I was making these reviews here on CPF.
    Last edited by FlashLion; 09-24-2013 at 07:42 AM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by wjv View Post
    The tint looked somewhat greenish on the lower power settings.

    Is that the actual case, or is that just poor white balance on the part of the camera?
    The WB on my camera is locked to Cloudy and each picture is taken at the same conditions.
    As any other current-controlled flashlight,the tint of the light is changing slightly at the lower modes.In PD35 it is within the reasonable limits.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    What a thorough and excellent review and great photography. If you're not working for Fenix marketing, you should be!
    Thank you very much!
    Unfortunately I am not working for Fenix,but would be great if they give me a chance again to review any of their lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by youlight View Post
    nice work, you did a wonderful review!
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by LightWalker View Post
    Nice review, the PD35 looks like it has pretty good throw for such a small light using a XML emitter, on burst mode any way.
    Thank you!
    Last night I tested it at 60meters and 200meters distance...still very impressed with this light.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevy-SS View Post
    Great review and pics! Thanks very much.

    Seems like this light is longer than it needs to be....I wonder why?
    Thank you!
    It is longer because of the side switch.It takes about a centimeter of the length.The reflector is about 2 centimeters deep.


    Quote Originally Posted by YetiFlash View Post
    Superb review with excellent photography :-) My PD35 recently arrived and I'm very impressed with this little lumen wonder - build quality, form factor and performance (so far). I'm finding that the surprising thing isn't the lumen output level, its the overall quality of beam, giving a superb balance of throw and flood. My only negative issue is its inability to tail stand,but I may work on a home made fix for that !
    Thank you!
    I really like the beam of the PD35. I've never thought we can get so clean beam from a smooth reflector.
    Enjoy your PD35


    Quote Originally Posted by braddy View Post
    I think you just took the title for flashlight photography, and it was a great review. Thanks for all that work, I will be sending people to this thread.
    Thank you very much! Comments like yours give me a power for more great reviews.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* LightWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevy-SS View Post
    Great review and pics! Thanks very much.

    Seems like this light is longer than it needs to be....I wonder why?
    I think they made the PD35 longer than the original PD32 so it would have more mass to help disapate the heat produced on the burst mode.
    I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. Jesus Christ - John 12:46

  15. #15
    Enlightened LAMPARITA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by YetiFlash View Post
    Superb review with excellent photography :-) My PD35 recently arrived and I'm very impressed with this little lumen wonder - build quality, form factor and performance (so far). I'm finding that the surprising thing isn't the lumen output level, its the overall quality of beam, giving a superb balance of throw and flood. My only negative issue is its inability to tail stand,but I may work on a home made fix for that !
    You're right, the PD35 is not capable to tail stand on a flat surface because, as we all know, the On/Off tail switch protrude to far back beyond the surface of the tail cap so here's a "home made fix" that will solve the problem by just using a 1" diameter standard plastic grommet, same one you insert in panels or desks holes to protect computer and phone cables or wires when passed through it or you can also use a 1" plastic leg tip cap, same one used for table and chairs. Either one of these two items fit perfect around the tail cap of the flashlight, just like the Fenix Diffuser tip - The grommet or the chair leg tip cap will keep the On/Off switch from touching the table or any surface and you will have the ability to tail stand the light and use it as a torch while working with both hands. Try it, it works!!
    Last edited by LAMPARITA; 09-26-2013 at 11:12 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    [QUOTE=LAMPARITA;4287108]You're right, the PD35 is not capable to tail stand on a flat surface because, as we all know, the On/Off tail switch protrude to far back beyond the surface of the tail cap so here's a "home made fix" that will solve the problem by just using a 1" diameter standard plastic grommet, same one you insert in panels or desks holes to protect computer and phone cables or wires when passed through it or you can also use a 1" plastic leg tip cap, same one used for table and chairs. Either one of these two items fit perfect around the tail cap of the flashlight, just like the Fenix Diffuser tip - The grommet or the chair leg tip cap will keep the On/Off switch from touching the table or any surface and you will have the ability to tail stand the light and use it as a torch while working with both hands. Try it, it works!!
    /QUOTE]

    Thanks for the suggestion LAMPARITA :-) - I'll pop into my local DIY store and see if they have anything that will fit as a tail stand.

    Update: Now really enjoying two Fenix PD35's as cycle lights. I tend to leave them both on High most of the time and they light up the road like flood lights! One light angled so that the beam hotspot lands roughly 5-8m ahead, the other hotspot at around 2m. This way most of the immediate viewing area is covered without blinding oncoming motorists. My only other gripe, tail standing ability aside is the UI - think I prefer the twist ring format to the side switch. But then again I may get used to the side switch over time - after all my first proper flashlight was a Jetbeam Raptor RR0 with a twist ring - and you never forget your first! Other than that a superb piece of kit ;-)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Thanks for a great review with nice pictures!

    I have PD32UE and I think it's my favourite Fenix light ever. The neutral tint is beautiful and therefore I wish PD35 should have it as well.
    However I am still tempted to get also PD35, these are really great lights. There is one thing I don't really like, however. While Fenix otherwise use to present fair runtime specs this isn't the case with the burst modes of PD32UE and PD35. As we know such a high outputs are a very heavy load for a single 18650, and the claimed runtimes isn't close to accurate if we are talking about stable output.
    I think PD32UE was measured to a total of 30min at 740lm, and I guess it's similar with PD35 at 850lm; the brightness pretty soon starts to decline. Anyway, I can live with that. 140lm level is the most used with my PD32UE. The huge hotspot is awesome!

  18. #18
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lumens,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Thank you Swedpat for your comment!

    I've updated my review with Runtime measurements.Check them out.

  19. #19
    Unenlightened seanborn1979's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Wow! New member here but coming from long time member at XDA-Developers forum. I love this review! Every question possible is answered. I just wanted to give you my 2 cents about a case for this flashlight. I am not happy with the factory cases at all. I wonder why they make such a great flashlight and send it with such a cheap case. I have used multiple different cases and found that the Maxpedition 5" flashlight case (MX1431B) is a great case for this light. It is very durable and stays on your belt not sliding around between belt loops. I know this is unrelated to the actual flashlight, just wanted to let you know it fits perfect in this case.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    At $17.00 for that overpriced sheath, I will be OK with the sheath it came with.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by seanborn1979 View Post
    Wow! New member here but coming from long time member at XDA-Developers forum. I love this review! Every question possible is answered. I just wanted to give you my 2 cents about a case for this flashlight. I am not happy with the factory cases at all. I wonder why they make such a great flashlight and send it with such a cheap case. I have used multiple different cases and found that the Maxpedition 5" flashlight case (MX1431B) is a great case for this light. It is very durable and stays on your belt not sliding around between belt loops. I know this is unrelated to the actual flashlight, just wanted to let you know it fits perfect in this case.
    Thanks for your comment.
    Thanks for the info about the holster.
    Most of the latest flashlights come with a thin holster or without holster.Manufacturers are trying to reduce the price and make their flashlights more competitive.
    PD35's holster is not on the level of the flashlight,but it's good to have it.
    Last edited by FlashLion; 10-17-2013 at 03:08 PM.

  22. #22
    Unenlightened seanborn1979's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    No problem! I cannot say I am flashlight officinado but I do like to have high quality tools and a flashlight is a must have tool for everyone. I never used to carry them around on my person until the last few years when the quality of them and the battery life has come as far as it has.

    Have any of you ever coated your light? I am picking up my FNS-9 tomorrow from being Cerakoted and I had the place Cerakote my PD32UE while my gun was being done. I didn't think about it until after I left, do you think it will affect the heat disapation? I can't see that if it did, that it would be enough to cause any harm to the light.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    I don't know much about coating with Cerakote,but people do it,so it should not be a problem.
    Maybe someone with more knowledge will share his opinion.

  24. #24
    Unenlightened seanborn1979's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Well it didn't get coated. My guy working on it couldn't get it apart without the fear of of breaking it. But he did decide to go and buy one for himself..lol!

  25. #25
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    Arrow Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Thanks for the great review.... complete with fantastic pictures.
    I just received one of these lights and am more than pleased with it!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    just got this about a week ago. Today as I was playing with it, I noticed that the mode switch has become a bit unresponsive and once in a while the brightness will not change when I press the switch and have to press it harder to change the modes. The mode switch may have become less sensitive. Anybody else have this problem? It is not so bad so am holding out on contacting Fenix for replacement under the 2 year warranty.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by teacher View Post
    Thanks for the great review.... complete with fantastic pictures.
    I just received one of these lights and am more than pleased with it!
    Enjoy it

    Quote Originally Posted by dekxx View Post
    just got this about a week ago. Today as I was playing with it, I noticed that the mode switch has become a bit unresponsive and once in a while the brightness will not change when I press the switch and have to press it harder to change the modes. The mode switch may have become less sensitive. Anybody else have this problem? It is not so bad so am holding out on contacting Fenix for replacement under the 2 year warranty.
    Hello.
    This is the first time I read about a problem with PD35.If the problem still exists when using fresh batteries,you can contact your dealer and ask for replacement.
    Last edited by FlashLion; 10-23-2013 at 03:34 AM.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic T4R06's Avatar
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    Default

    my 5yr old daughter attend to a trick or treat @ Mystic Seaport here in CT and i gave her this little light loaded with 18650 with the diffuser on it. LOL all people are looking at us, all of them are holding led lanterns that can be bought @ BBB

    its so bright and from start to end the setting is on Medium. sometimes she flicks it on TURBO and some are mad LOL

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    I just wanted to use my first post on the forum to thank you for such a great review. I was doing some research on the light in several places and found yours to be the most helpful. So much so that I created an account on the forum and my PD35 came in the mail today.

    Now I need to peruse the forum a bit and pick a good battery and charger.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic FlashLion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 ,850 Lm,powerful,compact 18650 flashlight-REVIEW

    Quote Originally Posted by Djs105 View Post
    I just wanted to use my first post on the forum to thank you for such a great review. I was doing some research on the light in several places and found yours to be the most helpful. So much so that I created an account on the forum and my PD35 came in the mail today.

    Now I need to peruse the forum a bit and pick a good battery and charger.
    Thank you!
    Congratulations on the light.
    I use protected Keeppower batteries and Nitecore I4 charger. I am pleased with them.
    Fenix has now a new 3400mAh battery and very interesting smart charger.They are also a good choice.
    Last edited by FlashLion; 12-06-2013 at 05:35 AM.

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