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Old November 16th, 2006, 02:58 AM   #1
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Anyone used the ZyLight?

Looks like a really cool unit... just wondering if anyone has used one in the field?

http://www.zylight.com/
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Old November 16th, 2006, 11:32 PM   #2
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The Zylight sounds perfect if you like shooting wide open at +6 db gain. The photometrics look kind of silly for something so expensive. Also, that "dial in any color" concept really bothers me. It seemed like the only colors available on the Zylight video demo were single shades of blue, orange, red, and purple. There could be more, but the video did a poor job of educating me. Clearly, the people who wrote the marketing copy can't see the differences between hues that excite us as artists. That's why ROSCO has 54 different shades of blue. For artists. I, too, would like to hear from a real customer...

Last edited by Brian Wells; November 17th, 2006 at 02:12 AM.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #3
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That's funny, because on another board (a news photographer board), they all hate the Litepanel (too expensive, can't change colors, etc), but they all love the Zylight.

I own a Litepanel and love it.

One was complaining that he would never use one because he saw another photog using one that was "so weak, it was barely lighting the subject". I thought about mentioning the concept of fill light, but decided not to!

Anyway, I think the Zylight is a great idea, but too much of a point source for on-camera use.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 01:36 AM   #4
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I don't want to sound like I hate it. I just don't see the benefit. What I really want to see is a Zylight with numerical RGB value input. That way, the user could obtain the RGB values for all brand name gel colors from a theatrical design program (such as Cast Lighting WYSIWYG, etc.) and then re-create the exact_same_colors with an LED light! THAT would rock. If they really wanted to impress me, they could program the entire Lee, Gam, and Rosco catalogs into the device and let me scroll through them like an iPod screen! It really comes down to this: For $1200, I want to have more precision than a dial for selecting (ending up with) colors. Until then, I don't want one! BTW, I'm actually interested in hearing what others have to say, even though I may come across outspoken at times. :-)

Last edited by Brian Wells; November 17th, 2006 at 02:46 AM.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 10:30 PM   #5
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Zylight

well, i gotta tell ya - i really like my zylight. i wish it used a little less power, but for me, its great.

now - i shoot almost all news, and sometimes i just gotta throw some of that ugly top-light light in there. but there is NOTHING worse than knowing you only have tungsten up there when you're already balanced at 56k backpedaling thru a hotel lobby. with my zylight, i'm covered. with any other light, flip the dichroic around or try to get a gel on - the shot's over by then - and you've knocked down half your output if you do get it in place.

i looked at both the zylight and litepanels and the thing that sold me on zylight is the fact that you can dial in any color you want. it has presets at 32k and 56k, which are pretty good - they're close, but not quite right. but what i've done is gone into the other two settings where you can store colors of your own. in this case, i went into a dark room and dialed around until my camera got a 'true' 56k and 32k white balance and stored them in the user-defined positions. it's got a smooth, wide pattern.

i love the dimmer and that i don't have to mess with gels like the litepanels. its just so much more flexible. it also has a more 'streamlined' silhouette than a litepanel and i can leave it on my camera full-time - and it still fits in my Petrol case.

i also have some of the accessories for mounting and ac power in a small pouch that is in one of my light kits. sometimes i'll pop the zylight off the camera to quickly wash a wall with some color or fly it for a small spot or back-light.

i have it mounted on my camera (sony d-50/pvv-3 w/macie setups) with an arm that i fabricated out of some flat, steel bar. the zylight has a common thread on the bottom (and top) so a small knob that i already had on hand works to keep it anchored, but quickly removable. the arm moves the light forward and down from the handle so it sits right on top of the viewfinder - the top of the zylight is even with the top of the handle, so no protrusions to catch on doors or other low clearances.

overall, its been great and their customer service has been very responsive to the questions that i've had.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 04:56 AM   #6
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We have two of them, what more can you say, they work.
Having two means we can link them wirelessly via Bluetooth. Make the on camera one the master and the other one dims, changes CT etc as you change the master, simply brilliant design. Also the light spread is very good, we've also got a little softbox for one, haven't tried it in the line of fire as yet but if you're using the Zylight as just a fill would reduce the risk of blinding talent even though the Zylight is reasonably diffused to start with compared to many other light sources.
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Old December 28th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #7
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Can you buy the Zylights anywhere else besides at the Zylight?
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Old December 28th, 2006, 08:32 PM   #8
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not that i know of.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 12:26 PM   #9
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I used the Zylight for a weekend and I really liked it. In fact it's the on-camera light that I've been waiting for ever since I first saw the Color Kinetics technology that it's based on. It's small and versatile. It's new technology, so it's a little expensive, but I suspect the price will drop over time.

Most on camera lights are too bright. So I did not find the intensity issue a problem. I'd rather work with more gain and not be obnoxious and blind everyone around me. I was using it for a weekend of run-and-gun shooting and I had it with me as a back-up in case I needed more light. I never use an on-camera light except as a last resort, but when you need one, it's nice to have something small and efficient, thus LED lighting holds lots of promise as the ultimate on-camera light companion. Zylight goes one step further offering wireless control, so when you're using multiple lights, being able to control them wirelessly is a really wonderful thing.

Given you can save two intensity/color settings, plus the pre-set tungsten and daylight setting, that means that you can have four different colors at your finger tips without using gels and the light loss that comes from putting a blue gel on a tungsten light. Light panels are tungsten or daylight, so you have to use gels to switch from one to the other, or carry two light panels.

Some say it's too expensive for so little light, but I found that being able to choose the color without having to use gels was a big plus. Add to that the incredible efficiency, and you can run for a long time off an Anton-Bauer battery.

I was impressed with the Zylight.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #10
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Does anyone know the nominal output of the Zylight?
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