[review] Thorfire S50 (39 pics)

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The Miller
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[review] Thorfire S50 (39 pics)

A lot of thanks to Thorfire for giving the S50 for review!
Thorfire really appreciated my enthousiasme for and mini review of the VG10 in reactions to a blog sponsored by Gearbest to promote Olight on a Dutch techsite I am active on for many years now.
I am gratefull but at the same time understand that getting a nice piece of gear for free takes away the first negative experience any normal consumer has, the actual paying for a product,
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Let’s start with the review of the Thorfire S50.
Not long after ordering I found a Amazon box in the mailbox. Opening it up and there was the brown box, similar to the other Thorfire boxes, but bigger.

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Here we go with the content of the Happy box (there is no other name for it, the card asking “Happy?” combined with the parts and flashlight shouts HAPPY in my point of view:

The heavy flashlight fits snugly and is well protected.
There are a bunch of nice things in the box besides the flashlight and manual one would expect.
A spare lens for starters, it has its own slot, also well protected.
Two colored button tops. so if you think the black rubber switch cover would looks better in orange or green, they are there to play with.
Space O-rings

Take a look at the manual

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Thorfire gives two year warranty if their basic maintenance/troubleshooting guide does not help with possible problems. Warranty terms are legally enforced in the European Union. Not all consumers know this and get suckered in to buying extra warranty. In the USA things work a bit different,but either way, 24 months is decent to put into writing and ship with your products, it reflects confidence and Thorfire gets a big thumbs up from me on this department.

Now here is the star of the review,the actual flashlight:

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Here it is next to the VG10

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Thorfire VG10, Convoy C8, Jacobs A60, Thorfire S50

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The building quality is solid.
No specs on the anodisation.
The finish is in between mat and glossy, leaning slightly toward mat.
Branding is crisp with logo, Thorfire and S50 on the battery tube and a “hot” warning on the bezel.

There are no sharp edges.
The S50 has the “tactical ring” to attach a lanyard to and prevent rolling when laying down.
This can be removed.
Or kept loose in the small space that is reserved for it on the battery tube to give a lanyard some extra room to move.
Of course it can also simply be tightened at either the upper or lower part of its space giving two options how to position it when secured.
Turning it up side down from how it comes pre installed makes the ring curve away from the hand that is holding it and makes it comfortable to use.

The tailcap allows tailstanding and has two openings for a lanyard, so when used here, it will not hinder tailstanding.

All threads have a very smooth action.
Anodisation on threads makes lock out on both ends of the battery tube possible.
The threads came nicely lubed.

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The general measurements can be found in the manual, but there are some interesting measurements to share.
The cooling fins are plenty and right where the pill is giving off the heat of the LED to the body the fins are noticably deeper

The battery tube is 142,03mm long
The battery tube is bigger at the head side then at the tail side. This gives the S50 an elegant appeal.
Yes it looks elegant, a neat design.

headside of battery tube
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tailside of battery tube
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The reflector is orange peel and has these sizes:
Lenght 51,04mm
Outer diameter 52,88mm
Inner diameter for the led 7,65mm
Inner diameter at the widest point 49,54mm
It is very nice machined, the outside – nobody will see because it is hidden in the head – is free of marks and spots and I really like it that Thorfire chooses to treat parts not a lot of users will ever see with care.

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The lens is not coated.
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The tailcap is easy to take apart.

The S50 has memory and will click to a higher level when half pressing the switch or on/off faster then 3 seconds.
A fast double click and the hidden strobe will start.
The feeling of the button is direct and solid. It registers all half and whole clicks.
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The springs connecting the two cells to the flashlight measured:

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And we have reached the main part, the pill and LED

The XHP50 is installed on copper that is fitted to an aluminium pill of decent size.



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The S50 runs only on 2 × 18650 cells
Match them up!
My longest Panasonic fit tightly and the Keep Power 2200mAh that I used in the reviews are just a tad smaller and fit like a glove. Because of the spring in the head also cells without buttons will fit, do use a paired set of cells!
The Thorfire S50 will cut off the power when cells get drained so protection is not needed.
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The S50 is a big and heavy light. But it is manageble, my wife and son have much smaller hands then me and both think it feels good to hold and operate.
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THE MAIN EVENT
How does it preform?
Well, it is very impressive man what a light!
But. . .
Before we get to the output part we should be looking at how long it can preform right?.
When a light gets too hot, there is no fun in operating it.
And when it cuts off after a couple of minutes how usefull can it be?
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Runtimes
Well this depends on the cells used.
I used two identical Keep Power stating 2200mAh on the wrapper but actually measuring ~2300+ mAh on my Liitokala Lii-300 charger.
These protected cells fitted the S50 better then my Panasonic 3400mAh cells that are a itsy bitsy thicker and longer, but also fit.
I used the less energy dense cells to get to the cut off point faster to see how the S50 would behave.
Before I used the Panasonics while playing with it and they did run much longer.

Sorry, I have no data-logging-light-sensing devices so only the highest mode was checked, mainly to see what would happen at the cut off point.
I also wanted to see if cut off meant being in the dark from there.
So I decided to restart the flashlight as soon as possible when it had reached the cut off in the highest mode. To run it in the lowest mode if it would allow me from there, and it did.
I was not able to keep the turbo running the entire time, but used the 3 minutes turbo at least 20 times.
So at least 60 minutes the S50 was shining as bright as it could.
After 1 hour and 37 minutes the torch started blinking.
Thorfire specifies the runtime on turbo as 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Since 2300mAh is much less then 3400mAh and these cells were able to keep it on turbo for 60 minutes I say if it safe to guess that with the correct cells the specified time is no problem for the S50 and it actually will be longer in normal use.

When it started flashing it was turned off and immediately switched on in the lowest mode.
It worked for 22 minutes and 34 seconds before it started flashing again.
Turning it off and on immediately again and it took three seconds less then 4 minutes before flashing.
Again off and on in low, just to see it started flashing within the minute this time.
After two times I did not want to strain the cells anymore so when the last flashing started I pulled the cells and they measured 2,9V.
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Pretty decent runtimes for a light as bright as this.
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Oh I forgot, you do not know how bright it is yet and are anxiously awaiting this information.
Ok, ok, we will be getting there soon.
But there is one more thing that needs to be covered before we get to that, the temperatures:
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Temperatures. All in Celcius, you know, that scale based on water at sea level, 0 is freezing point and 100 is boiling point. Humans internal temparature is about 36.5, with slight variation during the day and activity.

Measurements with an infrared thermometer (checked with calibrated digital touch thermometer) to be accurate to the point of +/-0,3 difference at 0 and +/-0,8 difference at 100.
Temp of the LED by holding the head of the thermometer against the glass of the lens and moving aroung till the highest temp was read.
This proves to be a little tricky, the underside of the head of the thermometer against the bezel, then lifting that ~1mm of the glass and the sensor ligned up with the LED.
Also the uncoated glass was in the beam, so the LED temperatures are not acurate but give a nice idea.
While measuring, the Thorfire S50 was not moved and barely touched the material is was laying on. Measurements taken at around 20cm away from the other parts of the torch.
Swiping the sensor along the to be measured parts keeping an equal distance to the parts.

Temperature of room where this was measured 15,4

Thorfire S50
LED temperature
LOW 45,5
MED 67,3
HIGH 102,2
TURBO 165,8

Temp body on turbo
Head 34,7
tube 33,4
tail 31,4
These temperatures are reached in a couple of minutes and stay at this level the whole run time.

In comparison the Thorfire VG10
LED temperature
MOON 37,5
LOW 43
MED 76,6
HIGH 115,1

Temperature body on high
head 39,3
tube 35,8
tail 32,1

It is clear the cooling fins are doing their jobs very well.
The light does not become really warm no matter how long the LED is producing heat.
Most heat is dissipated from the head.
It is interesting to see that the head of the S50 stays cooler then the battery tube of the VG10.

So a boring but clear conclusion here: the only burning sensation this beast will give somebody is the desire to shine with it.

Of course the room was not warm, the bigger the difference between the air and the to be cooled surface the easier the heat will dissipate.
If the environment temperatures would be higher the blood flowing through the hand holding the flashlight should start to remove heat from it. my guestmation is that around 18 room temperature it is better to hold it in your hand then just let convection do its job. Below that, the hand will actually raise the temperture slightly.
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So onwards to the beamshots!
Oh…..no wait…
I just remembered . . . there is a negative point to be made about the S50.
When it is placed on the head all light can be blocked, the bezel is smooth.
So one could have it on without knowing it.
Here is the S70 with similar smooth bezel on a marble garden table, this table looks flat but clearly is not.

A real flat surface or a surface that deformes easy like paper will however block all the light.
Yes, I agree, this screems for a test; Is there any problem with heat in the case of it being left turned on while placed on its head?

The S50 is blasting on turbo in this picture placed on paper.
Does this pose any risk?
No, the only problem there is, drained cells.
The paper was not in any danger of catching fire or even to become hot.
This is safe, I like it!
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Yes, you made it this far, wow!
This is it for the boring stuff
We can finally go to the beamshots!

And we start with contra beamshots.
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What are those you ask?
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This is the opposite of the normal beamshots, those are away from the user.
These try to depict what somebody else is seeing when pointed at.
Control at 100 meter:

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Contra beam at 100 meter:

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Then 25 meter:

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The camera does not do it justice, even at 100 meter is causes spots in vision afterwards.
This is one bright light. Be careful aiming it at others!
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So finally – so sorry if I annoyed you, it is a big light and a lot can be said about it – the usual beamshots.
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OK lets start with the color tint.
It is white, but with a warmer tint then cold white.
Not warm either, so I tried to get in on camera.
Ceiling is at an angle at around 2,50 to 3,50 meters high, the flashlights tailstanding on the floor pointing straight up.

First a shot with the S50 on LOW in the middle and on both sides a Convoy C8 with warm white tints on MED.

Clearly the tint is not warm. BUT it is not cold either.

So let’s compare it to a really blue-ish LatticeBright.

The S50 is on low and the knock off ch€@pa$$ flashlight on HIGH
There really is a little warm hint in the S50 light and the LB is blue-ish. The camera failed to capture it, but this shot gives a nice indication of the brightness of the S50 so I am using the picture anyway.
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For the ones looking for a cross, here is the S50 alone, on LOW

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House at 100 meter (see my introducion topic for bird eye view and distances)
Control

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LOW

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MED

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HIGH

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TURBO

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House at 30 meters (the right window of the top floor is exactly at 30 meters here)
Control

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LOW

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MED

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HIGH

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TURBO

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When I look at the ease to reach all parts. The building quality and the feel of this light I have the urge to warmly suggest it to any normal user who wants a whole lot of light and the modder alike.
The ease of use, tool less removal of pill and excellent cooling properties have me won over for this impressive flashlight.
But there is also the S70 (review currently in the making) that has its pros and cons compared to the S50. At this time I can only think about the S50 as a very high quality, impressve flashlight,
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Sidenote 1
It is very annoying, on the screen of the camera it looks so much nicer, a nice beam, view like what we see ourselves. But as soon as the picture is taken the camera seems to change a lot and the results are a meager idea of what is really going on. Tried making video and retrieving stills of it, that is worse. We need to try different settings, but for this review, these will have to do.
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Sidenote 2
Hopefully the current draw measurements are not missed, I could not measure it. The DDM did not give me anything and the torch did not turn on. This should have been easy but sorry I could not do it.

Edited by: The Miller on 03/02/2016 - 10:24
jacktheclipper
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Thanks for the review , He Who Catches Fish In His Living Space With Bare Hands .

Looks like a quality light .

ReManG
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Great review and looking forward to the S70 review as well. Impressive amount of pictures, I appreciate the “toward the viewer” beamshots…

I think Thorfire is a brand that will be around a while and hopefully keeps their quality high…

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The Miller
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Thanks
Hmm Jack, that looks like a nice thing to use instead of the tomato thing, is it copyrighted?

The Miller
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Here are the S70 and S50

Muto
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Killer review!

Looks like a nice light especially at the price point and great to see emitter is already on copper.
Later,
Keith

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards
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Big Sky Country
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No matter where you go, there you are.

The Miller
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Thanks
yes, it is easy to mod, but what to mod to make it better? Maybe the Pilotdog lighted tailcap?

Jesjes
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Hi Miller, great review, but still waiting for 70… Is it a better thrower???

The Miller
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Yes, the XHP70 and larger head are making it a better thrower
But at the cost of more weight, chunky looks and more dollars.
I think the S50 is really beautiful and elegant compared to the S70 of similar length.
Kind of busy so taking the S70 apart for caliper measurements is tricky right now plan on having it ready Sunday, maybe try to post a review every Sunday because it is fyn to do.

The Miller
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Removed the XHP from the alu pill.
There was too much thermal paste for my liking so when the LED returns and gets installed again I am going to use the bare minimum and this should help getting the heat away from the LED even better then before.
(learned about thermal paste from building computers, one needs to see the metals/chips through the paste, it is only there to fill the minute gaps between the two surfaces. Rookie mistake is using so much when the coolblock is installed paste squeezes out, and cooling is less good.)
By no means the amount was as thick as a thermal pad used in lots of stick-on coolblocks but a little too much for my taste and they could have used half of what they did.

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Merged the S50 and S70 review into 1 blogpost on the Dutch techsite
click
It is in Dutch, but it is cool to see the beamshots of the two close to each other.