“REVIEW”: On The Road i3 (2018/2019) - 16340 - Zoomable - 620 Lumens [Pic Heavy] - [***MODDED XPL-HI***]

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MascaratumB
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Agro wrote:
Tried that already, doesn’t move. Tried pressing it against rubber, it didn’t work either.

I opened my Utorch S1 mini which has a similar bezel by pressing it against a sharpening stone but this obviously caused some scratches. Wink

Hum, that’s weird, I opened it without issues. I hope they didn’t glue the threads Facepalm
Do you have any nose point pliers? You can put some heat-shrink tube on the tips and use the bezel grooves to make some twistying force !

Agro wrote:
[…]I got 8500 cd at 16m. This is a bit higher than specs, within error margin. XP-G2 cool.

Never tried that type of LED on this light, so I cannot see how it behaves. Maybe some things in the beam are related to that? Mine is not “stock” anymore, so I can’t make fair comparisons currently to say how it should behave. Oops

Agro wrote:
[…]Maybe OTR downgraded this model? Maybe they got a deffective batch? Need to contact them about the issue.

It is supposed to be a new model, so I am not sure what happened with yours Oops A deffective batch may happen. and as the lens is glass, it may, of course happen it is not completely perfect. Shapping it is surely different from a acrylic lens, so it may have some imperfections.

Mine broke on the edge some time ago. It doesn’t affect the beam however Party . I asked the store to send me one when I bought the OTR 311 . It is till on the way… Tired

Agro wrote:
The beamshots with my phone are bad, maybe I can’t use it or maybe controllable parameters are enough. But that’s what I have. 1. Full flood. No beamshot but I noticed that it’s significantly squarish. Not a problem to me but it’s curious. 2. First donut shot. Barely visible on the shot but very visible IRL. 3. Tightening it down. More visible on the shot, still more visible IRL. 4. Black cross. Much worse IRL. 5. White cross. This one is similar to what my eyes see on the wall though the lines are more visible IRL. 6. Almost focused. Again it’s similar to what I see 7. Focused. It’s overexposed, I see the die much better. I see clearly (but not sharply) that the die has cutouts in the corners. Bond wires or finer die details are not visible. 8. Over-focused. I couldn’t make a good beamshot but the beam worsens. Interestingly throw didn’t get worse.

Some of the things you mentioned on your post and showed in the photos, also happen with mine, but not so seriously. Specially what is shown on 3, 4, 5, and 6. During the travel, it creates some additional ring, but nothing like that. That thing only happens to me in one of the 2xAA Zoomie lights I have from Lidl, that has a white spot in when zoomed out.

I will see if the new lens I will get does something like that and will inform here on the thread Wink

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CRX wrote:
Nice review Thumbs Up Yeah, zoomies are one place where a plastic lens is better than glass.

Thanks mate Wink
Hum, I have a mix opinion about that. All my zoomies have different “ifs” either they are plastic or glass. I will see what I will get with the new OTR Z821 and with the new lens for this i3!

luminarium iaculator wrote:
[…] Guys remember this. This is from mine experience and I am long time into this story.

No matter how cheap, light, scratched, plastic/acrylic lenses looks like they have better lights transmittance, cleaner beam, better flood mode, and they are more constant in quality than any factory available glass lenses (for example with glass lens performance may vary up to 30% while with plastic there is no variation in quality at all…)

Same size acrylic vs same size glass lens :
- Glass lens will have slightly larger die projection while plastic will have smaller die projection.
- Glass have different tint projection of the same emitter than plastic one. For example dedomed XPG2S42B is cooler in glass lens(uf 1503) and greener in plastic lens(B158).
- Plastic has greater flood mode than glass lens.
- Plastic has cleaner beam projection than glass one and less artifacts in a beam
- Plastic is more durable than sensitive glass… Glass will easy break(especially on edges) if you drop flashlight on hard surface while with plastic nothing except scratch will happen

Thanks for this input! I actually thought that glass would be better, but I perceive now it is not Oops
I will have to check if I can put an acrylic lens on the i3 to compare with the glass one.
I guess I will have to compare all of them to check what you say, because I really find it interesting and never noticed that in fact Oops
The major con I noticed on mine so far, is that it broke Sad

luminarium iaculator wrote:

Imho zoomie no matter how small(edc) or big they are should have acrylic lenses, aluminum pill with retaining centering ring for mcpcb and driver, quality anodized threads and reverse clicky switch.


I am a fan of FC switches, so I think I would go along with that Silly
I am using the i3 with forward clicky switch + Crescendo firmware. It operates diferently from a reverse switch but I don’t mind and I like momentary on and no “noise” clicking it Wink

Thanks for your input! And I am also thinking that the alu pill with retaining ring (screw in) may be a better option. I’ve been reading what is said here and on the other thread, and maybe you guys are right, and brass is not the better option Thumbs Up

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The Z1 glass lens is good
The marinebeam glass lens is good

Maybe luminarium’s comments are coming from the perspective of trying to find cheaper hosts to mod.

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Agro,

Don’t even bother with fitting plastic lens to them… It will not fit (well it will at certain distance from emitter but then you loose flood mode or even worse you’ll have zoom in to over zoom mode(overzoom is Sick ) Davie

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contactcr wrote:
The Z1 glass lens is good
The marinebeam glass lens is good

Maybe luminarium’s comments are coming from the perspective of trying to find cheaper hosts to mod.

? I am saying the real truth from my experience with different glass aspheric host.

So yes Z1 glass lens may be “good” but acrylic plastic lens of same size(jaxman Z1 vs B158) will be better

Glass lens is good for some setup I personally need (VCSEL IR Laser) but it sucks performance vise if you need max lux performance with classic Osram WF led.

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Thans for the suggestions MascaratumB. Heatshrink pliers didn’t work but it inspired me to press against a shoe lace. It unscrewed easily, there’s no glue.

19.8 mm plastic lens didn’t fit, by far.
One needs more than 21.05 mm lens OD not to fall on the LED.
I tried widening it with an o-ring on the outer edge which fixed the diameter issue but the lens still didn’t fit properly.
It may need even larger diameter….but it also needs a thicker edge. My lens has 1.3 mm while the stock has 2.5 mm.

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luminarium iaculator wrote:
Agro,

Don’t even bother with fitting plastic lens to them… It will not fit (well it will at certain distance from emitter but then you loose flood mode or even worse you’ll have zoom in to over zoom mode(overzoom is Sick ) Davie


This is a quality host crippled by a junk lens.
If I got a good lens it could have a lot of use but as it is now – it’s worthless to me.
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I’m a bit surprised at this.

My i3 has a very good glass lens. No artifacts are visible in any zoom position and it focuses to a very sharp image of the LED die surface. I modded mine to XPL HI when I got it a few years ago. Works great.

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Agro wrote:
luminarium iaculator wrote:
Agro,

Don’t even bother with fitting plastic lens to them… It will not fit (well it will at certain distance from emitter but then you loose flood mode or even worse you’ll have zoom in to over zoom mode(overzoom is Sick ) Davie


This is a quality host crippled by a junk lens.
If I got a good lens it could have a lot of use but as it is now – it’s worthless to me.

I think that you must contact OTR. Tell them for the problem and tell them that you wanna buy new replacement lens. We will see how they will react.

Please try this…

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I did it yesterday. Smile
No answer yet.

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Agro

I just received the replacement lens for my i3.
This lens is different from the original one and it originates some artifacts as the ones you showe above, namely an intense “dot” while almost focused in, a kind of “hole” in the zooming travel (very subtle, though), and the final zoomed beam is not as good as in the original one.

Just to document, here are the measurements of the lenses. I must also say that with the new lens I cannot use an o-ring below it due to the height of the lens (otherwise it originates a gap in the bezel).

Original (left) VS New (right)

Those mm in height make the difference in how the beam looks like! Not sure if it has a solution unless with getting a lens with optimal height Oops

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Hmm…

What you did to that black lenses? LOL Or it just some kind of filter underneath?

New lenses looks better but what may happen here is that because of 2mm difference in lens height light goes slightly into overfocus.

Temporary solution like you already did would be to remove oring beneath lens (if it has o ring beaneath). Ugly but working solution thin circle layer of transparent silicone on the place of an old oring…

But all that should not be happening since light is not on a budget side… You can get new Conwoy Z1 for less money…

I really don’t understand their QC standards… Simple white wall test would do the trick. They do have eyes Facepalm That kind of seller behavior drive me mad. But don’t be disappointed cause they are all like that… Even 100$ Dereelights had such issues (Tiablo, Crelant, Uniquefire and others…) Glass lens are lottery! no matter what some guys think. If you don’t buy glass lens from reputable source(and that will cost 3-20x price of the flashlight) you’ll be better with plastic ones.

So production process and QC of glass lenses for China flashlight manufacturers is el terrible! However they do have I would dare to say 99% consistency if they will go with acrylic ones. Acrylic should be winning lens for China zoomie industry. Cheaper, better light transmittance and no performance variations. Easily scratched? You can scratch them with nail and it will still have better performance than same size glass one…

I am still waiting for mine i3 btw… Freaking Corona…

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It’s 0.2 mm and it’s not as simple ans shifting a focus.

Assuming that they simply made the base 0.2 mm thicker without altering the curved side, this still changes beam pattern because light that hits the the air-to-glass boundary refracts and continues inside the lens. Now it’s shifted so literally any part of the beam other than dead center hits the curve lower than it would otherwise – and that part of the curve is being hit at other angle than it would be otherwise.
This seriously changes beam pattern.

I seriously doubt they would change thickness without altering shape. It would be too amateurish, if their supplier is able to produce asperic lenses they surely understands this.
OTR probably simply switched the lens model or maker.
Or maybe tooling to make a different shape would cost too much and OTR thought that some packaging or strength improvements were worth the artifacts.

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luminarium iaculator wrote:
Hmm…

What you did to that black lenses? LOL Or it just some kind of filter underneath?

Ahah, the black looks is just a black permanent marker line that I did on the flat part of the lens to avoid some artifacts on the beam. It prevents some reflection on the bezel and therefore, in the outer line of the beam (specially when zoomed out).

luminarium iaculator wrote:
New lenses looks better but what may happen here is that because of 2mm difference in lens height light goes slightly into overfocus.

Temporary solution like you already did would be to remove oring beneath lens (if it has o ring beaneath). Ugly but working solution thin circle layer of transparent silicone on the place of an old oring…


Yup, there is not much more I can do to solve that! Also, as I am using a different led and MCPCB from the original ones, that may play a role here too. The original led was an XML2 and the original PCB was aluminium of 1mm. Now it is a Samsung led on a 1.2 or 1.5mm MCPCB that automatically raises the led and the focal point is different too.
Maybe with the original settings the new lens could have a better focus too!
luminarium iaculator wrote:
But all that should not be happening since light is not on a budget side… You can get new Conwoy Z1 for less money…

Hum, yeah, you can get that light, but not put it in your pocket as you do with i3 Silly
I see what you mean here, but maybe it has to do with lens provider. I was not aware of the differences between glass and plastic lenses, so maybe some tweaks on the machines that make it is the issue.

luminarium iaculator wrote:
I am still waiting for mine i3 btw… Freaking Corona…

My Z821 is already in Portugal (not sure when it will arrive home). Shipped on the 9th July Wink
The 311 took 2 months (19th May – 20th July) Tired

Agro wrote:
It’s 0.2 mm and it’s not as simple ans shifting a focus.

Assuming that they simply made the base 0.2 mm thicker without altering the curved side, this still changes beam pattern because light that hits the the air-to-glass boundary refracts and continues inside the lens. Now it’s shifted so literally any part of the beam other than dead center hits the curve lower than it would otherwise – and that part of the curve is being hit at other angle than it would be otherwise.
This seriously changes beam pattern.

I seriously doubt they would change thickness without altering shape. It would be too amateurish, if their supplier is able to produce asperic lenses they surely understands this.
OTR probably simply switched the lens model or maker.
Or maybe tooling to make a different shape would cost too much and OTR thought that some packaging or strength improvements were worth the artifacts.

Did you measure your lens? Can you tell if it is similar to my original or my new lens?
Also, did yours come with the o-ring below it?

I believe that those 2mm make a reall difference, at least in the setting I have (as I explained above). Not sure if the original setting would suffer from that!

Note that those artifacts are not terribly overwhelming, but they are more notorius and eventually distracting, specially when using it for “white-wall-hunting” Silly

I am not curious to see how the Z821 will perform…

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MascaratumB wrote:
luminarium iaculator wrote:
I am still waiting for mine i3 btw… Freaking Corona…

My Z821 is already in Portugal (not sure when it will arrive home). Shipped on the 9th July Wink
The 311 took 2 months (19th May – 20th July) Tired

Oh yes… I also ordered that one and not i3 Facepalm Beer

Just checked it is in Amsterdam (NL post).

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I received this Z 821

Size compared to some small zoomies

My opinion…
GOOD:
- One of the smallest (if not smallest?) 18650 zoomies out there
- Very light and high quality flashlight body dedicated to 18650 battery size
- Great anodizing process and great anodized tailcap threads
- high quality reverse clicky switch (unfamiliar to me and it looks like FW clicky switch) on 17 mm PCB
- Fine zooming system (push-pull with very little head moving)
- Beautiful old school looking zoomie
- MCPCB retaining ring on brass pill

BAD:
- O ring or square ring under glass lens seems broken
- Very thin O ring which is located in a flashlight head once when flashlight disassembled is PITA to put it back on its original place
- LENS are average quality glass lens with crack here and crack there… Nothing spectacular or AR coated… Or ultra clear… I would dare to say that most low budget manufacturers have better quality lens than OTR.

UGLY:
OMG! It has press fit pill! Do you now what that means for modders?
May the force be with you! Use the Force to beat that out!

Dear OTR if you are watching this what should you improve? What? You don’t know? Well look this:

- change lens to better glass one or even better and cheaper for you swap them for acrylic one…
- Square O ring underneath aspherical lens is ok but put better quality one which does not brake (or you just put that broken one on purpose?)
- Oring inside flashlight head should not be there?! It should be on the flashlight neck section so it would be easier to handle. It is impossible to return it back on its place
- REDISGN PILL! You ruined very good concept pill! Instead of press fit system use retaining ring for driver! Or use driver solder to pill system…
- Lower the price! It is to much considering it does not has DTP Board and some inner parts as mentioned above are just terrible quality It should not cost more than 15$ in this condition.

Final thoughts: For someone that does not wants to mod anything this seems like a good light.
Throw goes up to 16 kcd
Driver with High(2.6A), Ultra low(0.10A), Lower(0.4A), and Low mode(0.75A) with hidden strobes and SOS… It has last mode memory even if you remove battery it will start on last mode selected…

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Thanks for your input on this light Wink
I have to say that the “broke” o-ring is probably put in purpose! I guess it has to do with not creating a “bubble” of air while zooming in/out.
My i3 had the same thing!

Yeah, the thin o-ring between the head and tube may be a PITA to put back in place. I lubbed the one on the i3 and it stays sill right there!

About the pill, well it could be different indeed. I didn’t have much trouble modding the i3, once you have a driver with the same diameter. However, it may ruin the original driver when pushing it from the top, you can sever or damage any component.

I am amazed on how small it is though, and I like that Wink

I will wait to check mine’s quality! BTW, can you tell if the driver is 17mm or less? I’m already thinking about the mod Big Smile

Thanks again for your input on this Wink

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Also what is mcpcb size and thickness?

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MascaratumB & contactcr

Guys and OTR… Don’t get me wrong… I like that light… Smile It has more pros than cons. This is probably smallest 18650 zoomie light form/quality factor out there. But requires final touch. So if with 2.6A driven XML2 on classic aluminum 16mm mcpcb (I did not measured thickness) gives 16 kcd, with same settings but just de domed emitter it would give 30kcd and with dtp board it would give 50-60 kcd…
That means that with Osram WF1, 4.5A driver this light will easily go 90-100kcd which should be super impressive for light that small. It should out throw a whole lot of factory 35-55mm reflector/zoom lights with smoothest flood to throw mode ever.

OTR could easily make such light out of the box so that we don’t have to mod anything and then it would really worth 30-35$. This price for current flashlight state is to much. 15$ would be fair for their aluminum mcpcb, 2.6A driver..

I guess I can forgive press fit system pill. Even that can be modded. It would not be any problem to modd it if they would offer empty brass pill and that additional 17mm driver retaining ring for pill (So yes it has 17mm driver). But I really hate to redo from original factory state cause they use press fit machine for that and I have to improvise and probably ruin their driver which BTW it is not that bad at all… It has missing real middle mode at lets say 1.5A but ok we can live with it…

Edit:
Forgot to mention it uses 28mm aspherical glass lens with 8.8mm total height from bottom to top, 3.3mm of “edge” from each side which means that curved aspherical part is only 21.4mm
So place for improvement here also… Give us lens with as less edge possible and with as larger aspherical part for better throw… For example if you would be able to find lens with 1.5mm edge that would mean that you have 3mm edge and 25mm effective aspherical lens surface.

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luminarium iaculator wrote:

- Very thin O ring which is located in a flashlight head once when flashlight disassembled is PITA to put it back on its original place

- Oring inside flashlight head should not be there?! It should be on the flashlight neck section so it would be easier to handle. It is impossible to return it back on its place

I found out the right Oring to head returning technique.
There is upper and lower section in the head. Lower section is tighter, upper section is wider… Or how to say head has transition from narrow to wide section when we watch into head internal diameter and narrow section uses mentioned oring while wider section uses brass pill oring so that way we have double oring sliding mechanism (almost no movments at all if you placed O rings properly…

So what you need to do? You need to place neck section of flashlight into head but watch very carfuly untill it starts transition from narrow to wider section… When it protrudes few mm from tighter to wider section you got to put mentioned oring inside with a help of a toothpick or similar tool… Now in this point when you have inserted oring you gotta make tool out of A4 printer paper; tube that will embrace neck section OD and with careful and gently press it will will be pushing oring to bottom narrow section. You gotta to have feeling for that because at same time you must do zoom out action while pressing with paper tube.

For returning of oring some kind of ultra thin metal sheet tube could also do the trick as a more permanent tool than paper for someone who needs to mod lets say 20 -100 of this lights.

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luminarium iaculator wrote:
MascaratumB & contactcr

Guys and OTR… Don’t get me wrong… I like that light… Smile It has more pros than cons.


Ahah, I have nothing to get you wrong man Wink
I do like that you point what are the good and the bad aspects! I am a clear fan of OTR, but I am not a “fanboy”, if you know what I mean Wink

Thanks for the measurements you made of the MCPCB, the driver and the lens too! I am happy they use a 17mm driver on this one Big Smile

The PCB will probably be 1mm or the most 1.2mm, as they normally do!

Using an OSRAM W1 or even a W2 on this light will be top ! I am looking for mine to arrive to decide what to do, and then I will be looking for L4P to reopen store and grab some Big Smile

And I will have to check if any of the other lights I have with this type of lens will fit the Z821!

I really wanna grab it now Evil

Thanks again for your info Thumbs Up

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My o-ring was glued to the side of the lens. Yes, it was cut as well. It a cushion rather than a waterproofing device.
I believe gluing it back would be the easiest thing to do.

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Mine was stick to the lans like it was glued but in fact it was vacuum effect.
“It is a cushion rather than a waterproofing device.” Yes and not just that… It uses for proper centering lens from emitter.

But it still has o ring in a flashlight bezel, double oring at neck section, and thick oring at tailcap. You can toss and leave it in a bucket of water and nothing should happen.

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so what do you guys do if you have 1.5mm MCPCB white flat vs stock 1mm XML pcb? Do you need to thin the PCB for proper focus or is it non-issue cause smaller LED?

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Personally I don’t do nothing… I think you will not have issues at all. Maybe slightly overfocus can occur when zoomed in. But since it is zoomie you can just zoom out slightly.
If it will bothering or if it will be to annoying (in one word if you are perfectionist) you’ll just need slightly thicker/thinner oring combination under the lens.

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I think I’ve seen a line of glue on the side of the lens. But maybe it was a mistake…

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@ luminarium iaculator

When you showed the photos above, in particular the one of the driver, I suspected one thing, and now that mine arrived, I confirmed it!

This light has 3 group modes, similarly to the new OTR 311:

A – Ultra Low > Low > Medium > High + Strobe

B – High > Medium > Low + Strobe [default group mode]

C – High + Strobe

You can check how to alternate between those 3 groups on my OTR 311 review .

I will do a complete review of this light in the next days!

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Found my i3 in the mailbox today. Unfortunately no battery, but I didn’t knew I could have contacted the seller for it. Doesn’t matter, a Vapcell from Dennis nice GAW is incoming Smile .

It has some rings OOF, but I knew this from the Utorch S Mini already. The bezel produces a faint ring, too. Not a problem. In focus the die shows some colorful speckles. Very nice projection.

I have the warm white LED since I knew I would like the tint.

Really a nice small one hand action zoomie. My first and last one, since I don’t need one and just ordered this light out of curiosity Big Smile .

Well done, OTR!

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

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Unheard wrote:
Found my i3 in the mailbox today. Unfortunately no battery, but I didn’t knew I could have contacted the seller for it. Doesn’t matter, a Vapcell from Dennis nice GAW is incoming Smile .

It has some rings OOF, but I knew this from the Utorch S Mini already. The bezel produces a faint ring, too. Not a problem. In focus the die shows some colorful speckles. Very nice projection.

I have the warm white LED since I knew I would like the tint.

Really a nice small one hand action zoomie. My first and last one, since I don’t need one and just ordered this light out of curiosity Big Smile .

Well done, OTR!

Nice that you like it Wink
Well, if the cells are unprotected (or not very long) you’ll have no issue Wink Are those the white ones?

Yes, the i3 as weel as th Z821 create some rings due to the lens, gasket and bezel. Blackening them or making them “matte” helps avoiding some of that reflection.
Ahah, don’t enter the zoomie twilight zone, or you won’t get back from there Big Smile

This is a nice small light, with a better UI it can make a good EDC, but to each its own Wink

Glad you like it! Wink

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MascaratumB wrote:
Nice that you like it Wink
Well, if the cells are unprotected (or not very long) you’ll have no issue Wink Are those the white ones?

Yes, the i3 as weel as th Z821 create some rings due to the lens, gasket and bezel. Blackening them or making them “matte” helps avoiding some of that reflection.
Ahah, don’t enter the zoomie twilight zone, or you won’t get back from there Big Smile

This is a nice small light, with a better UI it can make a good EDC, but to each its own Wink

Glad you like it! Wink


Not sure what will arrive, I just asked for a 16340. But I have several 16340 lights and can swap batteries.

If I EDC it or not, don’t know. But it’s fun to toy with.

Here’s a diagram, lux (arbitrary distance) vs. extension [mm]. Looks like a sigmoid. Is that plausible?

Edit: And btw., the i3 has as much throw as the 1000 lm S1RII. I know, it’s just a tiny square, but still…not bad for a light that otherwise can evenly illuminate a huge area and is as inefficient as zoomies are. Late night thoughts.

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

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