Sofirn IF22A (SFT40): The "Why Did I Wait So Long to Buy This Light?" Flashlight

This does have a FET driver and side switch, which, looking back, caused me to wait to get it. However, it gets everything else right, and damnit—just feels so right in the hand!

That’s what she said…

It's a really nice light . the green tint is one of it's greatest flaws.

I'm running a Zircon 1/4 minus green filter on it and it's still to green's bad .

Other than that I agree.. it feels very retro and is one of those lights you'll never feel any buyers remorse over .

*** was watching your coast light review and about fell out of my chair when you said $60... I'm guessing two Sofirn i22a's beats one Coast all day any day.

return that Coast to Home Depot and buy a hammer .

I’m not overly sensitive to/biased against green (depends on the light really) but I don’t find the IF22A to be very green at all. The green that is there is only noticeable to me at the very lowest portion of the ramp…TIR knocks most of that out very nicely. The IF22 with the reflector, however, is fairly green through much of the current range until it gets pretty bright (corona mostly but it’s in the faint spill, too…but my eyes are distracted by the couple of rings outside of that. lol).

I wasn’t real interested in this light when it came out, but then it piqued my interest and I bought the TIR…then won another in their giveaway where they sent the reflector version at my request so I could compare. The TIR is where it’s at. Nifty little thrower. If it were more a smidgen more robust I could certainly see it being used for service duty with police and security folks.

Good review, Rusty. Hope nobody was concerned with your white laser beam around the airport. Neat to hear that engine spin up! :slight_smile:

If the Sofirn IF22 had (only) a tail switch, I would most likely order it immediately.

(I don't do side switches.)

Love the IF22a but IMHO potential buyers should know the pencil beam (5 degree lens) and tiny hot spot limits its usefulness. It’s a light with incredible throw (which I love) but very little field of vision, both near and far. At least for my use around the house and daily walk, and I would think for security function, for example the Nitecore MH12S (SST40) and Olight M2R Pro Warrior (XHP35 HI), while of course do not have the throw, have much more useful larger brighter spill and hotspot.

But yes that throw :+1: :slight_smile: .

I mean that’s kind of standard fare for a thrower…a light that has a beam that is a true thrower. Not quite a pencil beam, just tight and narrow. Definitely nothing anyone should ever consider for around the house use - that’s not its purpose. Most people are better served with a more balanced beam pattern.

Sure - a balanced beam pattern is what this light lacks. Not a surprise since if you want this kind of throw in a light this small with single LED, something has to give. To be fair Sofirn does warn buyers the IF22a has pencil beam pattern, at least now I know how limited that 5 degree pencil is :slight_smile: .

It doesn’t lack anything. It’s not supposed to have a balanced beam. It’s usefulness is not limited for its type. It’s a Thrower. :slight_smile: It’s actually quite nice and impressive as a Thrower, given its diminutive stature and all. :slight_smile: Actually this kind of light can be quite useful for security but of course “security” can mean a lot of different tasks/situations. Its beam is just wide enough to do its job without really being a pencil beam like some old designs with super deep reflectors, or like the new LEP designs. Pretty good design really that gives the reach/punch without being weighed down by large cells, large bulky heads, long tubes, etc. like most of the thrower designs we’re used to. If someone needs more spill or a fatter beam then those lights are certainly available, but not in such a compact size and they will likely have greater power needs (to achieve the same range with a fat beam). I think this was a unique and possibly even innovative design they brought out, not just a variation on a theme. FT03 will remain my most-used thrower, though (especially now with the 26800 cells…awesome).

To me, this light just seems to be a giant version of my Manker MC13.

Kinda similar. 21700 cell, optic designed for throw, and the SFT40 has a MUCH larger emitting surface than the Osram in the Manker…so lots more lumens packed into the narrow beam (something like 3-4 times higher if memory serves). Not that much larger really but they feel totally different in hand.

Zeroair changed his photo size format and I don’t know if this join/resize is off a bit, but you can see the intensity and where the photons are packed (the ringiness and artifacts are just from his camera I think, maybe from .jpg compression as well). He standardizes his beam shots, so even if I’m off here myself, they were both taken at the highest setting of the lights at the same distance from the surface:

Another try:

Ah, fair enough.
I think they use the exact same optic though.
Thats mostly where my point of view was coming from.

Im not really sure what Im meant to see on a white wall.
Maybe if the wall was 300 meters away lol

If the measurements for the Manker in this thread are correct then they are not the same optic. But pretty close lights overall in terms of the new and awesome category of pocket throwers. :slight_smile: It’s great to have all these choices now…wasn’t that many years ago that something like this was unheard of.

Very good point about wall shots, especially with thrower beams. You can see some things even with the intensity, but yes, outside is where they show the differences. And that’s really where throwers should be tested and compared anyway, right.

IMO, IF22A is never a pencil beam considering the die size of the SFT-40 even with a 5deg tir. I consider my K1 with cslnm1 is a true pencil beam thrower other than my LEP.

If I need a pencil beam CW thrower I have my old streamlight survivor with its xpg2 and TIR. I don’t have much use for either of those features these days, though.

Not to sound snarky, but if you (the generic “you”, no one in particular) want a thrower, get a thrower. If you want a flooder, get a flooder. You can’t expect a tight-beam thrower to be useful looking 6’ in front of you so you don’t fall into a hole.

My Catapult Mini throws a tight beam, a lot tighter than my ’22A. Throws like Hell at moderate distances. And yet, my ’22A just has more oomf to be able to throw even farther, just by brute force. Both of them use TIR lenses, which concentrate most of the light into the hotspot, with very little spill. That’s a GOOD thing, because I don’t want to be blinded by a washed-out foreground right in front of me when trying to see something at a distance, as a reflectored light would do.

You want a practical light for up close, get something with a much wider hotspot (ie, typical tubelight), or a flooder, or slap on some diffusion film.

Most of my lights are flooders or just have wider hotspots, precisely because I use them mainly close-in. The rare occasions I want a thrower I take a thrower.

Adding a Zircon #803 (minus 3 green) and a #814 (warm amber 9) filters landed the light right on the bbl at 4000k on an Opple. Hot spot is fuzzier and slight loss of lumens, of course, but the result looks quite nice to me. The bezel came right off on a black Amazon light but a silver one from AE is either glued or tighter than I can twist without a strap (don’t have one yet). The silver one is a bit green on a wall and measures pretty close to 5800k. I’ll leave it as is for a little variety.

Edit: to add “right on the bbl”. Hard to see bbl on the Opple on my phone :frowning:

Good point but IMHO, the most useful lights have the right combination of flood and throw. I am not taking about that one guy that needs to see 500 yards away, most people don’t do that.

This is on my short list. After 60 days, my Astrolux FT03S SFH55 came in.