[Review] - Fenix PD35 v3.0 - 1700 lumens, SFT40 LED - by Lock

lock

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Jan 10, 2017
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Hi everyone, with this review today we will see one of the latest flashlights born in the Fenix house: we will talk about the Fenix PD35 v3.0: single LED, dual switch tactical flashlight with a maximum output of 1700 lumens.
The flashlight was provided by Fenix specifically for the review. Here you can find the link of the Fenix store and here the link of the product.

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Packaging and contents
The Fenix PD35 v3.0 arrives in a colored cardboard box with all the main features of the product imprinted on it. The equipment includes:
• Flashlight
• 18650 Lion Battery (ARB-L18-2600U)
• Micro USB Charging Cable
• Nylon Holster
• Lanyard
• Spare O-Ring
• User manual
• Warranty Card

Main features
• 1700 Lumen max output
• One Luminus SFT40 LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
• Included a 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery, compatible with 2 * CR123A Lithium batteries.
• Boot-up battery level indication and low-voltage warning.
• Instant activation with the tactical tail switch; output selection with the side switch.
• Digitally regulated circuit for maintaining a stable output.
• Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with an anti-reflective coating.
• Made of durable A6061-T6 aluminum.
• Premium type HAIII hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish.
• IP68 Waterproof Rating (underwater 2m)
• Impact Resistance: 1m
• Compact size
• Anti-slip and anti roll body design
• Reverse polarity protection
• Length: 134 mm
• Head Diameter: 25.4mm
• Body Diameter: 22.8mm
• Weight: 83.5g (Excluding battery)

Output Levels and runtime
The outputs of the Fenix PD35 v3.0 are well spaced and divided as follows:
Turbo : 1700 lm (measured 1790 lm) - 1h25min
High : 600 lm (measured 680 lm) - 2h35min
Medium : 150 lm (measured 160 lm) - 8h30min
Low : 50 lm (measured 58 lm) - 26h5min
Eco : 5 lm (measured 5 lm) - 230h
Strobe : 1700 lm (measured 1790 lm)

Runtime Schema

fenix-pd35v3-flashlight-runtime.png



The body and materials
The Fenix PD35 v3.0 is a compact and handy cigar-shaped tactical flashlight. While remaining very similar from an aesthetic point of view to the previous version (Fenix PD35 v2.0), v3.0 has a number of differences. First of all, the LED: in fact, we pass from the XP-L HI V3 to the more performing Luminus SFT40 which brings the 1000 lumens of the v2.0 to 1700 lumens of the v3.0. Some small finishes such as knurling, dissipation fins, tailcap and side switch bezel ring have been revised. The bezel also changes slightly: in v3.0 it is laced, in v2.0 it is smooth.

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From the point of view of the beam, given the substantial difference in power, and considering that both versions are equipped with parabolas similar to each other, the theoretical maximum throw of v3.0 is significantly higher: in fact, it goes from 250 meters of v2.0 to about 357 meters of v3.0.
Last difference to keep in mind is that the v2.0 has an ECO level of 3 lumens able to keep the flashlight on, on paper, for 430 hours (about 18 days), while the PD35 v3.0 has an ECO level of 5 lumens with an estimated runtime of "only" 230 hours (about 10 days).
In the hand, the PD35 v3.0 is particularly comfortable, the switches are easily operated and accessible. The side switch, called the "functional switch" is in an optimal position to be operated easily with the thumb. The tactical switch is useful for tactical applications and allows with a partial pressure to activate the Momentary On, and with a total pressure to access the constant light mode.

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At the center of the side switch there is a small colored status LED which returns information to the user on the residual capacity of the cell: each time the flashlight is turned on, the LED will light up for 3 seconds according to the following scheme:
• Green light on: saturated 100% - 85%
• Green light flashes: sufficient 85% - 50%
• Red light on: poor 50% - 25%
• Red light flashes: critical 25% - 1%

The PD35 v3.0 does not have a charging port, this guarantees greater reliability from the point of view of water resistance. In fact, the torch can be immersed without problems up to 2m depth. To remedy the lack of a charging port, Fenix provides a custom 2600mAh cell equipped with a Micro USB port itself. In this way the cell can be charged wherever you are from any USB power source, without the need to carry a dedicated charger with you.

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In any case, it is always possible to use standard 18650 cells from other brands as well. In addition, the flashlight can be powered by 3V CR123A non-rechargeable cells and 3.2V 16340 LifePO4 rechargeable cells.
N.B. It is not allowed to use 3.6V / 3.7V 16340 Li-ion cells or 3.2V 18650 LifePO4 cells

The threads are anodized (therefore physical lock-out of the interface is possible) and arrive well lubricated. At the positive pole we find a series of gold contacts, while at the negative pole a sturdy spring.

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The tailcap is not flat but still allows tailstanding. There are also two large holes for inserting the laynard.





The belt clip is made of steel and titanium plated, quite long and rigid.

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User Interface
On / Off
Partial pressure on the tail switch to momentarily turn on the light. Release the switch to turn off the light.
Full pressure on the tail switch to constantly turn on the light. Press again to turn off the light.

Output selection
With the light on, click on the side switch to toggle between Turbo → Eco → Low → Med → High levels.

Strobo
With the light on, press and hold the functional switch for 0.5 seconds to access the strobe, click again to return to the previously used output in general mode.

Intelligent memory circuit
The torch stores the last selected output except for the strobe. When switched on again, the previously used output will then be recalled.

Intelligent thermal protection
The Fenix PD35 v3.0 also has an active thermal control that allows you to adjust the output if the flashlight reaches critical levels. In fact, once reached 60 ° C, the output will be automatically decreased, and then restored when the temperature drops below the safety limit. This behavior is clearly visible on the Turbo level discharge curve which shows a sawtooth pattern up to the final direct drive.
There is also a control on the low-Voltage that will decrease the output without turning off the flashlight (as long as the battery still has residual capacity).

Beam, Tint and Beamshots
The beam of the Fenix PD35 v3.0 has a great shot but also has a wide enough spill to illuminate well nearby. The color is cool but not excessive, clean and uniform throughout the beam.
Here are some shots in the dark ...

Beamshots # 1


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Beamshots # 2


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Beamshots # 3


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Conclusions
The Fenix PD35 v3.0 is a valid product, definitely to be recommended!

Pros:
 Good Turbo Power
 Perfect beam and tint
 Excellent regulation
 Thermal protection and reverse polarity protection
 Ease of use
 Complete user interface

Cons:
Only the Cool tint version is available for purchase
 I would have preferred a slightly lower ECO level, for example 1 lumen, or even 3 lumens like that of the PD35 v2.0. The 5 lumens of the PD35 v3.0 in conditions of total darkness and in situations where it is necessary not to be seen or if, for example, you have to read a document at close range, in my opinion they are a bit excessive, also considering the type of particularly throw beam.


Thanks for reading ...
 
Last edited:

id30209

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Fenix is on the roll with PD32v2, PD35v3 and PD36TAC. Amazing upgrades from previous models and they have good choice of emitters.
 

CelticCross74

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Aug 30, 2014
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Fairfax Va
The PD35 was one of my first LED lights. It blew me away with its very easy to carry cigar size and shape body. The HUGE hot spot in the beam profile as shown in the outstanding pics above is the exact same as the very first PD35's. I will buy this light but will get new 3500 Orbtronic 18650 to power it. The 2600mah Fenix cell the light comes with surprised me as this light will easily devour low rated cells like the 2600.
 

elzilcho

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Apr 27, 2016
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I think the eco mode on the PD35 I have is 15 lumens, which is surprisingly bright when it's really dark out. The 5-lumen low of the new model would be nice.
 

TacGuy

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Sep 25, 2021
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Pennsylvania
I had the original pd35 as well until it became lost. I too love that large hot spot in the really bright spill it was great for walks in the woods at night I'm thinking of getting a new pd35 version 3 just hoping it's brighter but with the same large hotspot
 

wingspar

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Apr 20, 2011
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Oregon
Old thread, I know, but I've been eyeing the Fenix PD35 for some time, but had a few questions that prevented me from ordering this light. You answered ever single one of my questions, and I'm going to go ahead and order this light. Thanks for this review. :)
 
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