Surefire Maximus, Minimus AA, Minimus Tactical and Minimus Vision!

angelofwar

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Nov 17, 2007
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I'm looking at the maximus as well...I love my minimus...I'm not too concerned with weight, cause if it were used in any real capacity, it will be with my climbing/rescue helmet. I think SF largely intended these lights to be used with helmets...hopefully thy can get some real feed back besides from paid staffers, and make these things what they SHOULD be...
 

276

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Nov 8, 2006
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I have had a Maximus for a few weeks and i like it way better than my minimus. I have had the same issue with my minimus where i go to angle it and the whole light moves or the very annoying beam artifacts that you see in front of you or especially the ones on the sides. The maximus of course its way brighter has a better beam with only one small beam artifact in the center.

I only notice it on white walls or if i stare at the beam to look for it otherwise i don't see it when i am using it. Its not a thrower its mostly flood, good for up close or medium range. The control knob is very grippy , don't know how to describe it, it's not knurling more like groves. The charging time from what surefire told me takes 5 hrs which is weird since i timed how long it took to charge mine and its was only about 2hrs, not sure if they made a mistake or misunderstood me when i asked. The weight of it does make it kind of floppy mainly if you shake your head or run with it.It has an opening for a top strap that would probably make it more stable though one is not included, but when i wear my hat (beanie hat) there is less movement.

alex
 

Jerimoth

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Oct 14, 2003
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I'm a park ranger/medic in New Hampshire and I used the maximus on a rescue this evening. It was fully charged, with a green indicator light, and when I rotated the brightness knob it got brighter, then suddenly went out completely.
I usually carry 3-4 lights, including a decent headlight and a higher power light to light up an area in front of a litter, or to look for an area flat, horizontal, and large enough to land a Blackhawk or a smaller hospital-based helicopter.
My Surefire failed, but fortunately I had a backup, though not bright enough to search for an LZ had we needed it. (We didn't, fortunately- also clouds dispersed and the nearly full moon came out.)
Instead I used my BD Storm but was annoyed that I had invested so much to purchase what I thought was a rugged bombproof headlamp, only to have it fail in a critical situation. In the future I won't rely on it, and use my older Lupine headlight or a handheld TK35 when I need a lot of light. I would recommend others involved in similar SAR operations carry a backup headlight until Surefire addresses this problem.
 

Bill in AZ

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Jan 6, 2012
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...invested so much to purchase what I thought was a rugged bombproof headlamp, only to have it fail in a critical situation. In the future I won't rely on it, and use my older Lupine headlight or a handheld TK35 when I need a lot of light. I would recommend others involved in similar SAR operations carry a backup headlight until Surefire addresses this problem.

A week ago I had a similar problem with a Surefire Saint headlamp on a critical all-night SAR mission. Delayed a helicopter several minutes fiddling with it before giving up and scrounging for an older, dimmer, inadequate backup to go along with a hand flashlight. Sent it to Surefire, will see what I get back. Was kind of eyeballing the maximus until this happened, and then read your story. I was able to get the Saint to work the next day, but not about to trust it miles away from support until Surefire takes a look at it.
 

schurtjl

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Mar 9, 2011
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I had a similar issue with a newer SF Minimus in elk camp last fall. When I turned it off, and went to turn it back on shortly afterwards, several times it wouldn't come on at all. I was sure the battery was fine, but switched in new Surefire 123's just in case. Still couldn't get it to go on. I left it turned in the on position, and several minutes later it suddenly came on. This happened several times over a couple nights. I've never had any other of my numerous surefires fail me like that. Of course I didn't have a backup headlamp with me and had to use my LX2 instead. After talking to Surefire, they had me send it back. They ended up sending the very latest version that has the rubber attachment holding the battery cap to the headlamp. Haven't had any problems with this latest version so far.
 

Jethro

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Oct 6, 2009
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I'm almost ready to pull the trigger on a Minimus. I like the design, and I know it gets a bad rep, but I'm a Surefire guy through and through. On the BattJunc web site it has the Tactical at more than $25 less than the regular Minimus. Are they not the same light for all intensive purposes?
 

pulstar

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Aug 24, 2008
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Slovenia
Surefire representative suggested me a solution to fix that annoying swivelling. As you maybe already found out, if you try to push two plastic parts on the side of the "lamp holder", the friction between plastic an aluminum led housing increases.
Since my english still lacks a bit of refinement, i'll try to explain what to do. I can also take a few pictures tomorrow, if you guys won't be able to understand me:)
This small repair shouldn't void your warranty!
Here it is:
Remove the forehead pad and slowly peel off velcro from the plastic housing. There's no need to remove it completely, just enough to you can easily see insides of the plastic headlamp holder.
There are two metal "pins" that hold two plastic parts of the housing together and push them down to create enough friction with aluminium part of the lamp. Representative told me to turn those two pins around (they're are also "surrounded" with clear rubber, that looks like wire insulation). I had no idea what she meant, but i did it my way. I stuck one really small piece of wood below that metal pin (i made some kind of micro wooden wedge). I also stuck one under the second pin. Now they push the plastic just enough to make enough friction that i can easily turn the cuntrol knob without having to secure the light with the other hand. When you're done, just stick the velcro where it was (originally applied glue will hold it in place), put the forehead pad back on it and enjoy your headlamp!:D
 

pulstar

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What do you guys think, is the high-CRI LED enough to justify buying a new Minimus Vision? I already have cool white one...
 

mbw_151

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Feb 28, 2008
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Oregon
I bought a Minimus and a backup to get thru until the Vision was released. Who knew that Surefire would be relatively expedient on the Vision release. I feel that the Vision is an improvement worth the upgrade. The color is consistent with my Ra High CRI and the Malkoff "Neutrals", my favorite lights. My unsued Minimus backup is on Marketplace.

An update on using the Vision. The best feature is not unscrewing the battery compartment when you want to rotate the beam up or down. Adjusting the output with gloves on is way easier too. I find it is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The "white wall artifacts" don't bother me even when I'm reading a book. It is a fine headlamp to walk with, enough throw to see down the road and enough flood to avoid the "tunnel" feeling. It does bounce a little if you run with it, unless you have the headstrap really tight. If I were going to run with it a lot, I would add a top strap like the full Saint.
 
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RNDDUDE

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Feb 28, 2012
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The latest revision of the Minimus has addressed the body tension issue by replacing the two static tension pins with larger pins that have a small set screw in each pin to allow user adjustment of the tension to compensate for wear/manufacturing tolerances, the artifact issue has been eliminated by modifying the refector housing, excessive light knob tension has been adressed with internal seal changes, and the knob lengthened to improve grip. Additionally, a battery cap lanyard has been added to prevent knob dropping/loss.
 

Blindasabat

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Jan 24, 2006
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Thanks for the updates on the Vision guys. Both the use update and the info on the changes made to improve it. I actually didn't know it was out yet either. I better start saving up to get one.
 

smoses

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Jul 3, 2006
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I've been looking to get this light for a while (the 123A version)... I guess I'm glad I waited! It seems that I'll make sure that the light I buy is the latest version.
 

khalwat

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Oct 29, 2010
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I received a new Saint Minimus from my wife for Christmas. It was the older model, and it arrived damaged. We returned it to SureFire, and received the newer version of the light.

I've used it for the past month or two for running/walking, and going to/from my barn at night. I love it. It's worked great, with no hassles, the beam is plenty bright enough for my purposes, and I don't feel the weight on my forehead as being a problem.

I'm curious, what are the major differences between the minimus and the maximus?
 

Owen

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Feb 14, 2002
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I feel that the Vision is an improvement worth the upgrade. The color is consistent with my Ra High CRI and the Malkoff "Neutrals", my favorite lights.
The latest revision of the Minimus has addressed the body tension issue by replacing the two static tension pins with larger pins that have a small set screw in each pin to allow user adjustment of the tension to compensate for wear/manufacturing tolerances, the artifact issue has been eliminated by modifying the refector housing, excessive light knob tension has been adressed with internal seal changes, and the knob lengthened to improve grip. Additionally, a battery cap lanyard has been added to prevent knob dropping/loss.
SOLD.
 

Owen

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Feb 14, 2002
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Finally have a Minimus Vision on the way, after confirming that it is a recently shipped one with the updates.
Should be here Friday, get used on a night hike next week, and then on vacation for a 3am start on day 1 of an extremely long overnighter the following week.
Not sure if it's the light I'm excited about, or what I'll be doing with it, but I'm looking forward to its arrival more than I do most purchases.
 

Owen

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Feb 14, 2002
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I should have been in bed almost three hours ago, but UPS came earlier than usual, and I've been comparing the Minimus to the H30w that I use while backpacking, and for night hikes, along with a couple other lights.
Here are some initial impressions. Keep in mind I do not keep very many lights around, and therefore do not have many to compare it to.

Cons:
-It's huge. It's literally twice the length of the H30w, and .5" longer than the H60w that uses 18650s. Heavier, too.
-It sits further off your head than a Zebralight, giving the impression of even greater size(it's comfortable, and not too heavy, thankfully, but in the mirror, you look like a rhinocerous that ran into a brick wall, and you are definitely conscious of the fact you're wearing something on your head at all times).
-The artifact issue has NOT been eliminated(isn't noticeable in use, but very obvious on a wall).
-No support for 3.7V R123s, as far as I know. Eliminates the possibility of me buying a second Vision for work if I like this one.

Pros:
-Very high quality. Great construction.
-Ergonomics. I listed the size and sitting off your head as negatives above. The flip side is that the knurled knobs are very easy to reach and use.
-It's built like a tank. This is the stoutest headlamp I've ever seen.
-The mounting system is solid, as are adjustments to the angle of the headlamp.
-Adjustability of the brightness is fantastic. Fast, easy, infinite.
-It's dim. Lowest output is significantly lower than my Zebralight SC51Fw's L2 advertised at .16 lumens. My multimeter only reads in multiple of 10mA, so 10mA is what it shows at lowest.
-It's bright. Highest output is probably triple the SC51Fw's H1 advertised at 164 OTF lumens. Pulls about 1A at max output.
-It's everything in between. Runtime for my use will not be an issue. My H30w on medium draws ~50mA from a CR123A, and is more than I need for night hiking. Due to the more concentrated beam, similarly usable output from the Vision draws ~30mA.

Subjective:
-The tint is hard to describe. On a wall, it varies throughout the beam, much like my Malkoff M61N(but with a different mix of color-more red, less yellow). Either way, based on taking it into the closet and looking at my clothes, color rendition looks excellent. I'll have to try it outdoors, and with a wider variety of colors. I'm a pretty drab dresser...
 
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vtunderground

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May 26, 2004
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Roanoke, VA
-The headband is not removable. The pad that sits on your forehead is, but the band itself is stitched on both ends so it has to be cut off to be removed. I deleted quite the nasty rant about this before posting, but it's so unbelievably stupid, and for so many reasons, I'm having a hard time not starting over again.

Really??? Mine was removable. The plastic part that each end of the headband goes through should have a notch so that the headband can be slipped out.
 
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