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70˚ Source4 reviews?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by zac850, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Hey,
    I was wondering if anyone around here has messed around with the new 70˚ or 90˚ Source4s? I'm doing a production of West Side Story in April and I'm looking to rent around a dozen 70˚ for a gobo wash as well as just a general system or two.
    I have looked at the cut sheets of course, and it seems like a good fixture with a decently flat field. How sharp is it? Is it on par with the basic 19˚-50˚? How flat can you keep the template? I know that there is some distortion around the edges, how much worse is it from the 50˚?
    I looked at the cut sheet for the 90˚ and it looks like you have two odd hotspots in the sides of the fixture, which gives me the feeling that this fixture wouldn't have the flat field that I am looking for from a Source4.
    Basically, from anyone who has any particle experience with either of these fixtures, what was your experience like?
    Thanks,
    Zac
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    First off, what is your throw? A 70˚ unit is pretty useless if you hang it with a throw of more than around 18', you just won't get any usable light out of it. At a 10' throw you already have a 14' diameter field. Make sure that you actually look at the photometrics. Then think on the 90˚ fixture, for every foot of throw you have double the field diameter, so at 10 feet off the deck you have a 20' diameter pool of light, you get into the amazingly useless realm really fast with those.

    On either the 70˚ or 90˚ you CANNOT get a straight shutter cut. This is due to the "barrel" distortion. Any cut you put in that does not go through the center of the beam will appear bowed. Even if you used a star template with lots of tiny holes, the stars would look huge due to how much you spread out the light. This is the same principle as wide angle camera lenses, any straight line that does not pass through the center of the field will bow. The barrel distortion is worse the farther from the center you get.

    Now, don't take this as that I am saying that the 70˚ and 90˚ are bad, because they are really nice units. We are using a 70˚ in out current prouction as we needed a fixture that could project a pattern that would fill up the entire moon in our set (photos on thursday) from a very short throw. The 70˚ and 90˚ from ETC both are EDLT optics, so pattern projection is great.

    The thing is you want to pick the right tool for the job, so unless your throws are super short, the very wide angle fixtures aren't going to buy you a lot. I have seen many designers, especially younger ones, choose lights because they are new or cool, or what they always use, and they wind up having to overlight, and use way to many instruments because the field angles are just too wide. I have at least one, professional designer, who tries to light our stage with 6x9s and 36˚ from 25' or longer throws, and then wonders why it is so dim. Which of course means that I have to hang way more lights than needed, or I have to keep adding lights right up until opening to fill in the dark spots.

    So, the moral of my little soap box speech here is: do the math and use the right fixture for the job. The 70˚ and 90˚ are very good at what they are designed to do, just make sure that you are using them for that as opposed to using them because you want to (or any other reason).

    There was one other side note, the lens has less effect on the flatness of the field than the bench focus and state of the reflector. You can get just as flat a field out of a 70˚ as any other fixture, if it is benched correctly.
     
  3. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    I have a few 70 degrees, needed them to project a 12' wide gobo from 8'. The optics are great on them thanks to the EDLT lens coating. They have a few issues however. One is that with the big beam, any sort of angle in the light throws the focus off at the ends or in the middle. If you shot straight down or on, its fine. The next is you have to have a clear path around them, the light comes out of the fixture at an extremely wide angle. You literally put something an inch above the fixture straight off the edge of the lens, and its in the beam of light. This means no color extenders either. Another issue I have with them is they seem to cook gel fairly fast, so use dichroics or unsaturated colors. I would also recommend the use of glass gobos, since they don't bend like steel ones. This compounds the focusing issues. You can't use dough nuts either, because they block the beam too much. I tried making custom ones, which ended up blocking the edges of the gobo. I cut the shutters instead a little bit on each edge to help block extra light, but didn't help towards the middle of the gobo.

    Great lights for short throws, just keep them straight on if using gobos that need to be focused. I am most likely going to use them for cyc break up this dance season, and the focus with them doesn't need to be spot on. I would try keeping with 50 EDLTs and below for anything that need to be crystal clear, and also the fact that you can use dough nuts with them helps. I can only imagine the 90s are worse in everything I listed above.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
  4. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    In this case my grid is 12' above the deck. I'm assuming a 6' throw so that I have an even wash of light for the 6' tall actor. At this throw the 70˚ will give me an 8.4' diameter circle of light. Lamped with a 575/115x lamp I'm getting 346 foot-candles out of it. The 90˚ interested me, since at the same 6' throw I would get an 11 foot diameter, and I usually try and design with 10' circles, but the optics for a 90˚ really seem like they would distort everything.

    I'm also thinking about using the 70˚ for one template wash (which would be some abstract industrial breakup, not sure exactly what yet) as a pipe end position. I don't need the breakup to be extremely sharp, but having heard that I may look at the 50˚s and see if they will work for the template system (though I think my throw is to short to be able to get fixtures to mix the way I need to).

    I also may have a system above the stage to create lines of light, sort of like city blocks and streets that I can reform as the show progresses.

    Thanks for the feedback,
    Zac
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
  5. toyboyt122

    toyboyt122 Member

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    If this is an issue, consider checking out Selecon's Pacific range. They have 90* and a 45*-75* zoom. And they are much better at heat management. That should save a lot of life on your gels, even the low transmission ones.
     
  6. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    Problem is no one around here has Selecons. Don't want to be the only odd ball with them, mainly since everyone asks for S4s. They also cost more then S4s here in the states at least. I would love to have them, but no one asks for them. It just wouldn't be economical to have them unfortunately.
     
  7. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, the Selicon range is gorgeous (being able to print a gobo on transparency paper and drop it into the fixture, thats just amazing!) The issue is, no one has them, so their impossible to come by. That, and since they are something of a speciality item, they cost an arm and a leg if you do find someone with a few to rent.

    Of course, dichroics are also rather expensive to, so......
     
  8. Goph704

    Goph704 Active Member

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    Re: 70? Source4 reviews?

    I think that Selecon is becomming one of my favorite Dark horse instruments. i keep hearing about them in conversations and they are fun to play with.

    As for the 70 degree's Icewolf is dead on. I hung one yesterday at distance of 8" from target ( a large white couch) and got a sharp nearly 16' diameter, ( see zac 850) beam spread with a gobo. I was amazed a the sharpness of the gobo. however when i dropped in gel it went away. Where I'd suggest watching out is when you drop gel,Specificaly any gel that likes 4 didgets. Much to my suprise the edges of my break-up diffused instantly.
    I think they're proably great for lighting rooms or couches, or even a balck box or two. Anything involving a grid I'd be a little worried about. i couldn't see buying a dozen, I'd start with two a peice to begin with. ( one for each side of the couch.) Or sell a few couches and buy Selecon. it's up to you. :eek::eek:

    oh, here's two cents also.
     
  9. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    We have two 70 degrees. That's a good number. Personally, I love them. They are effects and special use lights, personally I wouldn't be using a large number to light a scene, for that I get by with 50's just fine. My favorite thing to do with them, (so far) is large gobo projections on the cyc. We have also used them to light the isles in our theatre. One unit lit up what I believe to be a 50 foot isle. What has been said about the gobos and shutter cuts is correct, but in all honestly, it's really not that much to be concerned about. It still makes good on the Source 4 name.

    I still want to see some Selecons, especially their Fresnels and PC's.
     
  10. pacman

    pacman Active Member

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    I recently got to demo a Selecon zoom for a few days. Running at full, I could place my hand on the lens barrel; warm but not hot. It's a very nice fixture but I was surprised at how much plastic it had. Steel pattern projections were very sharp & appeared to be on par with EDLTs. No donut was necessary.

    I did not try transparency projections, although the unit shipped with some. It was destined for another client who particularly wanted to test that feature. Since they re-routed the fixture to me first, I didn't want to take a chance of screwing up something before they reached the next guy.
     
  11. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    As a follow up, I have 9 shinny new 70˚ units, and I must say I like them a lot. Again, it is a 12' grid, and the units are perfect for this. Gobo projections are surprisingly good (I wouldn't use it for a corporate logo, but for a basic template wash it looks wonderful.

    Shutter cuts are a little curved, which bothers me a little, but it is something I can live with.

    Very nice units, all in all.
     
  12. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Gobo projection should be good, the 70˚ is an EDLT lens.

    As for shutters, pretty much any wider angle than 50˚ will give you barrel distortion. The only time you won't get distortion is with lines that pas through the center of the lens.
     
  13. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I know their doing the EDLT as standard, but I was still expecting to have trouble getting the sides sharp while the center is sharp, or vica-versa, simply because of how far the light is bending, but yet again ETC amazes me with its optics.
     
  14. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I'm late to this thread but just want to say there is a lot of bad information about Selecon out there. They make an excellent instrument. I purchased 8 zooms specifically to be able to project transparencies. A S4 zoom runs about $525 on the internet. I payed about $450 for my Selecon Zooms. Now this was part of a very large package, so you won't get that price, but if you can't get Selecon Zooms for the same price as a S4 zoom you are shopping at the wrong dealer. Send me a P.M. and I'll tell you who to call.

    EDIT: A S4 Zoom runs $475 on Production Advantage... not $525... not sure where I got that number from. If you are only buying Selecon Zooms as part of a small package you will probably pay $475 to $500 each... mine were part of a $110,000 package so I got VERY good pricing that you probably won't get. So yes they will probably cost a few dollars more than a S4 Zoom. However, they won't cost dramatically more than an S4 as some suggested in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008
  15. NFazio

    NFazio Member

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    I work at 4Wall entertainment and the 70 deg are OK for a closeup wash. there a pain to clean thou
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hey NFazio, welcome to the Booth. Stop by the new member board and introduce yourself.
     

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