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Fresnels Latest greatest for Stage lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by hamlett22, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. hamlett22

    hamlett22 Member

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    So I am looking to buy 20 new fresnals. I have a small inventory of 8" Strand tungsten halogen 2000w luminaries. Love them for top lighting. But I want more versatility and less work in the catwalks setting shows. I do have DMX in the theatre so perhaps the new standard LED is the way to go.
    Question- can anyone recommend a certain brand and model I can look into?

    Our Theatre= typical overhead throw to stage floor is 24'. Total stage width 38'w x 35'd.

    Your input is appreciated.
    Chad
     
  2. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    LED washes are popular these days
    while fresnel fixtures proper with spot to flood knobs are beginning to fall out of favor. With LED’s if you want more beamspread you add more diffusion, except for the small number of LED wash fixtures with a DMX spot<>flood zoom feature.

    The ETC Colorsource PAR Deep Blue or the Chauvet Pro lineup fixtures are ideal. I would steer clear of Chauvet or anyone else’s DJ level equipment though.

    If you’re a full dimming house you would also find the ETC S4 PAR’s to be cost effective at like $250/ea. Some people don’t the lens swap procedure but I never found it that complicated and in general once the fixtures get lensed appropriately for the throw it’s rarely worth swapping new lenses in. Even at 575 or 750W you’ll notice a significant brightness bump from your 8” Strands.

    Typically with S4 PAR’s I would would lend WFL with 4 across per electric for a 24’ throw off and a 40’W proscenium.

    I wouldn’t buy ETC fresnels today. They pack so many little features in that the cost is high and isn’t worth it compared to LED’s, especially since you usually double or triple conventional fresnels up for color purposes that you don’t need to do for LED’s. Personally, I am unimpressed by all other fresnels on the market today. Our industry failed at moving from 2000W lamp sources to 750W with the fresnel lens. The argument for which fresnel to buy has been in the weeds for 5-7 years without anybody seriously trying to fill the gaps in this market lineup.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 8:52 AM
  3. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Wonder, has the classic sense of design for the purpose of a Fresnel lost it's purpose due to modern lighting options?
     
  4. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    In my opinion, yes, with exception to the opera and film-level 20kW fresnels and the like.

    One of the reasons they were great fixtures is that they were cheap and so long as you had enough power available you could buy a ton of them. Since the dawn of the HPL lamp nobody seems to have kept up in brightness though compared to a 750W or even 575W S4 PAR. Then after 10 years of everyone begging ETC to put an HPL in a fresnel, ETC produced a fixture designed for people who have a bunch of extra cash burning a hole in their pockets.

    Another one of my tangents on S4 PAR's v. fresnels is that if you hang a whole plot with PAR's there's a good chance you'll only need to use top hats and barn doors sparingly and right up against your cyc. Try that with fresnels -- even set to full spot AND with barn doors added and they'll still spill all over the place.
     
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  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    S4WRD engine with a S4PAR body and a full lens kit is a nice package for an excellent price. Actually a lot more light than other, more expensive, fixtures.
     
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  6. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    I thought the S4WRD was only for elipsoidals. Has that changed, or is there a different version burner for the PAR ?
     
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  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Here's the datasheet
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

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    That's true. Only the new S4WRD PAR bodies can accept the source 4wrd. You can't retrofit a normal S4PAR like you can a S4.
     
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  9. hamlett22

    hamlett22 Member

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    Looking at the Chauvet Fresnal lineup, I notice that they offer straight up white and a color LED option. See screenshot below off their website. What is your opinion of LED color output and mixing vs. LED white and then inserting gel color?
    View attachment 17142
     
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  10. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Your initial post states " But I want more versatility", as well as indicating a desire maybe for LED's.

    The Chauvet units (what an annoying web site) shows assorted LED fresnels, but without clicking on each and every model of the 13 shown, I've no idea if any of them have color engines other than white.

    I would assume if you want versatility you want LED color changing, which is one of the major selling points to LED. I'm not seeing any Chauvet or Strand/Selecon fresnels (the other manufacturer I thought might have a color changing LED fresnel) that can do multiple colors.

    Thus the 2kW fresnel replacement might be an LED Par with a zoom function. Bunch of those, one manufacturer I rely on is Martin, who makes the Rush Par - 11-58 zoom, RGBW. Looks like a nice unit, not a fresnel, but close. 2300 lumen output, which I assume is in white, with all LED's on.

    http://www.martin.com/en/products/rush-par-2-rgbw-zoom/photometric

    Lots of gotcha's with this though:

    - Do you have a console that can make best use of LED color changing ?, ETC Ion/Emphasis, Pathway Cognito, etc.... ?

    - Do you have the ability to convert your dimmed circuits to relay or constant power needed to use LED fixtures ?. Or do you have other constant power sources that are not dimmers ?.

    - Budget, noting as others have stated, that Chauvet is at the lower end of the pricing, but also at the less desirable in terms of reputation for support, features and functionality of their product line. They've gotten better than when they were selling DJ stuff, but I'd personally take a Martin. Budget dependent.

    - Do you need to replace an incandescent fixture with an LED ?. If you have the dimmers, have the power, have the more limited control, why not replace with incandescent ?, SR ParNel was a recommendation, punchy as hell, zooms.
     
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  11. manuallyfocused

    manuallyfocused Active Member

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  12. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Didn’t mention it as I totally forget ETC made this ! Maybe a good choice.
     
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  13. Ford

    Ford Sr Product Manager, Chauvet Professional

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    Hi Chad,
    The Chauvet Ovation Fresnels come in 3” (inkie), 6” (1k), and 8” (2k) sizes.
    In terms of color of output, there are 4 main options, which are consistent across the Pars, Fresnels, and Lekos (the color matches across all fixtures inthe line, including the Battens and Cyc units). WW units are Warm White (3100k), CW are Cool White (5600k), VW units are variable white (2700-8kk), which use the proprietary 6-color system that we developed for broad spectrum white light. And our FC fixtures all use our RGBAL color mixing system.

    We have full color Fresnels in 3”, 6”, and 8” sizes. The F265 WW is the 2k equivalent in warm white.
    The F915 FC and VW are the 8” Fresnels in Full Color, and Variable White.

    If you’re interested in seeing them in person, reach out to your Dealer for a Demo. You should definitely see them next to your current fixtures, and against any other fixtures you’re considering, before making a decision.

    I hope that helps clarify things.
     
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  14. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    CS Spot Body: $1400
    Adapter: $500

    Again, a product ETC designed for people who have too much loose cash to set on fire. You can do twice as many CS PAR DB’s for that price, and they’ll be 1/3 the size and weight. The only thing you forfeit is x7 color arrays, but it’s still $1000 cheaper to do D40’s than Series 2 bodies with fresnel lenses.

    IMO, the primary application for those fresnel adapters is theaters with S4 LED Cyc’s that only use their cyc adapters a few times a year and the rest of the time they need some extra wash fixtures.

    Re: Chauvet
    They have fresnels with color. Their product lineup needs a decoder ring though. The motorized zoom feature some of them have is interesting but anything that moves has a higher risk for failure so...

    Re: White LED v. color-mixing
    4WRD or white LED’s are fine if they save on cost and are in controlled environments or where simplicity of intensity-only control channels is critical. Everything else, color-mixing usually makes more sense. The typical gelled fresnel layout has 2-3 fresnels in every focus position in different colors. In any of these cases, color mixing LED’s is optimal because while the per-fixture cost is higher, you only need to buy 1/2 of the fixtures you would if you were doing white sources with gels.
     
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  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    So the CB inspired in invention of the BTH lamp is basically dead now. Wild and willy LED products out there and to do or see. Must make for some challenges to teachers of stage lighting and lighting design teachers, this especially for schools teaching design without budget to buy the newest stuff. As a fixture/lamp historian as identified as, I cannot think of a time of change seemingly above, with more in flux than in 1910 when nitrogen was introduced to the filament lamp. This historically in moving from gas or carbont. From there to incandescent ligths which would last the rest of the last century once the halogen improvement was added - this only after once vaccume tube got added a Bromine or Nitrogen gas to it instead of all sucked out.

    I once thought I could in a few number of years retire and teach theater including lighting. I work for a large lighting company in the wiring and the special projects in wiring deparpent. I came to work almost 20 years ago as per a noted designer in Chicago. Could not even attempt to do so these days by way of gear or technology in control. Fascinating.

    So how do educators teach lighting design now that most incandescent gear is obsolete - yet fresh out of college they will no doubt designing with it? Intersting question for teachers in how to prep for a world with both teaching designing saw with a Fresnel.. but there is other gear out there making it obsolete as above. Again interesting topic to discuss and debate I think.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 12:35 AM
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  16. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I'd seriously suggest you take a look at the Chauvet Ovation F-915FC. I use the spot counterpart - the E-910FC on a weekly basis at a company I program/design for, and I love them. Fantastic output, killer color range, and great reliability. You will undoubtedly get more intensity in saturates and even secondary colors with an additive LED system, especially in the cooler colors, than a warm white fixture with gel. The RGBAL color system also makes a great warm white thanks to both the amber and the lime.
     
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  17. microstar

    microstar Well-Known Member

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    Altman makes 6" and 8" white light LED fresnels that are both mains dimmable and DMX controlled.
     
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  18. DELO72

    DELO72 Well-Known Member

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    I'm old school. Personally I'd go for some Selecon Rama Fresnels, with 575W BTH lamps in them. :) Or Altman 65Qs. Or even the new ETC Fresnels (regular, not the LED types). ETC PARnels were good and compact with great punch, but they didn't frame as well with barndoors as the true fresnel lens units do.
     
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