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Peformance of drop in Irises?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Charc, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I'm writing a proposal outline for our TD to submit to the school to obtain funding for additional instruments. (Mind you, he has worked over 20 years in a successful regional theatre, and still works there.) With that in mind, I asked him what his feelings where, and he told me 25-40... thousand dollars. With scrollers and everything, he said. I find it very hard to believe that the school will do anything besides get angry at such a large proposal. I said we should probably discuss some of our needs and he told me to look into it and bring back some numbers.

    Well I've been giving it some thought, but wanted to defer to some higher CB power on some of the points. I know my school pretty well, and I can safely say we're looking at 3-4k here, maximum. With that in mind I tried to think of where our theatre is most behind, knowing that PAR and fresnel technology hasn't had any major changes lately, I've set my sights on our 1KL6-20s, 1KL6-30s, and 4.5" Zooms (of the same series.) All of those instruments infuriate me. They're in such disrepair. My understanding is these are the instruments we, essentially, trash picked from the city's previous theatre shop, after they closed their doors. (I was working on one for an hour today at rehearsal. I ended up using my WonderBarII, great tool suggestion Ship, to pry out the lamp assembly, as it would not come out. When I went to remove the old lamp, I realized only half of it was there, the other half was inside the instrument. Apparently those instruments are really hard to disassemble, or someone used lock-tight on the screws.)

    The solution, to me at least, is S4s. I was looking into what angle instruments to recommend, and I remembered Gaff's advice on EDLT: Not for highschool. The 14º instruments have EDLT standard, and cost $100 over the price of a standard S4. My next thought was drop in irises. I can throw 'em in any S4 and use 'em. I can get adjustable beam diameters, it seems like the perfect compromise. It's 75 dollars as opposed to 100, but it gives me some more flexibility and modularity. So my thought now is to add 3 S419ºs (ontop of our 5 = 8 total), 4 26º instruments, 4 36º instruments, 2 50º instruments, some goodies like 6 drop in irises, and 6 donuts, and lamps, with a few spares. Any thoughts on this? Anything I'm missing?

    I'm wondering what the life expectancy of say a City Theatrical drop in iris is? If I were to leave a couple in some 19º instruments, locked in at around 14º, can I expect those to die quickly?

    (By the way, I'm recommending 575W long life lamps. I figure it won't eat up our gel, destroy templates or accessories as quickly, save money on power, vs. the 750W lamp, and last for a heck of a lot longer than the normal lamp. Thoughts on that idea?)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Drop in Irises are great tools, but they are not designed for what you want to use them for. Also, at $100+ a piece you might as well buy an additional lens tube for $88 (BMI). A drop in iris is not designed to be a permanent accessory in a source 4. They will burn and warp like shutters, probably on the same life span as a shutter. This is besides the point that if you iris a 19˚ to 14˚ you cut down on a huge amount of light that will get out of the fixture.

    Your TD is not out f his mind to ask for $40K. YOu might not get it, but you are likely to get more money if you ask for more money. If you tell the school "this is the bare minimum we need" then all you will get is the bare minimum. And if that is $3-4K that is what you will get. If you tell them that you need $40K to rehab the theatre and modernize it and make it safer you may not get all $40K but you may get a lot more than $4k. It is politics.

    From my own experience, you need at least $20K to get 50 new source 4s and some scrollers and such. So, make your $40K proposal, and have a backup plan for what you can buy on less, but don't tell anyone important that you can get by with less money. Be persistent, and stress the fact that new equipment is safer for student use and that it is more efficient and cost effective than continuing to operate and maintain old equipment.

    But wait there's more:
    On the subject of irising in to 14˚, that is about half way to the next available lens tube, the 10˚. With the amount of light you are irising out, there is an awful lot of heat that you will build up. Plus I would imagine over 50% loss of intensity.

    If your goal is to upgrade your inventory then do it. If there is even a small chance that you could get the kind of money you need, then you should take it. You only should piece it together if you have to. Shoot for mars, and don't be disappointed if you only get to the moon.

    Your TD has a lot of experience you say. I am sure he knows what he is doing. Don't criticize. You should be happy that he is ambitious enough to ask for what he plans to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    What is the timetable for the new building? Because chances are, if they are building you a new theatre as part of that you will get all new equipment with it, in which case you may not need to go overboard now (though i know how we all want new toys). Though, if you can get money now you will have more equipment when you move it to the new space. Just make sure that if you get money now it doesn't come out of what the new construction project would use for the new theatre. (This of course is all only if you are getting a new theatre)

    the 10˚ is not and harder to deal with than any other unit, you just have to be conscious of the fact that it takes up a bit more space as the barrel is big. But, figure out what your space needs, you may rather have 14˚ units than 10˚ you just need to look at your throws.
     
  4. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't clear before, the new building is a science building, green construction, geothermal wells, photovoltaic panels, bla bla bla.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Got to agree with everything Alex has said so far. As far as a strategy for your purchasing. I definitely agree to ask for everything you can up front with a goal of trying to get half of it. Go nuts asking for scrollers and stuff but make it your real goal to just replace all the conventional lighting.

    As far as what to buy, you don't want to add 3 S4's here and 5 there. It will look bad when you try to mix them with the old equipment. Instead, start with the instruments you hate the most and flat out replace all of them. Replace all the long throw instruments or replace everything on the torms. The intensity and color temperature will be all messed up if you try to mix old and new inventory from the same area. It's still going to be messed up if you have to mix some old and new instruments, but you can do things about it if you aren't mixing instruments that are side by side.

    When you get to cutting corners don't overlook S4 Jr's. They have limitations but at about $180 they are a great option to consider. The three biggest limits on them are that: they can't handle 750 Watt lamps, the barrel doesn't rotate, and they only come in 26, 36, and 50. I wouldn't go all Jr. as you might have a reason you need some punch and so some instruments that can take a 750 lamp would be nice. But if you're planning to use all 575's anyway, it's a great way to go. A college in the area here just went with all Jr's for their Black Box. Going all Jr was definitely on my list of tricks if I had a budget problem... I've been lucky so far and have the money to go large, but it's a great option. They also make a 25-50 zoom for under $250 (remember you'll have to pay shipping). If you only get about $3000 to spend, a dozen Jr. Zooms would kick the butt of those 4.5" zooms you've got.
     

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