Olight
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 44

Thread: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

  1. #1

    Cool Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Warning: pic heavy, as usual.




    To my mind, the PD35 is one of the "flagship" lights from Fenix – a very popular workhorse in the common 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR class. So popular in fact that a number of other makers have released similar compact models in this battery class, with comparable dual-switch interfaces.

    The current PD35 (XM-L2 U2) has be out for a little while now, but I have only recently got my hands on one for testing. Let's see how it compares to the recent competition in this class.

    For additional general comments on how several of the current dual-switch lights in this battery class compare, please see my post #2.

    Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    (note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

    • LED: Cree XM-L2 (U2) LED
    • Uses one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries
    • Output/Runtime: Turbo 850 lumens/1hr 15min – Hi 450 lumens / 2hr 30min – Mid 170 lumens / 7hr 45min – Lo 45 Lumens / 29hr – Eco 10 lumens / 140 hr – Strobe 850 Lumens
    • Beam Distance 185m
    • Beam Intensity: 8600cd
    • Impact Resistant: 1m
    • Waterproof: IPX-8, underwater 2m
    • 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
    • Dimensions: 139mm (Length) x 25.4mm (Diameter)
    • Weight: 87-gram weight (excluding the battery)
    • MSRP: ~$75





    Packaging is fairly standard for Fenix. The orange and black cardboard box has a lot of specs and an overview of the light. Inside, included with the light are spare O-rings, basic wrist lanyard, holster with Velcro closing flap, pocket clip (attached), spare forward switch boot cover, product inserts, warranty card, and manual.




    From left to right: AW Protected 18650 2200mAh; Fenix PD35; Nitecore P12; Eagletac TX25C2; Sunwayman V25C; Olight S20 2014; Eagletac D25LC2; Sunwayman C21C; Foursevens Quark Q123-2.

    All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed:

    Fenix PD35: Weight: 82.7g, Length: 138.1mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
    Eagletac D25LC2: Weight: 50.0g, Length: 116.3mm, Width (bezel): 22.5mm
    Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
    Foursevens Quark Q123-2 X (Regular tailcap): Weight: 44.6g, Length: 112.7mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
    Foursevens MMR-X: Weight 90.8g, Weight (with 18650): 138.5g, Length: 138.6mm, Width (bezel): 31.5mm
    Foursevens MMX Burst: Weight 145.8g, Length: 153.3mm, Width (bezel): 38.7mm
    Nitecore P12: Weight: 89.7g, Length: 139.4mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
    Olight M20S-X: Weight: 124.1g, Length: 145.4mm, Width: 35.5mm (head)
    Thrunite TN12-2014: Weight: 80.0g, Length: 140.5mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
    Zebralight SC600 II: Weight 79.3g, Length: 101.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm







    The PD35 is a fairly compact light. Anodizing has a black finish, hard anodized (i.e., type III) – with no chips or damage on my sample. Body labels are fairly subtle (i.e., light gray instead of bright white). Knurling is relatively aggressive on the body tube. When combined all the other grip elements (e.g., cooling fins in the head, side switch cover, pocket clip, etc.), overall grip is excellent. The fins in the head also have an anti-roll feature. The pocket clip holds onto the light very firmly.

    Tailcap screw threads are square cut and anodized for tailcap lock-out. There are also a good number of threads – more than typical on a light this size.

    The P35 uses a protruding forward clicky switch, so tailstanding is not possible. There are raised areas on the sides of the switch, but these are just for the lanyard attachment. I'm not sure why they didn't design this to allow tailstanding, as most other makers have.

    On/off is controlled by the physical tailcap clicky switch, but all mode switching is done by the electronic side switch in the head. The mode-changing switch in the head has pretty good feel for an electronic switch. It is relatively easy to locate by feel or sight, and has a definite click, with typical traverse. Please see my User Interface section for a discussion.

    There is a spring on the contact board in the head, so flat-top cells can be used. The reverse polarity protection system must be circuit based, not physical. The body tube is wide enough to accommodate all size 18650 cells, but you may find really long cells under tight pressure with the dual springs.




    The overall head is not very large. Reflector is smooth, and of moderate depth given the size of the head. Coupled with the XM-L2 cool white emitter (which was well centered on my sample), I would expect a fairly typical beam pattern. Scroll down for beamshots.

    The PD35 comes with a flat black aluminum bezel.

    User Interface

    The PD35 has a straightforward interface. Turn the light on/off by the forward tailcap switch. Lightly press and hold for momentary, click (press and release) for constant on. Click again to turn off.

    To change modes, click the electronic switch in the head, while the light on. Mode sequence is Eco > Lo > Med > Hi > Turbo, in repeating sequence. The light has mode memory, and returns the last level set after turning the tail switch off/on.

    Press and hold the electronic switch to access an oscillating Strobe mode. A single click exits you from Strobe back into constant output.

    Video:

    For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:



    Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

    As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.

    PWM/Strobe

    As with other Fenix lights, the PD35 is current-controlled. There is no PWM, on any level. And unlike my recent LD12 review, there is no sign of circuit noise on any level either.

    Strobe


    The strobe is an oscillating strobe, switching between two frequencies every 2 secs or so (6.5Hz and 14.8Hz). Here is a blow-up of each strobe frequency:




    There are no additional blinky modes on the PD35 (unlike my LD12, which had an additional SOS mode).

    Beamshots:

    For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on an AW protected 18650 battery. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.













    Beam pattern is good, about what you would expect for a light/reflector this size. The PD35 has a fairly wide spillbeam, with a somewhat wider than typical hotstpot. The PD35 is probably one of the "floodiest" options in this size class, with the most consistently "clean" beam (i.e., lowest number of artifacts and rings). But the difference to other recent lights is not that great. Max output on turbo seems to be quite bright for this class – scroll down for detailed output and throw measures.

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).







    The PD35 is clearly driven very hard on Turbo – it has one of the highest 1x18650 outputs I've measured in this class. That's quite impressive for such a compact light. Note as well that the PD35 is even brighter on max on 2x battery sources than 1x18650.

    Throw is quite reasonable for the class, given the size of the head and reflector.

    Let's see how all the levels compare to the official specs, on 1x18650 in my lightbox:



    There is a generally good concordance between my estimated lumens and Fenix published specs – except my measures are all somewhat higher. As always, you have to consider my estimated lumens as a source of relative measures between lights (i.e., not to be taken as absolute values). Note that the Turbo mode of the PD35 steps down to the Hi level (see my Runtimes below for more info).

    One thing I would like to see is a lower Lo mode. Fenix refers to their 10 lumen level as "Eco", which is a cute way of saying long runtime. But I would prefer a true <1 lumen "moonlight/firefly" mode instead.

    Output/Runtime Graphs:

    To start, here is a comparison of four of my highest output recent lights in this class; the Zebralight SC600-II, Fenix PD35, Nitecore P12, and Thrunite TN12-2014:




    Given the incredibly high drive level of these lights on Max, it is not surprising that all of them either show a direct-drive-like pattern (i.e., the TN12-2014), or have a defined step-down (either timed or thermal-managed). It just isn't possible for these small lights to maintain that sort of output (and heat) on a single 18650 in a fully regulated fashion for long. The Fenix PD35 and Nitecore P12 have a very similar pattern of gradual step-downs from Max, with at least the first step timed.

    The PD35 shows excellent efficiency and regulation at all levels, roughly comparable to the 18650-only SC600-II.

    Let's see how it does on 1x18650 against a wider range of lights (omitting the comparisons already shown above):




    Again, the PD35 is an extremely efficient member of this class.

    Here are a couple of comparisons on 2x battery sources:





    Thanks to the set of step-downs on Hi, you can safely run 2xCR123A or 2xRCR cells in this light. Efficiency is again excellent, on all battery sources.

    Potential Issues

    The PD35 lacks a true "moonlight" mode.

    There are a series of step-downs from Turbo on all batteries (i.e., rapid step-down to Hi, and then a subsequent step down to Med).

    The PD35 can't tailstand in its native form, despite the raised lanyard attachment points on the tailcap. These seems like an odd omission, as access to the switch is reduced by the raised side posts (i.e., why reduce access this much, if you aren't going to support tailstanding?).

    Preliminary Observations

    As you can see above, there really aren't too many issues that I can find with this light – the PD35 is a very respectable (and leading) member of the compact 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR family of lights.

    Build quality is top-notch, with good attention to detail. Hand feel is fabulous, with top of class grip. The only thing I would change physically about the light is tailstanding – for some odd reason, they have built up the edges of the tailcap high enough to interfere with access to the switch, but not enough to allow tailstanding. You could probably adjust this yourself by opening up the switch internals and adding an appropriately-sized spacer, but it is odd that you would have to.

    Also, given the price premium this model commands over competing products from other makers, I think a better quality wrist lanyard and holster would be nice. Anyone else fondly remember the old Fenix open pouch design with elastic sides?

    I find the PD35 user interface very intuitive. The mode-changing electronic side switch was pioneered by Fenix some time ago, and they have certainly figured out how to do it right. Switch feel is good, and the interface is straightforward. I'm glad the "tactical" strobe is hidden behind a press-hold. But I wish makers of general purpose lights would put a slow signaling strobe or fast beacon in there instead (or at least, in addition).

    The circuit also performed admirably in my testing. There is no sign of the "flicker" effect that plagued the recent LD12 upgrade – all levels were rock-solid stable on my PD35. Output/runtime efficiency was excellent as always, with very flat regulation (note that the light steps down significantly from Turbo). Fenix was always a leader in regards to regulation and efficiency, and I'm glad to see they have kept it up on this latest version of the PD35 family.

    Beam pattern is good, well suited to a general purpose light. The nice wide hotspot is suitable for a lot of tasks, even without a diffuser. And since the PD35 is based on an established build, there are plenty of Fenix diffuser/filter/cone accessories that are available.

    One thing that I am a little surprised at is the max output – the PD35 nears the top my charts for 1x18650, coming in just slightly under the Zebralight SC600-II (at least initially). Of course, the PD35 has a defined step-down on turbo, but that initial ~1000 lumen output was unexpected given the size (and 850 official lumen spec).

    At the end of the day, there is a lot here to commend the PD35. I'm not sure why Fenix hasn't moved to a true "moonlight" mode (like a number of their current-controlled competition). But as it is, the PD35 is still a top performer, and highly recommend for this class.

    P.S.: I know a lot people are wondering how the Fenix PD35 directly compares to Nitecore P12 and Thrunite TN12-2014. In addition to all the objectives measures included in this review, I've added some general comparison comments in post #2.

    -----

    PD35 provided by Fenix for review
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 03-05-2014 at 11:02 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Nitecore P10.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    I have just posted detailed individual reviews of Fenix PD35, Nitecore P12 and Thrunite TN12-2014. Since the lights are all very similar, the decision most of you have will be which one to get.

    To help with that, here are direct comparisons of key features of the lights, to allow you to better choose the one that is right for you. Please see the table/figures in the review for more info.

    Overall Build Quality and "Feel": The PD35 has most solid build in my estimation, with the most "grippy" overall hand feel and the best built-in anti-roll feature. The P12 is a close second on most of these measures, whereas the TN12-2014 has the smoothest body (contributing to a lower hand "feel" on this model, compared to the others). The pocket clip works well on all three models (note that the PD35 has the stiffest clip retention).

    Switch "Feel" and Access: The P12 has significantly easier access to the tailswitch, relative to the PD35 and TN12-2014 (which are roughly equivalent to each other). This is odd, as it is only the P12 and TN12-2014 that allow tailstanding out of the box. That said, the PD35 has the best electronic side switch feel, with the most definite "click" - followed closely by the P12. The TN12-2014 has the "softest" side switch feel, but is the easiest to find by touch alone, as it is more raised than the other two. Note that only the P12 has a low-voltage and battery read-out LED located under the side switch.

    Constant Output Modes: The TN12-2014 has the widest range of outputs, from ~0.2 lumens to >1000 lumens, with five well-spaced levels. The PD35 has five good levels as well, but lacks a true moonlight mode (i.e., from ~11 to ~1000 lumens range). The P12 has a good range from ~0.8 lumens to ~900 lumens, but only four levels (i.e., could use an extra Med-Hi mode).

    Blinking modes: Only the P12 has additional modes beyond tactical strobe (i.e., SOS and Beacon). All three lights have the additional mode(s) "hidden" behind a press-hold of the side switch, but only the P12 allows you to memorize the tactical strobe mode (i.e., can return to strobe from Off).

    Beam Pattern: The TN12-2014 and PD35 have similar wide spill beams, with the P12 slightly narrower. The P12 and TN12-2014 have roughly equivalent peak center-beam throw, with the PD35 having a bit less. The PD35 also has the widest hotspot, with the smoothest transition (i.e., least defined hotspot edge, and could thus be consider the "floodiest" of the three). Beam quality is pretty good on all of them, although the PD35 probably the most consistently "clean" beam, due to its slightly shallower reflector (i.e., slightly less likely to have beam rings and artifacts).

    Circuit Efficiency and Regulation: All three lights are current-controlled, and highly efficient. The PD35 and P12 have more consistently flat regulation at all levels on all batteries – but have defined step-downs from their max levels. The PD35 is probably the most efficient pick, but performance is very close among all three. Note that I do not recommend you run the TN12-2014 on its max level on 2xCR123A/RCR for sustained periods, as there is no step down on this model. Please see the runtime graphs in this review for more info.

    Reverse-Polarity Detection: The PD35 and TN12-2014 have electronic reverse-polarity protection, and P12 has a physical one. However, the P12 positive terminal has been re-designed to allow all type of button-top cells to be used (i.e., wide button as well as small – it is just true flat-tops that won't work in the P12).

    Package and Accessories: Bundled extras are pretty similar across the three models (and fairly basic for the holsters and wrist lanyards). Note the P12 comes with an additional grip ring. The lights all share a common sized head, so standard beam shaping accessories from any one maker should fit pretty well on the others.

    Value: The TN12-2014 has the lowest manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP), the PD35 has the highest, with the P12 is right in the middle. This relative order matches my general "hand feel" experience, but you will have to make your own assessment as to perceived value depending on all the characteristics above.

    And there you have it - there is no clear knock-down winner in any category. All three lights are similar overall, with each one specialized in some areas over the others. I recommend you pick based on which constellation of characteristics above matters the most to you.

    P.S.: As an aside, I did a blind "taste preference" of the three models with Mrs Selfbuilt. This was based solely on her physical and visual assessment of the lights and their beams, as we didn't get into circuit testing or price. She was initially drawn to the PD35 for its grippier hand feel, higher perceived build quality, and smoothest beam pattern. However, lack of a true low mode and inability to tailstand (despite reduced tailswitch access) led her to ultimately choose the P12 as the best overall candidate. She was similarly able to accurately rank the lights by estimated price, but felt that the difference between the three models was not as great as the prices would suggest (based solely on a bulid assessment). She felt that a regular person would be amazed by what any of these lights can do, and would be happy with any of them.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 03-05-2014 at 11:03 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Nitecore P10.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Ryp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Thanks for the review!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    The PD35 can't tailstand in its native form, despite the raised lanyard attachment points on the tailcap. These seems like an odd omission, as access to the switch is reduced by the raised side posts (i.e., why reduce access this much, if you aren't going to support tailstanding?).
    Ahhh the BURNING QUESTION I want answered and applies to many other Fenix lights. Makes no sense!
    GOOD TINT!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    One of the best lights I have!
    Thanks for the review.
    Latest review(s): Olight R20 - Olight SR Mini - Fenix TK35UE

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    i have owned this light for 3 months and it has been brilliant, it does feel and look very well built for a more compact 18650 and i was pleasantly surprised by this.
    I knew it was bright but dam its given you some good figures there Mr SB , makes me smile knowing i bought the right light :-)

    oh and thanks Mrs SB good job

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by markr6 View Post
    Ahhh the BURNING QUESTION I want answered and applies to many other Fenix lights. Makes no sense!
    Yeah, I don't get either. The PD35 looks like it should be very stable for tailstanding, if only the button didn't project so much.

    I'm sure this could be adjusted by playing around inside the switch assembly (with maybe a little plastic washer). Odd that you have to, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by zs&tas View Post
    oh and thanks Mrs SB good job
    I'll pass that along.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Nitecore P10.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    nice review

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Good job! I must say the PD35 should be the most popular pocket-size flashlight last year and till now.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* SuperTrouper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire, UK
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Thanks for the review. As usual excellent work and a thorough cross comparison.

    One thing on the non functional raised bits on the fenix tail cap: although these don't allow tail standing they may serve to reduce accidental activation of the light.

    I made the choice between these three recently and they all seem like very nice lights. In the end though I really prefer the aesthetics of the PD35 so I went that way. Part of those aesthetics that I liked was this tail cap complete with non functioning tail raised bits, it just spoke to me but I can vouch for at least one sale that Fenix made based on the aesthetic choices they made in this light.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperTrouper View Post
    One thing on the non functional raised bits on the fenix tail cap: although these don't allow tail standing they may serve to reduce accidental activation of the light. ....
    Part of those aesthetics that I liked was this tail cap complete with non functioning tail raised bits, it just spoke to me but I can vouch for at least one sale that Fenix made based on the aesthetic choices they made in this light.
    That's a good point. I guess it's a balance between avoiding accidental activation and not interfering too much with intentional activation. Most makers seem to have used tailstanding as the yardstick for that in-between point, as it adds additional functionality.

    That said, I also get the aesthetic appeal. The PD35 tailcap "looks" better to my eye than the more functional P12 tailcap does (i.e., more substantial and stream-lined somehow). It's funny what appeals to us when it comes to design styling.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Nitecore P10.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,606

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Fenix's naming convention stinks. Low/Medium/High/Turbo/Boost is more appropriate.
    Did you do a sustained 550 lumen mode test? (re-'downshifting' after the timed automatic upshift)
    I think that should only require you to push the button three times, and the total runtime should be about two hours. (with your 2200mAH 18650s)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Did you do a sustained 550 lumen mode test? (re-'downshifting' after the timed automatic upshift)
    I think that should only require you to push the button three times, and the total runtime should be about two hours. (with your 2200mAH 18650s)
    No, I haven't tried a "restarted" Hi mode runtime. Based on other constant-current lights I've tested with those same cells, I would think somewhere between 1.5 to 2 hours would be about what to expect from the PD35. If I get a chance to test it later, I'll give it a try (other lights in my lightbox at the moment).
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Nitecore P10.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Uh oh.....I have that itch for a PD35. After all the reviews I am going to have to get one soon.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Thanks for the review.PD35 is definitely one of my best EDC
    love Fenix!

  16. #16
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    The cool white color is the only thing that stopped me from buying this light. I chose the preceding PD32UE instead, and I have been super happy with it. It's identical except for the color and slight output difference.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by hydro_pyro View Post
    The cool white color is the only thing that stopped me from buying this light. I chose the preceding PD32UE instead, and I have been super happy with it. It's identical except for the color and slight output difference.
    Good decision IMO. PD32UE is a great light. I believe the spot is much bigger than the PD35, giving up some throw but much more useful for me most of the time. I'm tempted to get a PD35 just for a comparison to see for myself.
    GOOD TINT!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    reading through the output charts am i to understand that using two cr123a's gives you a 170 lumen pump over what is advertised?
    Last edited by BronzeLincolns; 03-07-2014 at 11:03 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by BronzeLincolns View Post
    reading through the output charts am i to understand that using two cr123a's gives you a 170 lumen pump over what is advertised?
    No, you should just compare my numbers for the two battery types to each other (ie, for relative comparisons). The absolute values are not perfectly validated - they are just consistent from one light (or battery set) to another. So in this context, you can see that 2x sources are slightly brighter than 1x
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Nitecore P10.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    979

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    I recently acquired one of the PD35 lights and am very impressed with it. If I had 1 complaint about it it does drain the 123 pretty fast but then again I did test the high level frequently. Great little light that I think would suffice nicely for car journeys.
    will work for peanuts

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    I received my Fenix pd35 and the Jetbeam pa40 as we'll this week,I had ordered the Jetbeam before the Fenix and I was going to return it but decided to keep it since it is a very nice light and I bought the pa40 for 51 and the Pd35 on a bundle deal with charger,battery for 109 from amazon.
    I bought both because of the great reviews here by Selfbuilt! The Fenix pd35 is great,I find myself yearning for the power to go out so I can show off.I did get it to tailstand easily by putting a standard 1/2 inch flatwasher under it.
    Last edited by BobMc; 03-16-2014 at 08:35 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Great review and helped me to make up my mind. I went with the PD35 over several other choices, partly because I need a 'floodier' beam. I noted that Doug P. of flashlightreviews.com also carefully measured the true brightness of the PD35 and compared it with the Nitecore P12, and found that the PD35 at 949 lumens was actually significantly brighter than the P12. It looks as if Fenix was conservative with its specs while Nitecore was overly optimistic. I'm personally fine with the lowest mode of the PD35 and find it useful and not too bright. Both torches are great lights, with the wider beam pattern being the main reason I chose the Fenix. The P12 seems to throw farther, which might tip the scales for those who need a longer reach.
    Last edited by faucon; 05-18-2014 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Added one more observation.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by faucon View Post
    Great review and helped me to make up my mind. I went with the PD35 over several other choices, partly because I need a 'floodier' beam. I noted that Doug P. of flashlightreviews.com also carefully measured the true brightness of the PD35 and compared it with the Nitecore P12, and found that the PD35 at 949 lumens was actually significantly brighter than the P12. It looks as if Fenix was conservative with its specs while Nitecore was overly optimistic.
    Yes, I had a similar finding myself, if not as significant (as detailed in the comparisons in this review). FYI, Doug P (Quickbeam here) long ago gave up flashlight testing, took down his material, and sold his domain name. The current owner copied all of Doug's original copyrighted material (before it went down), reloaded it and started adding material from other sources (see this thread). I don't know where that comparison between the P12 and PD35 came from, but it certainly wasn't from Doug. Doesn't mean it is isn't correct, just that that provenance is unknown.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-18-2014 at 09:05 PM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Nitecore P10.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    The PD35 is my first LED flashlight. I selected it mostly because of this review and have owned it for about two weeks. I am really impressed by it. I've read quite a few comments on it not being able to tail stand, but that's not really important to me. I can't imagine any long skinny flashlight to be very stable standing on its end anyway. Any slight bump to whatever it is standing on and over it goes. Just stand your flashlight in an empty coffee mug and no more problem.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Thanks, selfbuilt, for the info about Quickbeam. I haven't been on CPF much in recent years due to family illness but am now in full 'flashaholic' mode again! If anyone's interested, here's the link for the PD35-P12 output comparison test, which was apparently done with a reliable integrating sphere and respected software: http://flashlightreviews.com/reviews...tecore_p12.htm. The results were similar to your own. Scarface, I'm seriously impressed by my PD35, too. Amazingly bright and a huge spillbeam!
    Last edited by faucon; 05-19-2014 at 04:59 PM.

  26. #26
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    I have both the PD35 and P12 and agree completely with this review and the comparison between the two. Ultimately they both offer almost identical maximum performance. The P12 wins with the lower low setting, addition of SOS and beacon mode, the ability to tail stand (with easier access to on/off switch) and of course the much nicer lanyard. The PD35 wins with the more evenly spaced 5 output settings (Eco/10, Low/45, Mid/170, High/450, Turbo/850) as opposed to 4 output settings with the P12 (Lower/1, Low/50, Mid/210, High/950), an easier to use mode switch and a variable pattern strobe (for those who need/use that option).

    Aside from those differences, I could see each being mistaken for the other by someone not familiar with each. They are almost identical in size, weight, form factor, beam pattern and even though the P12 is manufacturer rated 3800 cd higher I think they appear practically equal on output/throw. I believe someone already mentioned that Fenix may have estimated low and Nitecore estimated a bit optimistically and I would agree based on my personal observations. I have no formal testing equipment nor methodology however so these are purely my own findings based on my actual usage. Which model to choose between these two pretty much comes down to which of those minor differences is most important.

    I would recommend either (or both to those like us that can't have enough ) to anyone considering getting one. I love the PD35 for an EDC light that I can easily stuff in a pocket in my cargo shorts or carpenter jeans. The size and weight make it easy to conceal and carry without feeling bulky or heavy. It offers a whole lotta general purpose use light when needed and the ease of carrying makes it much more likely to have available when needed.

    Another great review and a good starter model for someone wanting to try out something more serious than the latest department store models. The P12 is what got me to finally pull the trigger after wanting a TK41 for a while. Now I'm hooked!
    Current inventory: EagleTac SX25L3 / Fenix PD35, TK41 (900 lumen U2), TK61 / Nitecore P12, SRT7, T5s, TM26 (so cool my 17 mo old daughter loves it!)
    Wish list: VN54 modded Fenix TK75vn

  27. #27

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Selfbuilt, I didn't pay careful enough attention to what you said about Quickbeam's old site. So the new owner of flashlightreviews.com 'stole' Doug P.'s reviews and keeps adding appropriated and non-attributed reviews to the site? Not good.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarface26 View Post
    The PD35 is my first LED flashlight. I selected it mostly because of this review and have owned it for about two weeks. I am really impressed by it. I've read quite a few comments on it not being able to tail stand, but that's not really important to me. I can't imagine any long skinny flashlight to be very stable standing on its end anyway. Any slight bump to whatever it is standing on and over it goes. Just stand your flashlight in an empty coffee mug and no more problem.

    I own the PD35 and love it, what a great first led light for you, I agree totally with your comments on tail standing, it isn't that big of a deal.

    By the way, with your PD35's 10 lumens on low, and with a plastic bottle, or even a white plastic grocery bag, you have a long running lantern for blackouts, or camping.
    Sent from a pay phone on the corner of 3rd, and Weston ave.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Quote Originally Posted by braddy View Post
    I own the PD35 and love it, what a great first led light for you, I agree totally with your comments on tail standing, it isn't that big of a deal.

    By the way, with your PD35's 10 lumens on low, and with a plastic bottle, or even a white plastic grocery bag, you have a long running lantern for blackouts, or camping.
    Wow! I never thought of using a bottle or white grocery bag as a no cost diffuser. Great idea!

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* tyxxvxl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    S.L.C. UT.
    Posts
    1,300

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 (XM-L2, 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIME, VIDEO+

    Newb question. Why are the lumen output higher with 2 cr123's than 1 18650?

Posting Permissions

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