Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

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Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:38 pm

I have tested both the updated EOS and EOS II headlamps. Years ago I tested out an EOS but despite liking the physical characteristics I found the light lacking the necessary flood output for my usage so it was rejected. However this update addresses the deficiencies of the old EOS and keeps everything I liked. Both headlamps have regulated output. This means that the initial brightness remains unchanged for a portion of the total runtime with reducing brightness after the headlamp falls out of regulation. This allows the user a fair warning to change the batteries. The updated EOS headlamps are now my favorite within the 3xAAA form factor.


4-Mode EOS Rebel:


http://www.princetontec.com/?q=node/65" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


The 4-mode EOS has a low, medium, high and a flashing mode. PT has the following ratings for each mode.


1. Low mode total burn time 121 hours with 50 hours regulated. 16m throw during regulation
2. Medium mode burn time 115 hours with 10 hours regulated. 32m throw during regulation.
3. High mode burn time 113 hours with 1 hour regulated. 54m throw during regulation.


The newer headlamp has the 50 lumen rating right on the package. Both the EOS and EOS II are physically similar. The PT marketing department has decided to finally give the type of LED in addition to “Maxbright”. The Rebel 4-mode EOS is priced between 34-43 dollars

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Both updated headlamps have the same frosted optic. The older EOS has a clear optic. Here is a close up of the EOS frosted Optic.


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Both headlamps have the same battery installation. Just unscrew the nut on the back and 3xAAA batteries go into their clearly marked slots. I found battery installation on the EOS line to be far easier than my Tikka Plus or PT Aurora. Water resistance is achieved via O-ring. The headlamps are rated for Alkaline, Lithium and NIMH rechargeable. I run them both with 900 mAh Energizer NiMH and Duracell 800 mAh LSD NiMH batteries. Alkaline batteries are cheap and offer reasonable performance on the low modes but in my view suffer on high and sometimes leak. The NiMH batteries seem to offer better performance than Alkaline. Lithiums work great in the cold. I have not tested the EOS with Lithiums however if conventional wisdom holds I would expect longer regulated runtimes on Hi and standard performance on low. For longer term storage I use the LSD NiMH batteries as they will not self discharge over time and will not leak. My backup batteries are standard NiMH. These are topped off every month or so if not used. But they always seem to get used for weekend camping trips. Keep in mind that I am no expert on batteries and all of the above is based on field testing and educated guesses.


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Both headlamps are comfortable over extended usage. I found that the EOS was a bit bulkier than my other headlamps within this class. But not overly so. Here is a comparison photo for the EOS II, EOS, PT Aurora and Tikka Plus headlamps.

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The UI is fairly simple. The user can click though all modes. However if the user clicks though all four modes the headlamp will turn off. Also if the user waits for more than a few seconds to change the modes the headlamp will turn off. This is not that unusual. The headlamp starts off on high than moves to medium-low and ends with flashing mode.


Field testing:

For reasons that are unclear to me I found the 4-mode EOS to be brighter than the 2-mode industrial work light. The EOS II is a sold 50 lumens however I find it hard to believe that the 4-mode EOS isn’t more than the listed 50 lumens. The optic was a bit more frosted. This could be intentional however don’t know for certain. At first I felt the greater flood provided by the slightly more frosted optic would come at the expense of throw however both lights had equal throw (distance) but the 4-Mode EOS has greater flood. It really lights up the woods on high. I also found the 4-mode EOS has a warmer tint. I don’t know if this greater output is because of the variations between LEDS or if they used a different Rebel. Being no expert on LEDs I can’t say but this difference would only be noticed if some had both headlamps running at the same time like me during a test. Overall the 4-mode Rebel EOS has a very good balance between flood and throw. A near perfect beam for trail work.

I don’t have any way to test the exact lumen rating so keep in mind that these ratings are based on comparisons with flashlights of known lumen ratings. On Hi the headlamp seemed like 50 plus lumens out front. It illuminated a good area and trail markers at some distance. It seemed to maintain the 50 plus lumen rating for longer than the listed 1 hour but it is hard to tell with the naked eye. On medium it seemed like about 25 lumens. I found the medium setting well within my comfort zone for both known trails and bushwhacking. I have not tested the full 10 hour regulated output at one time but feel I could hike all night on full regulation based on my overnight camping/hiking test. The low setting matched my E01 per my eye so guessing it is 6ish lumens. Great for camp work and a short walk to answer natures call however it was below my comfort level for night hikes. I didn’t test the 50 hour low regulated output but see no reason not to trust PT on their ratings. The UL was easy to use but I didn’t care for the flashing mode and wished the UI was more like the EOS II. After a few seconds the UI would reset to next click = off so I would have to restart the cycle to change modes. The EOS II could switch between modes without the light turning off after the mode is left on for an extended time. All that being said the UL of the 4-mode EOS is familiar to me. I just wish both headlamps would start on low rather than hi.


The Rebel EOS II industrial work headlamp.


http://www.princetontec.com/?q=node/118" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Both headlamps share many of the same characteristic so I will try and not repeat the same information for this review. The differences between the EOS/EOS II are within the UI. PT does mention something about chemical resistance plastic of the EOS II however I am betting that both headlamps are made out of the same stuff. The EOS II does come with a rubber strap in addition to the stretch cloth for attachment to a hard hat. The EOS II is a two mode light. Just high or low. The user can switch between modes by simply pressing the recessed button. The switch on both headlamps is a bit stiff but this is not a problem as it helps reduce accidental activation within someone’s pack.


PT lists the ratings as the following:


1. High is 50 lumens with no throw rating.
2. Low is not listed.


The spotty listing is due to the packaging of the EOS II. Being an industrial work headlamp the packaging consists of a box with just the light and extra rubber strap in plastic wrap. No instructions are provided. But though testing I have found the high rating is a true solid 50 lumens with a longer than listed regulated runtime. Maybe two plus hours rather than the 1-1.5 of the 4-Mode EOS however this is just a guess based on my naked eye and maybe proven un true if anyone ever does a scientific test. I see no reason not to think the total runtime isn’t near the 120ish hours of the 4-mode EOS. The low setting seemed like 10ish lumens. My test showed a regulated runtime of around 13-14 hours based on timed hikes/camping usage but again I could be wrong. I think maybe the total runtime would be between the medium and low modes on the 4-mode EOS. So guessing the runtime on low is 13 hours regulated with a total 114 hours.


Field testing:


The high worked great for bushwhacking and hard trail work. But it was a bit less in terms of flood than the 4-mode EOS with equal throw. I found the tint warmer than most of my headlamps but the 4-mode EOS has a better tint and overall nicer beam. However these differences can only be discerned if someone has both headlamps side by side and may be due to the variations within LEDS. They don’t call it a lottery for no reason. In any case the EOS II for the most part like the 4-mode EOS has a good balance of flood and throw. The low setting is between the 4-mode EOS low and medium. It was just below my comfort level for night hikes. However it is very doable for familiar trails and workable for bushwhacking if looking to conserve on battery power. But during a test on an untraveled trail there were times I had to move up to high. The UI is my favorite of the two headlamps. Two modes and the light does not turn off between switching even if the mode is left on for a longer period. To turn the headlamp off I just hold the button down. Overall this was a joy but the lack of a medium mode was a real downer.


Beam shots:


Here is a beam shot of both headlamps on high including my Tikka plus for scale. The EOS II is on the far left, the 4-mode EOS in the middle and Tikka plus on the far right.


Image


It appears to me that the 4-mode EOS is both brighter and warmer than the 2-mode EOS work headlamp. The beam is near perfect. But despite the photos the EOS II is warmer than the Tikka plus and far less blue than my older PT Apex and Aurora 5mm LEDs. But the beam of the 4-Mode EOS is just darn right sweet however there is no guarantee that all EOS headlamps will reflect this.


A beam shot of the 2-mode EOS II high compared to the 4-mode EOS low.


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The 4-mode EOS low is nice and low just like it should be.


A beam shot of the 2-mode EOS II low compared to the 4-Mode EOS high.


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The EOS II low is between the 4-mode EOS low and medium.


Conclusion:

I think the newer updated EOS headlamps are very nice. They are my current favorite headlamps within this class. The light output is very good for my field use. Considering that most headlamps are used for extended periods of time PT showed a very good understanding of just what makes a great headlamp. The output, beam and tint all work together. Overall I prefer the 4-mode EOS as the one I own is brighter and has a better beam and tint. Also it is cheaper and more readily available. I hope this review was useful.
Last edited by Woods Walker on Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by don vito » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:06 am

Thx WW great post as usual. The EOS seems like a great replacement for my Tikka Plus which has been ticking for the past 6-7 years and still going strong, but I'm looking for something with a little more trow on high while being able to do close up tasks on low. Glad they still make this fine product in US.

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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Woods Walker » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:39 pm

The Tikka plus is a good headlamp. They updated the 5mm LEDs not too long ago making the headlamp brighter. The Rebel EOS is miles brighter than my newer Tikka plus. Also it is more weatherproof as the Tikka does not have an O-ring. One of the downsides of the Tikka is the headlamp can fly apart if dropped on rocks etc and toss the batteries. Still mine has always snapped back together. On the positive there are four 5 mm LEDs in the Tikka. So if one should ever fail there are three more. The EOS has only one Rebel. Sure the LEDs don't burn out often however it can happen.

The Tikka plus has a nice flood but the Rebel EOS offers a good combo of throw and flood. If you want more throw the Rebel EOS will not disappoint.
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by 111t » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:41 pm

Their marketing people should be shot. How many of you thought this post was about cameras?
Thanks for the in-depth review!
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Agent_Jaws » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:50 pm

Woods,

Is the main reason you like this lamp better than the tikka because of the throw? I've been looking to pick up a headlamp to augment my Surefire collection and primarily intend to use it as a campsite or trail-walking light. I'm not looking for anything more than about 30 feet of throw with it and would prefer it to be good and floody. The tactikka plus was on my short list of candidates, along with the zebralight H30 (to consolidate all my lights to CR123 batteries). For those applications, which do you think would be better? I have a couple of plenty bright primary lights that I carry anyway so I probably don't need the throw, but if the other features make up for it then it might be worth looking in to. Thanks.

BTW, thanks for all the reviews of stuff and experiences you share with us, I feel like everytime you do something I learn something.
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Woods Walker » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:07 pm

Agent Jaws.

As you know in the field conditions often change so this question is a bit hard to answer. The Tikka plus is a good headlamp but like anything else has its pros and cons. It does offer a real nice flood light and is great for in-camp and moderate hike. It is well made. On the negative battery installation is a bit difficult as the two bands that hold both halves together are under the back battery slot. So you have to monkey around a little. But this is not all that hard. As stated the Tikka plus is not waterproof at any level. There are gaps between the two halves of the body. However I have used the headlamp in light rain without any issues but tend to wear it under my OR gortex wide brimmed hat in heavy rain. Also it would flood out if dunked. But I don’t know if this would result in any total failures. The electronics of direct drive headlamps seem to be able to take getting wet and the instructions of the Tikka state to remove the batteries and rinse the inside. So I am thinking that once the Tikka plus dries out it will work fine. The Rebel EOS has an O-ring and from my observation is totally dunk proof. Also if the Tikka plus is dropped on a hard surface it may separate and toss the batteries. In fact my removable face plate came off too. Now if you find everything the Tikka will snap back together and work just fine as mine did. Also it takes a good hit to do this. A normal drop on just dirt will not be enough. As stated it is well made but the Rebel EOS is made in the USA and with a USA life time warrantee with a 10 year international warrantee. The Tikka plus is made in china if I remember correctly but with a 3 year guarantee. Just something to consider. However I have got good stuff made in China like my Fenix lights. I don't just discount gear made in China. Petzel is a French company and makes some headlamps in France just not this one. Much in the same way PT makes the Fuel in China if I remember correctly however the EOS in the USA.

On the issue of output the Tikka plus has a great flood and is direct drive. The EOS has a good balance of flood and throw that is regulated. What this means is the Tikka plus on medium will throw at first from 23 m but after only 30 minutes down to 20 m and at 10 hours 13 m. The total runtime is 120 hours but at the tail end it will be hardly usable. The 4-Mode EOS on medium will throw at 32 m at first. At 30 minutes will still be 32 m. But after 10 hours the throw will have reduced to 30 m. Basically the output is totally unchanged for the first 10 hours and the brightness seemed greater with the medium 4-mode EOS. I think the Rebel LED is more efficient than the 5mm LEDS used in the Tikka plus. I think the newer PT quad uses a more efficient 5mm LED the GS but at the expense of a worse tint from the models I have checked out. In any case guessing on the tail end the EOS will have a bit less runtime as the regulation burned more energy keeping the light regulated early on. Still I prefer the regulated burn. The overall burn seems to show this. 120 hours for the Tikka plus and 115 hours for the EOS both on medium. Still it is hard to make a direct comparison to 4x5mm LEDS and 1 Rebel LED. On high the max throw for the Tikka plus is 32 m and the Rebel EOS/EOSII is 54 m.

The EOS beam is a good mix of throw and flood. The older EOS was mostly just throw. They overcame this with the frosted optic and a modern LED. I think a Q5 Cree puts out more lumens and maybe more efficient than the Rebel. I don’t know what the bin designations for Rebels are, maybe 80 or 100 but just guessing. However the tint and beam quality of the Rebel is superior to the Cree and I am guessing this is the reason why PT went with the Rebel. This is mostly babble on my part. The bottom line is the EOS can throw farther than the Tikka plus but still work for in camp use due to the frosted optic and maybe changes in the reflector too. However if pure flood at the expense of throw is your primary concern than the Tikka maybe be your pick. Overall the EOS is superior in every other way to the Tikka plus minus the greater flood at closer ranges and bit less bulk. Still I like the Tikka plus and always feel the need to own a direct drive 3xAAA headlamp when looking to juice every last lumen. This is why I got one to replace one of my 3xAAA direct drive Auroras after the latch broke. The Aurora latch is one of the big negatives to an otherwise fine headlamp.

As for the AA/AAA vs. CR123 I tend to side with AA/AAA. I have a few Surefire lights and like them. But I can recharge the AA/AAA batteries in the field with my fold up solar charger. That with the Kifaru wood stove makes me totally energy independent in terms of power, heat and cooking when out in the woods. I can run my headlamp, flashlight and GPS for a long time. But in the real world and nearly all field use I think the CR123s are great. But I can’t get away from the cheaper LSD NiMH batteries. No wrong or right answer so I can see your desire to have a H30 to keep all your batteries the same.
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Allen » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:45 pm

Thanks Woods Walker!

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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Agent_Jaws » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:48 am

Dang nice answer. I'd much prefer regulated runtime over non-regulated any time if the burn times are similar, so now I've got some more things to consider. I understand where you're coming from on the battery issue and for the most part I'd agree with you in that going with AA/AAA and a solar charger is probably the best long-term solution. I'm looking at a different scenario though in that I am only looking at shorter-term bug outs and don't mind carrying a few extra cells to make it through. I've been looking at rechargeable cells to power most of my gear (CPF is killing my wallet lately) with primaries as backups. Problem is right now I kinda have too many bettery types going on:

GPS uses AAs
Surefires use CR123s
Modding a Surefire to run on 18500 Li-Ions
Most of these headlamps run AAAs

That'd be a few different types to pack. I rarely use my GPS though other than for plotting, so 1 pair of batteries tend to last a while. For my primary lights I'm looking to squeeze about 6 hours out of 1 set of batteries, so I figure 2 extra sets should do well for anticipated 4 day/3 night excursions. If I were to go with an AAA headlamp then that's one other battery type to pick up, but I imagine 1 set plus a backup set would do for the trip. On the other hand, if I stick with a CR123 headlamp I can just pack more of those and have backups for both the headlamp and my primaries. Ah decisions lol....
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:21 am

I'm looking to squeeze about 6 hours out of 1 set of batteries, so I figure 2 extra sets should do well for anticipated 4 day/3 night excursions
Over time I have become more dependent on my headlamps and use the flashlight less as they have gotten better over the years. The first almost replacement headlamp is my older model 60 lumen Apex. It is bright enough on spot and ran long enough that the flashlight rarely got used. Headlamp tech is behind the upper end flashlight performance but the gap is closing fast. Even the smaller 3XAAA headlamps like the Rebel EOS can throw far enough that my flashlight is used less and less. Still I keep my LED G2Z in the truck, pack the L2D Q5 in the E&E and EDC a little E01.

If you go with 3XAAA I would consider some Lithiums if you want to run the light on high for longer times. I think they will burn longer. Also consider some LSD NiMH AAA batteries. They don't self discharge or rather it takes more than a year. Also you can run the light more as the cost is not longer an issue.
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Agent_Jaws » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:50 am

Yeah battery life is why I picked up the M60L drop-in for my light, plus it throws well and has great spill also. I guess I just haven't seen a great headlamp in person yet, so in my own mind I've still got it where headlamps are for close up work and a real light is for spotting. For the most part while trail-walking I try to work with natural lighting as much as possible and haven't had a lot of problems, and the last time I was out night hiking I rarely used my light at all and just relied on spill from my wife's LED mini-mag (she refused to turn it off). If headlamps keep improving perhaps I should just get a crappy one instead so that my flashlights don't end up getting all lonely.

For almost all lights through I am a big fan of lithium batteries, if not running rechargeables. Alkaline batteries are a waste of time IMO, heavier and by the time you get the same burn time of a lithium you've made up the cost difference anyway. Of course rechargeable options are good also, initially expensive but over time they pay for themselves. Only bummer is often they have a reduced capacity compared to lithiums but when it becomes almost free, no big deal.
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:38 pm

I think the new PT Apex does 130 lumens on high and I am betting this is from a Rebel LED as this seems to be their universal modern upgrade. The GS LED is their pick for a modern upgrade for all the 5MM LEDs in headlamps. The Apex has both. I think the newer Petzl line has 180 lumen burst mode but this runs for a short time. Both are larger AA headlmaps. I think Lithiums in the EOS will give a much longer regulated runtime with little direct drive tail end. Could be 5 hours at maximum brightness with only 1 hour of direct drive. But I will have to dig up the EOS instructions to verify what I suspect. The NiMH AAAs runs longer than alkaline batteries plus they never leak. I can also field recharge them. The LSD NiMH can remain at the same charge during storage for over a year so these mitigate the only advantage of Alkaline. Clearly lithiums retain a charge longer than all the rest.

I wouldn't get a crappy headlamp. I have a whole pile. My cheap Energizers have switches that just love accidental discharge within my pack. My super bright Husky 100 lumen Hi def Cree runs the batteries down too fast. Also it is too big. Seems most cheap B&M headlamps are made to sell for 9-25 bucks but seem to screw the pooch as they are not made by people who have a real understanding of actual field usage. Rather just the lumen rating and fancy looks. No regulation or durability. No concern that headlamps are often used for much longer periods than most flashlights.

You can find a Rebel EOS on sale for around 33 bucks. The newer upgraded PT regulated 45 lumen 4x5mm Quad for 28 dollars.

http://www.brightguy.com/products/Princ ... p_EOSR.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.brightguy.com/products/Princ ... p_QUAD.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A Tikka plus is around 33 bucks. Not regulated but still kinda nice.

http://www.brightguy.com/products/Petzl_Tikka_PLUS.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

All of the above can be found at REI, EMS and Dicks. But care must be taken. The newer TIKKA plus is 80 percent brighter with no cost in runtime than the older one. However it was upgraded sometime ago so most floating around are good. But the Quad and EOS have just been upgraded. The old Quad and EOS were rated for 20 plus lumens. Now they are 45 and 50 with no cost in runtimes. You must check out the package to confirm the lumen rating. Avoid EBay as the older ones are being unloaded and I have heard reports over at CPF of sellers stating the new upgrade lumen rating for older stock. In any case spend the extra 10ish bucks and get a better headlamp as I don’t think there will be any more advancement with the 3xAAA class for some time as it took years before the recent upgrades.
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Re: Rebel EOS/EOS II headlamp review.

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:58 pm

Ok I have the numbers for Alkaline and Lithium batteries from the EOS instructions. All times are hours.

Alkaline.

Low. Regulated 50 overall burntime 121.
Med. Regulated 10 overall burntime 115.
High. Regulated (? typo) overall burntime 113.

Lithium

Low. Regulated 55 overall burntime 60.
Med. Regulated 17 overall buntime 20.
High. Regulated 6 overall burntime 8.

Clearly the lithium batteries run for longer regulated times but at the cost of the direct drive tail end. There was a typo with alkaline showing both regulated and overall burntimes on high being the same 113 hours. This can't be true. Thinking it maybe around 1-2 hours.
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