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Followspot Opinions Needed

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by seanandkate, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    If you had to choose between an Altman Comet and a Lycian 1212 Midget, is there anything you know of that would pull you toward one or the other? Both will work in the space and are similarly priced.
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    The Lycian will most likely have better build-quality and optics.

    If at all possible, try to get your favorite local dealer to arrange for a shoot-out so you can "try before you buy."
     
  3. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    We have two Comets in our theater, one that was bought when the school opened and one that's only a few years old. I'd go with the Lycians. The Comets (as much as I like Altman) always seem to have something that requires attention.
     
  4. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks Derek. I was a bit concerned that the Lycan has a plactic step-lens as part of its spec. And of course, who doesn't like a good shoot out . . .?
     
  5. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    We traveled 8 Lycians 1290XLT, they were tough fixtures that were robust, reliable, and often time put out way more light than the performers wanted. We would use house spots when available and smaller Lycians seems to be really popular in in south western Canada because we used various models them for like 5 venues in a row at one point (usually M2's never got as small as there 575 line, but I've seen enough models I have plenty of faith in there optics). For being a lower wattage light than the show was designed for they were all still pretty punchy, they're physically much smaller (which is nice for when you have to install them and give them back). Only annoyance we found is with all the models we dealt with the whole color bulkhead comes out and you fix the gels straight to the bulkhead. Not really a biggy for loading in but it does make it hard to "just run a frame up during intermission."
     
  6. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    We did a shootout at our shop a few years back, a Comet, a Lycian 1206 midget, and (iirc) a Trouperette IV. They were all pretty similar in terms of throw, intensity, etc., so you shouldn't worry much about that aspect. I'd concentrate more on ease-of-use issues, or perhaps looking at what else is in use in your area, so that operators can jump from house to house and feel familiar with the fixtures.

    One hidden thing to contemplate is lamp life. The Comet uses either an ENX 360 w or FXL 410 w MR16 lamp, rated at 80 or 40 hours, respectively. The Lycian 1212 uses a 575 w FLK, aka HX-600 series lamp, with a 300 hour or more lifespan. Since this is the same lamp as a lot of ellipsoidals, you have fewer lamps to stock. The flip side is, if you're out of lamps for the ellipsoidals, and the followspot lamp pops, you're dead in the water for the night... or you go cannibalizing. Having a unique lamp for the spot might help ensure that the spare stays unused and available (depends on your group's purchasing practices, local politics, and your level of control over inventory).

    In all fairness to the Comet, it's a much, much older design than the Lycians, and there have been some things learned about followspot design since the Comet started production, both in construction and lamps. Any followspot seems to require three hands to run properly - I personally have always preferred the control layout of Altman's small spots to the others I've run, but then again, they're what I grew up on. I really took a dislike to the Lycian models with the two control handles out the back - they might have been fine on a platform, but I was encountering them as truss spots for rock concerts, and having to bend one wrist back double for a couple hours while strapped to a spot chair wasn't pleasant.
     

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