Zylight F8 200 Field Review – A Stellar High-Output LED Fresnel

February 12th, 2019
Zylight F8 200 Field Review - A Stellar High-Output LED Fresnel

The Daylight Zylight F8 200 is admittedly a strange light to look at. It has about the same physical footprint of a 1×1 panel, but to compare it to a simple high output flood light would be a mistake. There is more here than meets the eye. I took the Zylight F8 200 into the field recently in a documentary project in Europe to really put this LED fixture to the test in a wide variety of situations. Does it hold up? Find out below: 

The Zylight on location in Basel, Switzerland.

Out of The Box

When you open the box, it is clear that a ton of thought went into this light. It’s dimmable from 0-100%, runs quiet and isn’t over-designed, but the ability to accordion (for lack of a better word) out the lens to focus the output works marvelously well. Simply turn a knob at the back of the fixture and the beam angle narrows from 16 degrees to about 70 degrees as the lens extends. This simple design feature gives you a more versatile light and keeps it compact for travel (it fits in a small Pelican case with all the accessories). The build is superb; it feels bullet proof. In 6 weeks, we never encountered any issues. I do think it will hold up over longer shoots, but we put it through the paces at a month of using it for several hours a day.

In The Field

The manufacturer claims a CRI of 93 and in my experience, that’s accurate. I paired the light with several other brands of daylight LED fixtures, and it matches color perfectly without the need of minus green. The light also has an IP54 rating, which means that rain, snow, and dust shouldn’t affect the operation of the light much. We did use it in the rain with no problem.

You can power the light through the wall obviously, but Zylight also makes a dual V-mount or Gold Mount battery adapter (available separately for $350) that affixes to most C-stands. I will say that the light is battery hungry. I’d say two new Dionic 90’s will get you about an hour of use in most situations. Not a big deal for us as we use Dionic 90‘s with everything. The ability to travel all over the Alps with this light in a run and gun doc style project was exactly what we were looking for. I will say the light weighs a little over 10lbs (4.5 kg), so you’ll want to make sure you have a properly sandbagged C-stand to use for mounting.

Zylight F8 200

Output and General Usage

The output is where this light really shines. Think around a 2K, if your head still homebases in tungsten. That output allowed us to punch the light into rooms from outside windows in some cases, as a bounced key light, or to fill in dark portions of backgrounds as motivated sunlight. There where even moments where we used the light outside (with some diffusion) to fill in shadows on the face of talent during long interviews.

The Zylight raking the background of an interview in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Accessories and Pricing

The price point of $2,499.00 puts the Zylight significantly cheaper than comparable (in terms of output) HMI fixtures, but more expensive than an equivalent intensity tungsten fixture. However, as you know, Tungsten burns hot and pulls a ton of power. A whole line of accessories exist for the light including a softbox and various types of cases, but the barn doors are included in the kit. The Zylight F8 200 is also available in dedicated 3200K form as well.

Conclusion

I’m always looking for the one light that works in all situations (spoiler alert – it doesn’t exist) but you really can’t go wrong with a high CRI/high output source like the Zylight F8 200. It is small enough to take along in a small crew, has minimal power draw for use in homes and the ability to focus the beam without attaching complicated accessories is fantastic. Since using the fixture in Europe I had the opportunity to use it during a PSA shoot and a longer 6-episode digital series and it is steadily becoming one of my go-to lights. The LED market is becoming more crowded these days, but the Zylight F8 200 is a true standout for me.

Did you have a chance to use the Zylight F8 200? Do you prefer working with Daylight/Tungsten fixture? Please share with us your thoughts on the comment section below. 

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Gleb Volkov
MemberFebruary 12th, 2019

Thanks for the review! Would you know how it compares to the 300D, perhaps with a fresnel attachment, in terms of output?

Raymond Craig
MemberFebruary 15th, 2019

Slanted Lens did a quick video testing out several LEDs using a 1K as their base and put the 300D at about 1/2 stop under 1K:
https://youtu.be/QdZHZD8kOSQ

Brandon Le
Brandon Le
GuestMarch 1st, 2019

They didn’t do an equal comparison though. They used a fresnel for the tungsten light, and only the reflector for the 300D

Oscar Goldman
MemberFebruary 15th, 2019

There’s also the Rayzr 7 300W. I’d be interested in that comparison, since it’s $1000 cheaper.

 Robert Niessner
Robert Niessner
MemberFebruary 18th, 2019

I’ve two Rayzr7 300Ds and they are around a 1.5k tungsten each. Pretty nice light and with their new option to power by a 30V battery they even got more useful than before. I have done interviews where I placed the talents into the shadows and lit them up with the battery powered Rayzr7 so I easily could keep the details in the sunny background.

Travis Johansen - Minneapolis
Travis Johansen - Minneapolis
GuestFebruary 13th, 2019

We’ve been looking for a more powerful key light on larger productions – specifically, something with a little longer throw and bigger punch than the Aputure 300d like Gleb mentioned.

Eric Darling
Eric Darling
MemberFebruary 14th, 2019

Once LED fixtures get to 4K HMI equivalent output with single shadow beams, they’re really going to sell like hotcakes.

Jamie LeJeune
Jamie LeJeune
MemberFebruary 15th, 2019

Would be great to see that happen. At the moment, LEDs aren’t yet hitting that level, especially at a manageable weight. The Mole-Richardson 1600W Tener is as powerful an LED as anyone makes and that’s roughly as bright as a 2500K HMI, but it’s 70 pounds and costs $10,000. Mole’s 4K HMI is nearly half the weight and a few thousands dollars cheaper.

 John Cummings
John Cummings
MemberFebruary 15th, 2019

Sorry to be critical, but there’s so many unanswered questions here. Some basic observed photometrics would have been nice to see, especially from a third party. How about comparing the output to a quality panel light? Show us. Runs quiet? Does that mean there’s a fan? Quiet enough for close-in interviews? The battery adapter costs how much and mounts how? Mains power…is there a bulky power supply needed? Does it mount on the fixture? Do you need to remove it to use batteries? Are the PS and the barn doors included with the weight claim? Output compared to HMI’s…are you talking 200, 400, 800W HMI’s?

At over 10 pounds and needing two bricks for power, it seems like a bit of a beast for real-world run and gun travel. Most doc shooters I know don’t travel with C-stands (let alone shotbags) and my guess is even a high-quality kit stand wouldn’t support it and two batteries. A deal breaker for me. Not sure I would ever buy another fixture without variable color temps, either. They’re just too versatile.

Having said all that, I’ve bought Zylight in the past and consider their products to be very well crafted…unlike some reviews.

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