Review: Ultrafire C3 Stainless Steel XR-E Q5 1xAA 3-mode

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sb56637
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Review: Ultrafire C3 Stainless Steel XR-E Q5 1xAA 3-mode

 

Ultrafire C3 Stainless Steel 3-mode

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★

 

 

Summary:

Battery:
1xAA or 1x14500
Switch: Reverse Clicky (steel)
Modes: Low - Medium - High
LED Type: Cree XR-E Q5
Lens: Glass
Reflector:Smooth
Tailstands: No
Price Payed: Sample for review (normally $20.00)
Date Ordered: 14 / Sep / 2010
From: Manafont.com


Pros:

  • Three (3) useful modes with no strobe
  • Class leading runtime
  • Perfect mode memory
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent regulation

Cons:

  • Doesn't tailstand
  • A pocket clip would be nice

 

 

Features / Value: ★★★★

This is yet another variation of the popular Ultrafire C3 Stainless Steel flashlight. They really should give each of these variations a different name, because it's very confusing to have so many varieties with the same name, both in aluminum and stainless steel, 1-mode, 5-mode, and 3-mode. This particular 3-mode version appears to be available only on Manafont.com for a marginally high $20 pricetag. At this point a brief disclaimer would not be amiss: This flashlight was kindly sent to me by Manafont.com expressly for review purposes. I'll try to be objective with this review. Nevertheless, this particular review may sound rather glowing, because frankly, this flashlight is superb. By far the most important feature on this flashlight is something that it does not have-- flashing modes. Finally! Could it be that Ultrafire engineers are reading these forums? If so, you are to be congratulated for finally giving the people what they want-- a relatively inexpensive, high-quality, multi-mode flashlight with no annoying, worthless strobe, SOS, or other superfluous gimmicks. Rather, the Manafont C3 SS offers three simple, straightforward, infinitely usable modes, complemented by perfect mode memory. This is another rare feature in a budget light. The mode memory kicks in almost instantly after an off-on cycle of less than 1 second, and it consistently reverts to the last used mode. Very, very well done, Ultrafire. These are the two most notable features of the Manafont C3 SS. Unlike the cheaper 5-mode $13 Ultrafire C3 SS variations, the Manafont version can be distinguished by its steel tailswitch. Tragically, however, they chose to make the switch with a slightly domed point that protrudes slightly from the end, thereby preventing the light from tailstanding. This is by far the most significant shortcoming of this otherwise superb flashlight. Apart from that, it uses a rather common XR-E Q5 emitter coupled with a smooth reflector. Unlike its cheaper $13 cousin, the tailswitch obviously does not glow in the dark, which I would prefer. Although none of the C3 SS models have one, I wish that this light had a sturdy pocket clip similar to the one on the UltraFire RL-168. Instead, it has a standard fare carrying strap. So overall, this light has two extremely important features for $20. The 5-mode $13 version of this light from other sellers also has good quality, the same emitter, glow-in-the-dark O-rings, and is often tailstandable for $7 less. I feel that the value of the 3 non-flashing modes and the excellent mode memory on the Manafont version justify the premium price, but I wish it was at least a few dollar cheaper. So the Manafont Ultrafire C3 SS gets a strong 4-star rating for Features / Value.

 

Build Quality: ★★★★

No complaints here. Build quality is excellent on the Manafont Ultrafire C3 SS. The light is built like a tank, and it feels indestructible. Everything, including the switch, is solid steel. It has a heavy, substantial, and serious feel to it. The threading on the tailcap and head is quite smooth, especially for stainless steel. The light was free of manufacturing grime, and fortunately I did not have to tweak or tighten anything. It worked perfectly out of the box, which is a real virtue shared by most Ultrafire C3 variations. It arrived well polished with no noticeable nicks or dings. The steel tailswitch feels very nice. I have no other steel switch models to compare it to, but the switch action feels very smooth and expensive, with a muted, midrange-pitched "snick" sound. Interestingly, it requires the switch to be half-depressed for a few milliseconds longer than is typical to change modes in a multi-mode light. Thus, it requires a very deliberate press to change modes. I think this is an excellent feature to avoid bumps to the switch that lead to unwanted mode changes. And as mentioned previously, the Manafont Ultrafire C3 SS forms part of a very select group of budget lights that have perfect mode memory. So overall, this light exudes a very expensive, utilitarian feel that reminds the owner that he has a high-quality tool in his hand. The Manafont Ultrafire C3 SS receives a well-earned 5-star rating for Build Quality.

 

Battery Life: ★★★★★

At long last, I have finally found a budget flashlight that earns a solid 5-star rating for battery life. The Ultrafire C3 SS 3-mode truly impressed me with its incredible runtime that easily outshines all other lights I own by at least double the runtime. With a good Eneloop battery, I was expecting it to conk out at about 14 hours, so I tried to change modes to see if it had any life left to switch to a higher mode. To my great surprise, it switched to the highest mode without protest, and the output on high was apparently the same as when I had tried it out 14 hours prior to that. So I quickly switched it back to low and waited...and waited...until it finally gave up the fight after more than 48 hours of constant, usable light. In fact the only thing that impresses more than the runtime is the regulation, which somehow maintained almost constant output for virtually the entire course of the battery life. And the output isn't even all that low; I would estimate it at maybe 5 lumens. So apparently despite the rather unexceptional XR-E emitter, the driver must be incredibly efficient to produce relatively bright light for two whole days. In reality it's not a true moonlight mode, but rather a very usable low mode that somehow lasts two days. So paint me impressed, this one's a keeper. 5-stars without contest in this category.

 

Light Output: ★★★★★

Although perhaps not quite the brightest light I own, the Ultrafire C3 Stainless 3-mode has a very bright high mode and a nice beam pattern. In comparison with the Ultrafire M2 on high, a scrutinizing glance reveals that the C3 is slightly dimmer on high. Yet, it still manages to be brighter than several other Cree lights I own. Additionally, this light most likely works well with 14500 lithium batteries, which would undoubtedly give it a huge output boost. The beam pattern of the C3 SS 3-mode is quite nice despite the smooth reflector. It shows a bright hotspot, surrounded by a not-too-noticeable darker ring, followed by the aura, which is essentially uniform with a few insignificant, very narrow rings. An important difference between the Manafont version and the DX version is the reflector, which is smooth on this light and orange peel on the other versions. In general, the beam has no major distracting features, and it's probably the nicest beam of the XR-E lights with smooth reflectors that I currently own. This version with its smooth reflector probably throws a bit farther than the other versions with their orange peel reflectors. I like the color of the light. It's a bit less warm and "fruity" than the Ultrafire M2 or Akoray K-106 3-mode, but it's not stark white and it has a bit less of a yellow element than the Trustfire F20. Again, the color is not class-leading, but it also does not result in distractions or loss of detail at night. So while the Ultrafire C3 SS from Manafont doesn't quite attain the highest standard of light set by the Trustfire R5-A3 and the Uniquefire AA-S1, it is nevertheless much better than many other budget lights. It just barely gets 5-stars in this category.

 

Summary: ★★★★★

In conclusion, the Ultrafire C3 Stainless Steel 3-mode from Manafont is a superb instrument. It combines excellent quality with three truly practical modes and class-leading runtime. If only it could tailstand, it would be almost perfect. I would highly recommend this light to flashlight aficionados as well as beginners who need a reliable, long-lasting light for far less than the name brands. The C3 SS 3-mode averages out to a well-earned 5-star overall rating. Applause to Ultrafire and Manafont for this great offering.

 

 

Do you own the Ultrafire C3 Stainless 3-mode? Please give it your own rating below!

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:06 Reason: sb56637 replaced budgetlightforum.cz.cc with budgetlightforum.com via Scanner Search and Replace module.
Don
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I looked at that one and would have been tempted by it if I didn't already have one of the good older ones. Which does tailstand.

 

Does this one have the very odd quarter or half second delay before it comes on which the first of the Q5 stainless steel ones do.

 

One of my patients as attempting to teach me how to juggle this morning, first with apples then with stainless steel lights. Once they got turned on in disco modes, he wasn't able to juggle them as the flashing lights kept catching his eye. I can say that the original C3 stainless steel can tolerate being thrown all over my office in failed attempts to juggle with it. Likewise the Trustfire F22 and the R5-A3. No ill effects seen on them from failed juggling.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sb56637
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Don wrote:

Does this one have the very odd quarter or half second delay before it comes on which the first of the Q5 stainless steel ones do.

Nope, it's instant on.

I think that the switch boot of the original cheaper C3 SS was always prone to manufacturing error. I imagine they're about 50/50 tailstandable, probably always have been. I get the impression that none of the Manafont ones are tailstandable though.

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Vectrex
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Will that juggling become an official test in your reviews?... if so, I want videos... and inform us when you manage to juggle 3x6D Mags. Wink

Is there a PWM frequency visible? Or do you suspect current regulation on the UF C3 SS?

Don
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Vectrex wrote:

Will that juggling become an official test in your reviews?... if so, I want videos... and inform us when you manage to juggle 3x6D Mags. Wink

 

Doubt it - I've comprehensively proved that I can't juggle Sad and this guy will get out of hospital one day. I can't juggle 1 6D Mag...

 

You need to try those mad guys who juggle running chainsaws for that Smile

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sb56637
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Vectrex wrote:

Is there a PWM frequency visible? Or do you suspect current regulation on the UF C3 SS?

Hmm, I can't notice any PWM flicker. And isn't current regulation a lot more efficient than PWM? Something is drastically different to make this light approximately twice as efficient as other lights that I have. That could be the key.

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Vectrex
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Would make sense and would also explain the price point.

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Even the front O-ring isn't GITD? On the pictures on Manafont it is.

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Vectrex wrote:

Even the front O-ring isn't GITD? On the pictures on Manafont it is.

Ooops, I stand corrected Vectrex. How did I not notice that?

Ah, I think I know... it just kept running and running so that I hardly ever looked at it when it was recently shut off. Laughing

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tethering
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My C3 from manafont.com arrived today. Finishing is very good, although mine got a litte dent at the front on which the light stands. It's screwd tight together, no space between gaps. Excellent build quality. The back switch is a little bit hard to press, compared to a rubber switch (Hugsby-P31). Because the cone protrudes slight off the back, i find it a litte bit hard to trigger it. Runtime on low 12h and running, very good for 1xAA. I normally like stainless steel (for example from the Maglites) but this is a little different, after a while my hands have a typical steel odor. Sad Is this normal or are there production residues? Apart from this issue it is a great light and will be a perfect chrismas gift. Party
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I've seen than both this review and "Review: Ultrafire C3 Q5 Stainless Steel ★★★★★", appear to be related to the same flashlight, with a few differences, namely SS clicky, overall length, reflector (smooth vs. OP) and number of modes (3 vs. 5).

 

However there are some inconsistencies in the review data that made me doubt they are in fact the same or that they have equivalent performance. One of the factors is the runtime on low, over 48h in this review, but only 12.5h in the other one. The maximum brightness for DX C3 SS is also stated to be lower than that of the aluminum C3, but in the following table also made by Don, reviewer of the DX C3 SS (extracted from here), C3 SS has higher brightness than aluminum C3. Is he using the Manafont C3 SS instead for the data in that table?

 

    Lightbox Lightbox Lightbox Est. lumens Est. lumens Est. lumens
Light Battery Immediate 30 seconds 2 Minutes sitch-on 30 secs 2 Minutes
Aurora SH-035 Low 14500 36 36 36 6 6 6
Trustfire F25 Low 14500 118 118 118 21 21 21
MX Power ML-310 Low 14500 216 211 208 39 38 37
Aurora SH-035 Med 14500 269 266 265 48 48 48
Ultrafire C3 (P4) 14500 457 438 444 82 79 80
Smallsun ZY-C85 full zoom 14500 581 542 498 104 97 89
Trustfire F25 Medium 14500 585 572 563 105 103 101
Ultrafire C3 (P4) No. 4 14500 865 819 740 155 147 133
Smallsun ZY-C85 14500 867 766 735 156 137 132
Aurora SH-035 High 14500 898 856 817 161 154 147
MX Power ML-310 High 14500 900 798 739 161 143 133
Uniquefire S10 14500 1112 1017 962 199 182 173
Hugsby P31 with P32 Gold driver 14500 1176 1084 1064 211 194 191
Ultrafire C3 (P4) No. 3 14500 1176 1099 977 211 197 175
Trustfire F22 14500 1254 1128 1030 225 202 185
Uniquefire AA-S1 14500 1255 1183 1162 225 212 208
Trustfire F25 High 14500 1347 1174 1090 242 211 196
Ultrafire C3 (P4) No. 2 14500 1347 1118 1089 242 201 195
Ultrafire C3 Grey Q5 14500 1359 1205 1149 244 216 206
Ultrafire C3 SS Q5 14500 1391 1259 1122 250 226 201
Trustfire R5-A3 14500 1630 1482 1416 292 266 254

 

I'm looking for a good budged flashlight that works well on AA (alk.) / NiMH, and if C3 SS does and the main differences between DX and Manafont ones are the few stated at the beginning I'll surely go for the cheaper one, but I'm still not sure that they have equivalent performance. Maybe the problem arises from the fact that one review is more focused on NiMH and the other one on Li-Ion. If anyone could clarify it a bit I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance.

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The "Ultrafire C3"-line has so many varieties, that I have lost track how many models exists. The stainless steel ones have at least 3 different models: 93 and 98mm in length and GITD tailcap and the Manafont metal tailcap. The 98mm version is rubbish (DX), the 93mm version good (LT) and the Manafont version seems even better. The table you posted is for 14500 and not Alka / Nimh.batteries. C3 Stainless lights have a better track record when it comes to build quality, aluminum ones often have contact issues. If you want a Alka/Nimh-only light, there are better ones out there. THIS and THAT might be an interesting read for you. I have given away/sold all my C3s once I found the Hugsby P31/P32-line (look at the links in my sig) and I ordered that new 4-mode Eastward from DX.  Ah and  welcome to BLF. Smile

 

P.S.: I almost forgot.. there is a 4th version with extension on DX.

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The DX C3 is supposedly 93mm (not 98mm) according to the pictures, while there is another older, more expensive 94mm version (still another 94mm old version sold out). There was a 98mm version not available anymore or was that a mistake?

 

I know the previous table is for 14500 li-Ion, not NiMH. I expect about 50% maximum brightness with NiMH / AA, but at least one of the C3 SS versions seem to be quite good in that aspect. In the first thread you suggested I also found this table that somewhat confirms my expectations:

      Lumens 
     0s30s2min
EastwardYJ J09 High AA NiMH 916 750 706 164 135 127
Ultrafire C3 SS Q5 AA NiMH 718 620 574 129 111 103
Ultrafire C3 Grey Q5 AA NiMH 664 629 596 119 113 107
Hugsby P32 High AA NiMH 650 597 554 117 107 99
Trustfire R5-A3 High AA NiMH 650     117 0 0
Aurora SH-035 AA NiMH 644     116 0 0
Trustfire F22 AA NiMH 586     105 0 0
Uniquefire S10 AA NiMH 575     103 0 0
Uniquefire AA-S1 AA NiMH 565 557 531 101 100 95
Akoray K-106 AA NiMH 189 198 198 34 36 36

 

The key would be to know which one of the C3 SS versions is used in these tables. I guess is the Manafont one, but not sure.

 

There are other options on AA, but most of the bright ones are single mode, so short runtimes. It's also interesting to keep lithium option open just in case if that doesn't significantly compromise performance on AA. C3 SS makes also a good gift, which is the main purpose I'm considering, it's nice looking and I guess it seems high quality and probably durable.

 

New Eastward J609 4 mode seems also very interesting, if it looks good in addition of performing well it may be a very interesting option for AA/NiMH only light gift. It would be better with a GITD o-ring at the front; it seems that the one included is not. I guess a 16mm GITD o-ring will fit fine. By the way, I hope the new 4-mode version performs on high as well as the old 3-version does.

 

The C3 SS with extension you mention looks very good too as a AA option, unfortunately it's single mode.  Frown

 

I will appreciate any clues pointing to the right C3 SS, additional Eastward J609 hands on impressions or any other suggestions regarding good multimode lights (no strobes, SOS,...) that perform well on AA/NiMH. Thanks in advance.

Vectrex
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I can't guarantee that you receive the same lights, but to the best of my knowledge:

Don has the (old) 93 mm version.

DX has the 98 mm version. They used to have the 93mm but changed the product and not the pictures.

LT has the 93 mm. Confirmed by some members here in the forum and by Daniel of LT.

Manafont seems to be the only store with the 3 mode ( no strobes) which is tested here.

O-rings are normally 18mm ... at least on the aluminum C3s I had.

I don't like GITD parts on my lights ... I personally think they make a light look cheapish ... but that is a matter of taste.

If I wanted to have the option of 14500 in the future I would probably buy the Trustfire R5-A3. Very high outputs on AA and 14500s.

HERE is another thread that might fit your bill.

My personal preference on multimode AA lights: clip, no strobes, 3-4 modes, NiMh-only if it brings me better output (on NiMH of cause), aluminum body (SS is a bad material for flashlights - adds weight - less heat conductive), coated AR glass lens, aluminum reflector (OP for XR-E, SMO for XP-G), reverse clicky

So the new Eastward comes very close to that wishlist.

For fans of SS the F25 might also be interesting.

Don
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I have the original (ordered the day DX announced it) Q5 C3 stainless - a 93mm long one. Actually there were more than one older C3 SS models - one older one with a P4 which cost more than twice as much as the Q5 one I have. One warning about it - on high with a 14500 I cannot take the heat for more than 4.5 minutes and my hands can take more heat then most people's. It is the only light I own that can make me drop it.

 

What I'd like is a no strobe version with the build quality of the Aurora SH-034 and an R5 in it. Preferably with a 3-10 lumen low.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

ezeqdb
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Ive got a 98mm C3 SS with a theoretical XRE Q5. The tint is very greenish, and with the GITD oring was even more.. so i put a black one. 

Now I am waiting for an XPG R5, and I dont know if put it in the C3 SS or in the 6 usd TR801 that I am waiting too.

 

Stainless Steel can't transfer the heat as well as aluminium, so it take its time to get hot, but when is hot enough, i have to drop it too (and lumens fall more than a 30%)

 

An XPG R5 will generate more or less heat than an XRE Q5 (at the same current)?

 

(you should get used to my horrible english)

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

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ezeqdb wrote:

An XPG R5 will generate more or less heat than an XRE Q5 (at the same current)?

 

(you should get used to my horrible english)

 

Less - it is more efficient. If you look at the light outputs at 350mA where the power consumption will be roughly the same, the R5 will run cooler for a given number of lumens than the Q5. Driven at full power (1.5A), it'll run hotter than the Q5.

 

I can absolutely guarantee that your English is better than my ability to communicate in your language! 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

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OK, thanks Vectrex. That was a good deal of useful info.

I have also taken a look to Trustfire R5-A3, but for what I've seen it has no real low modes, it's more like high and very high, so poor overall runtime. I find useful to have a very bright light on certain occasions, but most of the time a lower output is perfectly fine if that improves runtime.

I agree that aluminum is a better material for high output flashlights, however great heat transfer is probably not that important in case of sticking to NiMH or using high mode for short periods of time, and usually SS looks nicer and it's sturdier. If you don't plan to carry the light around much a bit more weight is not so bad neither in my opinion.

I've considered F25 too. It seems quite good, but according to Don's data its performance on NiMH is quite far away from that on Li-Ion (242Lm vs. 81Lm) and its runtime on low mode (NiMH) is only about 8h, compared to about 48h reported for C3 SS on a not very different brightness level.

 

  LightboxLightboxLightboxEst. lumensEst. lumensEst. lumensThrow
LightBatteryImmediate30 seconds2 Minutessitch-on30 secs2 MinutesLux at 1m
Trustfire F25 High145001347117410902422111966870
Trustfire F25 Medium145005855725631051031012930
Trustfire F25 Low14500118118118212121590
Trustfire F25 HighAA NiMH4494184048175723530
Trustfire F25 MediumAA NiMH1921941923435341570
Trustfire F25 LowAA NiMH474645888335

 

I'm also interested in possible mods if they are worth it and not too difficult to put into practice. For instance, a good 3-4 mode driver (no strobe) that fits on Trustfire R5-A3, works with AA/NiMH too, and keeps about the same performance on high level would be great, but I don't even know which size it should be exactly. Any help will be much appreciated.  Wink

 

P.S.: By the way, the F25 at LT is the same or very similar to that at DX or significant differences do exist too?

Don
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The R5-A3 would not be an easy light to mod - most others would be easier. The Ultrafire U20 from Manafont would be easier and is even brighter on 14500 and the driver performs better with NiMH.

 

Those F25 results came from one I bought at LT - I don't have a DX one.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

Don
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I want one of these with an R5 in it. Heat issues won't bother me as I'd only be using it on full power with a 14500 for seconds at a time. 

 

Come on Ultrafire, make one for me!

 

Given how bright it is on a Q5, I really want one with an R5. And am prepared to pay premium prices for it.

 

If it does better than the Q5 version with an NiMH that would be nice, but what I really want is a crazy bright nice light.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sb56637
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And if Ultrafire is reading this, please recess the tailswitch a bit more so that it can tailstand.

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Don
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sb56637 wrote:

And if Ultrafire is reading this, please recess the tailswitch a bit more so that it can tailstand.

 

Here's hoping!

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

BlueBeam
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Don is the emitter in this light an EZ1000 die or the EZ900?

I'm with you on the xp-g r5 it sure would be nice!!!

Don
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I got mine a couple of years ago - not sure the EZ900 die was generally available then - it appears to be an EZ1000 but it appears to have a low Vf so is very bright. 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sixty545
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Just to report how different two specimens of the same light can turn out. I got my second ex. of C3_R5 stainless

from Lightake and compared it to the old one (also the 93mm from Lightake):

 

     order date   Lumens*    Amp on 1xAA    col.temp  Bin   off-neutral

Old:  oct.16,     50-22-3,   1.2-0.62-0.30,     5710K,   WD,     -1

New: nov.11,    85-38-5,    1.62-0.82-0.38,   5820K,   WG,    11

 

The drivers look the same (red with a red stribe).

* perhaps my Lumens numbers are a little conservative - I repeatedly measure less than Don.

 

The difference in tint is clearly seen with the two spots together. The old one looks purple and the new one green. They look off-white to the same degree.

When looking at one at a time the old one looks neutral and the new one slightly greenish.

I really can't tell the difference in intensity at any level. Perhaps Lumens-hunting doesn't pay.Undecided

Don
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sixty545 wrote:

* perhaps my Lumens numbers are a little conservative - I repeatedly measure less than Don.

 

Or mine are too high.

 

You calibrated yours against a Zebralight H50? Mine was calibrated against a Preon 2. I have an H50 so can calibrate against that instead to see what it does to the numbers.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sixty545
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I think that H50 is difficult to use as reference due to its atypical spread, almost 180 degr. but it is the only non-budget light (read: thrustworthy claim of output =66LM) that I own.Cry

The future will bring clarification -as always.

Don
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sixty545 wrote:

The future will bring clarification -as always.

 

If only this were true....

Sad

 

I wish I knew some of the people in the physics department at the university here. I've no doubt that they'd have something I could calibrate against.

 

Thinking at the keyboard - something we were strongly discouraged from doing when I was a chemistry student 30 years ago...

 

A small incandescent light bulb might serve - it is easy to measure the energy going in, and building some sort of calorimeter to measure the heat going out shouldn't be too hard (Basically it is a tank of a known quantity of water (Specific heat capacity 4184kJ/kilogram centigrade degree) and some good thermometers). The difference between the two is the light going out - in joules. Then all we need is a formula to convert those joules to lumens. This goes part of the way there but seems to imply this is harder than it seems. 

 

There is some fun looking stuff on that site though.

 

In fact it looks like this idea won't work. Metrology is hard...

 

Next thought, domestic light bulbs are tightly specified, and are probably very consistent from batch to batch, and it may be that the manufacturers specify lumens - do you have any contacts in the bit of Philips that makes light bulbs? They used to make a large percentage of the things for Europe. 

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sixty545
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Unfortunately, I newer had any contact to the Lighting department of Philips, that business was far from ours in every aspect, massproduction vs. small 10-pc. batches, mass consumer related vs. professional, sometimes institutional customers, thousands and thousands of emploies vs. 200.

I visited Eindhoven a couple of times, though and saw the massive group of buildings in Philips-land (of course I also visited a local pub with portraits of the Philips team (PSV)) . My purpose was participation in seminars or vibration and fall test of some of our prototypes. We did'nt have equipment for that at first. It was fun to see vibration tests on what in fact was a huge loudspeaker with a solid steel board instead of the baffle to which the apparatus, often weighing 8-10 kg was clamped. At resonance the printplates and the large capacitors was moving in waves sometimes more than an inch.

The power to drive this was measured in kiloWatts and I can remember after we got one ourselves, the whole building would vibrate at a test so we always new when a test was going on.

Calibration-wise, I also seek normals and have ordered a star with Cree XP-G 4B Neutral White R4 LED in the hope that sometimes you get what was announced. If I can measure it to be in bin 4B (which is rather narrow specified) all is well, but if I cannot then either my equipment is not calibrated well or I did not got what I paid for.

Edited: Got the R5 tint 4B and measured it to be in the middle of bin 4B. Satisfied Cool

vnv889
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Hi, I'm new to this forum and while I'm not really a collector of flashlights I'm really just looking for one particular light (at this stage). The light reviewed here seems like exactly what I'm looking for after having spent weeks researching hundreds of lights on forums such as this, as well as browsing through DX etc.

But there is something that bothers me. The review made it clear that "This flashlight was kindly sent to me by Manafont.com expressly for review purposes". Call me cynical but how do the rest of us know that this wasn't a special 'beefed up' version for the review purpose which may reach an audience of hundreds, even thousands of people? Manafont are going to make absolutely sure they send as good a light as possible, and if anything, could enhance it to make it look better than it is. I'm NOT saying they do this, I'm just wondering if normal everyday people such as myself would recieve such a (almost) perfect light too. I had never heard of Manafont until I read this review, so please understand my skepticism. Also, I find it odd that the review was over three months ago and I can't find a single other independant review of this light since (the closest I could find was tethering's post #9 in this thread). I know there are many reviews of the other Ultrafire C3 versions available but I am only interested in this particular one.

Don
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Hi vnv

 

Welcome to BLF. Hope you have a good time here.

 

Chinese made lights do vary in quality from unit to unit. While it is possible Manafont picked out the best one they had, I doubt that they did. I've not had a dud from them is all I can say.

The first batch of any Chinese light tends to be better quality than the following ones. This light seems to be exclusive to Manafont so it depends how many of them they have in stock but I imagine they had to buy quite a few of them.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

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