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ifollow followspot

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by tomed101, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Here is my 2 cents on this.

    First off, it looks like a scanner turned follow spot. Slap a mirror on that thing and you are just about there.

    Second, I would be wary of DMX controlled attributes on my follow spot. DMX controlled means that it is all electronic with motors and encoders and all that fun stuff. If it breaks, you are less likely to be able to open it up yourself and fix the problem. Plus, most of the followspots with manual controls are built so robust that you would have to beat them with a hammer to break them. DMX control sounds nice, but chances are you will never use it, and the operator will hate you for the rear mounted control panel, it is terribly inconvenient and standing behind the spot makes it terribly hard to control position.

    Next up, after visiting the manufacturers website There are other things that I noticed that don't make such a great followspot. No zoom control, it appears to be a fixed focus optical system. This isn't particularly useful. This means that when you change throw distance the only way to account for it is with the iris. this is hard on the iris, and you sacrifice output because of it. Then look at some of the other features, why do you need a strobe effect in a spotlight? All of these DMX attributes drive the cost of the fixture up, and you aren't even getting all of the features that you would get in a similarly priced ML.

    Even though this seems like a nice fixture, my followspot ops would kill me if they had to use it. They won't even touch the Lycian Midget HP anymore as they have become followspot snobs. If you are looking at this fixture out of budget reasons, then it may be ok. If you have the budget, you should look into Jobert Juliat, Selecon, and Strong Lighting. The RJ and Selecon fixtures will run in the $8K range, but the Strong Canto Series, specifically the 1200w is around $4245 (all prices in USD). I think in the long run you will be much happier with a followspot from a company that specializes in spots as opposed to a company that does a little of everything and specializes in not to much.
     
  3. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Are you going to be doing any rental work? If so, the first thing you usually get handed is the designer's gel pack for your color boom. That's the thing that stopped me from picking up one of those Moon spots. (They are so deliciously cheap!) You can't go wrong buying from Strong! Heck, the Strong Super Trouper was the standard for many years. I just picked up a Lycian 1209 and would give it a high recommendation as well.
    If it is for your own use, or only your own show, then you can do what you want! The DMX spots always intrigued me as a designer as I would be able to handle color cues right from my board. I never bought one though because of the rental market.
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah that's sort of an odd unit. I'm not sure why you would want one. I would think you either want a good follow spot or you want a quality scanner. Merging the two just doesn't sound like a good idea. I say either buy a good follow spot or buy a good scanner/moving head. Hybrids always make me nervous as they typically do a lot of everything but don't do anything well.
     
  5. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Ha! Just caught that! Yea, once you've run Troupers, everything else is a let down. About the only thing I miss is the Zoom feature as the Midgets are pretty much set to full zoom. Although, on a 100, 200, or 400 foot throw, we always had the troupers set to full zoom anyway. Funny story there: I was doing a show up in Allentown PA many years back, on a carbon-arc Super Trouper. Right in the middle of the show, the band snapped! My nice clean 30 inch circle of light instantly turned into a 40 foot blob covering the whole stage! The LD freaked! I doused, shut down, and sat there looking stupid! (Not something the owner of the company is suppose to do!)
     
  6. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    Thanks for the responses, all very good info and exactly what I wanted, constructive criticism. As icewolf mentioned, budget is a major problem. I have $4000AUD to buy a followspot and keep the auditorium stocked for the rest of the year. The thing that worried me most is the zoom, or lack thereof, and no, it won't be used for rental so it would be fine in that respect. What I will do before and if I buy it, is to get it in and try it in our space, just to make sure It is what we want. Try out all of the actions and features and make sure it looks and feels solid and well made. Hopefully open it up and check out how the different mechanisms work and have a look to see if they look like they will fail. Then and only then, make a decision.
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Another question for you is, how big is your theatre? Do you need a long throw unit or are you working in a smaller space. The i-Marc by Phoebus is a nice unit, and compact. It's specs say it is good for throws of 25-150 feet and uses a 200w short-arc lamp. I have played with them, and they are nice units with a price tag of $2546 USD. If you need more power it has an 850w big brother whose price I couldn't find. Phoebus makes other models, but I would imagine they are also out of your price range.

    Also to consider if you are in the short through scope (100 feet or less) you might look at the Robert Juliat "Buxie." It is a 575w fixture that sells for about $3941 (USD), which is about $600 AUD over what you want to spend, but if it fits your needs is a great fixture.
     
  8. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    I have used one.

    Its ok, nothing special. It works the op liked it better to operate from the back. Its so lite that it makes little differnce.

    There is a iris so that can tighten your beam.

    But it is not bright; the optics are terrible.

    JH
     
  9. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    Obviously you are in Australia. I've got some ACME gear. It's all cheap and cheerful chinese stuff the electronics is OK but the hardware is a bit lacking. If your looking at the Prolite site though why not simply buy the 1.2k Prolite followspot. It comes both in incandescent and arc versions. It hasn't got all the DMX stuff but I've used them on a number of shows and if your in a small to medium space it will do the job quite well at a reasonable price. I'm not going to quote anything here but if you find a local dealer for prolite you will find they have some space to dicker about price. I quite like prolite gear, it is well made and reasonably priced and don't forget it's home grown.
     
  10. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I'm gonna go ahead (with my limited knowledge) and say he(she?) shouldn't be looking at arc anything. It sounds like this a small school type setting. In this case, an incandescent follow-spot is gonna work a lot better. I suppose some of you followspot snobs will scoff, but the Lycian 1206 is not a bad followspot. I believe they retail around 1k USD. We have two of them at my school, and besides whoever lost several parts (grr, who is stupid enough to unscrew stuff, and not screw it back in, or take off the handle?!) they seem like pretty nice little units. I feel like they could be a little brighter, but hey, whatcha gonna do? (Dim the rest of the lights.) I'm not a fan of the douser mechanism, but that's okay, because, since it's incandescent, it can be dimmed from the board, and patched in anywhere, quickly. I think looking at an incandescent followspot, in this feature range is going to suit you the best. It's got enough to get the job done.
     
  11. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    Hey, you're probably right that the incandescent is right for this job. It really depends what colour temp he's looking for and how much throw he wants. The unit I'm talking about happens to come in both types is all.
     
  12. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    I just had another look at your original post and noticed it was prolite.com.uk that you are looking at. Try www.prolite.com.au The follow spots I am talking about start at about $1500 AUD.
     
  13. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    Thanks again everyone for your input. I think I might ditch the ifollow and steer towards the prolite's they seem very reasonably priced and hopefully well made. And because they are manufactured about 2hours drive from me it shouldnt be too hard to get my hands on one and try it out.
    (oh and by the way, charcoaldabs, yes I am a guy and yes this is a school theater, so that may change your suggestions, e.g. arcs etc)
    Tom
     
  14. tomed101

    tomed101 Active Member

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    Out of interest, how do the beam angles compare between regular short, medium and long throw spots? That might help me get an idea of what the throw will be like on the various models

    Tom
     
  15. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    The prolite spots are zoom spots which means that you are able to change the size of your basic beam as well as being able to Iris up and down. The length of throw depends on the quality of the optics and the power of the light source. Prolites optics are good but not as good as say a top of the line Juliat. You will get better throw from a brighter whiter source so a discharge or arc type lamp will give a better throw. It will also give a whiter light than the incandescants. Give them a ring and see if you can borrow one to try it out.
     
  16. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Well you need to decide what white is in your show. If your using conventionals (ie. S4, Par, Fresnel) and you dont want to put CTB filters in every fixture. You then have a Colour temputure differnce between your spots and lights. It will appear to be blue-ish compared to every other light that will look white.

    If your using a moving light right. And you use an incandescent spot then the colour temp will be to warm. Unless you use the CTO filter wheel on all your arc moving fixtures you will find that the spot apears to be really amber.

    So the real question is what do you want white to be. Once you have decided what white, is then you can make a decision on which route to go.

    JH
     
  17. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Or you just color correct your spots and then you don't worry about it. Almost ever designer I work with will put one or two CTO of different density in the spot boomerang and then we go from there. But, the point of a spot is to make the target pop out and since we see the higher color temp of the arc source as brighter, it makes big difference.
     

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