Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

Author sophos9 - Last updated: 12.04.2010

Okay, so here it is finally, the Nitecore D20 R2 review. Now please allow me to explain a little background to this first. As interest in the site and forum is rapidly expanding at a phenomenal rate (yes, I do believe ‘phenomenal’ is the correct choice of word, because when you think about it, it doesn’t take a detective to reason that we are a ‘niche’ group, and since Dave etc created Talk Urbex late last year we have a strong and ever increasing European member base which is quickly spreading worldwide with members from the USA, Canada and Australia) it was suggested that we try and obtain sponsorship for our increasingly popular photo competitions so that we may offer a little prize to the winner.

With this in mind I contacted Flashaholics the UK distributors of a particular and popular torch brand amongst many other popular brands of serious illumination. I asked about the possibility of them donating an item for review, an item to offer up as a prize in one of our competitions and possibly a TU member’s discount (check our member’s special offers section for the discount details here (must be a member). Lo and behold I received a reply from Antony at flashaholics stating that it shouldn’t be a problem, he had agreed to all 3 of my request!!

So, without further ado here’s my view of the Nitecore D20 R2. First let’s start off with what most will want to know, it has a maximum output of 200, yes I did say 200, lumens. ‘So what’ I hear you say (yes, those imaginary voices in my head again) and ‘there are torches out there with more power’ very true my friends, but this little torch works on only 2 x AA batteries (the P7, a very popular choice amongst the community uses 4), is impact and drop resistant and waterproof. Full spec can be found here.

Does this shot now qualify me as a ‘hand’ model?

Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

No doubt complete strangers will now stop me in the street and say things like ‘your hand looks familiar, haven’t I seen your hand on TV or something?

Concerned about the ‘manliness’ of my hands the missus offered up her hand instead (this just sounds wrong!)

Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

Now get this, although it has a max output of 200 lumens, the power is adjustable through the whole power range from minimum to maximum. All you do is switch it on by depressing the button on the base then keep the button depressed for over half a second and the power will decrease, just release the button when you find the level you need and the torch will remember the setting.

If you need fast access to minimum power a double tap on the switch brings it to you, likewise if you require fast access to full power just give it a double tap on the switch but hold the second tap and glorious full power is yours to behold. Now this is particularly interesting to Urbexers as not only do we use our torches for finding our way through hazard riddled dark and sometimes pitch black locations, we also use them to light paint when photographing in low/zero light. ‘Yeah, but I want max power all the time, why would I need less than the max?’ I hear you say (the voices again), sometimes we find ourselves in situations where there are others in the vicinity that are not aware of our presence and we want them to remain unaware yet we still have to find our way around in the darkness and there’s nothing like a few hundred lumens of light to attract unwanted attention, fear not my friends, with the Nitecore D20 CR2 you can, as stated, lessen the power thereby enabling you to find your way around without blinding the local security guards/nosey neighbours.

This adjustable output is also handy if you don’t have much battery life remaining but are in desperate need of some light, the last thing you want is to be caught down a pitch black tunnel when your batteries die, so you can prolong battery life by using it on a lesser setting, saving the max output for when it’s required.

The Nitecore D20 CR2 is extremely light (no, I didn’t weigh it and if you’re asking questions like this then why not just eat less for a day?) and measuring only 15.5 cm it will fit easily into any pocket. On a recent trip to West Park I kept it mostly in my front jean pocket with no problems at all. Due to the on/off switch being recessed in the tail it can be stood up candle style. I first tried out this awesome little piece of kit last weekend on a trip to Lincoln with D-Kay.

We both used the torch to do a little light painting on the main staircase of a certain Lincolnshire asylum, pic below, please note that it was so dark you could not see at all without a torch:

Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

As the pic above is clearly the result of HDR processing I’ve included a shot we took from outside illuminating the front of the asylum from approximately 40-50 feet away from the front (no post processing shenanigans here, this pic has only been converted from RAW to jpg format and straightened as the framing was slightly (more like completely) off.

Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

Nitecore D20 R2 Urbex Torch Review

This little torch is very powerful, when shone to the night sky it created a wide beam akin to those created by the aircraft searchlights, no pics to demonstrate this but you can take my word for it (hey, I’m an honest bloke, that money was only ‘resting’ in my account…). The lowdown – I think this is an awesome little torch and is perfect for UX purpose, it has the power, is easy to use and most of all is small enough to carry in any pocket.

The only negative I can find to say about it is that the beam can not be focussed to a small concentrated area but floods the whole area in bright white light. The big question, would I buy one myself? As it retails for £59.95 (£56.96 with the Talk Urbex member’s discount) which includes batteries AND free UK delivery I might just commit myself to a purchase very soon!

This torch will now be offered up as a prize in one of our monthly photo competitions, check them out if you haven’t already. Did I mention I won 2 out of 3 of this month’s competitions? Note – I will never claim a prize I’ve sourced if I happen to win the comp in which it’s offered, not that it’s likely to happen, I still believe my wins for March were by mere ‘fluke’ 😉

Finally, I’d like to publicly and personally thank Antony at the awesome Flashaholics not only for donating the torch for review and as a competition prize but also for setting up the 5% TU member’s discount. Top bloke.

Please support

Check out our forum for how to win this torch – what, you are not a member already? What are you waiting for?


#1SumflowApril 13, 2010, 11:52 am

Nice review. Nitecore makes a fantastic product and Flashaholics is well known here in America. Using easy to find AA cells in a small spotlight like that is the way of the future. I can see why a light painter would need the adjustable brightness feature.

#2NicolaiJuly 23, 2010, 9:46 pm

Nice !

Is the Building actually lit with the Nightcore ?
If so then the lamp is fantastic !

Greetings from Hannover, Germany

#3sophos9July 23, 2010, 10:08 pm

Hey man, yea the torch lit the entire front of the building up – ArubaGT just won the torch in the last Talk Urbex photo competition 🙂

I’ve also seen it in action at West Park asylum in the UK – amazing dude!

Greets from UK

#4MaryOctober 13, 2010, 12:27 pm

What is that place? It looks like a movie set. Is it a museum? How did you get inside at night?

    #5sophos9October 14, 2010, 9:02 am

    Its an abandoned insane asylum – getting inside is just about going over or under the building to find a non obtrusive way in 🙂

#6fizzogMarch 17, 2011, 12:30 pm

Just bought one with the discount. Thanks for the great review!

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