(Note – this light was supplied for review by Fenix Lighting. I am in no way endorsing the light nor the company and I am not compensated for doing the review. But it is only fair to recognize and thank them for sharing a sample so that TFB readers can learn about the product.)
Fenix is one of the more established Chinese manufacturers of high quality flashlights. 5-10 years ago Fenix offered tactical users, hobbyists, vocational users, etc., a quality alternative to Surefires and Streamlights at a competitive price.
These days there are so many brands coming out of Asia (and the US) that it’s hard to keep up with them all, but Fenix is still going strong and building quality, value priced lighting tools/flashlights.
The light I’m sharing with you is the PD35 Tactical Edition 1000 lumen pocket light. Specifications of this light :
From the Fenix web site:
The Fenix PD35 TAC (Tactical Edition) LED Flashlight, remains in its pocketsize form but surpasses the traditional PD35 in performance and tactical employment. Designed with the military and law enforcement professionals in mind, this flashlight is measured at less than 14cm (5.5 inches) long and features up to 1000 lumens in turbo output while throwing it’s beam a distance up to 200 meters. In Outdoor Mode, the PD35 TAC delivers six output modes including a variable strobe. Switch to the new Tactical Mode to activate rear-switch only operation for fast, simplified mode selection of momentary, turbo, low and strobe. The PD35 TAC is powered by two CR123A or single rechargeable 18650 batteries .
The light was supplied with 2 CR123 batteries, a holster, lanyard, instructions and a warranty card. You can also use rechargeable 18650 cells but RCR123 batteries are not to be used. My tests were conducted with a freshly charged AW18650 cell.
After having used the light for a couple of weeks I find that the ‘outdoor’ mode is more useful to me. In this mode the side switch cycles through 5 levels of output (Fenix states 6 levels with one of them being the strobe mode.) Measurements of output in my integrating sphere are as follows:
Level 1 6.719
Level 2 56.875
Level 3 168.750
Level 4 457.813
Level 5 828.125
I find it quite refreshing how close to stated output the actual outputs are.
Switching between Tactical and Outdoor modes is easy. You simply press and hold the side button for 3 seconds. When in Tactical mode the side switch is disabled and you activate high, low and strobe from the tail switch.
The emitter is a relatively modern Cree XP-L(V5). Fenix uses a smooth reflector that does a nice job of providing good throw and enough spill to illuminate the area around you.
The PD35 comes with a removable clip. I’m not a big fan of most clips, but that’s my personal preference. If you like clips i suppose this one would do the job. Thankfully a decent nylon holster is supplied – if I were to carry this and depend on it for my job I would use the holster.
The tail switch button is recessed behind a lip that allows for the light to tail stand, albeit slightly wobbly.
As with most Fenix lights, the tint tends toward a cool white. My personal preference is for the newer high color rendering emitters. Again, that’s personal, but it’s fact that depth perception is better preserved with the higher CRI lights. I wish Fenix would consider offering such an option. Here’s a side by side of a light equipped with a Nichia 219B emitter – rated at 92 CRI. This photo is darn close to what my eyes see. In real use, the Fenix looks “white” and the other light looks neutral. This photo shows the stark differences between the two, and reveals that typical slightly greenish tint that so many Cree emitters have. Obviously, Nichia equipped light left – Fenix right
Lifetime warranty against defects
Small and lightweight
No different tint options
No on board charging
Limited to 6V max
This one is purely subjective, but it would be nice if the light had a lower low setting. Most of you know how very useful a ‘firefly’ level is – .01 lumen or so. In a very dark environment, such a low level with days of run time an be very useful, plus it allows navigating in pitch dark without affecting night adjusted vision.
The light is available from many popular sources including Fenix-Lighting for typically around $75 or less.