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Fenix E12, first impressions

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by tmedina, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    My Fenix E12 showed up in the mail today. It's been out long enough for reviews and detailed opinions to be posted, so I'll stick mostly to my impressions of the E12, particularly in comparison to the E11.

    A couple of notes:
    • Reverse clicky
    • 3 modes: low (8 lumens/22 hours), medium (50/3.5 hours), high (130/1 hour)
    • tailstands
    • no mode memory
    Pros
    • Better mode spacing than the E11
    • Tail design allows tail-standing without the "sore thumb" I tend to get from using recessed tail clickies
    • Beam profile is more throw than spill, optimizing the lumen output
    Cons
    • No mode memory - this means you have to cycle to the desired mode every time you turn the light on by tapping the clicky
    Opinion
    The E12 is a good utility light - take it out, adjust as needed, and commence. What makes a good utility light is the direct opposite, in my opinion, of what makes a good pocket light. Which is the same mode, the first time, every time, that you selected before turning it off. A forward clicky is also nice, but not required.

    That's my "rustling in the bushes" standard - while I'm on a walk at night, if I reach for my light because of a rustling in the bushes, I don't want to be fiddling with the light to pick the needed output in the face of a maybe danger. If the E12 started in medium, or high, then it wouldn't be as much of a problem; but then it would also be less viable as a utility light because of the battery drain and too much initial light (try reading a page at night with a tactical light - you'll see what I mean).

    Mode selection via tail clicky also presents the risk of accidentally switching modes at a bad moment. As an interesting aside, you can turn the E12 on, then loosen the bezel to "turn it off" - making it, essentially, a twisty light. You can change modes the same way - by loosening and tightening the bezel quickly. But if you leave it "off" for too long, it defaults to low mode again.

    Conclusion
    The E12 isn't an inherently bad light. But I think it's trying to cram too many opposing concepts into one package. The novelty of a tail-click isn't worth the uptick in price, to me, over a similar utility light design like the L10.
     
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  2. Nice

    Nice Loaded Pockets

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    It seems like a fine little light, might pick it up in the future. The only minor downside is the reverse clicky for me, if I can I like to have a momentary-on function. Plus the first mode could be lower, but meh... ;) And I actually like that it has no mode memory, I am used to it from the 47 Preon series. Thanks for the overview. Can we have some pics? :)
     
  3. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Closeup of E12's tail clicky

    Fenix E11 and E12 side by side
    Sorry for the quality - I'm using a camera phone and poor lighting conditions. Was there anything in particular you wanted to see?

    As an interesting side note, I compared the E11's low and the E12's medium - almost identical to my eye.
     
    Nice and CSM-101 like this.
  4. CSM-101
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    CSM-101 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Well, that doesn't sound too bad... but I wish (personal preference) that it would default at high. I like having lower modes to preserve battery
    life but I use high mode probably 90% of the time. I still don't understand why Fenix made this change, the E11 was just such a perfect little
    light...
     
  5. Fabregas485
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    Fabregas485 Loaded Pockets

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    So there was the E11, E11 V2 and now the E12? The E11 V2 was the best of both.
     
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  6. Radioactive_Man

    Radioactive_Man Loaded Pockets

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    Man, no mode memory... weak.
     
  7. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    *grin* That's the drawback when a company tries to make an all-purpose solution...err..flashlight. As a "utility" light, I prefer a flashlight to start in low and then I have to adjust upwards.

    Of course, in a "pocket" light, I want it all, and I want it now!

    As long as I'm fantasizing, Fenix could have made two variants of the E11: 3 lumen/30 lumen model and an 8 lumen/130 lumen model using the same bezel twist/forward click pattern.
     
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  8. cityofthesouth

    cityofthesouth Loaded Pockets

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    You mentioned the L10 and I notice that I don't see a pocket clip - is one not included with the E12? have you seen the clip from sbflashlights for the L10? It looks like the E12 has a little track machined in it as if it were made for a pocket clip. But then there is the Solarforce Z2 so I'm not sure there is any compelling reason for me to get the E12 other than feeding the addiction.
     
  9. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The E12 is the same as the E11 in basic design and layout which includes the lack of a pocket clip. You can find after-market clips - Home Depot had a pack of "tactical" lights for $3 - the lights were garbage, but the pocket clips were a nice fit for the E11s (and, by extension, the E12s).

    I don't have the Solarforce Z2, so I can't say if that's a good choice or not. The numbers seem more or less comparable, the design specs seem to be roughly the same, including the "tail stand groove". And it starts in high mode, if that's a factor for you. Plus a what looks to be a "snap on" pocket clip - no idea on how tough it is.

    The L10 as sold by SBflashlight doesn't come with a pocket clip, but you can get one from them separately for $3. The clip isn't great, in my opinion, but it does keep the flashlight from rolling around.
     
  10. cityofthesouth

    cityofthesouth Loaded Pockets

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    I have both the Z2 and the L10 with SB's pocket clip. Just curious if that clip happens to fit that groove in the E12. I would have to agree that it's not an amazing clip, but I also happen to just have one laying around. The Z2 clip beats the one from SB but is "light tension" I would say.
     
  11. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Ahh, I misunderstood.

    I'll check when I get home, but off the top of my head - I don't believe the L10 pocket clip fits the E12. I tried it on the E11, but the body is just a little too big for it to fit cleanly. I imagine you could force it on, but I wouldn't gamble on the integrity of the clip afterwards.
     
  12. cityofthesouth

    cityofthesouth Loaded Pockets

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    I wasn't clear - I have a bad habit of that.
     
  13. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    You and me both. It always sounds better in my head. :D
     
  14. kkay

    kkay Uber Prepared

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    I love my Fenix E12! I like the fact it starts in low setting, then works up to high. I like everything about this light, except...no clip. That bugs me. If I want to see what the dogs are barking at, I bring a much brighter flashlight with me. (most likely my 2000 lumen Ultrafire)
     
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  15. batteur
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    Any idea why they don’t have it on their website? I’m waiting on it being available in Germany … I’m on a mission to find a torch for my brother.
     
  16. Revival

    Revival Loaded Pockets

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    I cant understand why they wouldnt put a clip on their either. They have a clip on the LD01 which is even smaller so it doesnt make sense to me. I rather get a light with a clip with the option to remove it rather than a light with no clip. That being said I bought the E12 for my girlfriend to carry in her purse because it fit all the requirements that I wanted for her.

    I bought the E12 and the Solarforce Z2 at the same time and at almost at the same price point, I would go with the Solarforce every time. I had thoughts of giving her the Solarforce but only reason I didnt was because it has the momentary on and didnt want it to accidently be turning on in her purse. For her needs, she is happy with the E12.
     
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  17. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    That's weird - I have no idea. Maybe just an oversight on their part? It might be worth your time to email them and ask when they intend to release it in Germany.
     
  18. kkay

    kkay Uber Prepared

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    Ebay or Amazon might be able to send to Germany. It is worth checking into.
     
  19. Redneck Bear

    Redneck Bear Loaded Pockets

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    Does any of you, please, know about a clip that would be compatible with this flashlight? I have it coming tomorrow and I stupidly overlooked the fact it comes without clip.
    Best if it could be from ebay, because ordering directly from USA to Czech Republic is not always possible ... and often it is a pain.
     
  20. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    I bought an E12 a couple of weeks ago, and have since had some time to try it out. I like it and I think it is going to replace my E15 as my edc light. In regard to some of the OPs comments, here is my opinion on the E12...

    1) Although I generally like my edc to come on in a medium brightness level, I have found the E12 very easy to handle with one hand, and so it can be quickly turned on and cycled very quickly through the various brightness levels, so I don't find the E12 to be a problem in this regard.

    2) Likewise, due to how easily and quickly I can with one hand turn on and cycle to the brightness level I want, I have decided that I like the fact that it comes on in low to conserve battery for most edc uses, and the lack of a memory mode is a non-issue for me.

    3) I find the 130 lumens more than adequate for lighting up anything close enough to concern me. Interestingly, I remember buying my first Surefire flashlight, at how amazed I was at the brightness of it's 60 lumens. I couldn't imagine needing anything more than that for defensive purposes. Oh, how times change . Right now I'm fighting the temptation to pick up either a Nitecore EA41 or Fenix E41 as an economical 4aa search light for those "rustling bushes". :)



    Sent from my XT1031 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited by dmattaponi, Jul 15, 2015
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