review: updated Sunwayman V11R revolution XML2 (cr123/16340) AA/14500 with extender

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ChibiM
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review: updated Sunwayman V11R revolution XML2 (cr123/16340) AA/14500 with extender
Sunwayman V11R révolution XM-L2


The Low-Lumen champ

 Sunwayman has a reputation for producing high quality flashlights, with this “V11R revolution” being one of them!
After buying the V11R Mirage, with its older XM-L U3, I decided to buy the upgraded V11R XM-L2. 
Let`s move on and see if and\or what kind of differences there are between the 2 lights.


Specifications:
  • Brand/Model: Sunwayman V11R revolution
  • LED: CREE XM-L2
  • Working Voltage: 0.9-4.2V
  • Battery: 1xAA/14500  1xCR123A/16340
  • Switch: Forward clicky (tail cap)
  • Modes: Infinitely variable 1-100%
  • Mode changing: Magnetic Control Ring
  • Anodizing: HAIII black
  • Tail stand: Yes
  • Lock-out: Yes
  • Momentary-On: Yes
  • Coated glass lens: Yes
  • Reflector: OP
  • Waterproof: IPX-8
  • Shop: Wallbuys.com

What you get:


Rather than the tin box that I got with the Mirage, this time they have the V11R in their normal style packaging.. 
Nothing fancy, and a kind of cheap looking... for the money they could have made a better box!





  • Simple package
  • Holster
  • Lanyard
  • 2 Spare white O-rings
  • 1 Spare metal clicky!
  • A Spare rubber boot
  • Papers (warranty card/manual/brochure)

Dimensions and weight: (Identical to the V11R Mirage)

AA style: With AP-05 extender (optional, not included in the package)
Length: 100mm Diameter: 23mm
Weight: 59grams (without battery)

CR123A style: (without extender, without battery)
Length: 85mm Diameter 23mm
Weight: 50 grams


There are some noticeable differences cosmetical wise:
 First of, it`s obvious that they are identical in size and structure.  But there are some noticeable differences as well., besides the color....

  • The Mirage has no Output labels below the control ring, which makes it impossible to see in what output level it currently sits
  • The revolution has labels with Min and Max, with an indicator on the magnetic control ring to see in what level it currently is
  • The reflector on the Mirage is slightly more aggressive OP, with the revolution having a smoother reflector.
  • The revolution comes with a spare metal switch, which looks great!
  • The revolution has more and different text on the body.

Handling and Close ups:

Using this light is a real pleasure. 
Not only because you can use its variable output magnetic control ring, (I LOVE IT) but also the size and fit. 
It`s hefty and robust enough that you can hold it in a fist, while not being afraid to damage it if you drop it or bump it on a hard surface. 
It has enough and well done knurling , and including the clip its easy and comfortable to handle, even with 1 hand. 
Knurling is aggressive enough


Compared to the C10R (CR123) and Convoy S5


The positive contact to the head


Spring in the battery tube


Well centered XM-L2


AR coated lens



  • The thing I like a lot about Sunwayman lights, is that they have the rear switch in combination with the magnetic control ring.

It also makes this light able to do morse-coding with its momentary-on. And it will not have any paristic drain (my main point), which could result in a dead battery after a long time not using the light. 
The anodization is of excellent quality, I believe.. as I`m not going to test that...(yet)
So far I haven`t seen any blemish on the anodization, just like I haven`t seen that on any of my other (10) Sunwayman lights




One thing that need to be said is this, and is a Con:
In combination with the AA battery extender AP-05,the light could be turned off accidentally while turning the control ring... 
But this is quite rare.. and usually can happen when wearing gloves, when its`s difficult to “FEEL” the beginning and end of the movement of the control ring.   
Unlike the V25C (18650) which has a 360 degrees variable control ring, this Sunwayman V11R revolution makes it possible to turn it to High as well as in Moon-mode,(you can move the ring left or right), without watching. 
The V25 is just impossible to Feel or See in what output level it sits in Off mode.
The main reason I only used it for about 10 minutes before I sold it.

The magnetic control ring has enough grease, so it moves smooth and with the same sensitivity. 
Comparing this to the V11R Mirage, it feels much better.. 
Mainly because the Mirage sometimes spins a little (with increasing/decreasing output, depending on how you push the ring, up or down.  That is something I just noticed now, while I first thought that was normal with the Mirage... now I know that it isn`t.
 
The prints on the light are good but not as clear as I hoped for. 
This could definitely be improved on future Sunwayman products. I already noticed that on the M10A I have, and they haven`t changed it much over the last couple years.
The Mirage has different style prints, and look to be made in a different way, or at least in a diffferent font/size.
See here for the mirage prints;





Here you can see the prints are different, including the indicators of Min and Max output
And with and without the AP-05 extender, for using it with AA batteries.



 
Modes: infinitely Variable

How? Just turning the ring from Min (sub 1 lumen) to max (approx. 500 lumens with 16340)
No blinkies!
 yep, they are impossible to find!! they are just not there!

I can`t praise these variable magnetic control rings enough.. 
Even if its pitch black, you can turn it on in the lowest or highest mode, with 1 hand. 
I use the V11R Mirage as a bed-side light, and its great... 
Love it!
The only negative side it has, is that it draws more current with same output than other lights.

PWM:
None: 
not in Low, not in Max, nowhere.
Medium:



Low:



Performance:
This is what most people are interested in. 
(while this is a main factor for flashlight users, you should not overlook some other very (maybe even More) important aspects of a light: size/ modes/ anodization/ handling/ tint/ accessories/ upgradability/warranty etc)

 
First the different amperage drawing used with different battery types, and then some run-time test and beam shots, to see if anything has improved with moving to the newer XML2 from the standard XML. 
Numbers:
Output in lux (Ceiling bounce!) not throw. Note: These numbers are not here to compare to other people`s lux numbers.
They are only to compare with the other lights I tested with the same setup and same conditions.

Setting on my HS1010A light meter is x2000
For Lowest mode,a ceiling bounce is impossible, so I shine the light directly on the white dome of the Lux meter.... so the numbers between Max and Min can`t be compared.

I really want to insert a table here;;;; grrrrrrr

Max (ceiling)
Revolution XML2:  20 @ 2.3Amp
Mirage XML U3: 14 @ 2.2Amp

Min (direct)
Revolution XML2: 4 @ 0.04Amp
Mirage XML U3: 0 @ 0.04Amp 

Somehow the light meter just showed 0...I`ve tried it a few times, but it stayed at 0
First pic XML U3 Mirage
Send pic XML2 Revolution




  • 16340 Trustfire flames @4.24V

Max (ceiling)
Revolution XML2: 88 (64 after 30seconds) @1.55Amps                
Mirage XML U3: 76 (66 after 30 seconds) @1.64Amps
 
Min (direct)
Revolution XML2: 13 @0.014Amps  
Mirage XML U3: 4 @0.015Amps

First pic XML U3 Mirage
Send pic XML2 Revolution


 

  • CR123A Panasonic @3.2V

Max (ceiling)
Revolution XML2:   28 @ 0.84Amps (28 after 30 seconds)
Mirage XML U3:  28 @ 0.8Amps (27 after 30 seconds)

Min (direct)
Revolution XML2: 5 @ 0.02Amps
Mirage XML U3: 2 @ 0.02Amps

First pic XML U3 Mirage
Send pic XML2 Revolution


 

  • 14500 Trustfire flame @4.18V

Max (ceiling)
Revolution XML2: 78 (66 after 30 seconds) @1.55Amps
Mirage XML U3: 77 (71 after 30 seconds) @1.85Amps

Min (direct)
Revolution XML2: 7 @ 0.014Amps
Mirage XML U3: 2 @0.014Amps

First pic XML U3 Mirage
Send pic XML2 Revolution



Comparison with other lights on Low: Same camera settings:
 

  • ITP A3 eos titanium XPG R5 (AAA) (supposedly 3lumens)

  • Sunwayman C10R XML (16340) (supposedly 3lumens)

  • DQG Tiny 26650 XPG2 NW (26650) (supposedly 4 lumens)

  • Fenix LD12 XPG (AA) (supposedly 3 lumens)



Beamshots:

Control shot:












Conclusion:
The difference between the 2 lights is not enough to really say that the V11R XM-L2 is an improvement over the older XML U3. 
Switching on both lights will give a little headstart for the revolution with its XML2, but after a minute the Mirage holds its own.. 
Not sure the reason, maybe the higher voltage the XML2 needs? Or thermal conductivity is better on the Mirage?

PRO:

  • Fully adjustable brightness with Magnetic Control Ring (MCR)
  • Great machining
  • No sharp edges
  • Anodizing is great
  • many battery options
  • No PWM
  • Indicators for Min and Max (that are not on the Mirage)
  • Extendable with AP-05 sunwayman extender for use with AA /14500 batteries
  • Bright on 16340
  • Control ring has enough grip, much better than the older Sunwayman M10A and V10A

Cons:

  • 10% drop in output within the first minute
  • Price, not budget
  • Sometimes switches off, when turning the MCR too powerful (breaking contact/lock out)
  • O-ring that came with extender was too thick (this is not part of the V11R set) and didnt make good contact
  • AP-05 extender is optional, and isn`t cheap
  • Draws more current on identical output than others (but they don`t have a magnetic control ring)


Edited by: ChibiM on 10/20/2017 - 17:01
ChibiM
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Tried to copy and paste from TFF, but that didn't work

Edit:

In theflashlightforum.com go to Modify. Change layout so that it shows the pictures and other make up settings. (Symbol is a pointer in red brackets, most right icon)

Select all text, copy. In BLF go to input format, choose advanced post editor..

And paste the text...

Tried all kinds of tricks, but nothing worked except this simple one...

unknown00101
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O.o

ChibiM
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Pffffff, finally it worked..

bgyen
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Great review. Like all those beam comparisons. I’ve been EDC’ing the DQG Tiny 26650 (with a pocket clip installed) the last little while and that shot against the building wall is awesome.

I really like all these control ring lights. I have the older XML version of the V11R and Jetbeam RRT-01. I also have a Nitecore SRT3. Of the three I use the RRT-01 the most because I just like the one step less of not having to push a power/momentary button.

I can see where the momentary button could be handy in certain situations. The V11R’s power/momentary button is better than the SRT3’s. With the SRT3 the button engages really late; almost to the point where you click it on/off. Also, another down-side with the SRT3 is that it’s really big compared to the other two.

Racer
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Thanks for the review. I love the original V11R and I’ve been eyeballing the newer version. It’s sat on my night stand for almost 2 years. One thing I don’t see mentioned a lot is that they need to have the friction grease repacked after about a year of heavy use. Other than that, the V11R is awesome. I like the control ring interface enough to where I put a V20C-Y (neutral version) next to it on the nightstand.

ChibiM
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It kinda grew on me..I had a M10A with xpg for a few years, which I liked a lot..

Then I got a few others before a full variable magnetic control system in the V11R. But once starting to use it as a bedside light, I can't praise it enough. It's probably not a good choice for people who want to get the longest runtime though, as it draws a little more than other light at same (low) output.

Without changing your hand position (as with a tail switch) you can go from 0-100 in no time...don't need to remember any tricks that some side switches use with double click, long press etc etc. (Which aren't bad of course, but different from a fully magnetic control ring)

I had the V25c and didn't like it. The control ring can be turned 360 degrees. If you look into the light to see How Low can this go, and Bam it turns back to high...bye bye night vision. The light itself is great, but the way this control ring works, not.

Chloe
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Thank you for the review, ChibiM! ^^ Really nice read, and pics. Of course now I am wondering again about one in titanium… >.< :bigsmile:

ACruceSalus
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TY ChibiM. I have an SRT7 which also has a magnetic control ring. I really like it but definitely not EDC so I’m now looking for an EDC with a magnetic control ring. This one is very interesting.

kuoh
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How does one go about that? The control ring on my V11R is now gritty after being in a dusty environment for awhile.

KuoH

Racer wrote:
One thing I don’t see mentioned a lot is that they need to have the friction grease repacked after about a year of heavy use.
ToyKeeper
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While looking at this class of light, I opted for the JETBeam RRT01 instead of the Sunwayman V11R. The reasons why were: I prefer screw-on clips to clip-on clips (don’t want the light to disappear while carrying it), it has no clicky button (no need to change grip style or use two hands while toggling power and changing brightness), the lowest mode is a lot lower, the highest mode is a bit higher, it’s a little smaller, it doesn’t unscrew itself while quickly adjusting brightness, and I like the RRT01’s stainless steel bezel.

It’s a great little light, but I find I don’t use this class of light much because it’s still larger than I’d like, it has short run times compared to lights without the control ring, and I like having fixed reference points for brightness instead of always wondering what level it’s at and never knowing how long it’ll last or whether it’s dim or my eyes are being wonky.

TexasToasted
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I’ve been looking at the V11R for a while now, just haven’t quite talked myself into ordering one, and now I’m looking at the RRT01 as well. Selfbuilt did a nice comparison video review of the two lights and I like some of the features of each light. I think I’m leaning towards the RRT01 more though, because of the better clip, lower low, and it has a noticeably wider spill which I really prefer. I just wasn’t impressed with the sloppy, lose control ring in Selfbuilt’s review.

ChibiM
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I mainly bought it to use with AA batteries.. so the RRT01 is a no go for me anyhow.

I have the clip attached, but I can see the point about having the clip attached with screws instead of a clip-on.

just looking at the pics of your link the V11R looks to have a larger hotspot, and therefore more spill after a few meters distance... the low output spill on the RRT01 doesn`t work much beyond a meter I suppose.

ACruceSalus
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I’ve been looking at the RRT01 and V11r too. I’m leaning toward the V11r because it takes a wider range of batteries.

I understand that there is an extender for the RRT01 which allows it to take a short 18650. I have a Nitecore SRT7 that uses protected 18650s but they are too long for the RRT01 so this negates sharing batteries and reduces the appeal of the RRT01. I’ve looked at the RRT0 which takes a wider array of batteries like the V11r but I don’t like the form factor. That little silver control ring doesn’t appeal to me.

I’ve read that the RRT01 has a greenish tint which I don’t want. I don’t know how prevalent this is. My SRT7 has a greenish tint and others have said their SRT7 does also. Given that Nitecore is owned by Jetbeam I’m wondering if this is a problem across all their product lines.

Some people have reported that they have to remove the V11r’s o-ring to use the AA extender otherwise it doesn’t work. Others have said they don’t have any problems with this. I’m not too keen on having to do this.

I like the RRT01’s form factor better and the ring control sounds like it is more usable than the V11r. Like the SRT7 the V11r has both the ring control and a clicky. While having both has its advantages I end up fumbling sometimes turning it on.

I missed out on the opportunity to buy the RRT01 from Illumination Supply for about $48 during their spring cleaning sale (not enough money at the time to meet their $100 free shipping requirement).

DX has the V11r on sale right now for about $52 but I’m a little leery of buying from them given their reputation. So I continue to think about this.

ToyKeeper
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RRT01 tint varies depending on the production run. The early-2013 XM-L model I got had the whitest, most neutral tint of any Cree emitter I’ve ever seen. Not as good as a Nichia 219, but close. However, the late-2013 XM-L2 model I got for a friend had a much cooler tint, slightly blueish. I didn’t notice green in the beam of either one (my ZL SC52 is greenish though).

Also, the control ring on the RRT01 seems to be divided roughly into three areas. 0 to 33% is basically off, 33% to 66% goes from 0 lumens to perhaps 10 or so, and 66% to 100% goes from ~10 lumens to ~600. It looks a lot more linear than it sounds, but I wanted to mention that it has a pretty wide range of so-dim-its-basically-off. The dimmest visible setting is so low that I can barely see it when it’s 1cm from my eye in a room with no light after letting my eyes adjust for hours.

Battery options are basically CR123, 16340, or 18350. On the highest level on Li-Ion, it could probably cook itself by the time the battery runs out (which is only 20 minutes or so), so the max level is only a turbo.

ACruceSalus
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TY ToyKeeper. I suppose that the LED tint is not entirely within the control of the flashlight manufacturer since they are not manufacturing the LEDs.