Z96 dimmable LED lights


PeterWright wrote on 7/18/2011, 4:39 PM
... earlier in this thread I tested a 570 and it did 89 minutes at full brightness - this was a Sony battery, albeit quite old,, but a generic version may have a different duration.
Laurence wrote on 7/18/2011, 4:50 PM
Mine just died a little over an hour and a half at full brightness. Good enough most of the time, but not always. Of course at $8.96 each, I could have a couple of spares for longer shoots.

The only problem I've ever had with generic batteries has been with protection algorithms. As far as efficiency or battery life goes, the generics have always been fine.

Plus, you could always have a package of brand new AAs in your bag in case your rechargeables went dead.
craftech wrote on 7/18/2011, 4:57 PM

I am not sure I would want to attached something as large as an NP-F970 to the back of that light. I am not sure it can take something that heavy without damage from normal handling.

I am going to pick up an AC adapter to use at fixed locations and probably stick with the AA batteries for portable use.

PeterWright wrote on 7/18/2011, 5:36 PM
I've been using F970s regularly with my Z96s for months without any problems.
Sometimes I have them on mic stands with thread adapters, but with these batteries attached you can also stand them on tables, shelves etc. and they are very stable.
Laurence wrote on 7/18/2011, 6:20 PM

According to many sources including this video, the Z96s will flicker as AA batteries run down.

I wouldn't use AAs as anything other than backup for this reason.
johnmeyer wrote on 7/18/2011, 8:07 PM
Having failed (as I noted in my post above) to get this light from China, I am trying again with the eBay NYC vendor recommended above. I'm really looking forward to my new toy.

I'll certainly use my Sony LiOn batteries, but I do plan to try the AA NiMh batteries I have. Also, I have some battery packs for my ancient (1980s) SunPak CV-300 battery-powered halogen lights that I'm going to try to use (put the pack in my pocket and run a wire). I re-built one of these using NiMh instead of the original NiCad technology. I thought I was "saving the planet" since NiMh are less toxic, but what I failed to note is that NiMh cannot put out as much current, and my halogen light, which only lasts 10-15 minutes powered by 10 4/5A cells, draws more current than NiMh can supply.

However, if the Z96 can run off 12V (and that's what I've read), this pack should be able to power it for eight hours or more. It should be fun to see how long it will run.

craftech wrote on 7/19/2011, 2:43 AM
Having failed (as I noted in my post above) to get this light from China, I am trying again with the eBay NYC vendor recommended above. I'm really looking forward to my new toy.

I know that vendor has a 99.2% positive feedback rating and is considered a "Top-rated Seller" by eBay, but when I look at the number of negatives they kind of concern me. 92 negatives in 1 month and 466 in 6 months. In fairness that vendor does move a LOT of merchandise.

However, since they are all within a few dollars of each other I chose mine because his negatives were 0 in 1 month and 0 in 6 months respectively.

farss wrote on 7/19/2011, 3:33 AM
" if the Z96 can run off"

5.8V to 16.8V according to what's next to the DC power inlet on the units.
I think someone I sold some to is running his off a car battery.
craftech wrote on 7/19/2011, 8:05 AM
I think someone I sold some to is running his off a car battery.
If that's the case, Lawn and Garden Batteries are smaller and cheaper.

Jay Gladwell wrote on 7/19/2011, 8:31 AM

" In fairness that vendor does move a LOT of merchandise."

You're right, John. The negative accounts for less than 1% of the vendor's business in the month. Not a bad average for any business!

Jerry K wrote on 7/19/2011, 8:49 AM
I have read all the reviews and viewed the videos on the Z96 light.

From what I see it looks like this is one of the best lights out there today and the price is right.

I only have one concern, as a professional I would not buy a light with out a battery check indicator.

From what I read I do not see a battery indicator on this light. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Jerry K
Jay Gladwell wrote on 7/19/2011, 11:49 AM

Yes, there are 96 of them on the front of the unit. When they go out, the battery is dead.

Sorry for being such a wise guy. I just had to say that. ;o)

Laurence wrote on 7/19/2011, 12:31 PM
Grazie wrote on 7/19/2011, 12:44 PM
And THAT, was pure classic vintage Jay! Marvellous. Jay, when yer right yer right....

Spectacular ....

farss wrote on 7/19/2011, 1:59 PM
I spent a few minutes with Rod Gammons from Rotolight yesterday.
I have to give him credit, that man can TALK :)

I'd previously dismissed that light as being yet another con job like the other infamous "mic lights". Having played with it for a bit and listened to Rod's spiel I may have been hasty in that decision.
If you've got a couple of minutes to spare have a listen to Rod's talk on his home page. Having the LEDs splayed does seem to make a difference and I guess having a choice of filters for the light and a cold shoe fitting and a pouch to carry it on your belt might justify the asking price.

One thing I can confirm for sure is the use of a 'skin warming' filter on dark skinned people. Something I shot recently bought this to my attention. The young Indian children's skin tones looked fantastic. Some of the older talent ended up with ashen grey skin, not a good look at all. I was able to fix it with some subtle CC but the use of a warming filter with a beauty light could save you from a more complex CC'ing problem.

The cause of this problem seems related to the lack of infrared light from any of the "cool" light sources. This normally invisible light penetrates the skin and bounces off the haemoglobin in the capillaries to appear as visible red. I've only noticed the lack of IR to cause a problem with the older dark skinned people and then only some of them but when it's happened it has been one of those OMG moments.

Serena wrote on 7/19/2011, 10:17 PM
Interesting. Something I hadn't really appreciated. I'm a bit puzzled by the explanation. The IR can't be reflected as visible red, just as UV generated in LEDs produces visible light only because it excites phosphors to radiate in the visible band. Is it that the IR is exciting the haemoglobin to radiate red? I'm surprised, but then blood isn't my field!!
Laurence wrote on 7/19/2011, 10:58 PM
I know that I really like the way LEDs look when they augment natural light, but hate the way they look when they are the sole light. The skin tones look unnatural with LEDs alone, but just fine with a combination of LED and natural light. What you're saying would explain why.
Grazie wrote on 7/19/2011, 11:19 PM
As Darwinian adaption kicks-in on our own eyesight, as we need to use less energy, blue will become the new skin tone.

I'm making a serious point here.


ushere wrote on 7/20/2011, 12:32 AM
with the weather down here at present - blue IS the new skin colour....
craftech wrote on 7/20/2011, 2:30 AM
I know that I really like the way LEDs look when they augment natural light, but hate the way they look when they are the sole light. The skin tones look unnatural with LEDs alone, but just fine with a combination of LED and natural light. What you're saying would explain why.
How about with the Amber colored warming filter? Would that help if it is the sole light?

Rory Cooper wrote on 7/20/2011, 3:08 AM
Yep John the amber gels work very well with LED lights. Gets rid of that harsh sharp cut from the LED lights

There is a warning against eye damage from LED [LINK=http://www.hdwarrior.co.uk/category/led-lighting/]

farss wrote on 7/20/2011, 5:33 AM
"There is a warning against eye damage from LED www.hdwarrior.co.uk/category/led-lighting/"

If you read the article from which this conclusion is reached it is far from that simple:

"Blue light is an important element in "natural" lighting, and it may also contribute to psychological health.71 72 Research, however, shows that high illumination levels of blue light can be toxic to cellular structures, test animals, and human fetal retinas.56 66 67 68 69 70 78 79 80 81 (Also see "Random Quotes" below.) The industry has established standards for protecting consumers from extremely bright light and from UV radiation; but no standards address the blue light hazard that may be affecting millions who have retinal problems. Blue light is a duplicitous character who needs to be carefully watched. Until research proves him to be either a friend or a foe, education will help consumers make decisions based upon the facts."

All I can add is my personal experience is that a lack of blue in interior lighting makes me feel slightly depressed and staring into any bright focussed light source is not wise.

johnmeyer wrote on 7/22/2011, 5:55 PM
Just received my unit from the eBay vendor in NYC that was recommended earlier in this thread.. VERY fast shipping. Definitely recommended. Thank you for the recommendation.

So far everything posted in this thread seems quite accurate. However, I don't understand why people are getting so much longer life from their NP-F570 Sony camcorder battery than from AA NiMh, although perhaps they are using one of the larger brothers of this the NP-F570. Based on specs, a 2300 mAh NiMh should last about as long as the camcorder LiOn battery. I'll try doing some tests ...

... just did a few quick (non run-down) tests. Powering the unit from NiMh units, the current draw at max brightness was 800 mA. Thus, in theory, I should be able to get almost four hours continuous use from my 2300 mAh batteries.

One minor thing I noticed that may be of some interest to owners: if I dim the light ever so slightly from the maximum position, the current usage goes up to 870 mA, and there is a slight, but definite, increase in brightness. I don't know if I just have a slight flaw in the dimming control or whether other units exhibit this anomaly.

My unit goes to 11 !!

Oh, one last thing. I used the exposure meter in my Nikon digital still camera to see what sort of current drop corresponded to a one f-stop reduction in brightness. The current at -1 EV was only 180 mA. So, if you are really worried about running down batteries (and I don't think this is much of a worry, given the specs), you can run this for 4x longer if you dim it down to minus one f-stop.

Grazie wrote on 7/22/2011, 7:40 PM
Excellent observations John.

Didn't have you down fir a Spinal Tap "groupie"?

Just wish the units would take Canon batteries.