Astrolux MF 04S flashlight review:
Soon after I received my XHP 35 version I read about the Astrolux MF04s that I am reviewing here. Instead of using the “throwy” XHP35 LED (in the Astrolux MF04), they installed a new driver with the CREE XHP70 LED for more than double the lumens, at the cost of less throw. Maybe a perfect combination for the best of both worlds, great throw with some nice flood. Unlike a pencil beam that only throws far.
Most of the review has been copied from the MF04 review, and only the parts that are different are added. This includes performance, throw, LED. The dimensions and boxing have all be the same. This is the reason the 2 reviews look a lot alike :–)
|Beam intensity||600,000 cd|
|Blinkies||SOS, Strobe, Beacon|
What you’ll get:
Same as with the MF04
- Astrolux MF04S flashlight
- Carton box with a plastic handle
- Atrolux Manual
- Spare O-ring
- Tripod mount screw
- Carry strap
Handling of the light
The body of the MF04S seems to be a little off-balance compared to the longer BLF GT. Although the body is much shorter than the BLF GT it does however provide good enough grip. Because the head is so big compared to the body, it is a little front-heavy. Depending on how strong your wrists are, this might become a little annoying when using it for a longer period of time.
The switch is a bit recessed in the body which is a Pro! This means that it you less likely activate accidentaly. And it also helps to “find” the swith on the feel when in complete darkness.
Does it tail-stand?
I own a Manfrotto tripod with a Manfrotto 029 head. It uses the hexagonal quick release plate! And guess what… This light also doesn’t fit, just like the BLF GT :–) and MF04.. no surprise
But Astrolux did something differently. They changed the size of the screw-in tripod mount hole to a larger size so you could use a different kind of tripod. They also included an attachment, that makes the tripod hole a regular size screw fitting.
Build Quality and Anodizing
Anodization is the actual coating on the flashlight. The quality of this particular light is fine. It is however rather sensitive for fingerprints etc. I was lubing the big O-ring behind the front lens element and touched the head afterward that left some clear fingerprints. Check the pictures below.
The build quality has nothing to complain about. The bezel was rather easy to take off, and below I will be talking more about the threads etc. For modders, this is good news. No glue or gunk that makes it difficult to open up.
The threads came slightly lubed and weren’t sharp. The threads between body and head fit well, as well as the threading on the tailcap. Again, this is done professionally without any problems.
LED, Lens Bezel and Reflector
The reflector is still made of aluminum and is smooth, just like it sibling. If you look up close you can still see some machining rings.
- Diameter head in: 118 mm
- Diameter head outside: 135 mm
The bezel is of aluminum, and not stainless steel, unfortunately. This makes it a little less bling.
Flashlight manufacturers mainly show dimensions in millimeters.
- Length Astrolux MF-04: 235 mm
- MF04 head diameter: 136 mm
- MF04 Width reflector: 125 mm
- Width body and tailcap: 52 mm
- Lens Diameter 131.7 mm
- Lens thickness 3.14 mm
- Weight Astrolux MF04 empty: 1290 gr / 2.84 lb.
- Weight Astrolux MF04- with Samsung Q30*4: 1460 grams / 3.2 lb.
The battery carrier has a metal construction. It is best to use high drain, button-top 18650 batteries. The carrier is designed specifically for button tops, and flat tops won’t be able touch the positive pole. At the positive poles on the battery carrier are plastic rings/washers to prevent reverse polarity, inserting your batteries the wrong way can cause a short. The good thing is that these little plastic washers are easy to pry off in case you want to use flat tops.
Protected batteries may not fit!
My Panasonic NCR18650B’s cells with protection do not fit because they are too long for this battery carrier, but others have said they could use their protected batteries. For sure you can use unprotected cells, and for certain brands also, protected.
See the pictures below of how this works. One thing to keep in mind, that it is easy to pry off, but impossible to put back. LOL.
Note : this will probably void any warranty! So do it at your own risk!
Solution: Another way to use flat-top batteries is by using small magnets. But you need to be very careful because they could end up making a short as well. So I wouldn’t recommend this for long-time use unless you’d solder them to the batteries.
There are 2 mode groups. A main, and 1 especially for blinkies.
The main group consists of 4 modes: Moon, Medium, High and Turbo. The second (hidden) mode group consists of a Strobe, SOS and a Beacon mode.
From the OFF position:
- 1 short click: back to last mode
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple click: blinkies menu
- Long press: electronic lock-out
From the ON position:
- 1 short click: runs through the menu from mMoon to Max.
- Double click: Turbo
- Triple click: blinky modes (with a single click you go through the 3 options.)
- Long press: flashlight turns off
Yes, just like the MF04, it has some blinky modes. You can enter the “blinky” menu by clicking 3 times quickly from the OFF position. It will start with Strobe, then with a single click to SOS and lastly, the Location Beacon. Another click will turn the light off again.
- Press and hold the switch for about 3-4 seconds when the flashlight is turned off. If you use the switch, nothing will happens. Hold it again for 3-4 seconds to return to normal settings.
- Behind the switch cover is a very small LED. This stays on as long as the light is turned off. When you do a lock-out, the LED will switch off! This can be handy to save some battery life. I usually just unscrew the bodytube from the head to have no parasitic drain.
Unfortunately, I had a very hard time measuring the battery amps. And it is impossible to unsolder 1 LED wire to measure amps, and didn’t want to break anything before taking it outside. I think it is more important for this kind of flashlight to measure “throw” and not battery life.
How far can the Astrolux MF04 Throw?
First I did my measurement indoors, at 5 meters (16.4ft). I then calculate the Candles (cd) with the following tool: https://www.rapidtables.com/calc/light/lux-to-candela-calculator.html
This time I used my professional Hagner E4-X luxmeter, and not the cheap lux meter I used to test my lights with.. So the numbers are different, and more trustworthy imho.
Measured indoors at 5 meters
- Astrolux MF04 throw is: 917kcd on Turbo (4 Samsung 30Q high amp batteries)
- Astrolux MF04S throws: 575kcd on Turbo ( 4 Samsung 30Q high amp batteries)
Measured at 10 meters
- BLF GT: 812 Kcd on Turbo (4 Panasonic NCR18650B protected)
- Astrolux MF04 throw is: 1240Kcd / 1.24 Mcd on Turbo (4 Samsung 30Q batteries)
- Astrolux MF04S throws: 585 Kcd on Turbo (4 Samsung 30Q batteries)
You can see that it isn’t as throwy as the Astrolux MF04, which is currently the king of throwers!
I tested them both with the same Samsung Q30 flat top batteries (using the magnet trick I mentioned earlier). Astrolux claims 600000cd / 600Kcd.. which is about right with my measurement. I measured only at 5 and 10 meters.
The distance to the shed is about 50 meters.
Below shots were taken on a winter night with some haze in the air. The tower is 650 meters (0.4 miles) away from the camera. The flashlight was about 5 meters away from the camera on the right.
Overall conclusion of the Astrolux MF04S
- 6000 lumens
- Awesome combo: throw with flood
- Carry strap included
- Simple user interface (and I am really glad about that!)
- Tripod hole has 2 sizes (in case your tripod has a different size screw)
- Because of the nature of this beast, the light is a little front heavy.
- Still not cheap
- Anodizing is a little sensitive for fingerprints
Rating: 5 stars: Excellent
I have had the light for only 2 weeks and it has performed stellar. I have nothing to complain other than maybe the sensitive coating… (fingerprints). But other than that? A really, really awesome flashlight.. 600Kcd and 6000 lumens is just amazing.