ETC S4 14 Degree

jyenish

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2005
Location
Minnesota
Hello everyone, I've been away for awhile now and due to e mail reminders I feel compelled to get back on the band wagon of posting. That being said my question for the Forum is this:

Does anyone know much about the ETC S4 14 Degree ERS?

Recently I was at an open house for a theatrical supplier, Stage Technology in Minneapolis Minnesota, and got a chance to check out some newer gear. On of the lights that interested me was the 14 Degree. Now the demo of the instrument was on the sales floor so I didn't get a chance to really check it out.

Has anyone gotten a chance to play with it? If so how does it stand up? Is it worth purchasing that unit or should I spend my money on the ETC S4 zoom instruments?

The reason I ask is I have had the privileage of upgrading my theatre space and I have a couple thousand bucks left to pick up some new inventory. Let me know what you think.
 

kovacika

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
I had the opertunity to play with one at the ACTF festival. They definitely hold up the etc rep of kick butt lamps. I would go with the 14s before id use the zooms. I hate the zooms becuase of the lower intensity and the inability to rotate the barrel.
 

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Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
I had the opertunity to play with one at the ACTF festival. They definitely hold up the etc rep of kick butt lamps. I would go with the 14s before id use the zooms. I hate the zooms becuase of the lower intensity and the inability to rotate the barrel.
Don't forget the fact that they are HUGE and weigh a ton. The 14 deg has just as quality of optics as the rest of the S4 family. I don't know if I would invest a large stock of them, but they do give a similar throw to the 10 deg without the added weight and size of the barrel. Having a few tubes around wouldn't be a bad thing in my mind. I would really like to have a few 70 deg's.
 

SteveB

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Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I had the opertunity to play with one at the ACTF festival. They definitely hold up the etc rep of kick butt lamps. I would go with the 14s before id use the zooms. I hate the zooms becuase of the lower intensity and the inability to rotate the barrel.
Curious if you've ever seen a regular S4 side by side with a S4 FULL SIZE zoom ?. As opposed the the Jr. to which you seem to be referencing, as the full size 15/30 and 25/50 zooms do allow barrel rotations. They are also as bright as the standards. I have a house with 31 25/50's as well as 24 - 19 and 26 degree regulars and have done this test. I saw very little difference in intensity, certainly not something that made me say "Nope, the zoom is a LOT dimmer".

Some complaints have been made that the optics are not as sharp on the zooms and that is true in some zoom settings. That said, having the ability to adjust the image and beam size with a knob, makes the zooms far more practical , IMO then having to swap lens tubes, especially in a road house (like mine) that keeps a plot hung and circuited.

Additionally, buying a regular 36 degree S4, with additional 19 and 26 degree lens tubes will run you about $460 or so, as opposed to a zoom at $430 (no lamps), which includes a City Theatrical 3" color frame extender (required to prevent gel burnout). FWIW, the zoom is easier to clean, as it has a nice access hatch to get to the lenses. No having to disassemble the lens tube.

As to the S4 15/30 ?. It truly is a beast. It's way too big and doesn't balance well. Neither does it's cousin the Shakespeare 15/35. That too is a huge beast, or which I have 20. last Shakespeares I buy. Given that there is now the 14 degree tube for the standard S4, you have better options (still fighting the lens tube costs though), though the 14 does use a larger lens, with a correspondingly larger color frame size (7.5" sq.)

Steve B.
 

icewolf08

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Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
What you as is an interesting question. Here at my theatre, we have both ETC 15-30 Zooms and brand new stock of 14 degree units. The 14s are really nice lenses and happen to be the perfect field angle for our FOH lighting positions. 10 degrees are too small and previously, 19 degress was too big. We own the zooms because before the 14 degree units were released they were the only units in the Source Four line that could achieve the optimal field angle we needed.

The reason I think your question is an interesting one is because comparing a zoom to a fixed focal length unit is almost like comparing apples to oranges. The way I understand the physics of optics, you should get better quality out of the fixed focal length lens, which is quite true here at my theatre. With clean lenses and reflectors and the same lamp in each fixture, our fixed focal length units provide a higher lumen output than the zooms any day. The more glass you put in the path of the light, the less light you get.

If you need the funtionality of a zoom then get a zoom. But, do the math (or open Beamwrite) and figure out if the 14 is really the unit you want. Also, as was already mentioned, the 15-30 Zoom is a huge instrument and it is very heavy. Like was mentioned, it doesn't balence well. Also, i don't really like the focus/zoom knob idea because even when it is "locked" it is pretty easy to slide around, plus, the turning action of the knob can't really be locked at all.
 

fosstech

Active Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Location
Tacoma, WA USA
Also, as was already mentioned, the 15-30 Zoom is a huge instrument and it is very heavy. Like was mentioned, it doesn't balence well.
Add a scroller to that front-heaviness and you might just need to brace the front end up :D

We haven't gotten any of the new variety S4 tubes at Ithaca yet, but I bet getting some in the future isn't out of the question.
 

kovacika

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
You are right, i had my terminology mixed up, the juniors are the ones that are abysmal.