Lenslight Mini CR123A Review: Pics, Beamshots, Runtimes, and more!

csshih

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Hi Everyone,

Up for review is the Lenslight Mini, A Focusable CR123A light made with quality materials in the USA.

Here are some of the specs from LensLight's website. Do visit it.

  • High Impact Hardened Optical Glass Lenses
  • Patented Focusing System
  • 7075 Aluminum
  • McClicky Switch
  • 2 or 3 modes
  • 5lm/220lm (at emitter)

here is the light:
There isn't much packaging to speak of -- it came securely packaged in a box with eggcrate foam.
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the ligtht comes with a decent lanyard, but I'm not sure how long it'll last as the attatchment point it rather thin.

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threads and focusing mechanism came with a nice coating of some sort of grease. -focused

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unfocused.

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there appears to be some sort of copper contact at the positive end.. heatsinking perhaps?

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unfocused (light on the bottom is the naithawk damascus light)

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focused -- pardon the dust.

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unfocused

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Size Comparisons:
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the lenslight is one of the larger CR123A lights out there, but of course, the focusing mechanism adds allot of space.

Comparison Beamshots:
incomparable! this is the only small aspherical I've played with.

White Wall Shots:
Shutter Speed is not specified -- the white wall shots are meant to show artifacts, rings, etc in the beam, not for brightness comparison.
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kHBKHL1271107982.gif

dimmer shot, to show how bright the spots are

Outdoor Beamshots:
LensLight Mini CR123A 1xCR123A Focused
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LensLight Mini CR123A 1xCR123A Flood
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Runtime:
SS-2010.03.30-17.57.16.jpg


Impressions:
Out of the box, the lenslight mini doesn't look like much. Documentation looked sparse, retail packaging non-existent, acessories minimal, clip made of plastic.. but the more I used it, the more I liked it. The light wasn't thought up overnight -- It took some design work to accomplish.
I don't get my hands on adjustable lensed lights such as this very often. That being said, I'm pleasantly surprised on the usefulness of this particular one... The Lenslight Mini features a patented lens system which is adjustable by physicaly turning the head. I believe this would be better for waterproofing, but the first model actually sucked in water from the tailcap when focusing underwater.. While the light still functioned well, the inside of the lens actually fogged up -- unacceptable. A RMA fixed things, although it took a few weeks to process. Lenslight reported that they would be releasing a twisty? tailcap that would be waterproof.

Other than that problem, the light is very sturdily made -- even the inside is chemkoted for corrosion resistance (Surefire used to use this particular gold colored coating, but swapped to a colorless coating recently). The switch is a McClicky -- one fabled for durability and reliability, which also feels very nice to press.

In addition, the Lenslight Mini has a very low low - what appears lower than 5 lumens, (but that's probably the optic reducing output), and when unfocused, allows for a very useable beam indoors,

Overall I like this light quite a bit for its quality and useability.

As of [date], the price of this light is roughly 160$.
I usually don't discuss price in a review -- percieved value is always different between people, but I will add this comment: the small manufacturer's price of designing and producing a light in the USA is very high and the consumer price reflects it accurately.

 
Last edited:

jefft

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Nice review, Craig. Besides the different driver, do you know if this is basically the production version of the light offered in Lensbright's previous group buy?
 

Patriot

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Great review! I've been impressed with the specs and performance of this little light ever since I learned of it during the group buy. Seems like they're driving the LED quite well for a single CR123 light and I think that's fantastic.
 

sol-leks

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Looks nice, I am a big fan of the zoomable aspheric lights that seem to be getting pretty popular these days. Too bad I just can't afford a light this expensive.

Maybe I'm missing it, but what LED is used in this light?
 

kramer5150

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These are GREAT lights, impeccably finished and really nice feeling in the hand.
Played around with a couple at a CPF meet... the only 2AA lights there that really impressed me from an overall build quality standpoint. Easily on par with a surefire C2.

Nice review again Craig
 

kramer5150

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Looks nice, I am a big fan of the zoomable aspheric lights that seem to be getting pretty popular these days. Too bad I just can't afford a light this expensive.

Maybe I'm missing it, but what LED is used in this light?

Classic aspheric XR-E die pattern.
 

csshih

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I had the 3 mode model.

yup! XR-E. not sure about the bin.

The Lenslight mini was on loan/forward from a friend.. it's gone to him now.

anyone notice the animating white wall shots?
 

gswitter

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Maybe I'm missing it, but what LED is used in this light?
The prototypes have XR-E R2's (aside from a couple 2AA prototypes that got K2 TFFC's).

I had the 3 mode model.
Any idea if the driver was a GDuP? Some of the prototypes have them, and the question came up in another thread, but no one knew if the production models still use them or not.

anyone notice the animating white wall shots?
Yes, very nice.
 

csshih

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how would I be able to tell? it does seem to have very similar specs -- the low is pretty darn low.
 

Tixx

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What about that switch? Anything to make this not click on when hit accidentally?
 

gswitter

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how would I be able to tell? it does seem to have very similar specs -- the low is pretty darn low.
If you cycle through the levels enough in a certain amount of time, it enters an automated calibration mode where it ramps through various levels for five seconds or so.
 

csshih

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hmm.. Haven't had that happen to me and I don't have the light on hand.. guess I'll have to ask my friend when he gets it :).

Tixx, there is no lockout, though the button doesn't protrude out too much.
 

post tenebras

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Very nice review and awesome animated .gifs!

I recently bought the two-stage model. Mine did not come with a lanyard. I like this light very much. My only complaint is I find the clip ugly, impractical and un-ergonomic.
 

csshih

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I recall there are alternate clips available, though pricey... I think their included clip is meant to be attached to belts.
 

iocheretyanny

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great light - glad someone finally reviewed it. Thanks.

I did some Lux measurements of the 3 level R2 before, they were pretty impressive....



Drive(mA)---Flood(lux)---Spot(lux)
------------------------------------
10mA--------27----------230
180mA-------380---------2850
700mA-------1220--------9650

Very impressive 230 Lux at only 10mA!

For compare my Bitz Ti is:
Drive(mA)---------Beam Center(lux)
-------------------------------------------
30mA-------------50
150mA------------270
500mA------------1010

All values above are peak values from brightest beam spot (repeatable)
 

bigchelis

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I have a Dark Earth I am testing and want to test it with an IMR 16340 is this considered okay to do?

Thanks,
bigC
 

csshih

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I have tried a rechargeable rcr123a cell on the light before, and it functioned fine, but I am still unsure as it is not specified in the documentation.
 

gswitter

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If it's one of the original/prototype run with the GDuP driver, an RCR123A is fine. Unfortunately, they've used at least three - maybe four (or more?) - drivers to date, so proceed with caution.
 
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