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favorite laser rangefinder

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by mnfreelancer, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Hey guys (and gals)!

    As many of you know I work for an audio/visual rental and show and events company and as such I'm often involved in site surveys at customer sites and venues in my area, and constantly involved in setting up shows involving precise measurements. I recently had to do a site survey at a movie theatre that a client wanted to screen a movie preview at. After ascertaining the booth had an appropriately sized viewport for the projector and space to put it and power to spin it up the question of screen size and throw distance came up. Figuring that there would be somebody at the theatre who would know these things I made no provision for actually measuring these distances. Assuming did it to me again, and of course nobody could give me a straight answer. This is where a laser rangefinder would have been very handy. I made an engineering estimate and promptly ordered a range of lenses from our vendor just in case my depth perception was on holiday.

    That being said, does anyone have experience with specific makes and models of rangefinders? I work with a production company who owns a Hilti unit that they seem to like, and I've worked with meeting planners and TD's who have units made by Leica. I saw a Craftsman model at Sears for about $70 that only went up to 100' (you get what you pay for). Thoughts? Recommendations? Discuss!
     
  2. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    I have a cool yellow one with a laser pointer, (drives my dog INSANE) it does distance, area & volume in feet & meters. It also allows you to save up to 3 or 4 calculations so you can take it back with you. It cost me a bout $50 and I can dig it out and find you the name if you want.
    Nick
     
  3. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I have a Stanley FatMax laser, which is good to 100' but forget about using it outdoors if you're measuring over 10'. Found it on ebay for about half price.
     
  4. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    This topic came up recently in another forum and the Leica and Hilti models definitely had the most support. I personally have a Leica Disto D3 and reallly like it. I find it useful that it can measure angles and use Pythagorean theorem for indirect measurements. It works great indoors and for shorter distances (<250') outdoors but guys doing touring sound and lighting typically go for a model with a viewfinder and more outdoor range.
     
  5. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Luckily I currently work in a venue that is a fixed production and no longer need this kind of tool. For the distances you are working with, I think that either of your choices would be good. I personally use a sonic measuring device (I think that's what Nick is referring to) where it has a laser pointer to aim, but uses sonar for measuring distance. I found that for my applications it was sufficient. I would not have trusted it for your movie theater application (as the perforated screen would have probably given me a false reading).

    I also find that my sonic range finder is the wrong choice when I was attempting to find the height for the high steel in ballrooms as I could not focus the target that small.
     
  6. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Yup, the sonic one is the one I was refering too, it was cheap and does the job.
    Nick
     

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