Ocean Optics other products, and other Seachanger ramblings

gafftapegreenia

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Check it out, Ocean Optics does a bunch of cool things, including the gel analyzer and color identifier we've always wanted!

http://www.oceanoptics.com/Products/sea-series.asp

Also, some things I've "discovered" about the Seachanger. The unit is so durn heavy because of the complex optical train. There are at least 3 lenses in there. The weight of the low voltage transformer is negligible when compared to the weight of the optical train. Thus, that answers the question of why they are so heavy.

Also, if they make a Seachanger wash that uses the reflector of the source 4, but a Fresnel lens, why hasn't anyone made a Fresnel style lens tube for the Source 4 body? Obviously, it can be done. If there was a lens tube that let people get the soft flood of a Fresnel lens, but still use the shutters, I'd bet people would jump on it.
 

gafftaper

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Check it out, Ocean Optics does a bunch of cool things, including the gel analyzer and color identifier we've always wanted!
http://www.oceanoptics.com/Products/sea-series.asp
Also, some things I've "discovered" about the Seachanger. The unit is so durn heavy because of the complex optical train. There are at least 3 lenses in there. The weight of the low voltage transformer is negligible when compared to the weight of the optical train. Thus, that answers the question of why they are so heavy.
Also, if they make a Seachanger wash that uses the reflector of the source 4, but a Fresnel lens, why hasn't anyone made a Fresnel style lens tube for the Source 4 body? Obviously, it can be done. If there was a lens tube that let people get the soft flood of a Fresnel lens, but still use the shutters, I'd bet people would jump on it.
The price on those Seachanger color analyzers is outrageous. Your better off using Kelite's gel kit... plus there's free GUM! It's cool, I saw it at LDI last year but nothing that really got me excited. The primary purpose of it is to be able to slide a gel into the reader and have it instantly send the values to the seachanger to match it. But there are also charts available with the matching values so in my book it's not a trick worth well over a grand... seems like the thing runs around $1500+ if I remember right.

As for why ETC never put a fresnel lens on a S4 that's an interesting question that I haven't heard a good answer too. You wouldn't have to do a lot of modification to the reflector to make it work fairly well. Or there could certainly be an after market product that does it for you... it would probably be too expensive though. The truth is ETC probably said we aren't going to make a Frensel unless we do it right from the ground up... no attachments that only sort of work.

As for the shutters and the fresnel lens I don't think that would work. I think the light would scatter so much that the shutter would be useless.
I'm waiting for the truck with my Seachangers to arrive. I'll report back just as soon as I get them working.
 

tomed101

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As for the weight of the Seachangers, they in fact have four lenses. The seachangers have CMYG mixing. The green filter helps with the greens and blues. The green wheel can also be swapped out for a dimming wheel.
 

gafftapegreenia

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Tomed101, I think you're a little confused .Yes, they have 4 dichroic color wheels. These are sheets of glass with a graduated dichroic coating on them. Their weight is a small part of a Seachanger. Seachangers have a large optical train of lenses, at least 3 lenses that were visible, possibly another one contained within. There is alot of high grade optical glass in those units
 

tomed101

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Tomed101, I think you're a little confused .Yes, they have 4 dichroic color wheels. These are sheets of glass with a graduated dichroic coating on them. Their weight is a small part of a Seachanger. Seachangers have a large optical train of lenses, at least 3 lenses that were visible, possibly another one contained within. There is alot of high grade optical glass in those units

Sorry, my mistake. It did seem odd that such a small disk would be so heavy
 

Logos

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Interesting isn't it. It doesn't mention the alternate lensing in the archive but I actually own one of each of the lantern with the fresnel and step.
 

gafftapegreenia

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Well, I just got home from a long tech day for Winter's Tale. I'm actually sound designing this one (me, sound? go figure-but it's college and I'm learning stuff yay). Anyway, the light plot for this show has our 18 Seachanger units all employed as high sides from the first catwalk, the proscenium booms, and the electrics. This is the first time we've used the Seachangers to match Rosco gel in a mainstage production. We've used to Seachanger's before, but so far only as saturated side and back light.

WOW

I am truly impressed at how well the Seachangers can match all the light and mid range saturation gels. R33 from a gel and R33 from a Seachanger were near identical. Fun DMX toys, these Seachangers are.
 

gafftaper

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Working on a show this week. I"ve got a very good experienced designer working for me on this show. The guy had the plot about done and he had used my 12 seachanger wash lights but hadn't used my 8 seachanger profiles yet. He had some holes in the plot and in the end it was because he was trying to light a space two areas wide that was more like two and half. My solution was to just grab the seachangers and use them to fill the line down the center. He said, yeah but I've got such a nice blue/pink balance going on back if I only hang one set of lights I'll mess it up. I said... dude they are seachangers, they are whatever color you want them to be... blue.. pink... lavender... He got this stunned look... "yeah"... a big smile... "isn't that cheating?"

The more I use them the more I'm amazed at their versatility. You go to start recording cues and the director says, asks can you make it a little happier... normally that's a 20 minute gel change. With the seachangers you just hit a button and the color is changed. It's really cool and the colors are REALLY good.

I love the lavenders. They seem especially vibrant.
 

Sean

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Also, if they make a Seachanger wash that uses the reflector of the source 4, but a Fresnel lens, why hasn't anyone made a Fresnel style lens tube for the Source 4 body? Obviously, it can be done. If there was a lens tube that let people get the soft flood of a Fresnel lens, but still use the shutters, I'd bet people would jump on it.
Um.....frost?

The behavior of a "traditional fresnel" has to do with BOTH the lens and the reflector (spherical, as opposed to ellipsoidal).

The 5° and 10° tubes have fresnel lenses.

--Sean
 

gafftaper

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Our good friend from Steve Terry has hinted in these very forums that they are working on a Fresnel at ETC. However from what he said it sounds like it's still only an idea they are playing with.

While Sean is right that the reflector plays an important role, the Seachanger wash does a pretty good job of producing a wash light from half of an ellipsoidal reflector. They don't blend together as well as you would like a fresnel to blend.

Speaking of Fresnels, I just got my 6" Selecon Rama Fresnels in the new space. These things kick but. Very smooth even light, they blend incredibly well, and as for price they are right in the middle of the market. I think they look better than my friend's 8" Strands which cost quite a bit more. When I get some free time I'm going to do a shoot out. While they may be confused about 220V power, our friends from down under got this one right. :grin:
 

SteveB

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Curious.

The general impression I get from folks is that fresnels are still useful tools.

The #1 reason usually stated is that as opposed to an S4 PAR (or any PAR), is that the fresnel has an adjustable beam/image.

So why then are zoom ellipsoidals so disliked ?, when they offer the same flexibility as a fresnel.

Just food for thought.

As to ETC coming out with a fresnel ?. I would rather they simply make the ParNel with greater beam spread, so as to match the coverage of a regular WFL lense on an S4 PAR. If they had, I would have gladly purchased the wider-ParNel then the 48 S4 Pars I just added to the plot.

SB
 

gafftapegreenia

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The biggest problem with Fresnel's in the US is that when people think Fresnel, they think 65Q, which, while it is great and all, is nothing compared to a say, Selecon Rama.

Much like "lost" P/C, the Fresnel suffers from a historical image.

All I'm asking is for a "traditionlly" functioning Fresnel lens tube for the S4, I'm pretty sure it can be done, and if I had the money I'd do it myself. City Theatrical, GAM, Rosco, are you listening?

And oh, ok, so the 5 and 10 degree have Fresnel lenses. Well, so does the Showgun. So do transparency projectors in a 1st grade classrooms. It's Fresnel lens technology, but it's not utilized in the same manner for the same quality of light as a "fresnel stage lighting instrument."

So why Fresnel and no zoom ellipsoidals? Good question, one that I don't think I can actually answer. Why no P/C in common use in America? I think the answer lies there.

Also, I'm still not the greatest fan of the PARnel. Still feels like a PAR with frost, not a Fresnel. The zoom feature is nice, but it's a different instrument.

Maybe I'm just selfish and want to have all the paintbrushes I can, but I like options. A PAR is not an ERS is not a Fresnel is not a PARnel, no matter how much you argue or how much frost you use. That is my opinion, feel free to disagree.
 

DarSax

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It's just a different type of light. I'm certainly not experienced enough to be one of the designers who can spot immediately the difference between say a S4 par downlight and a fresnel downlight, but recently when I could see the two almost side by side, they just were different.
 

icewolf08

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Curious.
The general impression I get from folks is that fresnels are still useful tools.
The #1 reason usually stated is that as opposed to an S4 PAR (or any PAR), is that the fresnel has an adjustable beam/image.
So why then are zoom ellipsoidals so disliked ?, when they offer the same flexibility as a fresnel.
Just food for thought.
As to ETC coming out with a fresnel ?. I would rather they simply make the ParNel with greater beam spread, so as to match the coverage of a regular WFL lense on an S4 PAR. If they had, I would have gladly purchased the wider-ParNel then the 48 S4 Pars I just added to the plot.
SB
Totally agree that the fresnel is a useful tool. That Is why I have them in 3", 6", 8" and 12" flavors, and they get used all the time. However, I disagree in the comparison of ERS zooms to fresnels. Sure, you can "zoom" a fresnel, but the quality of light is completely different as you go from flood to spot, whereas with a good ERS zoom, the quality of light should stay the same though the zoom. All that and then look at how friggin' huge an ERS zoom is compared to a fixed beam, and then compare that to a fresnel.

DarSax said:
...but recently when I could see the two almost side by side, they just were different.
Now, as for those who were wondering about the difference between say a PAR and a fresnel, lit is time for some learning in optics. The fresnel lens was designed as a way to make lenses take up less space. It it was designed to focus a beam of light. PAR lenses on the other hand, were designed to spread light out, or diffuse it. The fresnel is relying much more heavily on the lens to focus the beam, as the spheric reflector sends the light back in the same direction from whence it came. The parabolic reflector of the PAR organizes the light into a nice tight beam (most efficient example in the PAR64 variety being the ACL). We se a variation in quality of light between a standard PAR and a S4 PAR due to the orientation and length of the filament, however the optical concepts are the same.

As for the PARNel, I think that it is trying to be two things, and generally if you try to do two things then you do neither well! I am sure that there are people who like them, but I have never hand anyone ask for them or suggest I add them to my inventory. Oh and there is that bit about shooting the light through two pieces of funky glass that has to cut down significantly on output compared to optically clear lenses in fresnels or PARs.
 

gafftaper

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I was very skeptical about the PARnel but I decided to buy a few to have "a few more paint brushes" to work with. I've used them a little now and find them fairly handy. I doubt I will use them much for full designs but can see myself using them for quick and dirty designs. A designer friend said one of his favorite combinations in lighting is a PARnel with a scroller in it. I can see why that would be cool. It's not a PAR, it's not a Fresnel, it's something else. That doesn't mean it's not useful. That doesn't mean it's better or worse. Just different.
 

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Curious.
The general impression I get from folks is that fresnels are still useful tools.
The #1 reason usually stated is that as opposed to an S4 PAR (or any PAR), is that the fresnel has an adjustable beam/image.
So why then are zoom ellipsoidals so disliked ?, when they offer the same flexibility as a fresnel.
Just food for thought.
As to ETC coming out with a fresnel ?. I would rather they simply make the ParNel with greater beam spread, so as to match the coverage of a regular WFL lense on an S4 PAR. If they had, I would have gladly purchased the wider-ParNel then the 48 S4 Pars I just added to the plot.
SB
Fresnels are cheap, extremely cheap. Zoom fixtures are not.

To me there is nothing better then an 8" fres spotted. The quality of light out of a fresnel is just not comparable to anything ETC makes.