I own one, we only use it to project our school's logo transperency at band/choir concerts and other auditorium events. It works well, but it's not the brightest thing in the world (it sits in a s4). Just the lights from our bandshell and a basic wash of front light drowns out the logo projected onto the cyc easy. And they the transparencies fade fairly quick, even though all the unit does is cools the transparency. A downside of the unit, is you have to worry about the fan if it's plugged in or not. If the fixture is on a sub and the unit is unplugged, and then some idiot pulls up the sub, the transparency is just asking to be fried. So it's smart to power the unit via a dimmer and program it to stay at full whenever the fixture is >0%. Either than that, it's a neat little gadget. It's nice when you need a custom gobo fast or the money for a custom gobo isn't worth it for the particular event.
I've always known the source 4 to dominate the competition in performance in every aspect (brightness, sharpness, reliability, rugidness, etc) except in price (not value). That's why it's used the most. Check the lens, make sure it's not dirty. And if it's an older unit, glass does oxidize and wear over time. That could definitely affect things. Make sure your barrel moves smoothly, the thumb screw may not be locking the lens/barrel into place. I have experienced a few older shakespeares and s4 that tend to slip out of place, knocking the gobo out of focus. Check out these things. I've always liked the s4 lens over other ellipsoidials, not just because it's brighter. Particularly over the Strand SL, which is a toy compared to a S4, even the shakespeare. Everything tends to feel a bit looser on an SL, which probably explains the dull results.
I agree about the SL's. My high school had them and I hated them. They were flimsy and unreliable. I would say close to half of our lot of 100 had defects. The Shakespeares are decent, but really bulky. Also, do check your lamp alignment. That can affect how your image looks. I would say the Source Four will give you the best results out of the 3 you just maned. Is it a Source 4 750 or 575?
Thanks I will check the allignment on my Source fours to see if it improves the goboimage . Too bad there isn't a thumb screw to slowly advance the barrel . I've found that that simply tightneing the barrel srcew throws the image a bit out of focus. Our ellisoidals are 575 watt by the way. As far as the Image Pro slide projector I'm still undecided. I'm hoping I can see one in use before making a purchase. Thanks again for the advice. Tom
The Selcon line of fixture is also hightly toughted for Lekos. A donut is often very necessary for doing graphic images along with the ensuring the lamp is seated, the fixture will bench focus and it's focused correctly.
I'm a big fan of the Osram HPR 575w lamp as can be used on a Shakespeare or SL fixture. It's internal reflector should clean up the image a lot. After this, there at some point is only so much you can do with a projected image given throw distance and image. Perhaps it's in the image or a special projector that such is the best solution. If the Image Pro does not work sufficiently, ensure that the gobo is the best for the image, it's lamp is the best for projecting and it's lens is correct.
I see lots of image pro projectors from Dukane, but nothing from Martin. Did you mean Image Scan?
im not familiar with the fixtures you've mentioned, but for the best gobo projection you want a condensor fixture, this has an extra lens (giving you three lenses) which allows you to create a sharper image. i know selecon makes them in a 5-15 degrees - not sure about other beam angles