Warning: pic heavy, as usual.
This is the second modded light I've reviewed from Vinh Nguyen here on CPF (vinhnguyen54). The modified Eagletac S200C2vn is currently his "Baby Throw King" – an incredibly far-throwing light in a small build. Seeing as how I recently reviewed his TK61vn Throw King, it seems fitting to compare its baby brother.
Again, this will be a review of a modded light. I do not currently have a stock S200C2 to compare (although the external styling won't have changed). For more information about the S200C2vn specifically, please see Vinh's S200C2 discussion thread here on CPF.
Stock Eagletac S200C2 Reported Specifications:
(note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer).
- LED: Cree XM-L2 U2 Cool White (also available in T6 Neutral White)
- Three brightness levels, selected by loosening/tightening head/bezel
- ANSI FL-1 Lumens for XM-L2 U2: 915-861/265/9 lumens (T6 NW should have ~7% less output)
- Runtime for Regular mode: 2xCR123A: 0.8/3.7/100+ hours, 1x18650: 1.5/5.4/150+ hours
- Powered by 2xCR123A, 2xRCR123A, or 1x18650 Li-ion
- Voltage range: 2.7V – 8.4V
- Beam Intensity (XM-L2 U2): 36,300 lux
- Beam Distance (XM-L2 U2): 417 yards / 381 meters
- Center spot angle: 6°, Spill light angle: 57.2°
- Waterwhite glass lens w/ harden treatment
- Anti-reflective (AR) coating on both sides (96% transparency)
- HA III hard anodization aerospace aluminum (black)
- Smooth aluminum reflector
- Waterproof IPX-8 standard
- Other Features: Tactical rubber cigar grip, battery reverse polarity protection, user removable pocket clip
- Warranty: Ten years performance guaranteed warranty
- Included Accessories: Spare o-rings, user manual, user removable titanium-coated pocket clip, soft cigar holding grip, lanyard ring attaching ring, mil-spec para-cord lanyard with quick attachment clip,
- Dimensions: Head Diameter 1.85 inches (47 mm), Body Diameter 1 inch (25.4 mm), Length: 6.1 inches (155 mm), Weight without battery: 5.9 ounces (167 grams)
- MSRP: ~$76
Vinh Nguyen S200C2vn Reported Specifications: (where different from above)
- LED: XP-G2 Dedome on copper (XM-L2 version also available)
- Current boost to 4.5A at LED estimated for 950 LED Lumen (XP-G2 version)
- Price / Options: $110 shipped (USA), $125 shipped (International)
- Extra $10 for XP-G2 premium dedome tint (PDT)
- Extra $5 for "V54" engraved
Again, these specs are simply what Eagletac and Vinh Nguyen provide – scroll down to see my actual testing results.
The S200C2 comes in familiar Eagletac packaging, similar to other recent models. That said, the S200C2 lacks the holster and diffuser cover common on other Eagletac models in this battery class. What you do get is extra o-rings, good quality wrist lanyard. manual, and warranty card. A removable pocket clip and cigar grip come installed on the light.
From left to right: AW Protected 18650; Eagletac S200C2vn; Eagletac G25C2 Mark II; Foursevens MM-X; Nitecore SRT7; Armytek Viking Pro.
All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated):
Eagletac S200C2vn (V54 mod): Weight: 168.7g, Length: 155.0mm, Width: 47.0mm
Eagletac G25C2-II (stock): Weight 141.0g, Length: 150.6mm, Width: 39.6mm
Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
Klarus XT11: Weight 133.0g, Length: 148.8, Width (bezel) 35.0mm
Nitecore P25: Weight: 171.3g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel): 40.0m
Nitecore SRT7: Weight: 172.4g, Length: 158mm, Width (bezel): 40.0m
Olight M22: Weight: 148.4g, Length: 144.8mm, Width: 41.2mm (bezel)
Zebralight SC600 II: Weight 79.3g, Length: 101.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm
Physically, the S200C2 shares a very similar build to the G25C2 Mark II (at least from below the neck). The body handle and tailcap are basically identical between these two models, with a larger head and reflector on the S200C2. As an aside, the S200C2 seems to be using the same reflector as the SX25A6.
As before, all labels are bright and clear (sharp against the black background). You can tell that this is a Vinh mod from the hand-engraved "V54" logo on the head.
Knurling is present in several bands over body/tail/head, and is of reasonable aggressiveness. With the removable pocket clip and rubber grip ring attached, I would say grip is definitely very good.
The titanium-coated stainless steel pocket clip is held in place by a metal screw cover. The clip is removable, and the cover hides the attachment point.
The tailcaps are identical and interchangeable for these two models (although my S200C2 now has a white plastic retaining ring in the tailcap). Switch is a forward clicky switch with traditional feel, as before. There is no extra tailstanding rubber tailswitch cover, as was included with the G25C2 (so the S200C2 cannot tailstand). But still included is the two-piece plastic lanyard attachment ring for the tailcap.
Screw threading in the tail remains the same traditional-cut (and fairly fine, as in the G25C2 lights). As before, tail threads are not anodized for lock-out. This is an unfortunate change from earlier models, and likely due to enforcement of a patent restriction from another maker.
The connection point in the head is different from the G25C2. Screw threads in the head region are similarly square-cut (and thick). The brass connection area has been restored on the body tube. Note that you will need to use cells that have at least some sort of raised protrusion on the positive contact surface (i.e., a small or button top), due to the plastic surround on the positive contact terminal spring.
No belt holster or diffuser assembly is included on the S200C2.
The S200C2 has a smooth and shiny reflector - it is also quite deep, which should translate into very good throw for this size/class light, even in stock form. As an aside, it appears identical to the SX25A3 reflector.
Of course, this isn't a stock light. What you are looking at above is a XP-G2 emitter that has been dedomed and mounted on copper. Vinh also offers XM-L2 emitters (dedomed or not, your choice). The point of the XP-G2 mod is to greatly improve the focusing for maximum throw. Either way, Vinh has improved the thermal conductivity of the light, and is driving the circuit much harder. This should produce outstanding throw performance. Scroll down for beamshots.
User interface is generally similar to the G25C2, only scaled down in features on the S200C2. The current production mod lights from Vinh do not differ in basic function (although his early mods – including my sample - were reduced to only two output modes, Med and Hi).
Turn the light on/off by the tailcap forward clicky switch (press for momentary, click for locked-on).
There are three output levels controlled by simply loosening or tightening the head (i.e., the three levels are accessed in sequence from head fully tight). Mode sequence is from head tight is 100% > 28% > 1%.
Unlike the G25C2, there is only this one basic set of outputs. There are no additional mode sets, and no blinky modes.
As always, it is important that you keep all the contact surfaces in the head and the top of the battery tube clean. Eagletac recommends regular use of red Deoxit contact cleaner, and limiting silicone lube to the o-rings only (i.e., not to the threads). On earlier models, I did find that that mode switching can become a bit erratic if the threads dirty-up.
In stock form, there is an automatic step-down after 200 secs on Turbo (whereby the light drops by 10% output). I didn't notice this on my testing sample, but Vinh had altered the circuit a different way than he does on the production mod runs (so it could be back, I don't know). Note that this is different from the G25C2 lights, where you can turn step-down "on" (for 25% step down) or "off" (for the same 10% step down as reported here in stock form).
For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:
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.
In keeping with the simplified interface, there are no blinking strobe or SOS modes on the S200C2.
There is no sign of PWM that I can see, at any output level – I presume the light is current-controlled, as the other Eagletac models.
No Standby Drain:
Thanks to the physical forward clicky switch, there is no standby drain when off.
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.
Due to the emitter dedoming, overall tint has warmed up quite a bit (to a fairly typical "neutral white" tint). It is not as green looking in real life – the automatic white balancing on the camera tends to distort somewhat.
Of course, the real effect of the increased current and XP-G2 dedome is to produce a significantly smaller and more focused hotspot. As I think you'll agree above, this is a remarkably tight light thrower. Again, keep in mind that the XM-L2 option will have a broader hotspot.
In case you are wondering how it compares to much larger lights (with much bigger reflectors), let's take a look-see. For these comparisons, the TK61vn is a dedome XM-L2, and the stock TK61 is a regular XM-L2.
If the TK61vn is Vinh's current "Throw King", I think you can see why he calls the S200C2vn his "Baby Throw King".
Of course, to really compare this light, we need to take it outdoors. Here are some comparisons, 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).
Let's start with a comparison of the Hi and Med modes of the S200C2vn, compared to my previously best throwing stock XP-G2 1x18650 light, the Armytek Predator v2.5:
Clearly, the S200C2vn is in a league of its own when it comes to throw. Heck, even the ~28% Med mode is an outstanding thrower for the XP-G2 class, with an incredibly focused beam.
Given it's relation to the current V54 throw king, I thought you might like a direct outdoor comparisons as well. Shown below is the TK61vn compared to the stock TK61 and S200C2vn:
Of course, maximally-driven, a XP-G2/1x18650 light will never compare to a XM-L2/4x18650 light for raw output. But you can see how the S200C2vn does come close to the stock TK61 for throw. For its size, I think you will agree the S200C2vn is the small form factor ("baby") throw king.
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).
I've made two entries above for the S200C2vn – as I quickly realized that my standard AW protected ICR 2200mAh cells were not the ideal source to use in this light. The first row above is using those cells, to be consistent with all my other testing. The second row is using Samsung INR18650-20R cells (which can support up to 15A current discharge rates). These are inexpensive, unprotected high-drain cells based on Lithium Manganese Nickel chemistry, which is similar to the high-drain Lithium Manganese (IMR) cells. Please see HKJ's review for more info on these cells. Note that due to their short height and flat-top design, I had to use a couple of rare-earth magnets to make contact with the head (which I certainly never recommend for regular use). The Samsung 20R values are just to give you an idea what to expect with high-drain-capable cells.
The point here is that the circuit modifications made by Vinh really call out for IMR/INR chemistry for maximum performance. You can still use regular ICR cells in the light though (and these are still advisable for beginners, due to the built-in protection circuits). But expect higher performance on max with IMR/INR cells. I recommend you choose cells with built-in small buttons on the positive contact terminal, though. I'll discuss performance further in my runtimes section.
Since this really is a phenomenal thrower, let's compare it to the "big guns" in my collection:
The S200C2vn (XP-G2 dedome) certainly out-throws my best 2x18650 XM-L2 stock lights. It's not until you get up to the much larger 3x/4x18650 XM-L2 lights that you see further levels of throw.
Let's see how the levels compare to the official specs in my lightbox, on different batteries (AW ICR protected 2200mAh, AW IMR 1600mAh, and Samsung INR18650-20R):
As you can see above, IMR and INR definitely give you more output initially on Hi, compared to standard ICR chemistry. I have tried ICR Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh cells, and initial performance is not that different from my AW 2200mAh cells.
And again, my sample lacked the lowest mode due to the specific modification made by Vinh – the current production V54 models will all have it restored.
To start, let's see how those 2000mAh Samsung INR 20R cells compare to my standard AW protected 2200mAh cells:
There is a definite sustained output boost on Hi, although with lower runtime, as expected. Again, I don't recommend the use of unprotected cells in lights (nor do I support using magnets to make contact, due to the risk of shorting). But if you are considering a modified light, I trust you are a little more aware of the risks of Li-ions.
Let's see how it does against a wider range of lights, using those standard AW protected 2200mAh cells:
In terms of overall output/runtime efficiency, the modified S200C2vn performs as you would expect for a XP-G2-based light. It is certainly consistent with other current-controlled models in this class. Note that in terms of regulation, the light shows a direct-drive like pattern on Hi (as many multi-power lights do on 18650).
What about CR123A? Well, the circuit still supports these – but Vinh does not recommend their use on Hi. With the current modifications, the S200C2vn is just too highly driven to safely run on primary CR123A. I have no doubt the built-in battery PTC protection features would trip on sustained Hi mode runs on CR123A – and this is NOT something you want to do intentionally. Again, I'm trusting readers of this review appreciate the issues and risks with modded lights that are over-driven.
As such, I've only tested the S200C2vn on Med on CR123A:
I don't have a lot of CR123A data at this output level, but the take-home message appears to be the same as above – expect very good output/runtime efficiency and regulation.
As with other Eagletac models where output mode is set by the degree the head is tightened, you need to keep all contact surfaces in the head scrupulously clean. Otherwise, you may experience mode switching problems due to contact surface issues.
Only button-top cells can be used in the light (i.e., flat-top 18650s won't work).
The S200C2 has a basic mode sequence, with no additional mode sets or hidden modes (i.e., no blinking strobe modes on this model).
There are limited accessories bundled with this light, compared to other Eagletac models. For example, there is no belt holster, diffuser cover, or tailstanding rubber attachment here.
All the stock S200C2 comments apply to the modded S200C2vn version as well.
The S200C2vn is driven harder at all levels, so care should be taken to use only 18650 cells on Hi (and preferably high-drain ones). If using IMR or INR chemistry cells, use caution not to over-discharge (since these cells lack protection circuits). Primary CR123A are certainly not recommended on Hi on the S200C2vn light.
You have the choice of XP-G2 or XM-L2, dedomed or not. Note that the XM-L2 will likely produce a more generally useable beam with higher overall output – but the XP-G2 has a smaller and further-throwing hotspot.
For those opting to dedome, note that this produces a warmer overall beam tint. I would characterize my sample as a typical "neutral white" tint overall. There is some noticeable green-tint shifting when run on lower level, though.
Long-term reliability of any modded light is unknown, and it stands to reason that modifications for maximum performance could shorten some component life span (especially for the emitter on the dedomed version). That said, Vinh also shores up a number of circuit components during his mods and improves heatsinking/heat transfer, which may actually increase overall useable lifespan of the light. Of course, modding voids all manufacturer warranties, but I understand that Vinh stands behind his products.
The S200C2vn is the second modded light I've reviewed for Vinh, and it definitely deserves the "Baby Throw King" title. To see how it compares to his big-daddy "Throw King", please see my earlier TK61vn review.
The S200C2 is clearly a good mod host, given its relatively large reflector and quality build. While the base model doesn't have all the circuit or accessory bells-and-whistles of the G25C2 series lights from Eagletac, it does function well as a basic purpose light. As always, Eagletac uses a good current-controlled circuit in all their full-size models.
Vinh's mod includes the usual boosting of output and copper bonding of the emitter, for better performance and stability. This is how he is able to achieve class-leading output from the XP-G2 emitter. Expect similar over-the-top output from the XM-L2 version as well, relative to its class.
Dedoming the emitter takes the throw capabilities of the light to a whole new level. It's really is remarkable to see how far such a compact light can throw with a dedomed XP-G2. This would certainly be a light to impress your friends – they are not likely to have seen anything like it. That said, you might want to seriously consider the dedomed XM-L2 version (for a more generally useful beam hotpsot).
In terms of feeding this beast, I recommend you stick with quality 18650 cells only. IMR/INR chemistry definitely had a performance boost in my testing (but keep in mind these cells lack protection circuits). Primary CR123A are certainly not recommended on Hi, due to the excessive discharge rates.
Again, I need to emphasize that this is a review of the Vinh Nguyen custom-modded S200C2vn. Hopefully, you are already aware of what this means in terms of current draw on Hi, and what the best options are in terms of Li-ion chemistry. Similarly, I trust you also understand what this means in terms of warranty – you will be dealing exclusively with Vinh on any modded light.
Given the higher drain on Hi, I trust you will practice reasonable common sense in terms of type of battery (and monitor heat by touch in actual use). But I have no problem considering this the true "throw king" for the 1x18650 class – it's an incredible amount of throw. For more information on this light, and your various options, please see Vinh's S200C2vn discussion thread here in the modders forum of CPF.
S200C2vn was provided by Vinh Nguyen for review.