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Старый 29.09.2012, 21:49 Автор темы   1
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По умолчанию Object/Subject Review: Nitecore MT25

Nitecore is a brand of flashlights that has been around for quite some time, and has a reputation for high-quality lights. Sysmax (the distributor of Nitecore) is no longer selling Jetbeam lights, and seems to be filling the gap with some new lights, including the MT series.



Thanks to Nitecore for providing the MT25 for review.

I’ll be reviewing the MT25 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). This is a compact light designed for good output for it's size, so I'll be reviewing it as such. 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.

5-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:

[video=youtube;af8rApV3VVs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af8rApV3VVs[/video]
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: $54




Packaging


My review sample of the MT25 did not include the commercial packaging, and came to me wrapped in bubble wrap.


Construction




The MT25 is made from aluminum, anodized with black HA III to resist scratches and dents. The light can run off of two CR123 lithium primaries, two 16340 lithium-ion rechargeables, or a single 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

Now, we'll take a closer look at the light, starting at the front and working towards the back.



The MT25 uses a Cree XP-G LED in a smooth reflector. The reflector is fairly small compared to some other 18650 throwers, but the XP-G emitter is smaller than the widely used XM-L, so it's able to throw it's light farther, giving the MT25 a respectable throwing distance (see below for beam shots and lux data). The smooth reflector also helps the light throw well. Generally, a smooth reflector means better throw while allowing beam artifacts to remain, but I haven't seen any significant beam artifacts in the MT25.

The head of the MT25 is crenellated at the bezel, with a band of light knurling near the base.



At the junction of the head and the body, the MT25 has a raised ring, knurled with small sections cut out, giving a great grip even with wet hands. The MT25 uses tightening/loosening of the head to switch between Turbo mode and a user-selected mode, so this ring acts as the grip allowing you easily turn the head.



A large band of knurling covers most of the body, with a flat section on either side. One of these sections has printed on it the series and model name, the other has the Nitecore logo and website.



The tail of the light has a band of knurling, and two protrusions that extend beyond the button. These protrusions have oblong holes cut out for the attachment of a lanyard. The button itself is knurled, and displays the letter "N". The protrusions are designed to allow the light to tail stand and still allow easy access to the button, even when a lanyard is attached.

Now, let's take the light apart!



Without the use of tools, the NT25 comes apart into three pieces: the head, body, and tail.



The head of the MT25 uses a spring to make contact with the positive terminal of the battery, so it has no trouble with either flat-top or button-top cells, and can accept varying lengths. The threads between the body and head are thick, square-cut, and non-anodized. This means they should be strong and hold up to wear over time. Leaving them non-anodized allows the light to make electrical contact even when the head is not fully tightened, which is essential to the UI of the MT25.



The threads between the body and tail are triangle-cut and anodized. This means the light can be mechanically locked out by loosening the tail, because if the tail is not entirely tightened, the tail won't make electrical connection with the body, and the light will not turn on. The tail also uses a spring to make connection with the negative terminal of the battery. Having springs on each end of the battery tube also gives better protection to the battery in case of an impact.



When a battery is inserted, it sits just beneath the rim of the battery tube.



The MT25 can tail stand fairly stably on a flat surface.

Dimensions




Accessories

My review sample did not include all the accessories listed in the specs, but only the holster.


User Interface

The MT25 features a two-stage user interface, controlled by the rear switch, and the position of the head (loose or tight). The MT25 has 6 modes available: Turbo, High, Medium, Low, SOS, Strobe. The Strobe is a "random" strobe, which varies it's timing in the flashes.

A half-press to the tail switch will turn the MT25 on momentarily, as long as the switch is held, and the light will turn off when the switch is released. A full press to the tail switch will click it into the constant on position, and the light will remain on until the switch is clicked again.

When the head is fully tightened, the light will always turn on in Turbo mode, and Turbo is the only mode available.

When the head is slightly loosened, the light will come on in the general mode used last. In this mode, turning the light off then back on in a short amount of time will advance to the next mode in the sequence of High -> Medium -> Low -> SOS -> Strobe. If you turn the light off or switch to Turbo mode, the light will remember the general mode you used last and will come back on in that mode the next time you use the light with the head loose. This mode memory does include the SOS and Strobe mode.


Action Shots

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

Light in Hand


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


BeamSlice


MugShot


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


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


Performance

Submersion: I submersed the MT25 in about a foot of water for an hour, turning it on and off and switching modes (using the switch and rotating the head slightly) during that time, and the light shows no sign of water entering or damaging the light.

Heat: I could feel very little heat buildup when running the MT25 on Turbo for half an hour, even with no cooling applied.

PWM: I was able to detect pulse-width modulation on the High, Medium, and Low modes of the MT25 (but not the Turbo mode) by viewing it through my camera set to a very short exposure. The PWM is not visible to the naked eye, and even with the camera it was harder to see than most other lights I've tested.

Drop: I dropped the MT25 from a height of about 1 meter onto various surfaces including grass, packed dirt, carpet, and wood. The light shows no cosmetic damage and still functions normally.

Reverse Polarity Protection: The MT25 features electronic reverse polarity protection, so if you insert the battery backwards, the light will not turn on, but will not be damaged, and will resume normal function when the battery is corrected.

Over-Discharge Protection: The MT25 makes no claims of over-discharge protection, so I recommend only using protected cells when using lithium ions.

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). *Note: The output on Turbo drops after a few minutes, but maintains a fairly constant output for another hour, at a level still well above the high output.

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







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: 17101cd
Throw Distance: 262m


Subjective Review

Quick break down:

+ Very tight spot for the size of the reflector
+ Cutout tail allows tail stand with easy switch access.
+ UI provides quick access Turbo and a mode of your choice
+ Very little heat buildup
+ Smooth beam even without a textured reflector
+ Solid construction
+ Smooth action when turning the head
+ Good grip
+ Anti-roll design without being awkward

- XP-G instead of XM-L means less output overall
- Strobe and SOS are part of the general sequence, not hidden

Overall, I've enjoyed using the MT25. As a part of the Multitask series, the idea is that you can do a little customization of the light to adapt it to different circumstances. In theory, before you start your task you would loosen the head and choose what user-selectable mode you'll want. Then, during the task you'll have quick access to Turbo (when the head is tight) and whatever mode you selected (when the head is loose). For many tasks, I've found this to work well. I've found myself mostly using either Low or Strobe as the user-selectable mode, but Medium and High have been useful on occasion. As for the general idea of the UI, I find I like it better than just a click-through-all-modes interface. I still don't like it as much as a control ring to access all modes, but I do find it to be useful.

I was a bit worried about using the head-twisting to change modes, because I've had other lights that used that method and were unreliable. However, on the MT25 I've found the twisting of the head to be very smooth, and the mode changing is very reliable. Because of the quality of the threads and the good grip on the light, it's easy to tighten or loosen the head with a single hand.

Also, while many high-end lights these days are using XM-L, the MT25 uses an XP-G. This means it has less overall output, but with better throw than it would with an XM-L. This isn't really a positive or negative, just a trade-off. It's harder to find lights this sized that are mainly focused for throw. But it you think you'd prefer the greater output in a more floody style, Nitecore also has the MT26, which I believe is identical to the MT25 except it uses an XM-L emitter. I have been impressed that even though the MT25 uses the XP-G in a smooth reflector, I can't find any beam artifacts on my sample, but instead the beam is very smooth.

The one real negative I've found is that the Strobe and SOS are part of the regular sequence for the user-selectable modes. I understand the idea is to just pick one and stick with it during your task, but at times I find I do what to switch my user selectable mode. In those cases, my preference is to be able to cycle through modes without going through the blinky modes. Ideally, I'd prefer those blinky modes to still be an option for the user-selectable mode, but be hidden in some way so they don't come up unless you really want them.

So, the MT25 is a good choice if you want a compact light with better throw than other lights of the same size. The UI is a bit different than what you may be used to, but it works well and is very reliable.


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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