Zabolight Z2 Fresnel vs PCB Einstein

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by ryan_gould|1, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Hi all,
    I'm a large format portrait photographer looking for some lights that will allow me to have dim-able modeling lights. Although I've used a variety of lighting systems in the past, I do not have any gear currently, so this is a fresh start.
    The first thing I would like is to be able to get a visual representation of lighting ratios rather than popping the flash and spot metering various areas of the sitter's face and working off the numbers.
    So, recently I played around with a couple Diva Lights on either side of the sitter's face and really liked the control and results. I started thinking about constant light sources, which led me to watching a video of Zabolight system, which boasts a high light output from a 100 watt LED. The video actually compared it to a Diva and had more light output than the Diva. So, the Zabolight Z2 is option number one.
    Option number two is the Paul C. Buff Einstein. Keeping in mind that this is a fresh start, I'd still like the option for strobes, and the Einsteins boast a 250 watt voltage controlled modeling lamp. That is 150 more watts than the LED. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't wattage act as a measure of brightness? Wouldn't that mean that the Einsteins would give me the same control over output as the Zabolight LEDs but more output in the modeling lamp? I'm also able to apply a host of lighting modifiers to the Einsteins giving me control over quality of light as well as quantity. Yes, the Zabolights allow for temperature control, but I'm not concerned about having to gel the Einsteins. For four of the Einsteins at the price of one Zabolight, I'll gladly gel Einsteins. That said, do the Einsteins have a daylight balanced modeling light or a tungsten?
    So, in short, my questions are:
    1. Does wattage equate to quantity of light?
    2. Do the modeling lamps on the Einsteins have equal to or more than the quantity of light output as the Zabolight Z2?
    3. Are the Einstein modeling lamps daylight balanced or tungsten? If they are tungsten, I shouldn't have a problem gelling them, right?
    Thank you for your input! I'll post links to the lights below.
  2. Does wattage equate to quantity of light?​
    No. It depends on how efficient the lighting device is. If you actually pump 100 watts into a modern, efficient LED device, you'll get more actual light out of it than you will from an incandescent/tungsten/quartz/halogen type light that burns a lot more of that same 100 watts as heat. On the other hand, a simple incandescent bulb like the ones the Einsteins use as modeling lights are very inexpensive, compared to high power LEDs. And in most cases, incandescent sources may actually have a smoother spectrum compared to LEDs, which might notch out large blocks of some frequencies. That issue is less important when it's modeling lights you're dealing with. And don't forget the other advantage of strobes: the really bright part of the output only happens for a split second. Bright continuous lights can make your subjects squint, will make their pupils contract, and can be fatiguing during a longer session.

    You don't use the modeling lights on the Einsteins as your production light source. I mean, you can - but that's not why they're there. They'll definitely feel warm compared to the more daylight balanced output of the strobes. Don't buy Einsteins just to use them as dimmable sources of incandescent light - that's a poor use of the money they cost.

    I should add that the Z2's aren't fresnels. Those are panels. Very different quality of light, and LED panels (if not behind diffusers or bounced from reflectors) can produce some odd multiple-source artifacts. Definitely fewer options when it comes to modifiers when you go with LED panels vs the more traditional form factor of a light like the Einsteins.
  3. The Zabolight Z2 models are LED arrays, similar to LitePanels' 1' x 1' units. The Zabolight Z5 is an actual Fresnel. These actually look pretty cool. Photometrics are listed on their product page:

    Zabolight Z5 photometrics

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