Sofirn C8F Flashlight Review

Sofirn C8F Flashlight Review

The Sofirn C8F is a 18650 flashlight that uses three Cree XP-G3 emitters for a great wall of light output level. Read on for more!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Sofirn C8F flashlight product page.

Versions

As far as I can tell, this is the only version of Sofirn’s C8F.

Price

At the time of writing, the C8F looks to be around $26 on Amazon (referral link).


Short Review

This is a nice C8 variant, but I have found the UI to be difficult.  I like it overall and would like a lot more with a better driver.

Long Review

The Big Table

Sofirn C8F
Emitter: Cree XP-G3 (NW – Three emitters)
Price in USD at publication time: $26
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime
LVP? Warning (flashes)
Switch Type: Mechanical Reverse Clicky
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: micro-USB
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1955
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 244lux @ 5.781m = 8154cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 180.6^
All my Sofirn reviews!

^ Standard measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

20171030-IMG_5191.jpg

  • Sofirn C8f
  • Sofirn 2800mAh 18650 (not pictured)
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Single bay charger
  • Charger cable
  • Lanyard
  • Manual

Package and Manual

The C8F ships in a small cardboard box.  There’s no printing on … in fact nothing but what looks to be an inventory sticker.

20171030-IMG_5190.jpg

The manual is in German and English.

Build Quality and Disassembly

This light has a nice in-hand feel.  It’s built to the same level of quality as most C8’s I’ve handled.  The anodizing feels thicker than another C8 like the Convoy version, for example, but in reality, I don’t have a way to measure that.  It’s just a feel thing.

The light comes apart in three main parts: Head, cell tube, and tail.

20171030-IMG_5206.jpg

The light can be further disassembled, by removing retaining rings in the head and tail, to access those components.  The retaining ring on each is screwed in, and has dimples for ease of unscrewing.

The bezel may also be unscrewed easily.  This is where I ran into an issue with my C8F.  I unscrewed the bezel and the glass fell out (not a problem).  I tipped the light over to remove the reflector – which is a nice milled/polished aluminum reflector with a good bit of mass – and with the reflector one of the three emitters fell right out.  Up till then, the light had been working fine and the emitter had been attached properly.  The traces look… ok – I’m no trace expert … I don’t think it was heat that caused this emitter to fall off, I think it was poor connection from the start.

Size

Listed as 44.6mm(head) * 24.5mm (body diameter) * 144mm (length)

This is a standard C8 body size – the XintD C8 I have below is a bit longer than usual.

Retention

There’s a lanyard included, which connects through the tailcap.  There is no pouch or any other means to carry this C8F.  The lanyard works well on these lights and is a fairly standard C8 accessory.

There is no pocket clip, nor is there really a place to attach one.

Power

The Sofirn C8F is powered by a single (included) 18650.  The provided cell is a button top, but as there are springs on both ends, I believe just about any 18650 will work with this light.

Note that the working voltage doesn’t include the possibility to use two 18350 cells.

20171030-IMG_5210.jpgBelow is are two runtime tests on high (not turbo).  One test I stopped early, but the other concluded at 2.88V.  Temperature was moderate throughout the run.  Both tests were cooled.

Runtime.png

I did not test this light on Turbo, and now I can not run a meaningful test since one of the emitters is gone (and dead too – I killed it with some tweezers).

Charging

Sofirn also includes this little charger.  I’ll be honest and say I had average expectations of this charger, but it really performs reasonably, charging the included 18650 at over 0.8A during the CC phase.  That’s… actually quite good.  It’s powered by a micro-USB cable, which is also provided.

 

chargetime.png

User Interface and Operation

There’s just one switch on the C8F, a mechanical tail reverse clicky.

20171030-IMG_5207.jpg

The UI is unfortunately not the best UI.

There are two mode groups.  Selecting between them is achieved by half-pressing when the light is on.  The light will confirm the group change by blinking a couple of times and turning on to turbo (!!!).

Now the downside.  The “good group” (which has Low) is dominated by strobes.  By “dominated by” I mean this:  Past the 4 main groups, there are a series of strobes, the first of which is an off followed by a turbo flash.  Then the other strobe modes.  What happens is this:  You cycle the modes looking for low.  You pass Turbo and the light seems off – or is that low?  Look into the light to check and boom, turbo to the eyeballs.

Anyway, to change the modes, just half-click the tail switch.  Or full click will progress the modes too if done within a few seconds after turning off.

Group 1:  Low (and it is really quite pleasingly low) > Medium > High > Turbo > SOS (though I don’t think it’s proper Morse SOS [timing is off]).  In the SOS group, it’s possible to double-click for more strobe options.

Group 2: Medium > High > Turbo.  Double click for strobe.

Note that these mode groups don’t match with what Sofirn has listed on the Amazonpage.

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux Tailcap Current [Series Measure]
Turbo 1300 29700 0.558A
High 630 12420 0.170A
Mid 105 1971 0.032A
Low 1 2 0.007

LED and Beam

The emitters are Cree XP-G3 and are neutral white.  XP-G3 has been slammed, but honestly, I don’t find the tint to be too bad. Certainly useable, and useful in a light like this.

20171030-IMG_5195.jpg

The beam is just about as one would expect with a triple like this.  The individual reflectors can be identified in the beam pattern, but not worse than on, say, the BLF Q8, which no one complains about.

Beamshots

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

Yes, the hotspot might be a little less than ideal, but the spill is quite nice.  On lower modes too, the beam is quite nice.

Conclusion

What I like

  • I like that this light uses new generation emitters, with the Cree XP-G3.  (In fact, it’s my first light with these emitters.)
  • The triple is nice, and a nice departure from regular C8 lights.
  • Overall build quality is good.
  • Full package light, with cell and charger too!

What I don’t like

  • In particular, I don’t like that one of the emitters fell off the mcpcb.
  • I don’t like the modes of the groups. This could be cleaned up though.

Notes

  • This light was provided by Sofirn for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • For flashlight-related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks.com!
  • Use my amazon.com referral link if you’re willing to help support making more reviews like this one!
  • Please support me on Patreon!  Feeding flashlights is expensive!  And funding Fun Fund Friday even more so.  I deeply appreciate your support!
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8 thoughts on “Sofirn C8F Flashlight Review”

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  2. There’s an updated version now with 3pcs of XPL emitters & a much better driver

    The old version had a lot of issues

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