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ETC PAREA/MCM and PARnel

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by DCATTechie, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. DCATTechie

    DCATTechie Active Member

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    I'm debating purchasing some PAR EA or PAR MCM along with some PARnel's to replace our old and inefficient 6" and 8" fresnels. Want to know a couple of things before I make my decision.

    -Is the only difference between the EA and the MCM that the MCM has a metal cold mirror and is only rated to 575watts while the EA is rated to 750watts or is there a throw/focus difference also?

    -How do PARnels's compare to regular fresnels? Is the throw relatively the same? How's the beam spread? Are they worth the money or would it be a better investment to buy new fresnels.

    -The primary use for these fixtures are for top lighting and side lighting, which fixture is better at which? Or is there one fixture that can serve all my needs?

    -What's your personal experience with these fixtures? Do you like them? Are they easy to focus? Are they easy to repair?

    Thanks!
     
  2. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    For theatre use I'd go with fresnels every time, with wide angle range and continuous adjustment they are much more versatile than parnels, your fresnels should not be inefficient as the lenses, globes and reflectors are very similar to those used today, there has not been any major advances, unlike profile development.
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The photometrics of the Source 4 MCM and EA fixtures are pretty similar. Ultimately you will save a good amount by buying the EA fixtures. Unless you plan to have them no for extended periods of time with saturate gels the EA should do just fine.

    The PARNel really doesn't compare at all to a standard fresnel. If you like the lights that you get out of a fresnel then get new fresnels. You might find though that new fresnels just look prettier than your old ones as the technology hasn't changed. I have not worked with any designers who wanted PARNels, and I have never been a big fan. I also don't think that the PARNel is really an equivalent or replacement for a PAR or a Fresnel.
     
  4. bdkdesigns

    bdkdesigns Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    I'd might be in the minority but I much prefer PARNels over Fresnels. The main reason for this is how they behave with gel. We have some Altman Fresnels that I absolutely hate because when they are flooded, any saturated gel burns out instantly. These particular ones are 6" Fresnels. We don't have any problems with our 8" Fresnels.

    Recently we had a board op who didn't clear his cue list before shutting down. We had a PARNel with Congo Blue in it that never shut off. It was on all night plus an entire day that the show was dark and nobody went into the space. The following night when the ME went in for channel check, they discovered it was still on. After being on for 44 hours at around 90%, the gel was still like new, not even slightly bleached.
     
  5. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    Big fan of the ParNel. Works great when you have a mixture of Fresnels and ParNels, since they both throw the same, even wash light. ParNels are also punchier when compared to similar wattage Fresnels. No lenses is another added bonus. Don't have to keep drawers/cabinets full of lenses just laying around collecting dust most of the time.

    Another major nice point is the fact that the ParNels use HPLs, meaning keeping the whole house Source Four and only needing one type of lamp in stock is a bonus. This is also nice in that all fixtures using the HPL will have similar color temps and output. This means a cut of R80 in a ParNel will look the same and have the same light output as a S4 Leko or S4 Par as well, which again helps for mixing and matching.

    As for an MCM Par, have yet to use those so can't comment. They would help with gel life and also help keep stage temperatures down if these to things are of concern. Otherwise, stick with the regulars. MCM cost about 2/3s more then EAs. Something else to think over is the fact that ParNels cost about 1/3 more then Par EAs too.
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    That just goes to show you how little light makes it through the double funky frosted lenses of the PARNel! And that maybe you shouldn't have your dimmers hold the last look indefinitely. I don't usually have issues with any of my 3", 6", 8", or 12" fresnels burning color.

    I also think that I should clarify my stance here. Every lighting instrument available has a place, like paintbrushes for a painter. I am not saying that the PARNel doesn't have a place, just that it is neither a replacement for a PAR nor a Fresnel. PARNels do not give the same quality of light as either a PAR or a Fresnel, however they can be an effective wash fixture. So, if you wanted to buy some PARNels to add another tool to your inventory, that is fine, I just wouldn't call or use them as replacements for PARs or Fresnels. I would add them to the inventory and keep the other fresnels that you have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  7. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    Wouldn't be so quick to say that icewolf08.

    ParNel 750w 300 hr
    25 Degree Beam 30' 193fc Candlepower 174,000
    45 Degree Beam 15' 192fc Candlepower 43,100

    Selecon Rama 6" 1000w 250 hr
    7 Degree Beam 28' 159fc Candlepower 165,600
    50 Degree Beam 13' 61fc Candlepower 17,640

    Selecon has much greater zoom range, but doesn't come close to the power of a ParNel even when lamped 250w greater.
     
  8. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    It's not the light output that mainly concerns me, the angle range is significantly less but the parnels I have used have very uneven beams, walking through them with a light meter shows how bad they are, admittedly I have only tried them once, I bought and demo'd one to a customer, in a theatre and it was embarrassingly bad, it's still sitting in the shed as I have not got the nerve to sell it to one of my customers and no one wanted to buy it on ebay.
     
  9. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I have a dozen ParNels and have used them for 6 years or so as Pit side wash units. Great units, very punchy. Not a fresnel, not as much beam spread, lots more intensity. They require a 3" color frame extender to keep the deeper colors from fading. Barndoors are useless due to the funky lenses.

    I also have 48 new S4 Par EA's, @750w. Brighter then the PAR64's they replaced. The 575 MCM version is not as bright as a 1kw PAR64. The S4 PAR in wide, has greater coverage then a ParNel.

    If you have fresnels now and like the beam spread, then get newer versions, Colortran, Strand or Selecon. They will not be as bright as a ParNel or S4 PAR EA @ 750watts, but have useful beam spread. I've heard great things about Selecon, and would opt for the Rama 6" @ 1kw with the 7.5x7.5" colour frame for compatibility.

    I did a show 2 years ago - a Spanish dance company that insisted we swap out (rent additional) our PAR64 1kw wides for ParNels as back washes. Bad choice as the ParNel round beam did not allow US/DS full coverage that an S4 PAR Wide or a PAR64 1kw in wide, would have.

    Steve B.
     
  10. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    One point, this guy is in Dublin, a 240 volt area, and the performance of the 240v equivalent lamps is below that of the 120v lamps that the gear is designed around, this is why axial profiles never caught on in 240v land as the FEP 1000w lamp was the most useless and fragile lamp ever made, that has recently changed with the Selecon axials which are bright and reliable but dearer in Australia than the US.
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Umm, David: Dublin, Ohio (just outside the state capital of Columbus) where line voltage is somewhere between 115-125V.:)
     
  12. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    Sorry
     
  13. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    I frequently use barn doors on my 28 Parnels and I've never had a problem.

    On the whole Im quite happy with the performance of my Parnels. In my venue they have replaced my 6 inch Fresnels.

    My one complaint regarding the Parnels is that they are difficult to service. in order to get to the reflector, you have to completely disassemble the fixture. A minor change in the design, allowing for easy removal of the second lens would greatly improve the Parnel.
     
  14. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I should have been more precise.

    My experience with barndoors on ParNels, is that they do not have as much an effect as they do on a fresnel, where the edge/cut from the door is more pronounced. On the ParNel, it's more like using a B/D on a PAR, a much less defined and not as useful. Still do-able, but I would not go and buy barndoors for each and every ParNel, expecting the same light control as a barndoor on a fresnel.

    Steve B.
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    This is a nearly impossible question. It's like asking a room full of Pizza lovers what is the best pizza. You'll never get them to agree. As Icewolf said each instrument has their place. The S4 PAR and S4 PARnel are both great instruments and they have their place but they aren't Fresnels. Another great instrument that we don't see here in the US is the PC (much of the rest of the world uses PC's instead of Fresnels). PC's are wonderful, but they aren't fresnels either. All are great tools that can be used to accomplish very similar things but none of them is a true replacement for the other.

    I have 24 S4 PARs, 16 S4 PARnels, and 48 Selecon Fresnels... you need to have all the tools.

    If you decide to go with Fresnels I recomend you take a good look at the Selecon Rama's. I have the 6" model. I purchased them in a package of 48 and I got them for a little over $200 each (your price will vary depending on the size of package and your relationship with the dealer. Send me a P.M. if you would like dealer suggestions). The 7" model has higher quality optics and higher output from the same lamp... but they'll cost you about $75 more each. The Selecon's are REALLY well designed and blend really nicely. I like Colortran and Strand Fresnels too, but I think the Selecons beat them in both price and performance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
  16. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    I am quoting information that I gained on The lightnetwork forum and from ETC documents, so don't quote me if you disagree. The PARNel is 5 degrees less spot than a fresnel and another 5 degrees less flood than a fresnel. That's a total of 10 degrees less flexibility than a fresnel. The unusual stippled lens arrangement of the PARNel creates a focal point in front of the lenses, therefore making barndoors less effective than they would be on a fresnel.
    Having said that, I have 28 PARNels and love them. I am replacing my 6" and 8" Altman fresnels with PARNels as funds allow. Primarily the 8" because of the expensive lamps and the 6" because of the crappy reflectors and both sizes because of the focus device that quits working after a while. I still have the old Electro Control fresnels in both sizes and love them because they are easdy to service and can withstand a nuclear blast.
    In our small 350 seat theatre with short throws the PARNels are wonderful and I wish that I had 20 more. I am not so sure that I could say that if comparing with a good quality fresnel in a larger theatre with a longer throw.
     
  17. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    The only thing I really like PARnels for are smaller, black box and storefront type stages.

    For a larger stage, I'd prefer fresnels, especially now that my 6" Fresnels can match my S4's in color temperature.

    PARnels aren't my favorite, but you have to use what you are given because you can't always have a "dream rig".
     
  18. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    Really greenia? I actually prefer the reverse. I would prefer ParNels in a larger space since trim heights are generally higher, 20-30' roughly. The added power of a ParNel helps get the light over that distance, especially when using saturated colors. Any spotting, I would use a S4 Par narrow or very narrow or S4 Leko, with or without frost depending on effect desired, from that height. I would also still use S4 Pars or Par 64s for back light however.

    For a black box, trim heights are generally lower, sometimes as low as 10' or less even. The power of a ParNel might be overkill. The other major advantage a Fresnel would have over a ParNel is greater zoom range, which means more area is washed vs a ParNel. Do to the lower heights as well, a Fresnel would have no problem with saturated colors. Add to the fact that Fresnels (talking price wise for ColorTran/Strand/Altman 165Q and 65Q, not sure on price for Selecons) are cheaper then a ParNel, and black boxes generally have less money to spend then a large scale theatre, seems like Fresnels are a win all the way around.
     
  19. bdkdesigns

    bdkdesigns Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    I would have to disagree. That Congo Blue punched through a lot more in that PARNel than it did in the Fresnel. I used it pretty much as a Toning & Blending system on one side of the stage. Instrument limitations required me to use Parnels for it rather than ERS'.

    A Fresnel ended up being way too soft for what I needed to use it for. However, I also used PARNels for my down light systems. The main reason for this is due to the fact that I used some saturated gels and our 6" Fresnels burn out gel pretty much instantly when flooded. I could have used our 7 1/2" color extenders and make it work, except they were being used in another space.

    This one I'm a little confused by. How exactly would you prevent this from happening? We instruct our board ops to Go To Cue 0 before they shut down. In the academic world, our board ops come from students, mainly freshmen. We have a brand new system with ETC Sensor+ racks with an ION in that space. Usually when a random light decides to stay captured, it turns off in a few minutes after the rack realizes it isn't receiving signal anymore. For some reason this time however, it never shut off. He already had a sheet with start up and shut down proceeder instructions. The next day, a large reminder was left on the console to remind them of that step.

    The same thing occurs on the ION when you exit the system to go to the settings (which is also a setting that I hate on the console). If you have anything on, it stays on when you exit into the shell. After a few minutes, the rack stops receiving signal and all the lights shut off. It's impossible trying to change a setting before you go dark. The EOS on the other hand is pretty much instant. The second you exit into the shell, the stage goes dark.
     
  20. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    See Building Your Own Color Extender for a possible solution.

    I suspect that to which [user]Icewolf08[/user] is referring is that Sensor CEM and CEM+ may be set to "hold last look" from zero to infinite seconds in the event of loss of DMX. See "Data Loss Behavior" in the appropriate User Manual. The duration of "hold last look" is a hotly debated issue and largely a matter of personal preference.
     
    Sayen and (deleted member) like this.

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