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...

Terry White

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.

bikenber73
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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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