In the never ending quest for better gear, I have progressed from Tungsten lamps to LED panels to LED Fresnels (Sola 4s and 6s) and most recently, LED Flexlights. The jump to LEDs and then flexible LEDs have been amazing for working light in the field and travel situations. But, some of these lights lacked the “punch” to push light in when you need it. So the search went on.
Several manufactures have come out with their versions of LED fresnels in the past couple years. Some good, some not so good. One that stuck out as great was the Zylight F8. I researched this light pretty hard but was not able to see it in person until NAB 2017. It was so good, I purchased a couple. Here are the deets:
First, this light has an 8 inch GLASS fresnel lens. The real deal with even light across the field. It operates on AC or DC battery power (V-lok) at a 100W max draw. The output is equal to that of a 1000 watt Tungsten lamp. Let me rephrase that… I can shove the equivalent of a 1000 watt tungsten light on a subject using a camera battery in the field. Literally in a field. Corn, bean, wheat, you name it. Its dimmable, can flood and spot and the sucker shrinks to almost flat for ease of transportation. Below are 2 pictures of the F8 next to a Sola6. Its literally 1/3 the size of the 6 when packed for travel.
There is also wireless DMX control if I ever need it. The light is rated IP 54 which means you can use it in snow and rain and even dust storms without fear of compromising the electronics. It is super rugged and the whole back is essentially a heat sink. To top it off, it has a color render index (CRI) of 97. That 97 out of 100. I chose daylight balanced units.
So, these things are pretty awesome. For their first time out I used them on a 4 day shoot that had us interviewing farmers all across the state in unpredictable outdoor locations. They performed so well I decided to completely replace some of my other units. Soon Ill post some BTS pictures of the lights in use.