Review: Tank007 E07 BLF Edition

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brted
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Review: Tank007 E07 BLF Edition

Tank007 E07 BLF Edition

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Tank007 E07 BLF Edition

 

Summary:

Battery: AA or 14500 Li-ion
Switch: Twisty
Modes: H-M-L with memory
LED Type: Osram Golden Dragon Plus
Lens: Glass
Tailstands: Yes
Price Paid: $19.25
From:Manafont (Group Buy)
Date Ordered:01 Sep 2011

 

Pros:

  • Well built
  • Compact
  • Nice Low

Cons:

  • Can't tighten head down
  • Modes are H-M-L
  • Cool tint
  • 3-second On memory

Features / Value: ★★★☆☆

This light is a special edition of the Tank007 E07, a 1-mode light that has gotten some good reviews. It was developed after polls at BLF and in cooperation with Tank007 and Manafont. It was to be the first in a series of BLF Special Edition Tank007 lights. However, given that the end result did not match what had been specified, there probably won't be any further lights. The original E07 is a 1-mode light, so this light would be different in that it would feature 3 modes, including a 1-lumen Low mode, and the light would feature a neutral tint Osram Golden Dragon Plus LED. Some of the 1-modes already seemed to have neutral tints, so this didn't seem that difficult, but actually a cool white LED was used and the mode order is H-M-L (preferred by some). The memory works, but is similar to NANJG drivers where the light must stay on for about 3 seconds before the memory sets. Also, due to some kind of manufacturing problem, the head of the light does not screw down all the way, possibly compromising watertight integrity. Once people got their lights, there were a lot of complaints and Manafont offered a free accessory as an apology to people who had bought the light.

The light with Manafont's BLF lanyard:

Tank007 E07 BLF Edition with Manafont's BLF lanyard

With that history out of the way, here is a review of the light (you can also see old4570's review here). The light itself isn't exactly budget in my opinion, though the price shown here includes $1 for the special edition lanyard that Manafont arranged. The LED is outdated by better offerings from Cree at this point and the light is only a couple of dollars less expensive than the well regarded iTP A3 EOS or its successor, the Olight i3 EOS which feature XP-E or XP-G LED's. So I am taking a star off for value and another star off for features since the light didn't get the memory, mode order, or tint right.

Comparison of Mr.Lite BLF-Y4E, Tank007 E07, Fenix L1D, and Sunwayman V10A:

Mr.Lite BLF-AAY4E, Tank007 E07, Fenix L1D, and Sunwayman V10A

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★

This is where the light should excel, but there was some kind of problem in either how the head or the body tube was made and the result is you can't tighten the head all the way down when there is a battery inside. This is a pretty big deal and loses two stars on Design and Build Quality. Otherwise the light is pretty decent. I'm not that crazy about twisty switches, but they do make for a compact form and this light isn't much bigger than some AAA lights. There is a twisty at the bottom that can be used as a switch or you can twist the head down for the light to come on. I think the twisty at the bottom makes for a more reliable switch and may be the intended means of operation, but the problem with the short body length is you need to loosen the bottom twisty all the way in order to get the head screwed down as far as possible.

Tank007 E07 BLF threads

Otherwise, I like the brass head part and the knurling seems good. The loop at the tail keeps the body from rolling very far. The threads are very good and the o-ring at the head, while thin, seems to engage just fine.

 

Battery Life: ★★★☆☆

Battery life is a bit of a surprise. I was expecting the light to really burn through batteries, but I got an hour of life out of a 2000mAh NiMH battery and just under that on a 14500 li-ion battery. Usually lights really go through li-ion batteries (see the Uniquefire AA-S1 with the same LED which only lasted 35 minutes here), but the E07 seems to control its appetite at the expense of high output and heat that usually go with unregulated budget lights.

The first test was with a Duracell precharged 2000mAh battery with white top ("Duraloop"). I got 60 minutes though the battery couldn't hold any kind of current at the end. On my new scale of 1 for 0-15 minutes (don't laugh, this is how long some of my 10440 lights run); 2 for 15-30 minutes; 3 for 30-60 minutes; 4 for 60-120 minutes; and 5 for more than 120 minutes, this light is right on the border between 3 and 4 stars. I'll give it 3 stars, but it is at the very high end of that range.

Time (min)Battery VoltageCurrent High (mA)Current Medium (mA)Current Low (mA)
01.413200066050
101.290184062050
201.276190063050
301.250185060050
401.222179059050
501.185168055050
601.11150031040

On a Trustfire flame 900mAh 14500 lithium-ion battery I was surprised to get 55 minutes of light. In fact, because I thought I would get less than half an hour, I stopped and took readings every 5 minutes instead of every 10 as I did with the NiMH test (though I went to 10-minute intervals for a little while). So more data:

Time (min)Battery VoltageCurrent High (mA)Current Medium (mA)Current Low (mA)
04.1888026010
54.0380023020
103.9572022010
153.8869021010
203.8364020010
253.8062019010
303.7661019010
403.7156017010
503.6549016010
553.5341014010

Both of these tables show steadily declining current draw with voltage, and while I don't have anything to measure light output, the light output probably reflects the poor regulation by declining in brightness over time.

 

Light Output: ★★☆☆☆

Light output isn't that great. The Osram Golden Dragon Plus should be able to compete with Cree XR-E and XP-E LED's, but maybe the bins that are available aren't the best ones. Here are some indoor shots comparing the E07 to the Fenix L1D which has a Cree XR-E Q5 which has an almost neutral tint compared to most cool white LED's. On NiMH, the L1D is rated at 120 lumens of brightness. These pictures are taken at 50cm from the wall with varying exposure time. Here is the first shot at 1/100th second to get something that looks like real life:

Tank007 E07 vs L1D on NiMH High at 1/100th second

Now at 1/400th second:

Tank007 E07 vs L1D on NiMH High at 1/400th second

And at 1/1600th second, the edge goes to the L1D:

Tank007 E07 vs L1D on NiMH High at 1/1600th second

 

Now here are the same two lights using li-ion batteries. The L1D loses its lower modes, but High is probably 200 lumens:

Tank007 E07 vs L1D on li-ion High at 1/100th second

And at 1/400th second:

Tank007 E07 vs L1D on li-ion High at 1/400th second

And at 1/1600th second, again, the L1D is brighter:

Tank007 E07 vs L1D on li-ion High at 1/1600th second


Now the E07 vs. the L1D on NiMH on Medium mode, at 1/100th second:

Tank007 E07 vs L1D on NiMH Medium at 1/100th second

And on Low at 100th second. The L1D is about 12 lumens, and the E07 is probably just 1 or 2 lumens, a nice Low:

Tank007 E07 vs L1D on NiMH Low at 1/100th second

Now to go outdoors. Here is the Tank007 on High with a NiMH AA. The plant is about 25 feet away and the light is aimed at the fence posts about 120 feet away.These pictures have a 4-second exposure to try to mimic what you see in person.

Tank007 E07 BLF on High with NiMH

Now the Tank007 E07 on High with a li-ion battery, definitely brighter (you can mouse over this image to compare directly with the NiMH picture above):

Tank007 E07 BLF on High with li-ion

Okay, now I'll show shots of other lights and you can mouse over the pictures to see a comparison with the E07 either on NiMH or li-ion photo as appropriate.

First, the L1D on NiMH:

Fenix L1D Turbo on NiMH

Now the L1D on a 14500 li-ion battery:

Fenix L1D Turbo on Li-ion

Here is the Low of the Tank007 E07, essentially dark at this range:

Tank007 E07 BLF on Low with NiMH

 

Summary: ★★★☆☆

Despite the disappointment with how this light varied from what was expected, it is still a pretty decent light, with functioning mode memory, good build quality, and decent battery life. Output is decent though not as good as most lights, but sadly the tint is cool white like any number of other budget offerings. It is neat that Tank007 was able to offer a multi-mode special edition for BLF of this light that was popular as a 1-mode light.

Tank007 E07 BLF Edition in hand

 

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:06
JohnnyMac
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Very nice review. I really like my two E07 BLF Edtions I purchased. They both have neutral tint LEDs and my 2nd actually holds an alkaline AA cell without closing issues.  My first one screwed down tight but the tail switch wouldn't turn. I ground down the positive contact in the head so it functions perfectly when screwed down tight.  I EDC'd the E07 daily until I got my UF-H2 and now my CQG S1 BLF Ed has replaced that as my EDC light.

Langcjl
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Nice review Brted. 

Piers said " ....but who wants enough light, when you have the option for far too much "

jacktheclipper
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I got lucky with the tint also , a nice yellowish beam .

After grinding enough material off the head for the head to screw down tightly and spraying some window frosting on the lens to diffuse the beam , I'm satisfied with the BLF Tank007 .

Thanks for the review .

What I do

 

sb56637
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Very nice objective review brted, thanks a lot! Excellent job on the mouseover beamshots as well. Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

I'm fairly satisfied with mine, but yes, also a slightly disappointed with some of the issues you mentioned.

On mine, the tint changes a lot with the mode. It gets much cooler on lower modes. It's fairly neutral on the highest mode.

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

soytnly
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Thanks for the great review.  I'm a fan, I actually love mine. The head issue is more of an irritant to me, but I can live with it.  I love the tiny size and that it has three modes, especially the low mode.  It is what it is, it's not pocket rocket, but a decent useable EDC type of light.  If I had one wish, it would be for a clip that would fit.

Dave

okyeung
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Soytnly, just check this out.  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/2945  Match built his own clip.

3

lwkeung
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Thanks for the review. I think the tint is alright, I'm more annoyed with the ring. I love the low :], and never need to use the high since I solely use it in my dorm room. I only use the tail to turn on/off, change mode. 

I do think the $20 is tad overpriced though.