Review: XTAR S1 (3 x XM-L U2, magnetic ring selector, 30 - 2800 lumens ANSI)

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2100
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Review: XTAR S1 (3 x XM-L U2, magnetic ring selector, 30 - 2800 lumens ANSI)

Purchased from Serena, szws@szwholesale.com

Same person/company as from the XTAR 18700 group buy.  Paypal company address is actually listed as Hongkong XTAR CO., Ltd

Just got the XTAR S1. Some specs from the instruction sheet first.

 

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This is a review copy which I paid for it but the retail copy/packaging and pricing should be firmed up after Chinese New Year (23st Jan).  Tentative pricing should be below usd200.

 

 Impressions of the light 

First off, I took it out of the box and yep Harry said it right in the first post, i went Holy ****.    This is because the light has the highest heft there is, it is 888g without cells at 83mm head dia, 47mm body dia, 240mm length.  The front bezel is slightly crenelated and the thickness is ~5mm (!!), the body thickness ranges from ~ 2mm to 4mm. The tailcap obviously does not have a clicky and weighs about 150g! 

I remember the first time when i held the Polarion Crew Served Weapon Light (CSWL) which belongs to a local flashaholic. The heft and solidness is amazing. This is coming close to that.  A knuckle rap on any part of the light yields nothing but a dead thud. If you have a Balder BD-4 or Fenix TK70 or Jetbeam RRT-1 you can do a knuckle rap of the head (and only the head part for those lights) and this sound is like that. Absolutely solid and no resonance. Even the Crelant 7G5's 7075-T6 does not sound like that and there is a wee bit of resonance.  Those who have a fetish for that solid feel in your hands kind of light would love this.

 

The quality of HA is pretty good. It is somewhat slightly matt like Dereelight/Crelant quality. Most importantly is the cutting of the patterns/knurling on the light, they are all very high quality and i could see zero nicks/dents. In this regard, the detailing/sharpness of the cuts is as good as Jetbeam/Fenix/Sunwayman.  This is not budget light quality.

 

Some comparisons to other lights

XTAR S1 : Weight 888g (excluding cells)/  Dimensions  83mm head diameter, 47mm body diameter, 240mm length.

 

(1) Jetbeam RRT-3 XM-L

 Dimensions: Head diameter 67mm, Tube diameter 46mm, Total length 198mm
· Weight: 560g (excluding batteries)

(2) Fenix TK70

• 405mm (Length) x 40mm (Diameter) x 106mm(Head)
• 769-gram weight (excluding batteries)

 

 (3) Olight SR92

  • Dimensions : Head Diameter 100mm x L 273mm, Weight: 1180g (including batteries)
  • Interesting that the SR92 got 45250 cd.

 

Beamshots.  100m target

Fenix TK70 in Turbo

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XTAR S1

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Olight M3X

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Olight M3X, XTAR S1, Fenix TK70 with extender taken off and laid beside it  (3D length)

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High quality square threads with double O-rings everywhere!

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Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:21
2100
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Some more pictures and write-up here and also on CPF  : http://budgetlightforum.com/node/6535

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?329227-XTAR-S1-(3*XM-L-U2-2800lm

 

Measurements :

Ceiling bounce relative values : 210 lux for the XTAR S1 with stock lens (possibly 226 lux with UCL).  Fenix TK70 217 lux (rated 2200 lumens ANSI Out-The-Front).   DRY cold-white in Direct-drive Turbo mode and UCL lens, 255 lux  (DRY suffers a 7% drop from this value on a 3-min run in this hot country of mine, not too bad actually and much better than any P60).  The TK70 has a good AR lens.    It's difficult to get a tailcap reading for the highest output due to the 3-cells in parallel.

 

Glass Lens cuts 10%, 3.5mm thick 75mm diameter.  Usual budgetlights do about 5-7% cut but with thinner glass. So you could add 10% to the figures, quite a few of my lights have good glass that cuts 1% only.  You could get a 72.7mm x 1.85mm thick UCL, there is still some 1mm more to screw down but i guess it would still rattle a wee bit and water resistance would be compromised. But if you are after output then there is still potential to be realised

 

Lowest output is about 20 lumens OTF. I am not sure if this is really the lowest but on the meter this is more or less the lowest i can get, with some fast fiddling of the control ring and it's not too bad with some practice. 0.036A at the tail.  I could get this because i can measure with 1-cell.  This calculates to at least 258 hrs run time on low with Panasonic 3100mAh cells.

 

8.2m distance = 60.1k cd. Possibly 64.9k cd with UCL.  Stock wise, it would be 490m throw distance with 0.25 lux @ target or 245m throw distance if you follow International searchlights standard with 1 lux @ target. What the heck is XTAR doing putting 32.5k cd in the specs, that's the understatement of the year! LOL!  I don't claim my meter to be accurate, but we can do relative comparisons. At the same distance/place and directly compared to the Olight M3X that is 52.5k cd.  Crelant 7G5 is 54.8k cd.  SWM T40CS is 50.2k cd. Fenix TK70 is 88.3k cd. I will do longer distances soon.

 

Highest output, no PWM.  Lower outputs in Preset mode PWM freq is 475Hz.  Well this would be a con but I guess it's not too bad as it's definitely visible but not bothersome.  It will bother the absolute purist type of flashaholic though, I guess. Many budgetlights like STL-V2, Trustfire TR-3T6, Sky Ray SR3800 are in the 200Hz range so seriously this is not too bad. What XTAR could do is to raise this to about 1-2k region for production, that should be great and invisible for anything other than shining through pouring rain.

 

Heat measurement.  Ambient 29 deg C.  No wind.  12 mins run in Highest output, 38.9 deg C measured at the bezel.  Heat transfer from head to the tube is decent because that part is not anodized and is of naked aluminum threads.  I don't think there is any thermo-regulation but as you can see, absolutely not an issue even for a tropical country kind of weather due to the high mass.

 

Tailcap current, i used a MKNE IMR 26650 and measured 6.3A.  Closed the tailcap and got the same output ceiling bounce values as 3 x 18650.  That is a lot of output for so little current.  In high, that 1h 35 min runtime is absolutely believable. You use 3100mAh cells, draw is 6.3/3 = 2.1A.  That's 1.5hours. It's actually more complicated than that but i am keeping it simple here.

Parasatic drain, 0.001A. Unfortuantely i could not use the microamps measurement on my Uni-T UT-58E DMM, think i busted the fuse or something.  But at this rate the batteries would be drained in about 358 days.

harry25175
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holy....... i want this so bad......

harry25175
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i will definitely going to get this...

Chicago X
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You magnificent ba$tard.  

I want one.

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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my9221
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Chinese New Year is on Jan 23!

KDLST
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Luckyyyyyy

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gong xi fat choi...

my9221
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Same to you & everybody!

xed888
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Congrats on the purchase! Please confirm for me when you can if there's any PWM on the lower modes.

2100
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Specs, measurements and pictures updated.

dthrckt
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ok, stupid question time - what happens if you stack two UCL lenses, aside from them being ~.2mm too thick...

3% each for total 6%?  or will the interface between the two create more loss...

hopefully xtar will read your loss figure and use a better lens

edit:  also, I asked about offering a diffuser for the S1 while discussing my defective (brand new) D06 through emails.  didn't sound like they have any plans (for a diffuser, or for fixing my D06).

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Girls can shoot!

xed888
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So i opened the beamshots of the TK70 and the S1 in separate tabs and switched between them: Only difference I can see is tint and S1 seems slightly floodier. Am I right? 

2100: Seeing as you have both TK70 and S1, which would you keep? Thanks

2100
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xed888 wrote:

2100: Seeing as you have both TK70 and S1, which would you keep? Thanks

If we compare TK70 as usd229 and S1 as usd195 for unified/recommended pricings, definitely the XTAR S1.  It could be a bit lower if you are a regular with your favourite shop.   The TK70 is a toilet plunger, needs investment in new batteries/charger (be it 2 x 32600 = $35 or 4 x Tenergy NiMH which is about usd 40-55 shipped for international customers, CONUS would be usd30). so much larger be it 3D length or 4D length.  It is a powerhouse and is especially good during launch because it was the only brute force lumens thrower which has 90k cd hotspot, good sized corona (so even in high and medium mode you could make use of that and not develope tunnel vision) and most importantly non-proprietary batteries.   

 I cannot accept stuff like SR90 / SR92....once something happens to the company, your hundreds of dollars light would be useless in 2 years. It is very difficult to change the cells inside the pack.  Yes new emitters will be out then, but as in today you don't see your XR-E/XP-G lights going useless.

The XTAR S1 has no green tint. Most probably 1A.   The TK70 has a wee bit of green tint and yellowish corona in med and low modes, most probably 1C as also used by Jetbeam/Sunwayman.

2100
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dthrckt wrote:

ok, stupid question time - what happens if you stack two UCL lenses, aside from them being ~.2mm too thick...

hopefully xtar will read your loss figure and use a better lens

edit:  also, I asked about offering a diffuser for the S1 while discussing my defective (brand new) D06 through emails.  didn't sound like they have any plans (for a diffuser, or for fixing my D06).

If you want a a more diffused beam pattern, just get a LDF coat on your UCL. 0.2mm too thick is not an issue, it has double O-rings and i see that it could be a solution. It should be about 4% cut total.

The stock lens is just a bit thick, that's why the 10% cut. Else it is as normal as any other glass on budgetlight. I guess it is not easy to do that size for AR glass, they are not Fenix which can spec 100mm and ask the glass makers to cut 400 pieces in addition to 2000pcs for their Fenix TK41 and 2000pcs for TK21 and..... No contest.

xed888
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The only issue i have with the S1 is that PWM!!! Silly Its not exactly a budget light at USD195 so why put in PWM? thats so annoying. I wonder if they will remove it by the time they officially release it?

harry25175
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do you have picture when you are holding the S1??

mitro
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Thank you for the review and tests, 2100. I can't afford one but I certainly want one. Smile

2100
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harry25175 wrote:

do you have picture when you are holding the S1??

Yes, i have posted some links above.  I think the original photos came from shoudian but i can't find that thread.

2100
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Ok, ordered 2 x 72.7mm UCL. Should not rattle and from what i see, water resistance should not be compromised much (I don't dip my lights into a pail or something, anyway just change it back to the original lens if you need that).

Not that i want to waste money, but I have 3 UCLs and a UCLp with LDF for my DRYs and for big reflector lights they are well worth the money. Smaller lenses, not so much.  The reflector of this light is absolutely flawless, no smokiness and is just so transparent.  My Fenix TK70 has a bit of defects, one of the reflectors have some haziness near the emitter.

They even look good at ZERO lumens, serious. If you look into a normal lens, the contrast of what you see inside the reflector is much lower than that if you'd to peer through a UCL.  Some AR lenses are better than others even if you are talking about non budget lights, the aftermarket UCL is one of the best ard.

Best case scenario cut is 2% range, i actually measured 0.9% for my 54.0mm x 1.9mm.  Worst case 4%?

xed888
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I suppose its ok to conclude that judging from your lux values, the S1 has an ANSI OTF lumens of less than 2200 when compared to the TK70?

In which case, 2800 lumens is ANSI emitter lumens then?

2100
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xed888 wrote:

I suppose its ok to conclude that judging from your lux values, the S1 has an ANSI OTF lumens of less than 2200 when compared to the TK70?

In which case, 2800 lumens is ANSI emitter lumens then?

2800 / 0.75 = 2100.  10% for glass, 15% for reflector?   Maybe....  But reflectors usually are 20-25%.  So not sure...

Haven't measured the tail current, with that info i'd be able to make a better informed guess.

 

 

2100
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Measured 6.1A on a 26650 MKNE IMR at the tail. Kaidomain 32600 5.3AH measured capacity gave me 5.6A.  But both are 4.1V, not fully charged.

Not sure what's the output though.  Must be careful when doing highest modes and i am trying to do it long enough just to get a reading, i am not sure if the driver is straining.

 

Mr.BrightLights
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That's a couple of drys and beamtech4000's lol. It's huge but beautiful
2100
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I measured a MKNE IMR 26650, got 6.3A.  Closed the tailcap and measured.  Yep got the same 210 ceiling bounce values as 3 x 18650s.  Interesting, so the U2 LEDs are not driven to the max.  That's a lot of output for so little current!

 

Tailcap current, i used a MKNE IMR 26650 and measured 6.3A. Closed the tailcap and got the same output ceiling bounce values as 3 x 18650. That is a lot of output for so little current. In high, that 1h 35 min runtime is absolutely believable. You use 3100mAh cells, draw is 6.3/3 = 2.1A. That's 1.5hours. It's actually more complicated than that but i am keeping it simple here.

 

sb56637
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Nice looking light! Price isn't in my budget though.

I linked to one of the images at the top of the post for the teaser, and made this review Frontpage and Sticky. (Moved to 18650 flashlight reviews)

Thanks a lot!

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weiser
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I didn't realize XTAR had a 3*XM-L fatty and this is a beaut. I definitely want, but won't be able to consider at all because of the price tag. Thanks for the review! 

2100
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sb56637 wrote:

Nice looking light! Price isn't in my budget though.

I linked to one of the images at the top of the post for the teaser, and made this review Frontpage and Sticky. (Moved to 18650 flashlight reviews)

Thanks a lot!

Thanks.  Yeah it's really a beauty and most important of all this feels like a very serious light when held in the hand. As said elsewhere some of your fav/regular dealers could give a better price if you negotiated.  Some folks don't want a TK70 but want to retain similar performance (the form factor of TM11 occupies another niche, budgetlight equivalent would be the DRY) and i figured this hit the right spot.  

With batteries, this weighs just over 1kg, all contained in that form factor that is just a wee bit bigger than the RRT-3 XM-L.  Crazy. And it shows in the heat-related performance.

Olli1783
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Thanks for Pictures and Review

Noctigon Meteor M43 

xed888
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Can you comment of the stiffness of the magnetic ring? Will it wear out anytime soon or become loose? Thanks!

2100
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xed888 wrote:

Can you comment of the stiffness of the magnetic ring? Will it wear out anytime soon or become loose? Thanks!

The tactile feel of the magnetic ring is pretty good, enough resistance and also ease of twist.  I'd say same "quality" of feel as the SWM V60C.  There are indents and i don't think it would wear out.

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