Review: Manker MK35 Prototype (Pics, Beamshots, Runtime) 486250 Cd

I received the Manker MK35 from Manker for the review.
The MK35 is a big thrower light from Manker.
This sample is a prototype, so expect some imperfections in the finishes, and some changes in the final version (for example, my sample does not feature physical polarity protection but that will be present in the final version).

The Light came in a cardboard box, padded with white foam. No accessories for a prototype but a lanyard.
No manual or specification was given to me, except:
a) The max output (around 2500 Lumens).
b) The UI is the same as the Manker MK34.
c) It has over discharge protection integrated.
d) NW tint will be available in the future.

The light is comparable in size as my Nitecore TM16GT.

The light packs a XHP-35 Hi Emitter, in a deep smooth reflector

And, as the MK34, it is controlled by a single electronic switch, at the head.

It can be found in the dark because it is positioned in a fin less zone, and is deeper than the surface.
Notice that the usual Manker rubber switch cover, with the Manker logo, has been replaced by a hard plastic one, black except for a clear part in the center.

Opposite to the switch, there is a tripod screw.

The tailcap is wide and flat and has 2 position for mounting lanyards.

The tailcap has the usual construction, adopted by several 3-4x18650 models.

The threads on the body are squared cut and anodized. so physical lockout is possible at the tailcap.

A few marks on the anodization inside the body. Again, this is a prototype and not a light that will go on sale.

On the end of the body, there are the contact points for the driver at the head. They are golden plated, and the threads are anodized and square cut.

At the head, the 2 contact points are golden plated also.

Some size measurement

My scale is broken, so no info on the weight.

I paste what I wrote on the MK34 review:

• When the flashlight is off, one click, access to moonlight mode (left part of the figure), one click to circle: Moonlight – Low – Medium 1 – Medium 2 – High. Long press for light off.*
• When the flashlight is off, long press to access to the mode your last use as in left part of the figure (Memory function), one click for circle. Long press for off.
• When the flashlight is off, double click access to Turbo, one click for circle. Long press for light off.
• When the flashlight is on, double click to switch between the two groups (left and right part of the figure)
• Basically, the UI is very similar to the one of the other Manker lights, but it has improved: you keep access to the lowest mode and the last used mode… but finally you can directly access to turbo mode.
• When the battery is running low the LED under the switch will be purple (<50), and later on red(<20).
• *if you are in high, and keep pressing the switch, the light will switch levels in this order: high, mid2, mid1, low, moonlight.
• The output of the moonlight mode is 0.1 – 30 lumens because using the engineering mode (indicated in the graph) you can change it.

But there are some differences:
a) The LED under the switch will work as battery indicator staying on all the time.
b) The rubber cover on the MK34 was more transparent compared to the dark plastic one of the MK35. The dragon breath still works, but the light is visible only at the transparent center of the dark plastic switch cover.
c) I have not measured the max output that can be set at moonlight mode, but to my eyes is less then 30 lumens.

Output and runtime.
Due to time restrains, I have not tested the output at moonlight and low mode.

After the temporized stepdown, the brightness from Turbo stays on the High2 levels.

Sorry about the plot below, but I started the runtime test without knowing the output of the modes and I expected a shorter runtime ad mid mode (I thought it was in the 2-300 lumen range), and so the light has been stuck in the runtime box for straight 33 hours.

The fluctuation in the output is gradual, and in the 10 lumens range. Not noticeable with the eye during the use.

Throw measure
Turbo 19’450 lux at 5 meters = 486’250 Cd
High 13070 lux at 5 meters = 326’750 Cd
Mid2 4760 lux at 5 meters = 119’000 Cd
Mid1 643 lux at 5 meters = 16’075 Cd

I got a new, nicer camera and I have not had the chance to use it many times.
Tree at 100 meters. As control, I used a well known light with good throw: Nitecore TM16GT. On the camera they looked very close to what I saw, on the monitor that I’m using they are underexposed. Still, you get the idea.

A couple of GIFs.

In the GIF is more evident that I moved the tripod when changing from one light to the other.
It would have not happened if the TM16GT had the tripod screw on the body and not on the tailcap. At 100 meters, 1 meter closer or further does not make so much difference.

While I was taking the shot a visitor run through the beam and stayed a bit to watch.
Here are the other Beamshots (hopefully I have written the right distances)

Tree with a reflective element on it. 140 meters.

Building. 350-380 meters.

In this pic I moved the light on the left to show better how bright and wide the spill is.

Building. 450 meters.

My thoughts
Fit and and finishes are not relevant in a prototype, however except the minor scratches in the battery compartment, my sample is perfect.
During the use I found myself at ease with the great throw and the wide and bright spill combined. In the many beamshot you’ll see that the spill arrives at the center of the tripod, so you can actually point at things that are very far away and still see the details of the path that your feet are traveling.
The tripod screw is right where you can mount it on a tripod and orient it in the direction you want without making the tripod fall or reach the max inclination degree. This also helps the Beamshots a lot.
Compared to the MK34, the switch feels now much more soft and easier to press. Given the lack of physical lockout, the electronic lockout is the only lockout possible (which now is much easier to achieve given the softer switch).
The UI is fine, now I have access to the low mode, the last used mode and the turbo mode.
I like the LED under the switch working as a battery indicator, but I’d rather have the rubber switch cover of the elder Manker models, so I can better see the light from that LED, and I find it also nicer to the eye.
On the MK34 the max customizable output of the first mode is much brighter (and usable) than the one of the MK35.
This light could benefit from being sold with a shoulder strap (one attachment point at the tailcap, another in the tripod screw).

Thanks to: AntoLed for the camera help and the luxmeter, Zampa for the tripod, thermal equipment, and PP for the beamshot location.

Thanks for the effort.
Looks good!

Great review! Any readings for the throw?

Great review. Also interested in the throw / lux figures!

Nice review Budda, thanks.

Hmm the review is nice and all but with your thread of it yesterday and now a second thread I see “smart” marketing and I don’t like to be played

Nice pictures, but a thrower needs throw numbers.

Agreed. We know its got a large head, we know it’ll do 2500 lumens. It look like it’s a direct competitor to some of the big guns but without actual numbers who knows.

It still needs better springs

2500 lumens for 45 seconds.
It is not bad. :smiley:
I suppose.

Noboy wondered why there are not lux measurement in practically all my reviews? It is a value easily mistaken.
I’d prefer to do a beamshot with a direct competitor, like the TN42.
I’ll see what I can do.

Now we're talking

I do not agree here, spot brightness is what that tells you how far a flashlight can shine and is therefore the number one parameter for the performance of throwers, and lux measurements are the most precise way to indicate brightness of a hotspot. Anything else is less precise, it may give you all sorts of valuable additional information but the evaluation of a thrower starts with the throw number.

Are you tried to lockout the light? Because the body does not part of the circuit. So to lockout I think you neet to untwist the tailcap until the batteries can rattle in and does not touch the spring and positive button at the same time.

Tailcap only, you are correct.

So far it is correct.
But, how you know how much different luxmeter differ in readings? If you can get 5 luxmeter you’ll get 5 very different readings.
I can make a “calibration”, measuring the Cd of a “standard light”. *
Also, I tell you a light measure X lux at one meter.
What if it measures Y lux at two meters. I make the calculation of the Cd, and I get a different Cd value.
So at 3 meters.
So at 10 meters.

Have you ever watched closely a thrower beam? From some lights the light doesn’t come out as a cilinder or a cone with the apex toward the light, but with a cone that gets tighter and after a few meters (some, not 100) it becomes wider again.
What I measure the lux at one meters and are different from the lux at that concentration point? What is the real Cd value? They are both real because they are measured, but what is more representative?

*= It took me a lot of time to build a calibration system that allows me to mesasure reliably and accurately the output, and I want to do the same for the Cd. A system that also allows to compare values measured in different days and different kind of lights.
For example, Cd value measured on a multiled Light are closer to the actual throw value as measure further away from the light because the spot intensidy sums up with the intensity of the spill of other leds.
This is not the case of a multi led, but my system I want it as good as I can make it.

Finally, if a light has more Cd than another, but ends up throwing more to your eye, what light would you want?
The one with the longest eye throw, or the one with the longest luxmeter throw?
I can give you the example of the same light with Cw and NW light, with lesser output and lesser throw but increased spatial definition compared to the CW version. So the CW has more throw on paper but the NW allows to distinguis better things at the distance to the eye.

A beamshot could be also a good way for validating the Cd measure.

100 meter my AA meco zoomies reach :wink:
Heck only my AAA nichia BLF specials do not reach that.
I totally get measuring is difficult or impossible yet finding something much further away then 100 to show the throw should be doable right?

I have 3 lux meters, they all ready the same.

1) I’m not against beamshots, they are very insightful for the performance of a flashlight compared to other lights, i.e. as you pointed out to compare throw, beam profile, tint and contrast.

2) every measurement comes with measuring errors, no reason to dismiss a method for that, but the measurement only becomes pointless if it does not provide more information than not measuring it. In measuring throw, even with an average luxmeter, this is far from the case: it is a way more precise way to compare throw than any beamshot can do. All over BLF people are measuring throw with mostly cheapo luxmeters and the numbers people come up with make surprisingly sense.

3) You suggest that a Cd measurement number is a different thing than the perceived throw with your own eyes. This is nonsense, Cd measurements are the exact same thing as how far your eyes can see with the light, it is just more precise and consistent than your eyes can manage, and therefore to be preferred when a fair comparison between lights is intended.

(there is a discussion that the lux is based on the perceived brightness of the photopic curve, while in low brightness the eye sensitivity follows the scotopic curve, but the peak difference between 555nm and 507nm is not so large that that makes a world of a difference)

Finally, getting your Cd measurement system right within a valuable 10 percent (which is way beyond what you can see by eye) is way easier than measuring lumen within that same 10 percent. It requires a fixed measuring distance (10 meter according to the ANSI standard, but if the reflector diameter is not huge, measuring at 6 or 7 meter does not give significantly different results), and a calibrated luxmeter that goes for under 200 dollar. And I bet that the typical 12 dollar chinese luxmeter will already suffice to obtain a throw number that makes for a valuable comparison with other flashlights around. Mind also that even the cheapest luxmeter has a very decent repeatability, so when you build up a series of throw numbers over a number of flashlights using the same method and luxmeter, they provide a pretty precise comparison between those lights even if the absolute throw number is a bit off.

To the eye different tint beams do seem to throw further though. A very cool white to my eyes doesnt throw as well as a warm white tint. All depends on what you’re actually throwing at. Pointing it at a big white building is one thing. Pointing it at trees or in areas with lots of moisture is another.

Ah and Budda and Manker, a good product sells itself. Teasing and trying to hype something up indicates not a whole lot of good IMHO
JohnnyMac made a review of the TN42 with a pic of a building far away, bam that one pic said it all.
Dale had a piece of paper with text and used a light far far away to light it up do the text could be read, bam with the google maps distance pic that was highly impressive.