Led Lenser F1R Review – 1000 lm torch
The F1R (ZL-8701-R) is a seriously powerful hand held torch, the little pocket rocket ships with the lithium-ion 18650 battery, usually reserved for the larger 7″ series of Led Lenser torches such as the M7R and M7RX units. The F1R weighs in at 120 grams, which is still comfortable in the hand after many hours in the dark. Only 115mm in length and with a 30mm head diameter, precision built from HA III anodised mil. spec. aluminium. The backend tail stand is useful along with the roll protector, and the F1R is water resistant to IPX-8 standard.
The F1R ships with a separate USB charging cradle for the battery, and extra spare batteries are also available to order from the Highly Tuned Athletes web site. Another handy feature of the F1R is that it will take 2 x CR123 batteries back to back, so no excuse to be caught out without a power source on an epic adventure.
In the box, the F1R comes with 2 changeable bezels, a black stealth look glass breaker in addition to the standard stainless steel version. There is a lanyard and also a handy attachable belt clip, that can be clipped to anything.
Although the F1R has a non adjustable fixed focus beam, there are 3 light power modes which also affect beam spread.What I like about the F1R is the beam spread pattern, spending many hours on the trail at night, I do not like a high contrast beam where you have a pure white circle and everything around is pitch black, the F1R is not like this, the optics are excellent.
The central beam provides for long distance spotting, tapering to a nice even perimeter flood, perfect for peripheral vision for picking up side trails or features at night.
Power level is easily selectable, by a slight press to the rear on/off button. The default power on brightness level and sequence can also be set.
The following chart from Led Lenser shows the run times for each power mode for the F1R.
On test, at 20 degrees Celcius, I was able to obtain 32hrs of continuous run time on Low Power Mode, 5 hrs run time on Medium Power mode, and 3 hours on High Power Mode, however be aware in High Power Mode the lamp will drop brightness level down after approx 2-3 mins due to the built in temperature sensor regulator.
Below are some real life images of the F1R in action, the F1R is even better in the flesh than the photos !
In practice the High Power Mode is very bright, bright to the point of almost being too bright ! I found when using the F1R it is best to stay in Medium Power mode, then switch to High Power for spotting, or Low Power to conserve battery when needed. I was quite impressed by the 5 hrs of continuous run time in Medium Power mode, more than enough for most day to day use.
Low power mode is designed to maximise battery run time, but also still be usable as a torch. On test I could navigate on trails, read maps and find my way around in the bush without a worry. The 32hrs of continuous run time in this mode certainly gives confidence if you are out in the middle of nowhere for a couple of nights. The light levels in the attached photos do not give justice to the Low Power mode of the F1R.
A word of warning, you cannot run the F1R for 3hrs on High Power, then expect to limp home on Low Power. As a regulated lamp, once the battery is depleted, you will see a warning flash, and then about a minute later that will be it – blackness ! It is all about balance, use the F1R on Low Power as default, then switch up and back down as the situation is warranted if you are intending to be out all night.
The F1R battery, the 18650, takes around 3-4hrs to recharge off a 1000mA USB charger, and as mentioned for mission critical applications take a charged spare battery along, or at least 2 x CR123’s and you can’t go wrong.
The Led Lenser F1R is superbly built, the german engineering certainly setting this hand held torch above many of the cheaper competitors. If you need a high power hand held with excellent optics that will last the distance, then this is the torch for you. The F1R comes with a 5 Year Led Lenser Australian Warranty, and is available online to order now from the Highly Tuned Athletes web site, (with free express post shipping), give us a call on 03 9598 7888, or drop into our Bayside Hampton (Vic) showroom and check it out for yourself.