How big is your house? What kind of show? What kind of effect are you going for.
I have used the DF-50 very effectively for concerts, huge volume of haze, nice and hazey. However, it did not spread very evenly, and unless you want to see blowing haze, a fan won't work to make a more even cover.
The XS is a great theatrical fixture will give you a more even field. I prefer a water based liquid for theatrics generally, typically lighter--smaller particles. Plus the XS is DMX controllable, at least access to a DMX controlled XS is a lot easier than a DMX controlled DF-50. Do you need control?
I agree with Jezza. I try to stay away from oil based hazeers in general, The DF-50 is a great unit and I've seen it employed in a ton of situations, but I think for a theatrical application the other is the way to go .
BenFrankske, I agree, the MDG Atmosphere is a terrific unit, however, possibly overkill for what he is doing. I tend only to use the MDG in a larger house, it is not a light duty hazer as I'm sure you know.
The reasons for my preference of the XS over the DF-50 for theatrical applications is really the quality of the haze. The DF-50 tends to give off a "thick" (oily) haze that looks great for concerts, however when the house lights come back on, the place is really hazed up, hard to see. However, given the smaller particle size and generally lighter particles given off by the XS, the haze tends to be more even, less dense, and does not interfere with visibilty when front light is added. Beams are definatly visible when employing backlight, but it doesn't become the focal point of the show. I've used both a DF-50 and an XS in on my currentstage, as well as others, and this general trend holds true. However, these are 1000 seat + houses, it might be different depending on house size.
You know it used to be so much easier. In the old days you didn't need to haze. Everybody in the audience would Light up smokes and you didn't have to worry about it, instant haze! Now it's Waah Wah, health hazzard Wahwah, Fire hazzard! Geesh !
< had to take a break from drawing, was feeling like a dumbass, so I decided to be a smartass>
Personally i'd choose based on the event. The XS cloggs up and are PITA. They are not DMX unless the rental house includes the DMX module for it.
I like to use the DF-50 for concerts b/c of the output and who cares about the noise. DF-50's are noisy. There is a water based fluid for the DF-50's that i strongly reccommend so you dont have the pain and mess of oil.
I personally own a antari fazer (fogger and hazer) and a DF-50 along with an neutron XS. I take the antari everywhere b/c it is quiet and not messy at all. I also use the DF-50 with the water based fluid for most events, unless it doesnt matter b/c i'm trying to get rid of all my oil based fluid. The XS can stay in the shop and collect dust b/c i got tired of messing with it crapping out everyshow and stoping what i was doing to go down and clean it.