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Conventional Fixtures Favorite fresnels and other instruments for small spaces

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by kneightx, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. kneightx

    kneightx Member

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    We have recently knocked down our old arena space and are in the process of building a new arena space in the same location. Small house...somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 seats with modest throws (lighting positions hover around +18'-0") I'm currently working on putting together a list of equipment to augment the inventory that will be coming over from the old space. That inventory as follows:

    83 Source Four bodies
    24 Source Four Jr. zoom
    40 Source Four Parnel
    13 Source Four PAR

    As you can see, the space is currently an all-ETC house; the result of a deal a number of years ago with the local power company to cut overall consumption.

    So, here's the question: ETCs lekos are simply the best in the biz and the pars are fine...but the parnels suck. For most situations, the lekos and pars will do the job...but there are times when one wants a fresnel. I don't think we need a million of them, but a system of fresnels would fill a hole in our current inventory.

    Anyone have a favorite? A look around the US manufacturers' websites shows that Altman still rules the market, but I can't help thinking that someone out there has to have made some improvements on the design over the last couple of decades.

    The Selecon units look interesting, but I've never used them...and I've heard there are some great units being sold across the pond, but once again I have no experience with them either.

    So, anyone have a favorite they'd like to recommend?

    And, while I'm at it...anyone else have any favs for small spaces that I should be thinking about as well? I'd love to throw in some LEDs, but can't really justify the cost vs. what they could be used for in the space. I'm thinking of throwing a system of Seachanger wash units into the mix, and grappling with whether to spec a few "moving special" units (we have a few Apollo Right Arms...which are OK, but I don't know if I want to buy more of them).

    OK. That's a lot, I'll stop now.
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    I would take a serious look at the Selecon Rama line, they are great fixtures. Both Altman and L&E make Fresnels, but their designs are old, they still make them just like they used to. The Selecon stuff blows them out of the water.

    I wouldn't bother with LEDs yet, not ready (IMHO) for small scale theatre. Seachangers are great, and if you can afford them, get enough for a full system. You haven't really told us what kind of shows you do and what your dimming system is like, but I would suggest bringing your inventory of Source Fours up to an even number (like say 100), even numbers are nice. Also, make sure that you have a good selection of extra/additional lens tubes. You might consider some of the 90˚ or 70˚ lenses if you don't have any, given your lower trims and such. Don't know if you need it, but you might also look into some EDLT tubes for patter projection.
     
  3. kneightx

    kneightx Member

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    Icewolf: quite right, additional info is necessary.

    Additional info on the space:

    -We're a large regional theatre with three spaces: an outdoor Festival space (Shakespeare), a LORT B proscenium house, and a 250 seat arena stage. The arena space tends to house smaller straight plays.

    -We will absolutely be purchasing additional leko units...with an assortment of barrels. Our current barrel inventory:

    [email protected] 26 degree
    [email protected] 36 degree
    [email protected] 50 degree
    [email protected] 70 degree
    [email protected] 90 degree

    -dimming/control: ETC ION controlling 248 ETC Sensor dimmers (not including houselights/cuelights etc...300 total dimmer modules)

    EDLT lenses are a good idea...just not sure how often they would be used.

    I spoke earlier with our lighting consultant for the space and he had nothing but good to say about the Selecon units...

    Currently looking at 12 Seachanger wash units and 6 Seachangers for lekos...
     
  4. chris325

    chris325 Active Member

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    Occupation:
    Master Electrician
    Location:
    Arizona
    The Colortran fresnels my high school uses are actually quite reliable after several years of use, but I would definently recommend Selecon way over Altman, because the Selecon fresnels would be a much better value, even though the cost is higher.
     
  5. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
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    Selecon. Selecon. Selecon.

    Strand and Colortran are distant seconds....and as for Altman, and much as a soft spot I have for them, they are rather dated.
     
  6. dhorn

    dhorn Member

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    Location:
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    We opened three seasons ago a second stage/ flex theatre space that is 85' by 55' with Lighting Trusses typically trimmed at 23'. We use S4 Parnels lamped at 750w quite successfully for Backlight washes on our Proscenium Stage. However we wanted more zoom flexibility for the Studio space. We have had the following fresnel types in inventory over the years:

    Kliegl 8" 1kw
    Kliegl 6" 750w
    Colortran 10" 2kw
    Colortran 6" 1kw
    Altman 3" Inky
    Altman 65Q 750w
    Altman 8" 2kw
    Altman 6" 1KAF 1kw
    Century 6" 500w
    Strand 6" 1kw
    Strand 8" 2kw
    Mole Richardson 12" 5kw
    Arri Studio Jr. 10" 5kw
    Arri Theatre 12" 5kw
    Arri Studio 10" 2.5kw HMI
    Arri Studio 15" 4kw HMI

    After Demoing the latest Theatre Fresnels from Strand, Arri, and Selecon, we choose the 6" and 8" Strand Fresnelite over the Arri and Selecon equivalents primarily due to pricing. Optically they were all very consistent with each other. Each brand had slightly different spot /flood field diameters. We have had the least maintenance trouble with our older Strand fresnels out of the past inventory. Out of all the 6" and 8" fresnels we own, the Strands have the most reliable Spot/ Flood control mechanisms. For 5kw Incandescents we selected the Arri Theatre model because the housing runs significantly cooler than the 5kw Studio Jr's we already own. The lamp beam is also cooler at the color scroller!

    Good Luck with your new space!
    Dave Horn
    CTC
     
  7. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Selecon all the way, whether it be the Acclaim (500w/650w) or Rama (1200w) that you go for. They might be slightly more expensive, but it's worth it in the long run.
     
  8. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Best Fresnel I have ever seen was a Desisiti. Just a much better quality of light than anything else out there...
     
  9. reggie98

    reggie98 Member

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    Location:
    Edison, NJ, USA
    Where are the Selcon Rama fixtures manufactured? I read through the info on their website, including the bid information and I didn't see it anywhere.
     
  10. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
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    Currently I believe the Selecon fixtures are manufactured in New Zealand, however that may change with the buyout by Phillips.
     
  11. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    +1 for Selecon. Their acclaim 4" fresnels are great little lights that are more reliable than the altman1k Fresnels. However, for it is pushing their limit for an 18' trim. I believe you would be much more sucessful with the Rama fresnels.

    Cool features of selecon fresnels
    -Intergrated Safety Cable
    -Automatic mains disconnect when the lamp door is open.
    -narrow spot and wide flood

    (Im not quite sure how i feel about philips buying out selecon)
     
  12. express

    express Active Member

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    Location:
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    My favorite are the STRAND 8-inch and the ALTMAN 6-inch. yes the Altmans are outdated, but they light up the stage well- thats what they are made to do.
     
  13. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    MASTER ELECTRICIAN
    Location:
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    Believe it or not, I have 16 Electro Control 8" and 9 Electro Control 6" that just won't die. They are very easy to repair. The zoom mechanism on the 8" is the best ever, and all of the parts can be fabricated with vey little effort. The wiring was change to teflon insulated from asbestos. On the other hand, I just retired 7 Altman 8" and 10 Altman 6", because their reflectors were trash and the zoom mechanisms, even after several repairs are a really bad idea. Replaced them with a combination of ETC PARs, PARNels and 10 Selecon Acclaims. The Selecons are really great, With a 650w lamp put out more light than our 6" Altmans did with 750w. The Acclaim is just pushing the edge with our 16 foot trims. any greater trim and we would have to go to the Rama.
     

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