MaticKos Photography

F&V Z96 led light efficiency & softness test


I own a small 96 LED video light from F&V named Z96 that I bought a long time ago. It's a tiny light that I mostly use for close-up videos, but it's also usable for photography. Due to it's small size it's not a soft light, so I decided to do a simple test with the added diffusers and an umbrella. I measured the light and did some sample shots to compare the shadows.


Light on a stand, distance from the wall was 150cm. All measured at full power:
- no difuser @ f2.2, ISO400, 1/50
- white diffuser @ f2, ISO400, 1/50
- orange diffuser @ f1.6, ISO400, 1/50



Added a white Elinchrom 80cm umbrella:
- no difuser @ f1.1, ISO400, 1/50


Switched to Elinchrom 80cm, silver reflective umbrella:
- no difuser @ f1, ISO400, 1/50


Moved the umbrella closer to the wall:
- no difuser @ f1.2, ISO400, 1/50

So the output with the umbrellas is practically the same and since white produces softer shadows, I tested shadows only with white one.
Same setup as before, light on a stand, 150cm distance, 100cm distance from the umbrella (when used). Nikon D800 on a tripod, 60mm f2.8 macro lens, light measured with a light meter. Did all shots at same aperture, the last one was adjusted to give correct exposure.


As expected the plastic diffusers made no difference! Softness is determined by the relative size of the light source in relation to the object, not some plastic frosting on top. Since both diffusers are the same size as the light itself, they made no difference. Orange one is useful for color correcting, but nothing more then that. Umbrella on the other hand made a big difference. Since the light itself it about 3 times the size of speedlights, it filled the umbrella more efficiently and produced a very soft light. Sadly, the Z96 is not strong enough for most subjects, but for macro work it should work.


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