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По умолчанию ReviewTheLight: Olight M3X Triton

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Olight has been a well respected flashlight company for quite some time now, with lights of all sizes and purposes. Now that Cree has updated thier emitters to newer, more powerful and efficient versions, Olight has been quick to update their lights with the new top-of-the-line emitters, and I've been sent a batch of these for testing. In this review I'll cover the largest, the M3X Triton, boasting 1000 lumens using the new XM-L2...


Thanks to Olight and GoingGear for providing the M3X for review.


I’ll be reviewing the M3X in two sections: first, I’ll discuss the light objectively (the facts about the light itself), then I’ll discuss the light subjectively (my impressions about the light's performance when used for specific applications). If you have any other specific applications you'd like the light tested for, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

3-Minute Overview

Below is a video "quick review" you can watch in just a few minutes, if you're not up for reading the full review right now:



Прямая ссылка на видео YouTube


This video is available in 720p HD, but defaults to a lower quality. To select the playback quality click the settings button (looks like a gear) after you've started the video.


Objective

Manufacturer's Specifications

Price: $129 USD




Packaging




The M3X comes packaged in a black hard plastic case, holding the light and it's accessories.


Construction




The M3X is a long light with a large head, using two 18650 batteries or four CR123 batteries. If desired, you can remove the extender and use only three CR123 batteries. A plastic battery magazine is included to hold the CR123 batteries and keep them from rattling (they have a smaller diameter than the 18650's).



The M3X uses the latest high-power emitter, the Cree XM-L2. It's centered in a very large, smooth reflector that grabs a lot of the light and focuses it into a tight spot, for great throwing power. The head also features a crenelated "strike bezel".



Between the head and the body, the area around the emitter and heat sink has several raised heat fins, which increases the surface area and helps dissipate head from the emitter into the air.



The body is mostly covered with a rectangle pattern that offers good grip to the light, and an alternative to the standard diamond-shaped knurling. The body has two flat sections, one with the Olight logo and one with the model name and what I would guess is a serial number. At the point where the main body and extender come together, a grip ring holds on the removable clip.



The light is turned on and off by forward-click mechanical tail switch.

Now, let's take it apart!



The M3X comes apart into four sections: head, body, extender, and tail.



Each of the threads are thick, un-anodized, and properly lubricated.



The head has a spring to make contact with the positive battery terminal, and the tail has a spring-loaded piston to make contact with the negative. This means the M3X can accept both button-top and flat-top cells, with a good range in length.


Dimensions




Accessories



The M3X comes with a CR123 battery magazine, a holster, and an extender.



The holster covers the top portion of the light, while the tail sticks out the bottom.


User Interface

The M3X has a very simple user interface, with three modes (High and Low plus Strobe) being controlled by the rear switch and the tightness of the head.

A half press of the rear switch will turn the light on momentarily until the switch is released, and a fully press with turn the light on constantly until the switch is pressed again.

When the head is fully tightened on the body, the M3X is in High mode. When it is slightly loosened, the M3X is in Low mode. When it is tightened then loosened or loosen then tightened quickly (within about a second), the M3X will enter the strobe mode.

Because the brightness is controlled by a position of the head, it is possible to choose the High or Low mode (but not the Strobe) before you turn the light on.


Action Shots

You can click on any of these shots to see them full size.

Light in Hand



White Wall (Low, High)
ISO 100, f/3.3, 1/20"


BeamSlice


MugShot


Indoor Shots (Low, High)
ISO 100, f/3.3, 1"


Outdoor Shots (
Low, High)
ISO 100, f/3.3, 2.5"


Long-Range Shots (
High)
ISO 100, f/3.3, 5"



Performance

Submersion: I submersed the M3X under a foot of water for about an hour, clicking the switch and switching modes with the head a few times while under. The M3X shows no sign of water entering or affecting performance.

Heat: The M3X uses Olight's Active Thermal Management, which means it senses the temperature of the components and reduces the output (and thus the heat produced by the emitter) when necessary. You can see this effect by the steps in the runtime graph below.

PWM: I can find no sign of pulse width modulation on either High or Low mode of the M3X.

Drop: I dropped the M3X from a height of about a meter onto various surfaces, including grass, carpet, packed dirt, and wood. There was no functional or cosmetic damage to the light.

Reverse Polarity Protection: I could find no claims by Olight of reverse polarity protection, so be sure to insert the batteries correctly.

Over-Discharge Protection: I could find no claims by Olight of over-discharge protection, so when use 18650 lithium ion batteries be sure to recharge them regularly and use cells with a built-in protection circuit. Over-discharge is not an issue when using CR123s.


Spectral Analysis


All light that we see as white is actually made up of several different colors put together. The relative intensities of the different colors in the mix are what determine the tint of the white we see. For example, cool white LED's have a lot of blue, and warm white LED's have more red or yellow. This measurement was done on a home made spectrometer. The plot below the picture is corrected for the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. Note: the peak in the 900nm region doesn't really exist, it's a piece of the second-order spectrum that's showing up here because of the high intensity of the light source.

Output and Runtime


ANSI FL-1 runtime ratings are the time it takes for a light to fall to 10% of it's original output (counting from 30 seconds after turning the light on).

The vertical axis of the graphs below represents a relative brightness measurement using a home made light box. The horizontal axis is time in hours:minutes:seconds. Runtimes are stated in hours:minutes:seconds. These graphs may be truncated to show detail.

Mode Comparison



High



Throwing Distance

ANSI FL-1 standard for stating a light's throwing distance is the distance at which the peak beam intensity (usually at the center of the beam) is 0.25 lux. I calculate throwing distance and candela (lux at 1 meter) by measuring peak beam intensity at five different distances and using the formula lux*distance^2=constant.

Peak Beam Intensity: 75,569cd
Throw Distance: 549m

Subjective Review

Quick break down:

+ Very well-focused beam, great throw and high output
+ Clip is removable
+ Simple to use
+ Very reliable
+ Sturdy construction
+ Strobe is well hidden
+ Thick, smooth threads
+ Rectangle cut body, not diamond pattern knurling
+ Active Thermal Management
+ Excellent regulation

- Not enough low-voltage warning
- Requires two hands to change modes

Let me start by saying that any light that can make 300 lumens look like a low mode is pretty impressive.

The M3X is a very well designed light, the size and shape of the reflector marking it as a thrower. The beam is very well focused, leaving a a wide patch of usable spill light so that you can still see what's close to you.

The general theme of the M3X is reliability and simplicity. This is a light meant to do one thing very well, and keep on doing it. Olight has showed attention to detail, making sure the little things are done right, which when they all come together give the light an overall quality that makes it a joy to use.

The simplicity is best seen in the User Interface, using only the two brightness modes and a strobe mode. There is a downside to using the head-turn method--that in a light this side, it's definitely going to take two hands. However, I find this is more than outweighed by the usefulness of being able to set the brightness before you even turn the light on. Because there are only two modes, you don't cycle through them by loosening then tightening, but rather tight is always High, and loose is always Low. This is an excellent feature, because it takes all the guesswork out of using your light. I can't stress enough how helpful it is to know exactly what you light is going to do when you turn it on.

Because this light is so simple to use, there's not too much else to say. I have been impressed with Olight's Active Thermal Management, which can bee seen by looking at the runtime graph above. You'll notice several small steps down throughout the course of the test--this is because the M3X has a built-in temperature sensor near the components, and the light automatically reduces output (and thus heat put out by the emitter) when the temperature gets too high. This takes the guesswork out of using the high output, because you can trust that you're not going to damage or decrease the lifetime of any components by leaving the light on High for too long.

One feature I was slightly disappointed with is the low-voltage warning. Near the end of the runtime test I recorded, the light flashed for a few minutes and then abruptly turned off. The regulation on the M3X is excellent, but the downside of this is that you don't get much warning before you're left without light. Ideally, the M3X might give a few blinks, then drop to a much lower output of just a few lumens for 15 minutes or so, enough to find your replacement batteries. Maybe I've been spoiled by all the new lights coming out with little red indicator LEDs to give advance warning of low battery voltage, but I do think that's a useful feature.

So overall, the M3X does it's job simply and reliably. If you're looking for a high quality, very high powered long distance thrower, I would not hesitate to recommend this light. I can't say enough how useful it is to select the output before you turn the light on; and I do expect this light to be working reliably for a long time.


Long Term Impressions
I'll fill this part in after carrying the light for a while. If nothing get's added here, either I find nothing else worth noting about the light, or I end up not using it often.
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