The Fenix PD30 is an upgraded version of former Fenix best-seller PD30. With its excellence in performance, quality, function as well as appearance, it is highly recommended to flashaholics and those who are demanding for quality of flashlight. Running with CR123A batteries, PD-series are not only portable and of great performance, but also resistant to both high and low temperature. Thus, they are extremely suitable for hikers, campers, hunters, explorers and outdoor workers. Fenix PD30 is also fit for law enforcement and military market with its outstanding performance and reliable design.
The PD30 uses a Cree XP-G high output,
high efficiency LED (about double the efficiency of
earlier Luxeon LEDs) as a light source. It is small
and lightweight and has a type III anodize hard coat
finish. The advantage of using the higher voltage lithium
123A cell instead of AA cells is that the light has
higher power output and good resistance to cold environments.
The disadvantage is the cost of the 123A cells, which
really isn't bad at all if you know where
to get good quality cells inexpensively.
Body: The Fenix PD30 has a high quality aluminium body finished in black. It's very lightweight and perfect for everyday carry. It measures about 4.6" in length and is about 1" in diameter. The PD30 houses a single high power Q5 Cree LED and is powered by 2xCR123A batteries. The body of the Fenix PD30
is machined aluminum with the more durable type III
hard anodize finish and is available in black and natural
(gray). The outside of the PD30 body hasflat panels around
the central area of the body for grip and display of
the company logos. The tailcap has a textured area for
grip as well as a recessed switch for standing on end
and a lanyard attachment point. A wrist lanyard can
be attached and several other accessories are included
with the light.
Bezel/Head: The head of the PD30 includes a coated
glass lens, a metal reflector, a Cree XP-G LED, and
a regulator circuit, all permanently installed. The
lens is slightly recessed which serves as some protection
from impact and abrasion. The LED is fairly well centered
in the reflector. There is a tiny gap around one edge
of the emitter, so it's not exactly perfect.
Please note that the head on the PD30 is NOT interchangeable
with the P2D or LxD lights even though it looks identical.
The PD30 head is designed for the higher voltage of two
123A cells and although it will fit on the P2D, L1D,
or L2D body, the head will not work properly. With lower
voltages the light will flicker very rapidly, which
serves as a low battery warning. When the head is placed
on a P2D (one 123A cell) the light immediately starts
it's warning flicker.
Output: Output is very good. The beam is very
smooth with a brighter center and a wide soft spillbeam.
The white light produced by the LED is a high color
temperature and produces good color rendition.
Since LEDs produce much more light in the blue end
of the spectrum, and significantly less light in the
red/yellow end, things illuminated with an LED can appear
"flat" and lacking depth or texture to our
eyes. This is because of the way our eyes work and the
limited spectrum output of LEDs. Distant target identification
is, to my eyes, always better with an incandescent bulb.
However, this particular light is not really designed
for long distance use with its general-purpose beam,
so it should be fine for most applications.
Output is variable with the PD30, and the adjustment
is done in a very different way from many other lights.
To use "Turbo" mode (Max/Strobe), simply make
sure the head is tight against the body. To switch between
Max (Turbo) and Strobe, partially press the tail switch
in until the light blinks off. When you release the
switch the light will be in the next mode. To use "General"
mode (Low/Medium/High/SOS), make sure the head is not
tight against the body tube - loosen it 1/2 turn from
tight - then half-press the switch as described earlier
to switch between modes. To quickly put the light in
Max mode, just tighten the head again while keeping
the light on. Dimming is achieved with constant current
regulation circuit which means there is no flickering
of the LED in dim modes.
If the light is turned off for 2 seconds or more, the
modes reset, starting from the beginning again the next
time you turn the light on.
NOTE: The instructions state that "turbo"
mode should be used sparingly due to heat buildup. Use
it for momentary spotting. Use the "high"
mode instead when you need a bright light for a long
period of time.
Set 1 (loosened bezel)
10 lumens (65 hrs)
70 lumens (9 hrs)
125 lumens (4 hrs)
Set 2 (tightened bezel)
Turbo (235 lumens/ 1.5 hrs )
All throw readings are in Lux
at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for
comparison in the Comparison
I think it's important to note that the
"High" and "Max" (turbo) modes are
about the same as the P3D-CE while the "Low"
and "Medium" modes are significantly dimmer,
giving this light a greater potential range of useful
applications. I also ran the tests above with both two
brand new Energizer and two partially used Titanium
cells and the numbers were essentially identical, indicating
good regulation circuitry in use.
Runtime Plot: I fully expect the runtime plots
to be very similar to the L2D running with a pair of
NiMH AA cells, since Lithium 123A cells provide for
a very flat discharge curve and each seems to have,
in practical use, about the same usable energy as an
AA cell. In order to say, the factory advertised runtimes,
above, will probably prove to be fairly accurate.
A third party has completed runtimes in this
CandlePowerForums thread. Look at the blue lines
for 123A runtime.
Switch: The tail switch is a rubber covered
clickie and is fully recessed in the tailcap which allows
the light to stand on end and be used as an electric
candle. Despite the fact that the switch is recessed,
it is very easy to use. Click on, click off. A "half-press-then-release"
causes the light to blink off and back on, switching
modes in the process. You can lockout the switch by
unscrewing the tailcap 1/2 turn. This will prevent accidental
activation when packing the light in your backpack or
Seals / Water Resistance: The lights are protected
from the environment by an O-ring at both ends of the
body tube, a rubber switch cover and a sealed bezel.
Fenix advertises the light as "waterproof"
with no specific depth rating. I would call it "dunkable"
but not "diveable".
If either gets wet inside, just disassemble as much
a possible without tools and let dry before using again.
Batteries: For batteries, this light is approved
by the manufacturer for use with two 123A (a.k.a. CR123A)
Lithium cells. All others are at your own risk. The
input voltage for the Fenix P head is is not given.
I would recommend Titanium
brand 123A cells for $1.00 each (here's
a review). For a lower-cost brand, they perform
extremely well. Name-brand 123A lithium cells generally
perform a little better, but cost over $10 a pair in
To change out the batteries: unscrew the tailcap, drop
out the old cells, place in new cells observing proper
polarity. Reattach the tailcap and you're ready to go.
No significant battery rattle is noticeable during
Accessories: Several accessories are included
with the light. Inside the package you will find spare
O-rings, a spare rubber switch boot, a wrist lanyard,
and a belt sheath.
What I Liked: Waterproof, Tough/impact
resistant, Good battery life, Bright, Easy battery change,
Lightweight, Stands up, Multiple output modes
What I Didn't Like: Nothing at
Picky Little Things: None
Conclusions: The PD30-R4 just barely
nudges the L2D-CE out of the top spot when it comes
to the brightest Fenix flashlight. It's lower "Low"
mode gives it a greater range of useful applications,
and it has good runtimes. The switching system is easy
to use, but I know some folks won't like the reverse-type
clickie (standard on all Fenix models) which makes it
slightly less desirable as a "tactical" light
since it has no true momentary mode. Overall it's a
great 2 cell light in my opinion and outshines most,
if not all, two cell 123A incandescent lights on the