Warning: even more pic heavy than usual.
Following on my review of the updated Thrunite TN32 (XM-L2 thrower), I now have on hand their TN35 – which features a similar build, but with the Cree MT-G2 high-output emitter.
Let's see how it compares to the TN32, and to other MT-G2-based lights that I have tested.
Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).
- LED: MT-G2 emitter
- Max 2750 lumen output using 3 * 18650 batteries
- Level 1: 0.3 lm/46 days; Level 2: 24 lm/4 days; Level 3: 380 lm/10 hours; Level 4: 950 lm/220 mins; Level 5: 1600 lm/100 mins; Level 6: 2750 lm/100 mins; Standby: 1200 days.
- Working voltage: 8V-13V.
- Max Runtime: 46 days
- Max beam distance: 518 meters
- Peak beam intensity: 66,940cd
- TN35 combined TN30 and TN31 characteristics and found a balance between flood and throw.
- TN35 could be your best choice if you are looking for a wide-using flashlight.
- Impact resistant: 1.5M.
- Waterproof to IPX-8 standard, 1.5M.
- Dimensions: 201.70mm length, 79mm bezel diameter.
- Weight: 452.8g (without batteries)
- Improved UI for more lumens
- Ultra-clear tempered glass lens with anti-reflective coating.
- Momentary forward click tactical switch.
- Strobe mode for tactical and emergency use.
- Smooth reflector for max light output.
- Highly focused beam for maximum distance
- Tactical knurling for firm grip.
- Streamlined body design.
- Mechanical reversed polarity protection design for battery carrier.
- Intelligent highly efficient circuit board design for max performance and long run time.
- Specially designed for Military, Law Enforcement, Self-defense, Hunting, Search & Rescue and Outdoor activities.
- Intelligent temperature controlled light output for user safety.
- Include accessories: Holster, Lanyard, User's Manual, Warranty card, extra o-ring.
- MSRP: $180
Packaging is the same as the TN32 – the light comes in a presentation case, with metal hinges and closing clasps. Inside are the light, belt pouch, wrist lanyard, manual, warranty card, and extra o-rings and spare boot cover. The manual was missing on my sample, for some reason.
From left to right: AW Protected 18650 2200mAh; Thrunite TN35, TN32; Niwalker Vostro BK-FA02; Crelant 7G10; Eagletac SX25L3.
All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated):
Thrunite TN35 (MT-G2): Weight: 571.4g (723g with 3x18650), Length: 201mm, Width (bezel): 78.9mm
Thrunite TN32 (XM-L2): Weight: 655.9g (808g with 3x18650), Length: 201mm, Width (bezel): 79.0mm
Crelant 7G9: Weight: 482.2g (634g with 3x18650), Length: 188mm, Width (bezel): 64.0mm, Width (tailcap): 46.7mm
Crelant 7G10: Weight 643.4g (827g with 4x18650), Length: 198mm, Width (bezel): 79.0mm
Eagletac SX25L3: Weight: 315.9g, Length: 150.2mm, Weight (bezel): 47.0mm
Fenix TK75: Weight: 516.0g (700g with 4x18650), Length: 184mm, Width (bezel): 87.5mm
Nitecore TM15: Weight: 450.6g (634g with 4x18650). Length 158mm, Width (bezel): 59.5mm
Niwalker BK-FA02: Weight: 687.6g (870g with 4x18650), Length: 209mm, Width (bezel): 80.0mm, Width (tailcap): 50.3mm
As you can see, the TN35 is not as heavy as the TN32, despite the similar overall size (although it is heavier than the specs suggest). The difference between the lights is likely due to extra brass heatsink of the TN32.
As before, overall anodizing is a glossy black. Quality seems very good as always, there were no chips or damage on my sample. Labels were sharp and bright white against the black background. Knurling is fairly aggressive on the handle, helping with grip.
One main difference is the standard heatsink with aluminum build on the TN35 (i.e., gone is the chrome-plated brass heatsink of the TN32). In this regard, the TN35 looks a lot like the older TN31.
Unfortunately, the TN35 is not capable of physical lock-out like the older lights - screw threads are not anodized here. While this change from the TN31 to the TN32 was understandable (due to the new heatsink), it’s disappointing to see it missing here. My guess is that they are using a common manufacturing process for the body handles for these two newer lights, and weren’t able to cost-effectively re-introduce thread anodizing on just one. Threads are standard triangular cut as before, and seem of good quality.
The control ring feels the same as other lights in this family, with detents for the various defined modes (and cut-out indentations on the ring itself, to help with grip). Labels for the control ring indicator arrow are located below the ring, as always.
As before, the six constant output modes are not individually labeled, but there is a graded output bar pictogram over the first couple of levels (i.e., shows the direction to turn to raise or lower the output). Scroll down to my User Interface and Standby Drain sections for a discussion of how the light works.
Let's look at the carrier:
As before, there is a metal battery carrier that holds 3x 18650 cells. While the carrier appears to be the same for the TN32 and TN35. The three cells are in series (i.e., 3s1p). The positive contact plates remain slightly raised, so all types of 18650 cells should work fine (i.e., true flat-tops, wide and small button-tops). Longer cells may be a bit tight, but my protected 3100mAh cells all fit. The carrier can be inserted either orientation into the handle. Note that particularly wide cells may be a tight fit into the handle.
There is a double set of springs in the base, in addition to the spring in the head. The double-set of springs in the tail was always a tip-off that something interesting is going on with the tail-switch and the battery carrier (more in a moment).
The light can tailstand stably, and the tailcap cut-outs facilitate access to the switch (style of the cut-outs has been updated somewhat). Switch is the same sort of forward clicky switch as before. But as with the other members of this family, the switch is a little more complicated than typical. Here is a pic of the switch internals, from my original TN31 review:
As you can see, there is a circuit along with the forward clicky switch (TN31 shown above, but TN35 should look comparable). As you can imagine, the full current of this heavily-driven light on Max would wreak havoc with a traditional clicky switch in no time. The purpose of the circuit is to provide an assist to the switch, cushioning the load on it. The dual springs in the tail are how it draws power from the battery carrier, irrespective of the head. Scroll down to my Standby Drain section for more info about what this means in terms of current drain.
Aside from the heatsink, the main difference from the TN32 is the emitter:
As the TN35 is capable of a very low "moonlight level", I thought I'd show you a close-up with the light on:
The Cree MT-G2 is certainly a different beast from the standard Cree emitters most people are used to. The MT-G2 is a remarkably large emitter, with a dome diameter of almost 8.9mm (vs. 5mm on the XM-L2). Of course, what really matters is the surface area of the die underneath, which is only 2x2mm on the XM-L2. I am not sure of the actual die dimensions on the MT-G2, but there appears to be a grid of 72 distinct segments on it.
Note that the MT-G2 only comes in neutral-warm tint bins (i.e., the coolest one available is 5000K). All the MT-G2 samples I've seen have certainly been in the typical "Neutral White" range, and this one is no exception.
Due to the large die, don’t expect great throw from a MT-G2 light. But with the deep and smooth reflector used here in the TN35, you should get relatively good throw for this emitter class. Scroll down for beamshot comparisons.
Turn the light off/on by the tailcap clicky – press for momentary, press and release (i.e., click) for constant on.
Change output modes by turning the control ring in the head. Arranged clockwise (i.e., turning from left-to-right with flashlight held in front of you), the modes are level 1 (moonlight) > level 2 > level 3 > level 4 > level 5 > level 6 (max) > standby > tactical strobe.
No light is produced on standby, but a small current will be drawn to allow the circuit to respond to a ring turn (see below).
For more information on the overall 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.
There is no sign of PWM on any level – I believe the light is current-controlled.
I haven't done traces of the TN35 strobe mode, as it looks very much the same as the TN32 that I just reviewed:
As you can see, strobe on these lights is an oscillating frequency strobe, switching between 6.4Hz and 14.7Hz on my TN32 sample. Each frequency lasts for about 2/3 of a sec. Here is a blow-up of each strobe frequency individually:
There is a bit of a ramp-up to the peak strobe output, but it is not something you could see in practice. Strobe is quite blazingly fast to the eye.
There are actually two types of current drain you need to consider here.
Due to the electronic ring control in the head, the TN35 will be drawing a small current when in the "standby" detent with the tailcap switch is clicked on. I have measured this current as 93uA ion my TN35, which is comparable to the ~90uA on my TN32. Since the cells are arranged in series, for 2600mAh 18650s that that would translate into 3.2 years before the cells would be fully drained. This is quite reasonable for a standby current. And in any case, this current can easily be cut by turning the light off at the tailcap switch.
But due to the switch assist design, there is a secondary circuit in the tailcap that has its own standby drain when a battery carrier is connected. You don't often see physical clicky switches in these sorts of high-powered lights, likely due to their inability to handle the typical current flows. In this case, the physical forward clicky is connected to its own circuit that presumably provides some sort of assist to the switch, modifying the load on it. This means that whenever the battery carrier is loaded with cells and in contact to the tailswitch, a miniscule current will be drawn. I have not measured it at the circuit leads, but I know HKJ reported 20-50uA for the TN31 switch. I presume it is somewhat comparable here, and similarly not a concern (i.e., would take up to a decade to fully drain 18650 cells). Note that to break this current, you would need to actually remove the carrier from the handle.
Either way, these drains are not at all a concern.
And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on their standard battery, or AW protected 18650 2200mAh for the multi-18650 lights. Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall).
I've used either Daylight or Automatic white balance on the camera for these MT-G2 lights (typically has the same result, as Daylight is the usual auto choice for this neutral emitter). Cool white emitters are always done under Automatic white balance.
Let's start with a comparison to the TN32:
Obviously, the TN35 has more output overall, and a much warmer "neutral white" tint. It is hard to capture tint differences with a camera, so take the beamshots above as just an indication (i.e., in real life, the MT-G2 lights are a nice soft neutral). The TN35 is also a lot less throwy, consistent with its much larger emitter (i.e., the TN35 will have a much larger hotspot and corona, with lower center beam intensity).
Let's see how it does against the MT-G2 competition:
Note: The Crelant 7G10 has a similar beam tint to the others – this is one case where the auto white balance didn't work too well.
Obviously, it's hard to tell much at such ridiculously close distances. The most obvious observation is that the TN35 has a similar overall spillbeam pattern to the Crelant 7G10, but with the throw and output of the Niwalker BK-FA02. To tell more, we are going to have to go out to further distances ...
Unfortunately, we are still in a middle of a deep freeze here in my part of Canada, with several feet of snow on the ground. As such, outdoor shots would be meaningless (think of snow as equal parts ground-level diffuser and a massive reflector to get the general idea of why outdoor beamshots won't work).
So for now, you will have to make do with some indoor shots in my basement. For your reference, the back of the couch is about 7 feet away (~2.3m) from the opening of the light, and the far wall is about 18 feet away (~5.9m). Below I am showing a couple of exposures, to allow you to better compare hotspot and spill. For these beamshots, the camera is on auto white balance again.
Let's start with how the TN32 and TN35 compare:
No surprises, the TN35 has more output overall, but less center beam throw than the TN32.
Let's see how the TN35 compares to a couple of the other MT-G2 lights out there – the Niwalker BK-FA02 and Eagletac SX25L3.
The TN35 is very similar to the Niwalker BK-FA02, with maybe a slightly wider hotspot (but of equal peak intensity). Scroll down for my detailed testing results
UPDATE May 17, 2014: Weather conditions have finally improved enough to start taking outdoor beamshots around here. To start, here is a comparison of the TN35 to the TN32 (XM-L2) and Eagletac SX25L3. Please note that the color balance of the MT-G2 shots are a little off, as I had automatic white balancing on (i.e., they are not consistent to the adjustment used for the cool white emitter).
As always, these are done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground).
The MT-G2 emitter does indeed provide much more of a "wall of light" effect, thanks to the larger emitter. But the deeper reflector of the TN35 build does allows the light to reach out to a good distance (i.e., as compared to the SX25L3, which is obviously struggling at this distance). This is an impressive throw showing for the TN35, which has about the same overall output as the SX25L3.
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).
Output is indeed higher than the TN32 – and throw is a lot less. That said, you can see that the TN35 matches my Niwalker BK-FA02 for peak throw (as suggested in the beamshots). Overall output is a touch higher on my TN35, but you wouldn’t really notice that without a lightbox to compare.
My directly measured ANSI FL-1 Peak Intensity for my TN35 sample is bang on with the Thrunite specs for this model.
Here is a breakdown of the estimated lumen values for both the TN35 and TN32 in my testing:
As you can see, the reported output specs from Thrunite seem remarkably consistent with my testing. I suspect Thrunite did indeed get these tested in a properly-calibrated integrating sphere.
Step-down occurs on L6 after 70 secs of runtime.
Let's start with a comparison of the top four output modes. As usual, all my 18650 runtimes are based on AW protected 2200mAh cells.
Somewhat surprising for a MT-G2 light, you get excellent flat regulation on all levels. This is the first time I’ve seen this level of consistently flat regulation on a MT-G2 light.
Note that all my runtimes are done under a cooling fan – you may experience some gradual drop in output over time if run without any sort of cooling. See my TN32 review for more details.
Let's see how it does against the high-output class of 3x/4x18650 lights:
Again, all these Li-ion runtimes are based on AW 2200mAh protected 18650 cells. The TN35 was an excellent performer for this class, with very good output/runtime efficiency for this group. This is all the more impressive, given the consistently flat regulation profile.
In contrast, the Crelant and Niwalker MT-G2 lights show a predominantly direct-drive-like pattern on all levels. The Eagletac SX25L3 is more regulated at higher levels, but still shows some fluctuations in output over time (and appears to be direct-drive at lower ones). Note that none of this is a problem – the drop in output when in direct-drive on Li-ion is so gradual as to be completely undetectable visually. But for those of you who are fans of perfectly flat regulation, the TN35 best fits that bill.
Due to the electronic control ring in the head, the light has a stand-by current when in "Stand By" mode. But this current is very low (93uA), and will not be problem for regular use. You can break this current by clicking the tailswitch off.
There is a second standby current due a circuit in the tail to assist the physical switch. The tail circuit draws its power directly from the battery carrier, irrespective to the state of the head (i.e., the purpose of those dual springs in the tail). The current draw is miniscule, and has been measured by others in the low uA range (i.e., would take many years to fully drain the cells). The only way to break it is to remove the battery carrier from the handle, however.
Screw threads are not anodized, so you can’t lock the light out at the head to prevent accidental activation (i.e., unlike the original TN30/TN31).
Only 3x 318650 Li-ion cells may be used in the light (i.e., doesn't support multiple CR123A primary cells)
Light uses a battery carrier, and very long or wide cells may be a bit tight. But all cells I tested worked in the carrier, including protected flat-top cells.
The TN35 is a good member of the high-output class from Thrunite. Building off the existing (and popular) TN31/TN32 form was a smart idea, as it allows a common interface and build components. It also provides for one of the more "throwy" options in the MT-G2 class.
Physically, I have always liked this TN3x build (as have a number of modders here at CPF, it seems). The user interface is clear and uncluttered, with a good ring feel. The ring has clear and firm detents, and the output levels are well spaced. The battery carrier is of solid construction, and works well. And the presence of an actual clicky switch is almost unheard of in this class (and is only possible due to the extra assist-circuit Thrunite includes).
As always for the Thrunite TN3x series lights, output/runtime performance was excellent for the TN35. Not only is its current-control circuitry capable of providing outstanding runtimes at all levels tested, but stabilization also remains remarkably flat. This is impressive for a MT-G2 light – all of the others examples I’ve tested to date have been at least partially direct-drive-like patterns. The TN35 is similar to the other TN3x series lights, with perfectly flat regulation on all levels (after a minor step-down on max). As with the other lights in the TN3x series, the TN35 drops to a low moonlight level once the batteries reach the end of their runs.
The beam is also a distinguishing feature here. For those who haven’t seen one in real life, the MT-G2 typically has a beautiful "floody" appearance, with a nice, soft neutral white tint. I have seen these emitters commercially in PAR20 halogen replacement bulbs, and they give a great effect. In most flashlights though, the large emitter die means throw will be limited. The TN35 is one of the better examples of being able to provide a more "traditional" flashlight beam using this emitter (thanks to its incredibly deep reflector). No, it is still not a "thrower" in the conventional sense, but the beam pattern is probably closer to what most people would expect from an LED flashlight.
For those looking for decent throw and super high output in a reasonably compact form (with a pleasing neutral white tint), the TN35 is a strong option to consider. Beam pattern, user interface, output/runtime efficiency and regulation were all excellent in my testing.
TN35 provided by Thrunite for review.