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Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts

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Jon Roemer
Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts
on Jul 16, 2010 at 4:17:40 am

I just bought three Zylight Z90's and I'm very disappointed.

1. The Zylight Accessory Adapter is virtually impossible to get on and off the Z90. I put one on all the way and I had to use pliers to get them off. It was the only way to get a good enough grip. Maybe it's the weather, it's hot and humid, but I'm indoors with air conditioning and the Zylights plus accessories are brand new. Obviously, this damaged the accessory adapter and even left a scratch or two on the new Z90.

2. All three of the Z90's I purchased emit a high pitched whine when at full power. The whine seems to disappear if the light is dimmed down to ~1/3 of full power. If I was to use all three lights at once, that's a high pitched whine x3.

3. The lights create a shadows which have a multicolored edge to them.

I'd be curious to hear from anyone else who has tested or used the lights. I can't see how any of the above (except for maybe #3, which can probably be mitigated with diffusion) is acceptable. I find it hard to believe that if I can hear the whine over my AC, a Mac Pro, an HD Pro raid, and music running in iTunes that it's not going to show up on the sound recording. Especially if I use all three at once.

All that said - maybe there's something I'm missing here?!


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Charlie Collias
Re: Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts
on Jul 16, 2010 at 1:31:01 pm

Hi Jon,

Thanks for your email last evening. I believe you should have an email addressing your concerns already.

We strive to provide a very high level of customer service here and appreciate your feedback. Zylight has a loyal and satisfied customer base and we want to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.

Please check your email and we can go from there. Cheers.

Charlie Collias
Co-Founder
Zylight LLC


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Jon Roemer
Re: Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts
on Jul 16, 2010 at 1:56:29 pm

Charlie,

Yes, I do have an email reply from you already. I appreciate your prompt attention to my concerns!

I have already sent you a reply off-list.

Thanks again,
Jon Roemer


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John Hopkins
Re: Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts
on Jan 14, 2011 at 3:19:07 am

I just bought a Zylite and returning with exactly the same issues as 2 and 3. Never tried the accessory adapter but not going to now.

The pitch off this one light alone was very noticeable, and one might be able to remove shooting with a three channel mixer, I don't know. For sure, it's a problem for the sound track if using it as a backlight on a stand, and worse still tucked right up against the shot-gun as a camera light.

It's a lovely light in many ways but this renders the light unusable in my opinion, if they all exhibit this trait. Perhaps, I received one of a bad batch, I don't know. Dimming the light way down seemed to help bit, though there was a specific spot or two where the pitch actually audibly increased, so I am not exactly sure of what is going on there. From what I understand dimmers are prone to these kinds of problems and resolving them requires a costly dimmer component. These lights are expensive, and likely the best available have already been installed in them. If not there might be some other issues that must be resolved to remove this problem, or the light is going to be very limited in its applications and used mostly for MOS shoots. I was pretty disappointed. However, it's one sweet piece of technology otherwise. But I just don't think it's completely there yet.

The mulitcolour shadows make it impossible for me to light faces in any manner. Diffusion would soften this but I do not necessarily want to lose light to compensate for what is another strong issue, which I don't think might not be that easily resolved either because the basic LED design, and the colour spectrum that this design allows.

I like this light a great deal. But I think I will wait for a generation or two for it to evolve before I think about buying it again.

That said, I might have just been unlucky and a received a bad one. But with others reporting the same issues as above, perhaps this might be indicative of a need to re-engineer important aspects of this light causing these issues. I would buy this light again if these problems were addressed in future revisions.


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John Hopkins
Re: Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts
on Jan 14, 2011 at 3:37:04 am

Hi Jon,

Could you let me know more about what occurred with your lights, having the same problems with my Zylite I just bought.

John


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Jon Roemer
Re: Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts
on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:35:24 am

John,

I had purchased three of the lights. They all behaved exactly the same way (as I described and as you found.) I returned them immediately, got my money back.

My understanding is that that is how they work - so you either live it or not. To me the most annoying issues were the pitch and the poorly designed accessory adapter. The pitch was a deal breaker, and the adapter was worthless (it took a wrench to get it on or off).

The multicolored shadows are always going to happen when multicolored LEDs are used. You can diffuse the lights further to mitigate how visible they are.

FWIW, Zylights I later saw in the showroom at Abel Cinetech also performed the same way.

In the end I went with Litepanels. A two light 1x1 Litepanels kit was in the same ballpark as three Zylights (if I remember correctly and factoring Litepanel's rebate.)

The Litepanels have a dimmer, have no pitch issues, can run off of batteries, easily take filters, and don't have the multicolor shadow issues. They are obviously not as compact but that's not necessarily bad. Litepanel's makes smaller units, too.

Jon


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John Hopkins
Re: Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts
on Jan 16, 2011 at 6:42:48 pm

Thanks Jon,

Hi Jon,

I've moved away now from buying Zylites having seen and heard them for myself. It's difficult buying things online and even more difficult when living far away from seeing them at places like NAB or other demos. I went through all the reviews carefully on these lights, and forums, and youtube, but no one mentioned these issues, and the high pitch sound issue is definitely the deal breaker for me as well. I could hear it across the room, with no other sound masking it.

I am going to order the 256 Coollights panel, which is robust if it is anything like the 2 600 panels I just received. By far and away Coolights are the best value out there and built with military grade construction. Richard Andrewski, the designer, has done a masterful job. In replacing the the Zylites I wanted, I am also ordering the Dedo Ledzilla which is a focusable and good for a back and rim light in tighter lighting situations such as on the fly docs. Both lights will use my old Z1 Sony 970 batteries with the sled and they'll go for hours. The Dedo light uses their lens system and highly focusable and even across the beam. I will use colour gel if I need an effect. Hopefully, they are quiet. Don't know yet. Have to try it to find out but they are on the way at half the price.
The accessories for this light however are way over-priced.

Cheers,

John


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Les Wilson
Re: Zylight Z90 - Disappointed on three fronts
on Jul 3, 2012 at 12:26:01 pm

I just purchased a Z90 from B&H. It's completely silent.


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