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Thread: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

  1. #1
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    Arrow Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Fenix has recently released their new tactical edition "PD35 TAC" featuring a new emitter XP-L, higher max. output and addition of tactical user interface from the existing PD35.





    Packaging is Fenix's current standard cardboard box, with detailed specification and information printed on the box. Inside, included with the light are user manual, warranty card, product inserts, spare o-rings, spare tail switch boot cover, pocket clip (attached), wrist lanyard, and holster with velcro closing flap.
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    Manufacturer Specifications from Fenix website and user manual :

    • Uses Cree XP-L (V5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
    • Powered by one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery or two 3V CR123A Lithium batteries
    • 137mm (5.4 in.) Length x 25.4mm (1.0 in.) Diameter
    • 89-gram weight (3.1 oz.) excluding battery
    • Tactical tail switch, momentary-on function
    • Stainless steel side switch to select output mode under Outdoor mode
    • Side switch only capable of mode changing under Tactical mode
    • Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness
    • Low-voltage reminder indicates when battery replacement is needed
    • Reverse polarity protection to protect from improper battery installation
    • Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
    • Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
    • Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating


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    Like the PD35, the hard (type III) anodizing is a matt black and consistent throughout with no chips or damage of other faults to be found. and anodizing is very good on my sample. Body labels are sharp and clear. Actually labels are not as bright white as some other lights, but those actually help to make them less obtrusive. The clip-on stainless steel clip looks and feels very substantial. It holds onto the light very tightly. The light has anti-roll indentations on the body, but the clip is even more helpful in that regard.
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    You can see how the PD35 TAC compares to Fenix PD32 UE and PD35, in appearance. The light is physically distinguishable from the other models.

    The PD35 TAC is slightly shorter than the PD35. The head of the PD35 TAC is shorter than the other lights, but the battery tube is slightly longer. This gives you an extra length to insert the really longer 18650 protected cell comfortably. The PD35 TAC is in keeping with dual-switch concept. But the shape and the material of the side switch have been completely changed. Now the light uses a circular stainless steel switch in the head.

    The screw threads are identical in both head and tail region on all lights, and feature a square cut of good quality. Note that the heads, tailcaps and body tubes are physically interchangeable among the three models. However, you can't perfectly (electrically) swap the heads or bodies among the lights , due to the different length of the screw threading region of each light.
    I tried out several combinations in exchanging the heads, bodies and tailcaps across the lights, and found the following combinations make the light work perfectly:
    • PD35 TAC head + PD32 UE body/tailcap
    • PD35 TAC head + PD35 body/tailcap
    • PD32 UE head + PD35 body/tailcap
    • PD35 head + PD32 UE body/tailcap
    • PD35 head/body + PD35 TAC tailcap
    • PD35 TAC head/body + PD35 tailcap
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    The light has 3 parts (i.e. head, body tube, and tailcap).
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    Like the PD35, there is a removable single-direction clip, attached by default to the tail region of the battery tube. However, since the head and tailcap are reversible on the battery tube, you can switch the direction of the clip by simply exchanging the head and tailcap. There is no risk the light might catch on something and be pulled off.
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    The head has pure cylindrical design with decagonal shape at the side switch (i.e., right under the cooling fins) which provides good grip and anti-roll feature. The head tip has five-point crenellations allowing light to shine through when left placed head down.
    There are two cooling fins for heat dissipation on the head. As with the other models, there is a spring mounted on the positive contact board in the head, so flat-top cells can be used in the light. The PD35 TAC has reverse polarity protection to protect from improper battery installation (i.e., the electronics of the PD35 TAC has in-built reverse polarity protection).

    Like the PD35, the light has the dual-switch control in the head and tailcap of the light. but the tactical mode was added to the outdoor mode. On-off (and mode changing under Tactical State) are controlled by the physical tailcap clicky switch, but all mode (and State) switching are done by the electronic side switch in the head. The side switch has good feel for an electronic switch, with typical traverse. It is relatively easy to locate by feel. The side switch gives you a nearly metallic sound, compared to the PD35.
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    The light uses AR coating lens and the purple hue is reflected on it. The aluminum reflector has a smooth pattern. Surface finish on the reflector was perfect from visual inspection. Centering of the XP-L V5 emitter doesn't seem to be absolutely perfect at the bottom of the reflector cup on my sample, but it doesn't affect the beam quality.
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    The battery tube has a plain cylindrical tube design and accommodates either 2xCR123A's or Li-ion 18650 cells. Battery tube is wide and long enough to accommodate wider and longer protected 18650 cells. The diamond-shape knurling is present over body tube. Knurling is of moderate aggressiveness on the body tube. But when combined all the other grip elements (e.g., decagonal shaped element surrounding side switch, cooling fins, clip, etc.), overall grip is good.
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    Threads on both ends are well machined square cut, and anodized for lock-out at either end of the body tube. Threads on either ends on the battery tube mate well with the head and tailcap with no issues of cross-threading or grinding.
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    The PD35 TAC tailcap is physically indistinguishable from the PD35. The light uses a forward clicky which allows for momentary activation. The rubber switch cap protrudes out the tail end (i.e., the light can't tailstand). The switch has nice stiff tension with average travel. Switch access by finger or thumb is good. There are two holes for lanyard attachment.
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    User Interface

    The PD35 TAC has the same interface as the PD35 with the exception of "Tactical Mode (State)". There are "Outdoor Mode (state)" and "Tactical Mode (State)". You can switch between them with the electronic side switch in the head easily. To change States, press and hold the side switch for 3 seconds, then the light will flash twice, while the light on. Tactical state came set by default on my review sample.

    1) Outdoor State

    Turn on-off by the tailcap forward clicky switch (press-on for momentary, click for locked on). Mode changing is controlled by the side switch in the head.

    Click the side switch to change modes when on. Mode sequence is Eco -> Low -> Mid. -> High -> Turbo, in repeating sequence. The light has mode memory, and remembers the last output mode used when you turn the light off and back on, even after a battery change.
    Note that you cannot set the output level while the light is off. The electronic switch only works when the light is powered on by the tail switch first. As such, there is no standby current in the PD35 TAC.

    The “hidden” Strobe are accessed by clicking and holding the side switch for 1 second. A single click on the side switch will return to the memorized output mode in Outdoor State. The light has no mode memory for strobe.

    2) Tactical State

    Turn on-off by the tailcap forward clicky switch (press-on for momentary, click for locked on). Note that mode change is controlled by the tail switch only (i.e., you can't use the side switch for mode changing under Tactical State).

    Click the tail switch to change modes when on. Mode sequence is Turbo -> Strobe -> Low in repeating sequence. The light has no mode memory. If you turn it off-on, the light always turns on in Turbo.
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    From left to right, VicLite 18650 (2600mAh) protected, Olight S20 (XM-L2), Nitecore P12 (XM-L2 T6), Fenix PD32 UE (XM-L T6 NW), Fenix PD35 TAC (XP-L V5), Fenix PD35 (XM-L2 U2).
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    From left to right, Nitecore P12 (XM-L2 T6), Fenix PD32 UE (XM-L T6 NW), Fenix PD35 TAC (XP-L V5), Fenix PD35 (XM-L2 U2). The head diameter is the same as the PD35.
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    The battery tube has a notch on the end where the removable clip can be attached.
    The clip seems to be a titanium-coated stainless steel. As mentioned above, the clip is reversible without removing it from the original position.
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    The PD35 TAC comes with a basic nylon holster with a velcro strap on the head. The light fits in the holster either head-up or head-down.
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    Measured Dimensions & Weight

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    The entire light's small & clean cylindrical design makes it feel very comfortable when held in hand. The wall thickness of the body is reasonably thick (1.9mm), and the light feel solid. It is good size to hold and can be used as an EDC light. Overall build quality is excellent.
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    PWM

    No sign of PWM at any level of the light, leading me to conclude the light is actually current-controlled as claimed. I notice there is no buzzing sound at all output levels.
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    Runtime


    The PD35 TAC steps down on Turbo to High after about 5 mins runtime. This is a timed drop-down considering the battery depletion, not a thermal sensor feature to avoid overheating the light. As with the other Fenix lights, the regulation pattern and runtime efficiency of the current controlled circuit seems excellent.

    The above runtime labelled as "Accumulated Turbo" is an accumulated runtime for Turbo output (i.e., the light steps down on Turbo to High after about 5 minutes, and can go back to Turbo by clicking the side switch or turning the light off-on with the tail switch). Regulation is maintained very nicely through Turbo mode on 1x18650 battery.
    I could see there was three times flashing every 5 minutes to indicate low voltage when the battery power is very low.
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    Three lights show a similar timed step-down. But it seems the PD35 TAC steps down the latest on Max. output. The PD35 TAC shows excellent efficiency and regulation.
    Note that the output of the light is higher than the other lights throughout from start to second step-down.
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    This is the 1 sec sampling frequence for 7 min. runtime scale. The stepped-down time for respective lights is as follows :
    • PD35 TAC - 5min 15sec
    • PD35 - 5min
    • PD32 UE - 3min 10sec
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    This is the accumulated runtime graph for Max. output. If all the lights do not step down, their runtime graphs will be like the above. But in this case, it will not be possible for the compact lights to not only maintain the max. output but also to bear up against the heat on 1x18650 cell in a fully regulated pattern for so long without proper cooling the light. Long story short, given the high drive level of the light on Max. output, any kind of the step-down feature is very necessary for small light (i.e., either timed or thermal managed step-down is necessary), in my view. This will give you more efficiency and longer runtime. The PD35 TAC shows excellent efficiency.
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    Compared to the other 1x18650 class light, the PD35 TAC shows the awesome efficiency and output. The light is a heavily driven light for this class.
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    Beamshot

    1. White door beamshot (about 50cm from the white door) on max. output on 1x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cell
    - ISO125, F/8.0, 1/25sec, Auto white balance



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    - ISO125, F/8.0, 1/100sec, Auto white balance



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    - ISO125, F/8.0, 1/800sec, Auto white balance



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    - ISO125, F/8.0, 1/2000sec, Auto white balance




    The light has a middle sized bright hot spot. Its width seems to be a bit wider than the PD35. The hotspot is well focused. A soft corona surrounding the hotspot is slightly yellow. The spill beam width is almost the same as the PD35. Beam pattern is good, free from noticeable artifact. The beam tint is close to neutral white on my sample. In my view, the overall beam tint of PD35 TAC is very similar to the Jetbeam Jet 3M Pro (XP-L).
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    You can see the side by side beamshot comparisons as shown in the above.
    Again, the tint of the PD35 TAC is very similar to the Jet 3M Pro, and close to neutral white.
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    2. 7.0m Indoor Beamshot on max. output on 1x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cell
    - ISO125, F/2.8, 1/10sec, Auto white balance

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    3. 85m Outdoor Beamshot on max. output on 1x18650 (2600mAh) VicLite protected cell
    - ISO125, F/2.8, 1sec, Auto white balance

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    Beam pattern is good, with a wider spill beam. The PD35 TAC has resonable throw for the class, given the size of the head and reflector.
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    Overall Impression
    • Build quality is excellent
    • Anti-roll indentations on the body
    • The light can't tailstand
    • Electrical reverse polarity protection function
    • Tactical State (Turbo, low, Strobe) is added, but quite distinct UI from Outdoor State
    • Mode memory for Outdoor State (except Strobe)
    • True flat-top batteries work fine
    • Timed step-down feature on Turbo and High
    • Output-runtime efficiency is excellent
    • Max. output (Turbo) is unbelievably very high
    • True Moonlight mode is not available
    • Low battery warning indication function (i.e., the light blinks 3 times every 5 minutes)
    • No sign of PWM flickers at any output modes
    • Beam pattern is good, with a wide spill beam
    • Yellowish tint is close to neutral white


    Fenix PD35 TAC provided by Gooutdoor.com for review.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thank you for the great review. My order is placed.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks for the review

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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Raysbeam View Post
    Thank you for the great review. My order is placed.
    Thanks for the support. Hope you will like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    Thanks for the review
    Thanks. kj2

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thank you for the nice review. It was a pleasure to read.

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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks for the great review

  7. #7

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Ive had the 3m Pro since its release. It is an outstanding light. To my eyes the TAC and ET T25C2 XP-L V5 then the 3mPro have differing tints. The Jetbeam and ET have the whitest tints I have yet seen out of a light. To my eyes the TAC leans towards the purple spectrum. The ET and 3m Pro have glorious white tints to my eyes as does the the Sunwayman P25C

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by cp2315 View Post
    Thank you for the nice review. It was a pleasure to read.
    My pleasure. cp2315!

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Thanks for the great review
    Thanks. ven!

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    To my eyes the TAC and ET T25C2 XP-L V5 then the 3mPro have differing tints. The Jetbeam and ET have the whitest tints I have yet seen out of a light. To my eyes the TAC leans towards the purple spectrum. The ET and 3m Pro have glorious white tints to my eyes as does the the Sunwayman P25C
    Thanks for your feedback. CelticCross74!

    You probably have all three lights. The tint of both PD35 TAC and Jet 3M Pro I have exactly looks the same.
    My 3M Pro shows slightly purple tint in the spill beam region. In my view, even if they're the same product, the tint can vary depending on the LED.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Thanks for the detailed review!

    Question: I'm confused about the specs on a dealer's site that list the following:


    • Uses Cree XP-L(V5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
    • New Cree XP-L LED provides up to 251% performance boost from XP-G2 LED
    • Cree XP-G2 first commercially available single-die LED to achieve up to 200 lumens per watt (LPW) at 350mA
    Oveready Boss 35 & 70; LensLight Mini; HDS Rotary 325 XP-L, Clicky 170W; ZebraLight SC 600 MK III HI, SC600W, SC62W, SC60W, SC52W, SC51C, SC5W; EagleTac NW D25LC2 Tactical, NW D25LC2, NW D25A, NW D25C, DX30LC2 Clicky, DX3B Mini; Nitecore D10R2 and D10R2 (Tribute); Elzetta Alpha; Jaxman E3; Reylight Ti

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by hatman View Post
    Thanks for the detailed review!

    Question: I'm confused about the specs on a dealer's site that list the following:

    • Uses Cree XP-L(V5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
    • New Cree XP-L LED provides up to 251% performance boost from XP-G2 LED
    • Cree XP-G2 first commercially available single-die LED to achieve up to 200 lumens per watt (LPW) at 350mA
    Thanks. hatman!

    According to the Cree's XP-L information, "The XLampฎ XP-L LED is the first commercially available single-die LED to deliver breakthrough efficacy of up to 200 lm/w at 350 mA. The game-changing Creeฎ XLamp XP-L LED delivers an immediate performance increase of 50% or more as a drop-in upgrade for lighting designs based on Cree’s market-leading XLamp XP-G LEDs".

    You will get 199.3lm/W for XP-L V6 (highest Flux Bin) at 0.35A from the Cree's PCT (product Characterization Tool).
    So 199.3lm/w = 200lm/w at 350mA is resonable, in my view.

    In a same way, you will get 100.8lm/w and 154.7lm/w for respectively XP-G S2 and XP-L V6 at 1.5A as shown below.
    So the above "50% or more" make sense to me.



    For "up to 251% performance boost from XP-G2 LED", you will get the similar number when comparing XP-G2's lower Flux bin to XP-L's higher one. But it doesn't seem to be a fair comparison.
    Last edited by candle lamp; 07-23-2015 at 03:15 AM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Stefano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    @candle lamp
    Thanks for the detailed review !

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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefano View Post
    @candle lamp
    Thanks for the detailed review !
    Thanks for your support. Stefano!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    candle lamp, thanks for all the detailed info!

    In your experience, does the TAC version get as hot on turbo as the 2014 PD35?
    Oveready Boss 35 & 70; LensLight Mini; HDS Rotary 325 XP-L, Clicky 170W; ZebraLight SC 600 MK III HI, SC600W, SC62W, SC60W, SC52W, SC51C, SC5W; EagleTac NW D25LC2 Tactical, NW D25LC2, NW D25A, NW D25C, DX30LC2 Clicky, DX3B Mini; Nitecore D10R2 and D10R2 (Tribute); Elzetta Alpha; Jaxman E3; Reylight Ti

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by hatman View Post
    candle lamp, thanks for all the detailed info!

    In your experience, does the TAC version get as hot on turbo as the 2014 PD35?
    Yes, the PD35 TAC on Turbo gets as hot as the PD35. I had a feeling that PD35 TAC is somewhat hotter than the PD35.
    If you feel too hot not to hold the light for hand, just switch down the lower level.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    I wonder if any of the competing models in this class don't get as hot.
    Oveready Boss 35 & 70; LensLight Mini; HDS Rotary 325 XP-L, Clicky 170W; ZebraLight SC 600 MK III HI, SC600W, SC62W, SC60W, SC52W, SC51C, SC5W; EagleTac NW D25LC2 Tactical, NW D25LC2, NW D25A, NW D25C, DX30LC2 Clicky, DX3B Mini; Nitecore D10R2 and D10R2 (Tribute); Elzetta Alpha; Jaxman E3; Reylight Ti

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Great review.....Seems like this torch is very comparable to the Thrunite TN12 2014 light in specs .

  17. #17

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    If the Tactical mode only has Turbo and Low (plus strobe), what does Turbo step down to after five minutes when in Tactical mode?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Doheny View Post
    If the Tactical mode only has Turbo and Low (plus strobe), what does Turbo step down to after five minutes when in Tactical mode?
    The light does step down to High in tactical mode as well.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    The light does step down to High in tactical mode as well.
    Good to know, thx.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    The light does step down to High in tactical mode as well.
    Good to know, thx.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    all these cigar tube sized lights get hot and get hot fast. The only one that does not get hot fast is the UC35 due to all the extra heat sinking behind the reflector where the mini USB port is. Still loving my TAC and oddly my Jetbeam XP-L WL-S2.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Hello candle lamp.
    Thank you very much for the detailed review. Due to your review i decided to buy a PD35 TAC, though i allready own the PD32 UE. Yesterday i received it and
    immediately tested it indoor and outdoor.

    I agree with all your descriptions, with the exception of the side switch in the head. In my opinion this circular stainless steel switch is not easily to locate by feel,
    not as easily as the rectangular rubber switch of the PD32 UE.

    On a white wall (and only on a white wall) i can see a donut hole in eco mode, which becomes barely visible in low mode, and disappears in all higher modes,
    but i have to admit, that i am very sensitive to donut holes. All in all a very good beam and well stepped brightness modes.

    Good to know, that i can simply change the direction of the clip by turning the battery tube.
    Due to your review now i also know, how the low-voltage reminder works, i couldn't find anything about it in the manual.

    I am very satisfied with the PD35 TAC. Thank's again.

    Kind Regards from Germany.
    Peter, aka smallmagnum
    Last edited by smallmagnum; 10-09-2015 at 05:26 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by smallmagnum View Post
    I agree with all your descriptions, with the exception of the side switch in the head. In my opinion this circular stainless steel switch is not easily to locate by feel,not as easily as the rectangular rubber switch of the PD32 UE.

    On a white wall (and only on a white wall) i can see a donut hole in eco mode, which becomes barely visible in low mode, and disappears in all higher modes,but i have to admit, that i am very sensitive to donut holes. All in all a very good beam and well stepped brightness modes.
    As with a lot of side switch lights, it isn't easy to find it by feel in the dark. Instead, the durability of the metal seems to be better. Yes, the side switch is easy to find for the PD32UE, thanks to big rubber material and embossed logo.
    Within 4~5cm distance, the donut hole on echo and low mode against only a white wall is visible to me.

    Thanks for your detailed feedback and support. Peter!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Here is the TAC lighting up my backyard quite well as well as being so bright against the back of my house one cannot make out many details.





    Amazing light easily north of 1000 lumens.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Awesome review and great back yard shots, I really can't wait for mine to arrive and blast it on the hunting club.

  26. #26

    Smile Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    I purchased the Fenix PD35 TAC prior to reading your review.

    One issue is the subtle molding of the side switch. In full darkness or with gloves it becomes vague and difficult to sense.

    Thanks for your excellent review!

    mtg

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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    Here is the TAC lighting up my backyard quite well as well as being so bright against the back of my house one cannot make out many details.





    Amazing light easily north of 1000 lumens.
    Wow! I like your green lawn as well as nice beamshot.

    Quote Originally Posted by wytstang View Post
    Awesome review and great back yard shots, I really can't wait for mine to arrive and blast it on the hunting club.
    Thanks. Hope you will like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Not Hot View Post
    I purchased the Fenix PD35 TAC prior to reading your review.

    One issue is the subtle molding of the side switch. In full darkness or with gloves it becomes vague and difficult to sense.

    Thanks for your excellent review!

    mtg
    Ah! I see. I agree with you. I've found that it's difficult to find the side switch by feel with glove in the dark. I think the side switch which is embossed with some pattern (or figure) would be better. Thanks for your feedback.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    I thought the TAC was blinding before but now in a CR123 experiment I put a pair of fresh Titanium Innovation CR123's in my TAC and the output has gone from ridiculous to insane. The protection circuits on the Titaniums have a lower threshold before they trip and they seem to handle how hot the light gets extremely well. The above shots I took in my backyard was with a 3600 mah Orbtronic 18650. Have since bought some new Keeppower 3500mah 10amp 18650s that seem to crank 3-4 amp lights to their fullest and at the same time drain slower than even the 3600mah Orbtronics I have. Only power source I have not tried in the TAC are 2xRCR123's. Going by Selfbuilts PD35 review I am assuming the TAC just like the original "850" PD35 crank to their utmost maximum on 2xCR123's. I do have 2xRCR123's to experiment with and will try.

    I do not have any testing equipment all my observations are by the seat of my eyeballs. One day I hope to copy Selfbuilts perfect light box. I will say that with 2xCR123 Titaniums the spill from the TAC is damn near equal to the hotspot. Am testing a fresh(exp date 2025)batch of 12 Titanium Innovations CR123's across a few lights against my incoming factory fresh Panasonic CR123's. The difference in output and ability to handle heat by these Chinese Titanium CR123's is unlike anything I have seen from any other CR123. Will update post when my back ordered Panasonics arrive.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    CC, I'd keep an eye on those CR123A batteries. Checking the product page at Battery Junction, I see they are spec'ed for the same 1.5A maximum continuous discharge as most other CR123A batteries. When you run your Fenix PD35 Tac on turbo, you are almost certainly exceeding that spec.

    The same web page states that the PTC High Current Discharge Protection only kicks in at 5A. By the time that works to limit current, you are well beyond the rated capability of the battery.
    Last edited by KeepingItLight; 10-15-2015 at 10:13 PM.
    Prince plays George Harrison's masterpiece While My Guitar Gently Weeps. R.I.P.
    Great vocals & guitar by LeAnn Rimes & Joss Stone as they cover Gershwin's Summertime.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Fenix PD35 "TAC" 2015 (XP-L V5, 1x18650 or 2xCR123A) Review

    thanks for the advice KeepingItLight! I am indeed aware that I am pushing the TAC and the old "850" PD35 to their limit using these Titanium cells or any other CR123. This is all an experiment to see if there is any real performance difference between the Chinese Titaniums and the more expensive US made Panasonics. I do realize the possibility for the cells to burst in gas and flame is there. Once again I am no battery expert by any means.

    I know this is a very basic question but from what I understand the TAC and PD35 are 3 amp lights? Am I incorrect in thinking that two 1.5 amp cells together makes for 3 amps? Or is it the two 3 volt cells together in the TAC push 6 volts to the driver but still only 1.5 amps? I knew the series/parallel math awhile ago but have completely forgotten it. I do know that my new 3500mah 10amp Keeppowers feed lights whatever amperage they need easily and so far the 3500mah Keeppowers have held their charge better than any of my dozens of other 18650's. Once my CR123 experiment is over my TAC and PD35 will get the 3500mah Keeppowers.

    I have these Titanium cells in 5 lights right now and so far they crank all of them to what looks like as high output as they will go. Just put a set of them into my MH20 and once again I see a visual difference in output from the 3600mah Orb I had in it. I know the CR123's wont last as long as 18650's but for now none of the lights in this experiment have melted down and none of the cells have burst etc.

    I expect the incoming Panasonics to have sudden step downs at max output when their PTC trips. In the end this is all to find out which CR123's are best for my TX25C and 2014 TK22. The output difference in the TK22 was the most startling of the bunch.

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