NiteCore EZ123 and EZCR2 Reviews: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, and more!

openbolt1

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You know I read this whole page (may have missed this) but can anyone confirm whether or not the EZ123 light can safely run on 3.7V Li-ion's?

Thank & sorry if I missed the answer.

openbolt
 

strinq

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Was wondering, how's the heatsinking?
There were some complaints about the EZAA being too hot at max for extended periods. Is it the same for the 123 and CR2?
 

selfbuilt

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Was wondering, how's the heatsinking?
There were some complaints about the EZAA being too hot at max for extended periods. Is it the same for the 123 and CR2?
I would say it's pretty similar. All members of the family do get hot quickly, especially if left in candle-mode on Hi. I personally don't recommend extended running at those sort of output levels in small form factor lights without some sort of cooling (e.g. fan, hand-holding, etc.).
 

Gatsby

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Great review! I picked up an R2 EX10 and an EZ123 a week or so ago to give them a shot as my new primary EDC. The EZ123 stands out in one particular regard - the size. It is quite small for a 123 based light and is nearly the same size as a Peak McKinley with a key ring body. I used to look at my McKinley and wonder why all 123 lights were so much bigger on average given the small cell size. The EZ123 not only compares favorably to the McKinley but is as Selfbuilt shows a good bit smaller than the EX10, and is shorter and only a hair wider than a Peak Pacific on AA pocket body, and a Peak Kilimanjaro on a pocket body. The overall build quality is solid as well.

But I have to admit at first I was a bit underwhelmed by a few things - I cleaned and lubed the threads with Magnalube and the threads do run smoothly. But if you're used to a CR2 Ion for example (or an Aeon/Nautilus as well - I'm assuming they are similar given the same designer) which is very easy to operate one handed, the EZ123 at least is not for me a light I can put into high with one hand. As Selfbuilt notes, it takes some force to get it to high. I've tried to figure out what causes this and I believe it is the foam donut. This issue has been discussed with the EZAA as well - but it seems like the foam donut is almost fully compressed before going to high, and it is of a denser material than I am used to in the Peaks, Arc AAA or CR2 Ion, so it takes more oomph to compress it as well. Either a thinner foam ring or a less dense material might have been a better choice. I'm still considering whether to leave it as is, trim it or remove it entirely.

I have thought that the little spring loaded pogo stick in the CR2 Ion was a solid and reliable two stage mechanism - with a longer life span I'd think than the leaf spring type arrangements. The EZ123 achieves a similar result with just a spring and it works fine, and given the price difference is an expected difference in terms of design and manufacturing cost, but it does not look as robust long term. And my sample does take roughly 3/4 of a turn to go from low to high, but this is pretty consistent with my CR2 Ion and from what I recall, the McGizmo lights have roughly the same distance stock (at least the Lunasol 27 I handled in a passaround did as best I remember it).

The levels seem pretty well chosen - the low is a solid daily task level and high is scorching. Given the relative "burst" nature of high on such a small light - I agree with the slightly brighter low than many (myself included) tend to favor. It is a balanced level. I need to do some comparisons but it seems roughly as bright as my Fenix L1T v2.0 on low, and as a Peak Pacific Lux3 high power on a CR2 cell. But those aren't terribly helpful lights since they aren't widely owned - I'll see how it compares to my Novatac, for example.

I have to admit at first I was a bit disappointed, expecting the butter smooth Ion operation in a 123 based light. It does not have that butter smooth operation, but it is not rough really, it is just a different feel. As I've lived with it, I've come to like it more and it may well replace the CR2 based lights as my EDC (I am trying to consolidate battery sizes, just a bit at least to 123 for EDC use).

I do miss the low low of a 3 stage (or 4 in the case of the Novatac) light - I use the lowest setting on my Novatac and the EX10 quite a bit around the house at night ... but if you only have two stages these seem like good ones for general task use.
 

selfbuilt

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But if you're used to a CR2 Ion for example (or an Aeon/Nautilus as well - I'm assuming they are similar given the same designer) which is very easy to operate one handed, the EZ123 at least is not for me a light I can put into high with one hand. As Selfbuilt notes, it takes some force to get it to high. I've tried to figure out what causes this and I believe it is the foam donut. This issue has been discussed with the EZAA as well - but it seems like the foam donut is almost fully compressed before going to high, and it is of a denser material than I am used to in the Peaks, Arc AAA or CR2 Ion, so it takes more oomph to compress it as well. Either a thinner foam ring or a less dense material might have been a better choice. I'm still considering whether to leave it as is, trim it or remove it entirely.
Thanks for the detailed user assessment - I don't have the other lights in question, so it's good to hear your thoughts on how they compare (especially the Aeon and such). :)

On the issue of the stiffness in getting to Hi, I recall some discussion in my EZAA review thread that shortening the spring in the head made a difference. :shrug:
 

Nake

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I agree with the foam being too compressed. I took about 1mm of foam off with a razor blade and now it works easier. I read where someone beveled the foam in a similar way and operation was better.
 

woodrow

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Thanks for the Fantastic review as always Selfbuilt. I resisted as long as I could... but finally had to pick one of these up.
 

bansuri

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EZ123- It doesn't list runtimes or outputs for rechargeables on the 4sevens website and posts this warning:
Caution:

  • Do not use batteries that exceed 3 volts, as they may permanently damage the flashlight.
Does this = no RCR123?

Also the manual makes no mention of rechargeables. Have the specs changed since it was introduced?
 

Stingray

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It looks a lot like my old firefly :) I wish I'd never sold it, it had a great form factor and feel in the hand and it was a handsome light, It always drew attention and got remarks about the good looks. I'm going to pick up the EZ 123 version for old times sake. I hope they make one in that same color.
 

selfbuilt

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EZ123- It doesn't list runtimes or outputs for rechargeables on the 4sevens website and posts this warning:
Caution:
  • Do not use batteries that exceed 3 volts, as they may permanently damage the flashlight.
Does this = no RCR123?
Also the manual makes no mention of rechargeables. Have the specs changed since it was introduced?
I don't have my EZ123 or EZCR2 manuals in front of me, but I don't think they make any mention of RCR/RCR2 cells. I just know from conversations with EagleTac that RCR was ok to run on the EZ123.

FYI, the original EZAA definitely did NOT support 3.7V Li-ion (i.e. 14500). But the revised edition - that came out just shortly before these lights - does explicitly allow it. Given the similarity of the circuit performance to my EZ123 on RCR, I think you should be fine. If you are worried though, I would recommend contact EagleTac directly and confirming.
 

Crenshaw

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Selfbuilt, my EZAA had a lot of issue with feeling gritty due to the bottom pedestal scratching up the battery. Also, Alot of issue with amount of turning required to activate high mode, the biggest problem being that i had to tighten what felt like TOO much.

what is the feeling on CR2?

thanks

Crenshaw
 

Rat6P

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Thanks for yet another awesome review!!

I really like the UI on these lights.

What would make the EZ123 or cr2 even better for me is if either one shared the same threading on the head as a Fenix P1D.

Why....well then maybe I could use it on a Leef P1D clicky body.

That would be sweet.

Anyone maybe know if this could be the case??
 

AardvarkSagus

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I had some similar grittyness from all my EZ's but a quick smoothdown (I even just used my finger a few times) of the pedestal took care of that completely. Now my EZ CR2 is the buttery-est of all my lights. Simply beautiful.
 

selfbuilt

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Selfbuilt, my EZAA had a lot of issue with feeling gritty due to the bottom pedestal scratching up the battery. Also, Alot of issue with amount of turning required to activate high mode, the biggest problem being that i had to tighten what felt like TOO much.

what is the feeling on CR2?

I had some similar grittyness from all my EZ's but a quick smoothdown (I even just used my finger a few times) of the pedestal took care of that completely. Now my EZ CR2 is the buttery-est of all my lights. Simply beautiful.
All of my EZ lights don't have a problem with the bottom pedestal - although I have encountered that before on other lights. Like AardvarkSagus suggests, a smoothdown of that area should help (try a bit of sandpaper wrapped around the flat end of a ballpoint pen, or similar implement). Should fix that right up!

As for the turning on the high mode, the only time I really experienced any concern was with protected 14500 batteries in the EZAA. Because of the extra height of those batteries, it feels like you may be applying too much pressure when tightening down. The EZ123 seemed ok on RCR ... and I don't have any RCR2 to test in the EZCR2.

On primary CR2, my EZCR2 sample certainly has a very smooth operation (one of the best of all my EZ samples, actually - but of course, YMMV).
 

ZMZ67

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Neutral-white EZCR123 came in the mail today.Light holds true to selfbuilt's orignal comments save for the neutral-warm tint.The beam is quite good and does not exhibit the CREE ring often found in XRE based lights.As previously stated it required two hands to turn the light on high but low is accessable with one hand.Not sure if I will try shaving the foam donut or leave it as is.
I also recieved the Neutral-white EZCR2 but did not have a battery on hand to test it.:eek: This is my first CR2 light and the Nitecores did not ship with batteries.At $7.58 per battery :green: at the local drugstore I guess I will wait until I can find one for a little less to test it out!
 

ZMZ67

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Finally got a battery for the CR2 and it does work smoother than the CR123.It is easy to operate with one hand but the battery seems to turn when I turn on the light though.I wonder if there should be a foam ring on the bottom as well or if a little lube on the foam ring on the head would stop this.Battery against aluminum on the bottom, doesn't seem like it will be good to have it turning like that in the long run.This may be happening on the CR123 model as well.
 
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