I recently bought two Fenix lights to replace an old Fenix headlamp that finally (after much abuse) bit the big one. The problem with Fenix lights is simply that they truly make a great light. I didn’t want to upgrade lights because I loved mine so much but when faulty batteries melted my terminals on the old lamp it forced my hand. Having had many good years and countless adventures with my old HP25 Headlamp I decided to go with its modern equivalent, the HP25R as well as a handy handheld focus flashlight, the FD30.
For my specific needs these lights really make for a great combination. The headlamp stays on my head for general ambient lighting while I’m hiking at night to set up photos after dark and the FD30 literally lives in the console of my truck ready for me to grab at a moment’s notice while scanning for wildlife on backroads. I find myself photographing and filming wildlife and nature scenes quite a bit in low light and having these lights working in tandem is a game changer for me. I can keep my hands free to focus on the camera on the lower settings on the HP25R and spotlight wildlife for macro shots with the FD30 for good fill light.
While sitting around a camp fire at a veterans camping trip I organized, it seemed that everyone was impressed with the brightness of this light. I kept hearing “hey pass me that light” from these tactically minded guys as they would click the on off button and want to test it for themselves around the dark campsite. On another trip this light came in handy while using it to add fill light for some macro shots of toads on sandy roads in the middle of nowhere one evening.
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The pros to the FD30 is that it has a wide field of view that illuminates anything you’d need to see in a tactical or practical environment as well as multiple brightness settings that let you choose how blind you want anyone nearby to be. It ranges from 8 lumens all the way to 900 lumens with a max distance of 200 meters on the spotlight setting and 67 meters on the floodlight setting. I was actually hesitant initially about getting a light with rechargeable batteries but aside from these batteries lasting forever they’re really easy to charge and I will often pop the battery out en route to the next adventure and charge in my cigarette lighter in my truck with the USB cable. You can also choose to use two CR123A batteries instead of the included rechargeable 18650 Li-ion if you’re in a pinch and can’t recharge the battery. The only real cons on this light, and they’re minor issues, is that sometimes it’s a little hard to turn the focus ring of the light quickly because it is very tight. The light will sometimes get quite warm if you’re running it full blast for a long period of time.
I love the HP25R just like its predecessor the HP25. The main difference between the two if you’re an old school Fenix fan like myself is that the new version boasts a smaller overall size and the batteries are rechargeable and the light is significantly brighter maxing out at 1000 lumens. I have found myself using this headlamp for all sorts of practical applications outside of my normal outdoor and nature uses. Recently a strong storm knocked out the power in my house and when the lights went off the Fenix went on. I wore it around my house for over an hour until the power flickered back on. It’s also extremely helpful while doing home projects like installing a ceiling fan or setting up night time photos on the side of country roads. It’s just an all-around good head lamp that you won’t regret owning. The batteries are easy to recharge, like the FD30 I will often have this lamp charging in the truck if necessary but to be honest I can’t remember the last time I actually charged it. It’s just always ready to go! The addition of a red light is a great improvement on the older model and it aides greatly when trying to read camera settings after dark but not wanting to kill your night vision. The only con to this light is that I didn’t buy one sooner. If you’re looking for a great pair of lights that work together like peanut butter and jelly, definitely check out the HP25R and the FD30. You won’t regret either and they’re even better together!