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A tad "unusual"

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by gafftapegreenia, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    As I may have mentioned, my highschool does not own a stage. Thus, we rent offsite for our musicals. This year we are at the brand new Detroit Shool for the Performing Arts. A truly beautiful theatre with many modern conveniences; they really had a nice budget when they built this. However, their mainstage plot slightly surprised me. It is all Source 4 Lekos (no surprise there), and fresh out of the box Colotran 6 and 8 inch Fresnels. It seemd a bit unusual to me that such a modern theatre would have such a generous amount of fresnels when the whole world seems obsessed with source 4 everything. Of course, the board and distribution are all ETC. Their cyc wash also consists of 12 4 channel Colotran Far Cycs and a groundrow of Altman Zip Strips. I'm not complaining, infact I love Fresnels and am excited to be designing with such a versitile plot (not locked into the RGB of striplight battens), but I can't help but wonder what made the person who spec'd this theatre choose fresnels. Any thoughts?
     
  2. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Um because most theatres have fresnels. S4's are great but not very efficent for coverning large areas. some times you cant afford to use 20 S4's where 8 Fresnels will do. Allot of theatres use pars as well.

    JH
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I have to second John here. Fresnels and PAR Cans are pretty standard instruments in almost every plot we hang. I actually just purchased more PARs. This is in addition to the over 150 S4's we hang on a regular basis. Just because it is is fixture type that has been around for many years doesn't mean it is a bad or out of date fixture. There are just some things that ellipsoidals can't do.
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yes, not at all unusual. There is a quality of light to a Fresnel that no other instrument produces. Now if ETC would produce a Fresnel the issue would be solved and we could all live happily in HPL575 land forever. But the S4 Par and the Parnel simply can not do the same things as a true Fresnel. They are good products but have a different purpose.

    My new theater's lighting package breaks down to about 50% S4 Ellipsoidals, 20% S4 Pars, and 30% Altman Fresnels.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    5th,6th,7th, you get the idea. Fresnels are one of the best instuments there are if used correctly. They are one of the only instruments that blends oh so very well. I have seen too many theatre go "we want everything to be ETC, and therefore have no fresnels". They can not get a decent top light system to save their life. Fresnel's make great specials and great backlight/top systems. They also work very well in black box situations. ETC has yet to make anything even remotly close to the fresnel (the parnel does not count, it has the most uneven field out of any instrument I have ever worked with). It kinda blows my mind that they have yet to make an instrument comparable to probably the most widely used instrument in the world.
     
  6. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    I don't think its unusual to use fresnels, I use them all the time and they might just be my favorite instrument. I completely understand about the need for fresnels.

    My point was this theatre is entriely Source 4 Ellipsoidals and Colortran Fresnels. There is not a SINGLE Par - ETC or otherwise- in their plot.

    I've just been used to seeing so many new theatres using solely ETC products, PARs and Ellipsoidals, and well as many designers using soley ETC that I thought it a break from the modern trend to use so many fresnels in a brand new theatre. It's not at all a bad thing, just not whats "popular", but whats realiable and proven.
     
  7. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Possible the designer/architect doesn't like the ETC S4, or the vendor had a better deal on the fresnels, or had a bunch in stock he sold for cheap, or ... Could be a lot of reasons that product X was installed instead of product Y. Sounds like it all worked out for you anyway.
     
  8. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    I'm at a high school. We've never, ever ever used a PAR can in a theatrical show. Just fresnels, probably where we could use PARs.

    What theatrical use would you have for PARs, on that note? I've always wondered. More specifically--what could a PAR do for you that a fresnel or a Leko could not?
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Nice lanes of backlight. Because pars are elliptical in shape, you can create nice lane of backlight that covers the stage better then a fresnel. I rarely ever do a backlight system that is not done with pars. They also make great flat torm color punches and a ton of other uses. There are few things better then a 1k par64 to really get some light out there. And most of all, they are freakishly cheap, the fixture usually cost about at much as the lamp. The only downside to traditional pars is having to keep stocks of varying lamps.
     
  10. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    What do you mean by "lane?" I figured as much for the color punches/brightness, but I wasn't sure why a fresnel couldn't do it for you. (I was asking not on the topic of cheapness, which of course makes the PAR a lot more desirable).
     
  11. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    here ya go, this is with 6 par 56's with 500w wides in them, and 3 fresnels half flooded (what they are typically plotted at). Basically it would take 5 fresnels to do the job of 3 pars. Yes, the intensity would differ, but you get more efficiet coverage with a parcan in a backlight situation. For top light, I always use 50degs or fresnels.
     

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  12. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Yup, PARs are great for backlight. I've used them on floor bases before for some low angle backlight.

    The best thing to remember is that fixtures don't have to be used exlusively for what the manufacturer says they're good for. The only limit is your creativity and preference. This past summer when I was a student at the National High School Institute at Northwestern we did just that. The head designers needed a groundrow for the cyc, but no extra striplights or cycs were available. Instead, they decided to use the only thing leftover on the rack: several 360's and 360Q's. Many, many sheets of heavy frost later, it worked out alright.
     
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Umm..no
    Doing anything that puts the regulatory listing in danger is not a good idea!
     
  14. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Basicaly the question is not when to use pars its when to use a fresnel its simple economics. If it costs me $75 per week for a S4, $50 per fresnel, $10 per par; which am i going to choose? If i can get 5 pars for every Fresnel i will use them. Just think about it economicaly, and then it might become clear why theatre uses lots of pars and s4pars.. they are cheep as well.

    JH
     
  15. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

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    I'd have to agree with Mr. Hirsh, a big factor is economics. However, having travelled with some of the 1000+ PAR can rigs of old, I would say that PARs can make technical sense is some cases. For example, weight and durability. If I'd been plopping bars of 6 leikos into cases on those shows, I'd have had a lot of broken glass and overloaded trucks.

    As far as the qualities of the light, I don't see a big PAR specific advantage myself. For me, fresnels blend better and an ellipsoidal offers more precise masking and control. But that's just me.

    -jjf
     
  16. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Don't be thick, he means the recomended type of light < eg "Lekos are for front light only", "Pars make excellent washes".> not, " Hey I'm gonna use this S4 underwater."
     
  17. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Source Four pars are a good alternative to fresnels because they are, as already stated, cheaper. They also are smaller, and take up less space on the electric. They're also better for effects like ACL pods and such for dance concerts that use them, and can be better utilized as high side light as well by rotating the axis lengthwise across the stage. Using S4 pars in conjunction with S4's also reduces the required number of lamps in the inventory. In our mainstage theater, we have gone completely over to S4 pars for washlights from a mix of S4 pars and 8" fresnels. Down in the studio theater, we still have some 6" fresnels for high sides and overhead washes, but it's been mostly converted to S4 Pars.

    Basically, S4 pars are cheaper, reduce the number of lamps that you have to keep in stock if used with S4's, and are much more versatile than fresnels.
     
  18. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    See even with practicality comes economics. Overloaded trucks means more trucks, more drivers, more weight, Longer load in, more focus time needed. It all costs money and the more money you can save your producer the more likely you will be hired next time.

    JH
     
  19. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Source 4 pars usually run 10-20 bux more then a 6" fresnel. Also, a S4 par is not any smaller the a 6" fresnel. An 8" fresnel is a bit larger and a bit more expensive but none the less. Both lights have their benefits and neither should be excluded from any inventory.
     
  20. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the replies, very very helpful indeed :eek:
     

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