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Old January 28th, 2009, 09:23 PM   #1
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LitePanels, Zylight or Other?

Why do light manufacturers no put out specs on their led lights? I’m in the need of a small bright, diffused light that will be close to my lens. I’m shooting the inside of a small black boxes (DSLR Mirror Cages) and I need to put light inside of it that is equal to the rest of my studio lighting. The camera is only 3’ at max from the subject.

Monday I bought (and received today) a LitePanels Micro and it just barley does the job. My though is that if I’m going to invest in a light, do I want one that just barley does the job and that I might outgrow soon or do I get one that will do more than adequate and fill bigger needs down the road.

I have been looking at the Zylight Z90 but have no idea of it’s output and if it’s output will be significantly more than the Micro. Since LitePanels does give numbers and at 4ft the Micro puts out 21FC and their Mini (flood head) puts out only 24FC (about 1/4 stop more of light), that rules out the mini as it isn’t much brighter. This would be easy if these manufacturers would put out specs and the fact that they don’t makes me think they don’t want us to know. Plus none of my regular dealers sell the Z90.

I’m open to other ideas too. Any suggestions for under $1,200, small, bright, diffused, filterable to tungsten, hotshoe or lens mountable?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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this article might answer your questions....

article.php


Have you looked at any LED ring lights? I have one of these and it's very bright and ideal for macro work....

Digi-Slave | L-Ring 3200D LED Ring Light with Diffuser

Also.... one thought..... shooting macro work and wanting a deep depth of field requires a lot of light. So getting the light in close is ideal.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 10:15 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for that link. WOW!! the Zylight isn't nearly as bright as the micro (1 stops less). As for the Digi-Slave/ringlight, with only 32 LED's must be dimmer but looks very interesting. I will probably pick one up with my next order from B&H.

Have you seen the 64LED Version? I just found it doing some research. http://www.srelectronics.com/fr6400.html

The ringlight would be harder to color correct with filters to get Tungsten.
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Last edited by Curt Fargo; January 28th, 2009 at 10:20 PM. Reason: add link
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Old January 28th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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I have both the zylight z90 and the micro as well as the ringlight.... the zylight is not brighter than the micro, but it has a much wider spread of light.... better light. the micro has a much more narrow beam. the ringlight is probably (guess) twice as bright as the micro....

can you not shoot daylight WB? if not, you could filter your lens.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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My ambient light (studio lights) are 3200K and I'm just trying to use this as a fill, to get light into the deep crevices (mirror cage) while my studio lights will be lighting the rest of the area. As I said the Micro will do the job but I would like more if available at a reasonable price. The Z90 is awesome in it's features and I would love to have one but it looks like for this job it won't meet my needs. My Micro actually puts out more light than it is specked to do.

By the way I was raised down the street from you in E-town.

Thanks again for the link to that article.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #6
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I did receive an email back from Jim at Zylight telling me the specs are "it's just a little hard to find" and he directed me to Zylight - Intelligent LED Lighting which states the CP is 53.1 at 3.3' and 13.3 at 6.6'. So their photometric specs are indeed on their site but just hard to find.

Rachel Dunn who tested the Mini compared to the Z90 at article.php and she reported the Z90 was 27% less light than the Mini (at 5' Mini 15FC - Z90 11FC). Yet reading the manufacturers specs, Zylight claims 13.3FC at 6.6' and LightPanels claims 9.2 at 6'.

So who do I believe as there is a big difference here?
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Old January 29th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #7
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mmm.... thats a tough one.

I still think I'd go with a ring light since your lens is so close.... and gel your studio lights.

The only time I ever use the z90 is as a obie light to put a catch light in the eyes of the subject. It's a bit to heavy to use run and gun.... the micro is better for that.

funny about you growing up in etown.... I grew up near you in Sacramento.... then Okinawa in jr high and England all of high school and then to Brooks Inst. in Santa Barbara for college. Wife and I moved to Louisville 11 years ago... actually 1/2 hour east of louisville near Lagrange..

small world huh? I remember my parents dragging us to Nut Tree all the time.

What type of mirror box are you shooting? I could shoot a quick test with the ringlight shooting a mirror box from one of my still cameras?
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Old January 29th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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Why not jell the ringlight instead of the 6 studio lights? The mirror cage I'm referring to is the one inside of Digital SLR Cameras. I'm a camera repairman (still cameras) by trade and I'm making the video version of my Cleaning Digital Cameras - D-SLR Sensor Cleaning. family of web sites.

I know the Nut Tree Airport well as I keep my Cessna there. The restaurant/store is long gone due to family greed and has been rebuilt by a developer into a strip mall. I left KY in 77 to join the Navy as a Photographer and ended up out here.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #9
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sure.... you could gel the ring light......

I'd be happy to send you mine to borrow.... I don't use it much. has a 72mm thread on it. ( which is stuck... 77mm under it.... actually, if you can get the stuck 72mm adaptor off I'd consider it a fair rental fee... hehe )

I used to fly to the nut tree with a friend for lunch in his cessna 150.... it was stolen from Lincoln CA airport and never recovered. He then bought a 180... but really wanted a Mooney.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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PM Sent :)
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #11
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cool... shipping today.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:50 AM   #12
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Wow the ring light really is bright and for $269.95 it is a bargain. Slave Flash for Digital Cameras

I have already ordered their 6400 model for myself and your will be coming back shortly all better. Thanks
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Old February 11th, 2009, 10:30 PM   #13
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So I just recieved my Digi-Slave Flex Ring 6400 from SR Electronics (B&H is one of their retailers) This is the answer to macro and close up work where you need to get light down inside.

This thing is BRIGHT and is variable, it is a full 2 stops brighter then my LitePannels Micro. They also have a L-Ring 3200 which is just as bright but doesn't have the flex arms. On the 6400 you have 3 options, either the flex arm only, ring light only or both ring light and flex arms. With the flex arms turned on there was no substantial increase in light measured but you had more control of where it was going.

Distance___24"____36"
LP Micro__120fc___57fc
DS 6400__476fc__240fc

I would like to thank Christopher for allowing me to borrow his L-Ring 3200 and his guidance here. Don't get me wrong, I like my LP Micro, I was just using it as a comparison for light output. The 6400 has a built in 72mm threaded mounting ring that allows it to screw right onto the front of my XH-A1s. They do have step up and step down rings if you need to mount it to something other than 72mm.

Digi-Slave Flex Ring 6400 mounted on Canon XH-A1s
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Old February 12th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #14
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A little clarification here, even though this ring light is called "Digi-Slave" it is truly a ring of LED's which are on continues and brightness is adjustable. It does have a sync cord that can be used with a still camera so that the LED's only comes on when the shutter is fired. This flash cord mode is still the same brightness as the constant mode.

So yes I saw this product discussed lightly in another thread on this forum but hearing the term slave and sync cord made me not think it was the constant light ring light it truly is.

I will also add that their customer service is top notch. I needed a part to fix up Christopher's and not only did they have the part, it was provided at no charge. I like doing business with companies that know what customer service is all about.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #15
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Could you guys post any screenshots/footage from this light please? Ever since I got my 5D2 I've been looking for something that can double as a flash and video light. This look like it might do the job, albeit I'd preferred a traditional flash form factor. Thanks.
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