Review: Sofirn C8F (Pic heavy)

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ImA4Wheelr
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Review: Sofirn C8F (Pic heavy)

This is a triple-emitter light that has a lot going for it, but a couple design flaws that Sofirn says will be corrected in the next version.  Assuming the light is supposed to be a high performance light, the flaws are an inadequate emitter thermal path in the MCPCB and a low output cell. Other than that, the light has all the ingredients needed for high performance general purpose light.  I received this light steeply discounted from Sofirn to review.  Here is the link that I used to purchase the light.  I don't know if it's one of those affiliate links or anything, but if it is, I have nothing to do with it.  The kit I received included the a protected cell and battery charger.

XXX-Man has a review with nice tear-down pictures here.   

Pros:

  • Good looking light with very nice flat black finish
  • Useful general purpose beam profile with large hot spot and decent spill.  Measured about 17kcd of throw.
  • Well-executed machining with square-cut threads.  Arrived properly lubricated.
  • Integrated emitter shelf
  • Direct Drive ("DD") driver
  • Nice User Interface ("UI") with last mode memory
  • Nice mode separation (measured at startup: 108 Lumens/.2amps, 680 Lumens/1.8amps, 2000 lumens/7 amps)
    • Also has a 5 mode group that is accessed by 3 quick complete clicks.  The last mode from this group will be memorized, but the light returns to the 3 mode group after the light is turned off.   So you can have Strobe available from off, but if you change modes after turn on, you will have to reselect the 5 mode group.
  • LVP at 2.8 volts (I haven't tested this yet)
  • Retainer rings for both the Driver and Tail Switch
  • Tail stands. 
    • Has passages to prevent lanyard from interfering with tail standing.
  • Spring electrical by-passes
  • 2800mAh protected cell.  Trips over 6 amps (measured 2779mAh at 500mA on Lii-500, 38mR)

Cons:

  • Indirect thermal aluminum MCPCB.
  • Protected cell that trips on high when fully charged.
    • This helps protect the XP-G3's
  • No Moon level mode

Pictures:

Arrived in big box from Amazon fulfillment.  The tightly packed product box appears to provide adequate protection of the contents.  Baggie has lanyard and spare o-rings.

The cell measured well in capacity tests.  It trips above 6amps of current.

Both springs are bypassed by __ gauge wire.  Nice square cut threads that arrived well lubed.

 Square-cut threads also on the top end of the battery tube:

Passages to keep lanyard out of way for tail standing.

Driver Pics and Testing Results:

 

 

Beam Shots

Low, Medium, High modes:

Low and Medium.  High was too saturated this close.

 

Conclusion:

Other than the thermal path flaw, I really like this light.  I've been using it as is and find it nice for real world usage.  I would only recommend this version of the light to experienced users due the risks associated with DD lights.  Users need to be willing to use healthy, low output cells as is or be willing to modify the light if they want high performance. 

Sofirn tells me they will by using a DTP copper MCPCB with XP-L emitters in the next version.  Based on that upcoming change and what was done right in this version, the new version should be a winner.

Edited by: ImA4Wheelr on 10/29/2017 - 19:17
bikenber73
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I would get one of these if there was a code.

Terry White
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Nice... I enjoy it much more when the manufacturer actually listens...

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Skype terrywhite1@live.com

Lightbringer
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Terry White wrote:

Nice… I enjoy it much more when the manufacturer actually listens…

Yep, Sofirn’s pretty good about listening to feedback and improving their lights!

I’m kinda careful with it when it’s on high, so I haven’t popped anything yet. Even so, the head gets quite warm quite fast when turboed. Big Smile

With DTP and a better thermal path, this light’s gonna kill!

 

Oh, warm-white SF31! Please being that to market! Big Smile

Everyone I show it to loves the WW light…

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Wildcat
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Lightbringer wrote:

Oh, warm-white SF31! Please being that to market! Big Smile

Everyone I show it to loves the WW light…

This? https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Sofirn-SF31-LED-Flashlight-1865...

Lightbringer
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Wildcat wrote:
Lightbringer wrote:
Oh, warm-white SF31! Please being that to market! Big Smile

Everyone I show it to loves the WW light…

This? https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Sofirn-SF31-LED-Flashlight-1865...

Ooh, that’s the one!

Last I heard from Tracy, the WW version was scuttled.

Lotta people who are used to Angry Blue™ light from those 3×AAA multi-LED lights and the like, are wonderfully surprised when they see something that looks like “real light”. Big Smile

Damn, that ain’t bad, <12bux for it! Think I’ll get another one, in case mine “walks off” somewhere…

 

Umm, make that 2 more. Big Smile

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ImA4Wheelr
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^

Cool. Nice to see another Ali vendor that sells Sofirn lights.  In the past I have bought Sofirns from Elfeland.

Lightbringer
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Oh yeah, before I forget, for anyone in the states, it’s

https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Sofirn-SF31-LED-Flashlight-1865...

for the WW version of the SF31.

For <12bux, it kicks arse. Big Smile

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bikenber73
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So I have one of these on the way from Amazon. What 18650’s should I use in this light? Protected or unprotected??

Thanks

ImA4Wheelr
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Hi bikenber73.  If you receive the new version (don't know if it is available yet), you should be fine with unprotected cells.  If you receive the first version (like reviewed in this thread), you will need protected to avoid frying the emitters.

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I got the old one !

Thank You!

D10ten
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How can I tell if I have the old version or new version?

Lightbringer
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D10ten wrote:
How can I tell if I have the old version or new version?

Use an unprotected cell, see if it fries the emitters? Big Smile

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Gerrit
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Will wait for the xpl version

ImA4Wheelr
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^

It's recently came out.  I've been putting it though its paces and it's sweet.  It's a litte beefier and has a side switch. It's similar to the hot rods we build here, but tamed down to be safer for the masses.  It's rated at 2540 lumens (IIRC), but I measured 3K at startup and 2900 at 30 seconds with the stock cell (8.8 amps at the tail).  It's DD.  So performance will depend on the cell.  Sofirn tamed it down by using XPL emitters (high Vf), protected cell, and FW.

The heat sinking on the light is top notch.  Carries the heat from the head to the tail efficiently.  The whole light warms up as you use it.  Very nice.  I should be posting a review in the next few days.

bimmernut318
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I must have gotten the old version as it was very cool and bright with the battery it came with and then I tried a 30q and killed it…

ImA4Wheelr
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^

A 30Q would probably toast the old version (one reviewed in this thread) quite handily.  I'm planning to mod mine by drilling a hole through the thermal pads and emitter shelf and then pounding in a copper wire.  Then I'll probably reflow in some Nichia 219C's or something.

Does your light have a side switch or a tail switch?

bimmernut318
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Just the tail switch, I read the review but decided it would be a great idea to see if I could kill it with the 30q. I have to say that it was pretty impressive with the battery that it came with for the less than one minute I used it before I said, “lets put a new battery in that is fully charged”! That lasted about a millisecond after I hit the power switch but was a very bright flash…

ImA4Wheelr
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^

Ha!  That is a very BLF member type of thing you did.  You definitely belong here.  Welcome aboard.

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bikenber73 wrote:
I would get one of these if there was a code.

Thanks for your interested in Sofirn light.

We will offer coupon or code in this thread. http://budgetlightforum.com/node/54768

Sofirn is owned by a factory, contact us for any lights you wanna make or contact to be a dealer.

AMAZON US Store

Aliexpress Worldwide Store

Thailand Shopee Store 

Malaysia Shopee Store

Gerrit
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Hello Tracy,

I already have a sofirn SP32a it is a very nice flashlight.
Will there be a discount code for the sofirn C8F xpl?

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Gerrit wrote:
Hello Tracy,

I already have a sofirn SP32a it is a very nice flashlight.
Will there be a discount code for the sofirn C8F xpl?

Of course. Here has a 25% off code of C8F XPL. It will a nice price.

Have a good time on BLF Wink

Sofirn is owned by a factory, contact us for any lights you wanna make or contact to be a dealer.

AMAZON US Store

Aliexpress Worldwide Store

Thailand Shopee Store 

Malaysia Shopee Store

JasonWW
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They really need a new name for the sideswitch version.

My Convoy L6 thread with XHP70.2, Texas Avenger FET driver, Narsil v1.2 ramping firmware, lighted side switch and cut down SMO reflector. Lots of amp draws on stock driver as well. 

My Supfire L5-S thread with XHP70, Texas Avenger FET driver, NarsilM v1.0 ramping firmware and lighted side switch. My mini L6! 

9 NarsilM user videos including GT 

Texas_Ace BLF Calibrated Lumen tube

 

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Tracy Wan—-Sofirn wrote:
Of course. Here has a 25% off code of C8F XPL. It will a nice price.

Any code somewhere besides Amazon? Amazon does not ship to many European countries, at least not without crazy shipping costs.
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Mike C wrote:
Tracy Wan—-Sofirn wrote:
Of course. Here has a 25% off code of C8F XPL. It will a nice price.

Any code somewhere besides Amazon? Amazon does not ship to many European countries, at least not without crazy shipping costs.

They have a store on Aliexpress.
http://s.aliexpress.com/ZRraeuyA

My Convoy L6 thread with XHP70.2, Texas Avenger FET driver, Narsil v1.2 ramping firmware, lighted side switch and cut down SMO reflector. Lots of amp draws on stock driver as well. 

My Supfire L5-S thread with XHP70, Texas Avenger FET driver, NarsilM v1.0 ramping firmware and lighted side switch. My mini L6! 

9 NarsilM user videos including GT 

Texas_Ace BLF Calibrated Lumen tube

 

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JasonWW wrote:
They have a store on Aliexpress.

I know, but that’s not what I was asking. I was interested in a discount code Smile
beam0
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Mike C wrote:
JasonWW wrote:
They have a store on Aliexpress.
I know, but that’s not what I was asking. I was interested in a discount code Smile

Actually no discount code needed right now on Aliexpress, it’s on sale right now for 2 more days. At $35.50 it’s very close to the same price as using the coupon code on amazon, it may even be less if you use the app.

This is the lowest price I’ve seen it anywhere, I don’t think there is any discount code available to make it less than that. Here’s a link:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sofirn-C8F-Triple

I have this light (working on a review of it) and I can say without a doubt that $35.50 is an absolute steal for this, you will not be disappointed.

.

EDIT: (I’m referring to the newer version of this with XPL and side switch, not the v1 that’s reviewed in this thread)

"Over 2000000 hours (about 200 years) standby time"  (DQG Tiny 4th)

"27,157 results for zoomable flashlight" (ebay)

 

 

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beam0 wrote:
Actually no discount code needed right now on Aliexpress, it’s on sale right now for 2 more days. At $35.50 it’s very close to the same price as using the coupon code on amazon, it may even be less if you use the app.

This is the lowest price I’ve seen it anywhere, I don’t think there is any discount code available to make it less than that. Here’s a link:

Plus, spend more’n 25bux (this qualifies) and you get 2bux off via coupon. So it’s literally very close to the Amazon price!

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Lightbringer
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beam0 wrote:
EDIT: (I’m referring to the newer version of this with XPL and side switch, not the v1 that’s reviewed in this thread)

Even so, I got one of the original self-frying models, and that one kix buttocks as well. I just don’t keep it on turbo long enough to do any damage, but it’s still a li’l blazer!

This one, though… winner! It’s definitely got tiger’s blood in it!

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ImA4Wheelr
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^

I agree.  I'm still using the original version (version reviewed in this thread) in it's stock form.  It's at the side door and I use it nightly to let open the gate for my dog after dark and also for going out to the shed.

khas
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I got the replacement MCPCB for my self-destructing C8F today, it’s still XP-G3 emitters but on a copper DTP MCPCB. I tested it on turbo with a VTC6 until step down it did get very hot but no angry blue emitters.

I am really happy with the Sofirn customer service.

Edit : I did order the new version C8F, like i need another flashlight Facepalm