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Fenix Product PD32UE (Ultimate Edition) Review

I’m going to start by stating, this is a discontinued Fenix Flashlight. It was an update to the PD32 in 2012.

The Fenix PD32UE is a 740 lumen flashlight with a tail on/off switch and a mode switch near the emitter end of the light. It’s black, with a diamond cut knurled pattern on the center tube. It consists of three pieces: Tail switch, center tube(reversible) and emitter/reflector with mode switch. In comparison to the PD32, the Ultimate Edition was lengthened to add cooling fins, most likely to compensate for the new higher power Cree. The overall diameter is the same, which doesn’t feel too bulky in your pocket. The fins do add a bit of width, but not in a bad way.

The new XM-L (T6) Cree caused a jump to 720 lumens from the previous 320, and it’s a big improvement. The beam output is wider than most Fenix lights. While the spot area is larger, it also has more fill light outside of the spot. This creates a wide beam, with an extremely useable spread of light. The throw distance is about the same as it’s predecessor, maybe a little less. But the size of the beam at distance is MUCH larger, which in my preference is better.

The new Cree color temperature is dramatically warmer than the PD32. I’ve been told that it varies per light, and it’s possible that I got an element who’s color temperature matches my preference, either way, I like it. The warmer temperature is probably around 4200k which in the flashlight world, is pretty close to white. This helps show colors for what they actually are, instead of being softened by a shade of blue.

It has 5 brightness mode and 2 strobe modes. 9lm, 40lm, 140lm, 400lm, and 740lm.

This light, like many other Fenix lights can use 2x CR123A batteries, or 1x 18650 rechargeable battery.

My only real complaint is the mode button is hard to find, especially in the dark. I’ve considered painting it with glow in the dark paint to aid my searching.

The best use in my opinion for this light is photography. Some of the reason I say that is because it’s my every-day-carry, so it’s what’s in my pocket when I reach for a light. But it’s also my favorite because of it’s soft beam and warm color, which really makes colors pop. I use it for “light painting”. I do a long exposure, something like 10 seconds and hustle myself around the object being photographed and attempt to paint as much of it as possible with even light from all angles. It creates soft, low contrast highlighting that is very controllable.
All in all, this is my favorite light. It’s slim form factor is great, comfortable in my front pocket of my jeans, while still being wide enough in my hand to be easy to handle. I removed the clip, but left the lanyard on to aid with retrieving from my pocket. The light output is more than enough, with a wide enough pattern to be a perfect multi purpose light. And the color temperature, it’s warm! I’ve carried it for 5 years (I think) as a part of my Every-Day-Cary. It saddens me to admit that I’ve lost it. It happened a few months back. I’ve tried finding replacements online, and I’ve even went as far as calling Fenix to inquire about a possible alternative. No such luck, so I’ll continue searching for a replacement for the best light in history.

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