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How exactly does one bench focus an Altman Shakespeare?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Shakspeares suck, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Shakspeares suck

    Shakspeares suck Member

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    Hi I dont know where exactly to post this but i need to know how to bench focus Altman Shakespeares first gen. thank you
     
  2. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Well, you are certainly in the right board, and I know a lot of people share your feelings. I myself have no Shakespeares, so I am useless.

    Nice name. Welcome to the Booth.
     
  3. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Should be similar to a Source Four. The knob in the middle adjusts the hot spot (distance of lamp in relation to the reflector) and the ring on the outside adjusts the field. (peak, flat).

    So basically, one turns the knobs 'till it looks right. haha

    Judging by your user name, you don't care much for the Shakespeare fixtures. But I do feel obligated to give you the following list. The primary lighting gear we're allowed to bash (in no particular order)...

    Lightronics (pretty much everything including their Leko)
    American Dj (namely the Accu-Spot and Accu-Fog. Their Opti-Par ranks up there in "questionable cloning")
    NSI (some shoebox dimmers and some boards)
    On the same note, most Leviton products
    Anything Chinese (parcans, DJ lights, etc)
    Colortran Mini-Elipses
    Some Chauvet, but apparently they're getting better
    Altman Table Lamps

    Feel free to add to the list...

    Back to the post...
    I believe flat field is best for most gobos (looks more even and is less harsh on them), and peak might be better for area lighting, if you want the lights pretty hot in the center. This is an educated guess, the Shakespeares I've worked with are usually OK on bench focus when I get there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Even though it's called bench focus, I would not recommend laying the fixture down on a table. If possible, in a theatre I would fly in the First Electric to +6'-0" and focus onto the cyc. If no electric or cyc is available, I would mount the fixture on a sidearm on a boom and point at a white wall. Local control of dimming is handy, as one does not need to run the lamp at full for the entire 10-15 minutes it may take for some fixtures. Most should take under three.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    They are pretty much a Source Four rip off.
    The center nob is peak/flat, the outer ring is for lamp centering.
    1) Hang them the way Derek said... make sure they are perpendicular to the white surface to do it properly.
    2) Shutters fully out, Focus to a hard crisp image.
    3) Turn the inner knob all the way to the left to put it at full peak.
    4) Loosen the outer ring a little and this will allow you to slide the whole knob assembly around the back of the lens cap. Slide it until the hot spot created by the full peak adjustment is exactly in the center of the circle of light. Now tighten the outer ring to lock it in place.
    5) Twist the inner knob to the right until you get the field you like. I like my fields about as flat as possible, as this looks better with gobos and makes even washes easier.

    Welcome to the Booth. Stop by the new member forum to introduce yourself.


    Additions:
    -ADJ Advantage Points are in a class by themselves
    -Hughesie... just cause.

    Not acceptable to make fun of:
    -Light boards with a giant green go button that goes "ca-thunk" when you press it.
     
  6. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    They may be a rip-off, but at least they use a thumb screw for the specials holder instead of a regular screw. I have to remember to carry a screwdriver in my pocket when playing with S-4's. That's the one design element I don't understand.
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    You don't carry a multi-tool along with your adjustable wrench and flashlight as part of your (Charc's term: EDC-Every Day Carry)?
     
  8. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    For a professional job, sure, but working around the school means doing half hour spurts of labor, and more often than not I forget to carry it.

    Maybe the screw is there to keep us from burning our fingers when not paying attention?
     
  9. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    BTW, Derek, EDC was my term, which I stole from some other forums. There's this whole culture of people obsessed with EDC, you should see how much they pack away on their person.
     
  10. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Like Four MiniMags?
     
  11. Shakspeares suck

    Shakspeares suck Member

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    hey thanks for all of the feed back guys, extremly useful. shakespeares arent a rip off of source 4s, they were created before the source 4, the shakespeare is a really really really crappy elipsodiol(sp?) and if i may i would like to add them to the list of bashable fixtures haha
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Incorrect. ETC launched the SourceFour™ in 1992. Altman introduced the Shakespeare Series 600 in 1994. I have the back issues of Lighting Dimensions to prove it.

    But yes; they deserve a place on the Bash (the verb, not the lighting shop) List. Not as bad as the StarPAR, however.
     
  13. Shakspeares suck

    Shakspeares suck Member

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    o ok thank you for proving me wrong, so yes it is a really crappy imitation haha
     
  14. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Yes, it is an imitation. They have to pay royalties to ETC for each unit they produce. My experience is that it's not a bad instrument, but it certainly is a heavy and elongated POS.
     
  15. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    I think of it as more of "an answer to ETC's Source Four," and a way for Altman to keep up with developing technology trends. If they hadn't started manufacturing the Shakespeare, they would have lost a huge place in the market. It's not a "clone". In fact, there are some concepts about it that I like more than the Source Four. Granted, that's not many. The removable shutters are a good idea. But sometimes they remove when you don't want them to. The finger screws at the accessory slot are much better than phillips heads. But I've lost several because they're not captive, and I think they should be. I don't know what it is about the Shakespeare that makes it's optical train need to be so long, but it certainly does add to the weight. Wish it was lighter. When it comes down to it though, lighting companies have to do things to keep up with the rest of the market, just like any other industry. Some times it means using a similar design concept. It's like when the first axial ellipsoidal came out. The other companies would have been idiots not to follow suit (this is not intended on defending the Lightronics Leko, because I'm not), because the technology had developed to a point to where ellipsoidals could be better. Just like the introductions of Dichroic Coated Reflectors, Compact Filament Lamps, and single-lens optical trains.

    Worthy of noting, Shakespeare never had to make the jump to a 750w rating like ETC did. It was available as a 750 when it left the market. It has also always had an insulated rear handle, unlike Source Four. Now, I don't love Shakespeares. I hardly even like them, but it is 'high performance' compared to a lot of the trash lights you find out there, and I think Altman does deserve some credit.

    For the record, I still highly prefer the ETC Source Four over anything else.
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Well spoken, Les. It also may be worth noting that Altman has had LED fixtures for at least five years; and ETC, well their greatest fixture advancements in that time have been the MultiPAR and EDLTs. Again, not bashing anyone. They're all good, some are just more equal than others.
     
  17. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Derek! Sometimes I just feel like we look at the Source Four as the only instrument out there that deserves to be hung in a theatre when really, we have many resources. (Disclaimer: I know we have some ETC people here, and for the record I would have an all-ETC theatre if I had the choice). The simple fact is, some people may choose a Shakespeare fixture because they want to use regular GLA type lamps. You might find this in a theatre that is slowly making the switch from 360Q's (or similar), or maybe they're just supplementing the current inventory. The HPL may very well be better, but on paper, designers may find it more economical to keep with tradition and purchase the same lamps, or still have a use for the lamps they already have. Then there are people who may be loyal to the Altman brand name, or just prefer the Shakespeare for whatever reason. After all, there aren't many that are much better than it.

    If you search my past threads (I changed my name from Lester, by the way), you'll notice that I'll have the same argument over SL's. Yet another fixture we love to hate. Some great concepts (360* rotation being one of them, and the way the reflector removes is just awesome once you figure it out) but in practice, that stupid bushing that holds the fixture from rotating often breaks and allows the unit to rotate freely no matter what you do. The reflectors sometimes crack... Good thing it's easy to remove! And don't get me started on the lamp cap. It seizes up in to a rock sometimes and that can be a real pain. However it is innovation for Strand. I have 6 that were given to me, and one of them has the rotation problem. Luckily the other 5 are perfect. Rather them be Source Fours, but at least they will take the same lamps as my 11 360Q's. The SL zoom, I think, does have one up on both the ETC Source Four Zoom and the Altman Shakespeare Zoom.. Not for the optics, but for it's size and weight. It will fit anywhere a standard fixed-focus fixture will fit with just a few more inches of length added to it (about the same as the Shakes).

    Still S4 rules the roost around here, and I definitely don't have a problem with that. I just want people to know that there is life outside of the "all-ETC" theatre world.
     
  18. Shakspeares suck

    Shakspeares suck Member

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    There truly is a life outside the ETC world! and i live in it, because i have an all altman theatre. the truth is that Altman did make a very good Fresnal, granted not great but good
     
  19. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, their fresnels are pretty much industry standard for high schools and smaller theatres. IMO the only "great" fresnels are those from Selecon.
     
  20. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I was going to stay out of this, but the topic changed and I need to comment (edit).

    I have used Altman equipment - 360's, 360Q's, 4.5" zooms, 1K6AF fresnels, Pars, Shakespeare fixed and zooms, etc... all my professional life. I have spend 27 years maintaining this stuff, as well as Colortran 6" zooms, Mini-Ellipses and 6" fresnels, as well as ETC Pars, ParNels, Fixed and zoom ellipsoidals.

    My experience has led me to the opinion that while Altman as a company has some terrific, well meaning and experienced employees, the product they make is inferior to the stuff out of ETC, as well as the older Strand and Colortran lighting equipment.

    I have 48 fixed lens Shakespeares, as well as 20 - 15/35 zooms, whose sole advantage over an S4 is the easily removable shutter. That's it. In a fixture whose very design - dichroic glass reflector and 575w lamp helps to eliminate heat at the gate, with
    the result that I have never had to actually replace a warped shutter. So, OK, that a design advantage, not having to replace shutters.

    In use, my complaints with the Shakespeare fixed series:

    - It's long. Not sure why

    - The medium 2 pin lamp bases suck. Sylvania's, or whom-evers sockets do not play well with the FLK/GLC or whatever lamps. I have constant problems with lamps not staying seated, using an Osram lamp and a Sylvania socket, no less. One would think this combo would function well together.

    - The brass screw assembly for the lamp alignment strips out.

    - ALL the assorted points where screws thread into tapped-into-aluminum, such as the lens tube that needs to be un-screwed to get at the lens, is a terrible design, which down the road results in the tapped-into-aluminum getting stripped. The 4.5" zooms are typical of this problem as well. ETC uses nylon insert nut and bolt in many instances, a more expensive, but ultimately more reliable method of assembly.

    - The lens access door on the zooms is too small to get your hand in to clean the lens. We have to use assorted pieces of bent coat hanger with cloth wrapped/taped around it, to clean the lens.

    - The 6" zoom has a 3rd lens near the gate, which is impossible to access for cleaning clean, without major, and time consuming dis-assembly and re-assembly of the fixture.

    And so on.

    And don’t get me started on the 1K6AF, or my heated conversations with old Mrs. Altman about lens breakage on that fixture as well as the 4.5" zoom (since discontinued) that was so-called UL rated to 750 watts and whose lenses broke repeatedly at that wattage.

    In general, my issues with Altman lighting equipment, other then the PARs, is cheap parts and assembly that makes maintenance down the road, problematic and expensive.

    Give me a Source 4 any day.

    Steve B.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008

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