Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?

Started Nov 7, 2011 | Discussions
michael lipman
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Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
Nov 7, 2011

I shoot interiors. I need a lightweight 2500 watt/second flash light pointed at the ceiling in large rooms to light big spaces like a museum. I use 1 to 4 packs with a single head each.

The dynlite is what I have started with but I need 4 packs in 2 cases to fly places
so 4 Dynalites get a bit heavy in my 2 highly organized and small cases .

So weight is a big issue. The dynlite is 14 lbs but it is pretty great light recycling at 2 seconds. But could a Zeus at 11 lbs be just as good ??? If it is used at full power with dynalite head. I am trying it out now but I want your opinion.

I am also trying a Speedoton Force 10 1000 watt/second mono flash
Which is 1/3 to 1/2 stop darker than a Dyna lite 2000 pack with one head 2040.

The speedotron is great at 11 lbs total and 2 second recycle time but it is just not quite as bright.

And please don't suggest the profoto Acute 2400 because I tried that and it just did not hold up to traveling and being dropped by out of town assistants. The profoto Acute was light at 14lbs but the flash heads were heavy and broke all the time.

And the recycle time of 3+ seconds was too long. Of course that was 10 years ago. But try and get a profoto fixed or a replacement part, Like terribly expensive flashtubes.

I

Lawrence Keeney
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Nov 7, 2011

While I can't compare the Zeus 2500 flash with any other flash, I can tell you I have the Zeus Ring flash and the 2500 power pack. I love this light. I use it for taking photos of quilts where I place the light 30' from the quilt.

I have also photographed a group of about 250 people outdoors in the shade of a large building shortly before the sun went down. Again, the light was about 40' from this group and I got great even lighting if this large group of people.

I also use this light with the 56" Moon Unit as a fill light in the studio.

It is a very versatile light.

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BAK
BAK
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Have not thought of Zeus in years.
In reply to michael lipman, Nov 7, 2011

On the one hand, everything I hear about Buff is good, but

On the other hand, my Dynalites (which get light use) are decades old, work perfectly, and for a few years were in airplanes about once a month.

Saw an ad the other day for a new Dynalite power pack. Looked just like an old power pack.

I think my heart may still be with Dynalite.

BAK

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kenyee
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Nov 9, 2011

michael lipman wrote:

So weight is a big issue. The dynlite is 14 lbs but it is pretty great light recycling at 2 seconds. But could a Zeus at 11 lbs be just as good ??? If it is used at full power with dynalite head. I am trying it out now but I want your opinion.

So you already bought the Zeus 2500 pack and head?

For your application, it should work fine...parts replacements are inexpensive which is another nice thing about using PCB gear on locations where something inevitably gets dropped

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michael lipman
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to kenyee, Nov 10, 2011

I got a Zeus 2500 and am using it with my existing Dynalite 2040 head

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kenyee
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Nov 10, 2011

michael lipman wrote:

I got a Zeus 2500 and am using it with my existing Dynalite 2040 head

That should work fine. And since you're using it, you can answer the "how is it?" question

Your application doesn't call for fast flash durations, but the Zeus and Dynalite packs are backwards from each other. On the Zeus pack, flash duration increases as you decrease power...Dynalite's flash duration decreases.

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michael lipman
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to kenyee, Nov 10, 2011

On the Zeus pack, flash duration increases as you decrease power...Dynalite's flash duration decreases.

That is interesting. I wonder if the Zeus will have any different look to the light

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kenyee
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Nov 12, 2011

michael lipman wrote:

That is interesting. I wonder if the Zeus will have any different look to the light

I always found this funny...I personally can't tell if someone used a different model of light in any photos.

What matters a lot more to me is the modifiers you put on it, so as long as I can use whatever modifiers I want, I'm happy

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michael lipman
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to kenyee, Nov 13, 2011

So I did a test I have shot with the dyna 2000 and the Zeus 2500 and the Speedotron force 10 all in the same frame and at full power the color of the light is exactly the same,

The speedotron force 10 is about 1/4 stop dimmer and I guess I have answered my own question. So maybe I will try it for 6 months and see if there are any problems. Of course it would be easier to get some advice first.

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kenyee
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Nov 19, 2011

michael lipman wrote:

So I did a test I have shot with the dyna 2000 and the Zeus 2500 and the Speedotron force 10 all in the same frame and at full power the color of the light is exactly the same,

The speedotron force 10 is about 1/4 stop dimmer and I guess I have answered my own question. So maybe I will try it for 6 months and see if there are any problems. Of course it would be easier to get some advice first.

ok...my advice is try it for 6 months and see if you can tell the difference in final images...swap out the Dynalite for the same photos and do the same frames and blind test a few friends to see if they can say which is which

I'm surprised the Force 10 is only 1/4 stop dimmer...you'd think w/ the power difference, it'd be a lot dimmer...

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Hugowolf
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to kenyee, Nov 20, 2011

kenyee wrote:

michael lipman wrote:

The speedotron force 10 is about 1/4 stop dimmer …

I'm surprised the Force 10 is only 1/4 stop dimmer...you'd think w/ the power difference, it'd be a lot dimmer...

It is one of the reasons why monolights became more popular than pack and head systems.(And why the national grid uses AC.) DC just doesn’t travel well – a lot of power is lost between the pack and the head. It is probably also behind Paul Buff’s ridiculous ‘effective’ watt-seconds for Alien Bees – not a comparison between monolights, but between monolights and packs.

If you really want to travel lighter, then some of the better quality 1200 Ws monolights may be worth investigating: Bowens Gemini 1500 Ws, Elinchrom RX 1200 Ws, and Rime Lite XB 1200 Ws.

And please don't suggest the profoto Acute 2400 because I tried that and it just did not hold up to traveling and being dropped by out of town assistants. The profoto Acute was light at 14lbs but the flash heads were heavy and broke all the time.

The newer Acute 2 still has recycle times of around three seconds at full power. The Profoto D4 Air would give you recycle times of around two seconds, for only three times the price. Or for only twice as much again, the Profoto Pro8a would give you recycle times of less than a second. Although I don’t know why you would need fast recycle times for interiors.

Brian A

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kenyee
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to Hugowolf, Nov 21, 2011

Hugowolf wrote:

It is one of the reasons why monolights became more popular than pack and head systems.(And why the national grid uses AC.) DC just doesn’t travel well – a lot of power is lost between the pack and the head. It is probably also behind Paul Buff’s ridiculous ‘effective’ watt-seconds for Alien Bees – not a comparison between monolights, but between monolights and packs.

He has mentioned in the past that it is why he came up w/ "effective"....i.e., pack/head cables eat a lot of the power...

I'm still a bit surprised that much power is lost...2500WS pack/head is only 1/4 stop brighter than 1000WS? Wow...

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michael lipman
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to kenyee, Nov 22, 2011

It is about 1/3 to 1/4 of a stop darker between a Force 10 with the 35 degree refector and the Dynalite 2040 (head which is a 80 degree reflector ) with a pack of

2000xl. So I point both at the ceiling with a 40 degree grid spot and see how much it lights up a small living room. There is a lot of loss in the pack/ head system with a 15 to 18 foot power cord. With the comet 2400 pack and a 18 foot cord with a comet cx head it is almost 1/4 less than the dynalite 2040 head. The 18 foot cord eats about a 1/4 of a stop.

I will use a dynalite 2040 head on the comet 2400 pack and the comet pack puts out just a tiny winnie bit more light than the 2000 ws Dnalite pack.

The difference between 2000 wattseconds and 2400 watt seconds is really almost not noticeable. You dont get a full stop untill you double the 2000 ws to 4000 wt

So taking a 2000 ws light and adding 400 wattseconds is like 1/5 of a stop in theory.
But in reality it is just barely noticable.

i think what I want is a 1200 to 1500 ws monopack that weighs less than 8 lbs recycles in less than 2.5 seconds and does not cost $4000. Profoto makes something like this but I have not found anyone in Chicago that even has it on display to even look at.

Is that amazing in such a big city you can't find this thing to even look at or rent
Helix and Calumet donot carry the profoto air 1000ws

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Hugowolf
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Nov 22, 2011

michael lipman wrote:

i think what I want is a 1200 to 1500 ws monopack that weighs less than 8 lbs recycles in less than 2.5 seconds and does not cost $4000. Profoto makes something like this but I have not found anyone in Chicago that even has it on display to even look at.

Is that amazing in such a big city you can't find this thing to even look at or rent
Helix and Calumet donot carry the profoto air 1000ws

I use Profoto D1 Air 500s on a regular basis. Apart from the power, they are very summarily spec’d – recycling is near instant at 1/4 or less and around one second at full power. There are however, a couple of things that may make them less than ideal for you.

They have built in 77° reflectors, if you need a wider spread, then you would need to add the optional glass dome. They also can’t be pointed directly up when mounted directly on a light stand.

I only need to use a glass dome when using large softboxes – soft and strip boxes longer than five feet. The vertical angle problem is easily solved with a super clamp, but since weight is one of your criteria, that will add a pound.

The Elinchrom RX 1200 Ws is spec’d at 2.3 s. Hensel has several lights in the range, including the Integra 1000 Plus at 2.1 s and Expert D 1000 at 1.8 s. Rime Lite “the speed of recharging of almost all STROBEs is hard to be 0.2 seconds, but Hyundae Photonics has made it be drastically”. For price considerations, the Speedotron is probably your best bet.

Brian A

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michael lipman
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to Hugowolf, Nov 23, 2011

Elincrom rx 1200 . I can rent it and check it out. It is lighter than the 10 lbs force 10

and it is a bit more powerful but I wonder if it will have as an efficient reflector as the speedotron? I will try it with the 50 degree reflector THank you for the sugestion

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JohnLindsey
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Nov 23, 2011

Another option "The White Lightning™ X3200 Flash Unit" is 1320 Ws.
It is 7.1 lb and you seem to know the PCB
http://www.paulcbuff.com/x3200.php

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michael lipman
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to JohnLindsey, Nov 23, 2011

You know I sort of looked at that one(white lightning 1300ws flash) and it has a recycle time of almost 4 seconds and believe it or not that just drives me crazy waiting for more than 2 seconds.

I have had this comet 2400III and it takes 4 seconds and I seem to take about a 100 shots as variations in about 5 minutes and that 4 seconds adds up. So I may take that one off my list, unless I find one for $50 then I would try it.

I think I will rent the Elincrom RX 1200 and try it out for the $25 fee from Helix rental.

My next assignment I am going to compare it to the Dynalite 2000xl, the Zeus 2500,
the speedotron force 10.

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michael lipman
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Apr 9, 2013

Ok it has been a year or 2 of trying the Comet CBIII 2400 vs Zeus 2500 vs Dynalite 2000 vs Speedotron force 10.  AND Love the Zeus 2500 and Force 10. The Zeus is just great at 11lbs it is perfect there is no variation in color as you dial it down, and it never fails, I got 2 of them. They are plastic and can be dropped.  recycle time is ok at 2.5 seconds at full and you can use Dynalite 2040 heads which are only 3 lbs.  So yehhh!

The dynalite will burn  a resistor and just smoke  if you hit  the flash before it finishes its 2 second recycle time, The comet has a fail safe  preventing you form doing this.  So with the comet if you hit the flash before the 4 second recycle it just beeps and needs to be reset.  That just ends up taking ages to do a shoot. Just hated the Comet CB III 2400, Just stupid. So I sold it.

The Speedotron Force 10 is really a work of genius.  It is 10lbs on the stand but it is almost as bright as a 2500 pack and head.

T

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kenyee
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to michael lipman, Apr 9, 2013

michael lipman wrote:p

The Speedotron Force 10 is really a work of genius.  It is 10lbs on the stand but it is almost as bright as a 2500 pack and head.

Surprised it's so much more efficient.  IIRC, that's why PCB named the AB/WL that way...said pack/head systems lost a lot of power because of the cable.

You haven't had any issues w/ reliability on the road w/ the Force10?  I looked at those a while back and they supposedly didn't handle travel well.

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michael lipman
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Re: Zeus 2500 flash vs Dynalite What do you think?
In reply to kenyee, Apr 14, 2013

kenyee wrote:

michael lipman wrote:p

The Speedotron Force 10 is really a work of genius.  It is 10lbs on the stand but it is almost as bright as a 2500 pack and head.

Surprised it's so much more efficient.  IIRC, that's why PCB named the AB/WL that way...said pack/head systems lost a lot of power because of the cable.

You haven't had any issues w/ reliability on the road w/ the Force10?  I looked at those a while back and they supposedly didn't handle travel well.

didn't handle travel well. Speedotron force 10??? Where did you hear that?

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