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Old January 5th, 2010, 05:10 PM   #1
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Zylight z90 experiance help please

Hello DVinfo!

I just bought a z90 light (on backorder) and was hoping to get some help with settings and battery support.

My question on light settings:
I understand it can be "tuned" to match any existing room light/color temp.
The only way I know of to benefit from this wonderful feature would be from a color temp light meter and another $1000. or more for the cost of a color reading meter.

Any Z90 users know of some other way to match a rooms light, nicely?
Or can shed some light on how best to maximize this option?

My question on battery support:
In my humble view there has to be a a nice, clean and inexpensive alternative to the normal route here.
(IE: my last light used $60. dollar batteries that on my closer inspection I found were also used on doorway exit signs (battery backups) for $16.
All I had to do was add the correct wiring pigtail to support my light.)

Any ideas on this subject?

Any insight into using this light or support for it would be wonderful!

Thanks!!
Rob
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Old January 5th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #2
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Hi Rob,
One of our Z90s had a slightly different color to it...we just turned them on next to a wall and adjusted the color temp by sight until it matched close enough. In practice all we used was the switch for DAY or TUNGSTEN to set the light, then adjusted output with the knob.

As for batteries, we bought ours from Tekkeon which appear to be identical to the ones Zylight offers, but for $20 less.

Hope this helps,
Drew
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Old January 5th, 2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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Is this the Tekkeon you used? Tekkeon - Rechargeable battery, Mobile Power, TekCharge MP1550, TekCharge MP1800, reusable emergency battery, emergency power, myPower ALL, myPower for iPod, myPower GO, myCharger If not do you have a link to their site.

Thanks
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Old January 6th, 2010, 06:09 AM   #4
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Zylight z90 experiance help please

Drew,

Thanks, I'll be trying your suggestion on color temp.

I was looking at Tekkeon's site (thanks Chris), is it the MP3750 that you are using?
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Old January 6th, 2010, 06:32 AM   #5
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I've been using Tekkeon MP3450's but the 3700 series is the new model. I 3 of those Tekkeon's and they are versatile with their multi-voltage and multi-tip options. But be aware that these are consumer items. I had one fail within the warranty period. But despite my lack of receipt which somehow never made it to the files, Tekkeon replaced it quickly and courteously. Good company and useful product.

In my humble opinion, there is nothing to equal the Zylight. I have not actually specifically matched a color temp-- just switched between 3200/5600-- but the color feature is particularly useful to washing a background. Multi-light control.... I could rave forever.

Ned Soltz
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Old January 6th, 2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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Thanks Ned,

I second your rave on this light, from what I've read this light was worth it's extreme price!

In looking at more threads here I saw this about matching color temp with LED:
(hope I'm not violating posting Etiquette)

"From having tried to use the Z90 as a variable temperature light to match spotlights and daylight corrected Source 4 Tungstens in major venues for off-light calibration of multiple cameras in a switched environment, I can tell you that using a color meter will not work because color meters are not designed to read the LED spectrum. So matching temperature based on color meter readings is a hit or miss, in my experience. Charting a variable offset scale between meter readings, a particular camera, the LED light and the type of continuous filament source you want to match is a starting point. The Z90's temperature readout scale will also not necessarily match what a meter and your camera reads. Another reason here is that meters are designed to read for film, not digital sensors. I have not tested the Sekonic in this regard."


Good to know a color spec meter is not a good direction at this time!

Ned, can I ask what kind of run time your getting? are you using multiple batteries in a day?

I'm heading to a battery dealer today to hopefully see what all the battery support options are for the z90 specs.
Got my fingers crossed.....
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Old January 6th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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To tell you the truth, I've never run down a Tekkeon battery with the Z90. I've gone up to 4 hours with the combo.

Ned
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Old January 6th, 2010, 04:05 PM   #8
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Rob, could you send me the link to the entire thread you quoted here. I can't seem to find it.

Thanks

"From having tried to use the Z90 as a variable temperature light to match spotlights and daylight corrected Source 4 Tungstens in major venues for off-light calibration of multiple cameras in a switched environment, I can tell you that using a color meter will not work because color meters are not designed to read the LED spectrum. So matching temperature based on color meter readings is a hit or miss, in my experience. Charting a variable offset scale between meter readings, a particular camera, the LED light and the type of continuous filament source you want to match is a starting point. The Z90's temperature readout scale will also not necessarily match what a meter and your camera reads. Another reason here is that meters are designed to read for film, not digital sensors. I have not tested the Sekonic in this regard."


Good to know a color spec meter is not a good direction at this time!

Ned, can I ask what kind of run time your getting? are you using multiple batteries in a day?

I'm heading to a battery dealer today to hopefully see what all the battery support options are for the z90 specs.
Got my fingers crossed
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Old January 6th, 2010, 04:06 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your help!
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Old January 7th, 2010, 08:44 AM   #10
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Here ya go Chris

found under:
Photon Management,
My view on LED lights,
June 1st, 2009, 05:19 PM
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Old January 7th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #11
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Thanks again
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Old January 7th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #12
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The Z90 is a great light, even if it did not have its variable temperature, color fills, beyond what can be said about it. When you experience just how smooth and even the light distribution, devoid of concentric circles and hot spots, filling the entire frame edge to edge, with flattering, natural light. It's very bright, way beyond it's lumen spec because the pattern is so broad, and does not depend on condenser lens to concentrate and multiply the beam intensity.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #13
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What makes the Z90 most useful to me is the gel mode. When i'm working outside under cloudy daylight I have the option to alter the light's color temperature. For example: under a certain cloudy weather my camcorder gives up 4800K when setting the white balance manually. When I need to do an interview/quote outside under that circumstances I have the option to alter the light's color temperature to 4800K as well so there is the same colour on the person's face and in the background.

So far I just had the option to run on 3200K wich results in a blue glow over the interviewed' persons face or 5600K which results in a slight yellow glow. The third option was to do not use a light at all, making it necessary to blow up the background to overexposed.

Just an impression of how I do make the Z90's options useful on a daily basis.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:52 AM   #14
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Again, thanks for the response!

I've been googling info on this light as I wait for it to be stocked.

Tom, to emphasize your description on the Z90 light pattern I found a shootout
with Dedo (DLOB-ML), Anton Bauer (ultralight 2 and Elghtz), Lite Panels (Miniplus) and Zylight (Z90)

The shootout gives a spec sheet and pictures of light patterns at 6'
The link was hard to reconnect with so here is a breakdown:

Blog by Cinequipwhite on wordpress called "SUNGUN SHOOTOUT" July 3, 2009, 12:27 pm

Again I don't know the policy here for listing url but when I used my "history" in firefox I didn't get the exact link anyway...

Couple of questions if I may,

In my talking to a local battery shop, the guy mentioned that my light output strength
would very with the batteries voltage rating, more voltage = brighter.
IE: 24v would be brighter then 12v, 16v, 18v.

Can anyone confirm?

Is anyone using Nicad or nickel metal to power this light?
(I have two 12v 4200mAh with a 35w max output that would be nice to use for the interim.)
I would like to use a safer battery as I understand the Lithium-ion polymer
batteries can catch fire if they get knocked around.
(local battery shop guy was saying his buddy recharges his polymers in a fire-safe!)

Thanks!
Rob
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Old January 8th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #15
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If you have a camera battery system with battery tap, that's the best way to power it.

Otherwise, I would honestly just buy a Tekkeon or two. We know it works and delivers decent run times.

Ned
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