Sofrin C8A Flashlight review by Texas_Ace - A fine addition to the C8 family

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Texas_Ace
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Sofrin C8A Flashlight review by Texas_Ace - A fine addition to the C8 family

Sofrin reached out to me to review their C8A, I happened to be looking for a C8 to use as a host for another project so figured, sure kill 2 birds with one stone.

I got it off amazon (with a discount code for the review naturally) : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078XRFS57

I have had my fair share of C8’s over the years and didn’t expect much to be honest, I mean there is only so much you can do with a C8. In fact I didn’t even look up the specs until it showed up as I just assumed it would be the normal XP-L HI LED setup we are used to.

Turned out I was wrong.

So the light came with all the accessories you need to use it including a 3000ma button top cell and USB charger. So it makes it a pretty good gift package.






Once I pulled it out I noticed that it was a very nice C8 from the outside, the finish is top notch and the minor changes to the grip are a nice change to the classic design. The reflector is a very good finish and the focus is good as well.



I then started out with a 30Q cell to try it out and turned it on only to be surprised with how nice the switch is. It has a nice click length and is very smooth with just the right amount of resistance. One of the better tail clicky switches I have seen. The spring is even bypassed from the factory!

After this I was impressed with how bright it was, which is saying a lot for me. I then had a look at the business end and noticed why it was so bright, it had an XP-L2 in it.

Not just an XP-L2 but a pretty good one at that. I put it ont he sphere and my Lumen readings on the stock cell were around ~2100 lumens, easily beating the rating of 1800 lumens. And with the 30Q it was around 2400 lumens.

Now take these with a grain of salt, the one downside to the LED is that it is a very cool tint. Something around a 0A / 0D if I had to guess. the spill is noticeably blue verging on purple. The hotspot is also on the cool side for sure but on the plus side has very little tint shift. The cool tint will cause the meter to read higher then normal. Still, it is very bright that is for sure. And for those that like cool white lights, this will fit right in.

I took some tailcap measurements and it pulled a bit over 6A with the 30Q, which is quite respectable for a factory light. It gets noticeably warm with this much power pretty quick.

So next I naturally had to see if the light was glued together and I am happy to report that mine was not glued! I was able to remove the retaining ring and get tot he guts quite easily. First thing I saw was the driver side spring is also bypassed, this plays a role in the high output for sure.

The driver itself looks like a basic FET based driver with some extra circuitry mixed in. Didn’t have time to really dig into the driver but it seems to work pretty good.


The internals also look pretty good, a nice thick shelf for the LED and a good sized pocket for driver upgrades.

Then to my pleasure the head of the light also came apart easily, standard fair up top, glass lens, aluminim reflector and DTP mcpcb. The glass is not AR coated which is one of my only crtiqes of this light. Luckily this is an easy upgrade later.



I like that they have the strobe mode hidden. Although I wish that mode group also included moon. The mode spacing is pretty good as well, not perfect but much better then most lights.

Here are some shots of the manual for future readers:




So overall conclusions:

Pros:
This is a great addition to the C8 family
NOT glued, can be used as a host!
The machining is A+
Fantastic tail switch
Nice square threads
Ano is great
Great output for a stock light
OK mode spacing

Cons:
Non-AR coated glass

Personal preference:
Only comes with cool white tint

I really like this light, I would have no problems giving this as a gift. I have no problem recommending this light.

Although this particular light will be going on to bigger things. I am debating between an xhp35 HI and an XHP70.2. Not sure which one I will do yet but I can’t wait to see what the end result is. I don’t think I will be letting this light go anytime soon.

Any questions feel free to ask, it will remain stock for little while longer as I still have to build the boost drivers to mod it with.

Edited by: Texas_Ace on 02/08/2018 - 10:51
NeutralFan
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Thanks for the review Texas_Ace! Interesting how the manual states it comes with an AR lens, but doesn’t. It’s pretty cool (and a little scary) how the general public can buy a maxed out flashlight like this, if they can find it amongst all the other hyped-up low quality ones. I’m glad it also has LVP and turns off if needed.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

Texas_Ace
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Yeah, I was surprised to not see an AR coating as well. It also says NW LED in the manual but it is CW for sure.

My guess is that most of the manual is a copy/paste from something else and this stuff slipped through.

bilakos10
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Texas_Ace wrote:
Yeah, I was surprised to not see an AR coating as well. It also says NW LED in the manual but it is CW for sure.

My guess is that most of the manual is a copy/paste from something else and this stuff slipped through.


I have also been sent a unit for review, and in my case the emitter is indeed NW tinted.

Either the new production batch uses a cooler tint, or there are irregularities between the emitters.

Satan@103TFS
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My c8a is Nw.

Gerrit
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Texas_Ace wrote:
Yeah, I was surprised to not see an AR coating as well. It also says NW LED in the manual but it is CW for sure.

My guess is that most of the manual is a copy/paste from something else and this stuff slipped through.

Hi TA, I also own a C8A and the LED is also very cool white. I myself estimate this between 6500 and 7000 Kelvin
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Thanks TA for a nice review, I can also confirm that first C8 from Sofirn did have beautiful NW tint, but the latest version of all their models with XPL2 comes in CW like SP31 I ordered recently.

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Hello Guys,

Sorry to hear that some friends get Cool White tint. That’s so bad. This is the first time for us to get such feedbacks. guys, Please feel free to contact us on Amazon. We would like to make replacement for you.

Moreover, all parts are recorded in system and no one have the access to change some of parts without official files. We will check the related batches of CREE LED Bulbs in our warehouse too.

Have a good time!

Tracy @ Sofirn Light

Texas_Ace
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I just got some information about the AR coated lens. Apparently the first batch of lights did not have the AR coated lens but the next batch does have it.

So the future versions should come with an AR lens.

They said they will send me one of the new batch lights with the AR lens and NW LED when it is ready to compare. I will update the review accordingly then.

Swib
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I have built a light from a C8A host from the Sofirn store here and found it to be a good solid host. Mine came without branding which some prefer. It feels good in the hand but tends to be a bit slippery without knurling on the body tube.

Still, a good quality C8 host for sure.

If you don’t like what it looks like on the wall, take it outside.

Schoki
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Would love to see an XHP35 in there with a boost driver Wink

Texas_Ace
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Schoki wrote:
Would love to see an XHP35 in there with a boost driver Wink

Yeah, debating between the XHP35 and XHP70.2. I want to build a C8 with each of these but not sure which to put in this host. Still waiting for the optic for the xhp70.2, so might go with the xhp35 for now. At least it would be a drop in swap.