S4 - More spill than a rainstorm?

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
I was just using my S4s tonight. I hardly ever use the couple we have, because they are in more or less static, hard to reach places. Well the director was complaining about the spill from the instrument. Then I saw what she was talking about. There was light everywhere. I had the curtains closed in the house, all work lights off, house-lights off, etc. we only had EXIT lights, and floor level lighting, and this thing was lighting up the house. Now I know we've had issue with reflection in our theater before (to be explained in 5 seconds), but this seemed more than our reflection issue. When I saw reflection, I am referencing our stage, a semi-gloss black. Semi-gloss enough that with lights up, I can see the reflection of the set on the floor. Semi-gloss enough, that when lights are up, shadows from set elements... wait for it... land on the U.S. wall and ceiling :evil:! It is really a problem. But this seems to be more than our usual issues. Are S4s prone to "spillage"? Am I crazy? Could it possible be the gel, or gel frame holder?

Thanks

(On a side rant here. My dept. head says "Fource Four", since I've started working with her. It's quite annoying, but I've never corrected her. I've been praying one day when she is focusing one, she'll actually read the label! Or is this a correct pronunciation?)
 

DarSax

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Sounds totally unusual. Check your shutters, maybe? I've had weird reflections with my instruments caused by them (then again, I'm not running a rig of Fource Fours). Other than that, maybe a lens or something is out of alignment, or you've somehow bench focused it into a wall. Open it up and have a look?
 

drawstuf99

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Feb 5, 2006
I've had that issue before randomly when they're in very obscure places too. Are yours the more older ones--b/c lots of ours at school are and they do that a little more than the nice new ones do. Even then, it's not TOO much...just enough to catch my attention.

Check lense alignment, shutters, if gel is in nice and flat (yes...some of the saturated colors can even reflect light off the gel itself and throw it sideways onto a wall) and also if the gate near the shutters is opened.

Those little buggers seem to like to throw a lot of light out of them if they're open w/o something like a rotator or iris are in them. If you're not using them, keep them closed.

A simple solution, since you say you've got only a few of them is to get top hats or half hats for the instruments if you find the problem is near the front of the barrel. To see if i'd help, just hold your hands in a cup around the front of the instrument and see if that cuts light out.

Hope this helps
 

soundlight

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Also make sure that your Iris Slot is closed tight. And make sure that your gel is in the slot closest to the instrument, not the one farther away. Putting it in the further away slot will allow light to be reflected off of the gel and the frame down around the fixture.
 

Grog12

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"When I saw reflection, I am referencing our stage, a semi-gloss black. Semi-gloss enough that with lights up, I can see the reflection of the set on the floor. Semi-gloss enough, that when lights are up, shadows from set elements... wait for it... land on the U.S. wall and ceiling ! "

Yeah semi-gloss will do that to you. You might throw a tophat on it and see if that helps as well.
 

Footer

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Might also want to get a few gallons of flat black and paint your stage with it. That kind of reflection would drive me nuts for general production.
I'm sure that would go over great..... Most places that spend the cash on a hardwood floor compared to a maso floor like to keep the hardwood around...
 

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
I'm sure that would go over great..... Most places that spend the cash on a hardwood floor compared to a maso floor like to keep the hardwood around...
No Footer, it's semi-gloss black. It used to be flat black. In fact it is for a 4 foot strip u.s. where we couldn't get by the set. It has been flat black for years, but this was a not well thought out decision in the first week of March. I hope to get flat black soon, the dept. head is hating it too.
 

gafftaper

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It's hard to imagine as much spill as you are describing.

This isn't safe for any kind of long term use... but just fine for a few minutes to test how if a top hat will solve your problem. It's also going to get FREAKIN HOT!!! So be careful. Make your own top hat (or snoot). A top hat (or snoot) is a tube about 6 inches long attached to the end of an instrument to cut down on spill. Take a gel frame and bend a bunch of Aluminum foil so that you make a tube about 6 inches long that is attached to the frame so you can slide the frame in the gel slot and it will hold your tube out in front of the S4. If you have theater "Black Wrap" foil it would be safe (but ugly) to use on a more permanent basis.

Real Top Hats cost about $15. They look like this
 

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Footer

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No Footer, it's semi-gloss black. It used to be flat black. In fact it is for a 4 foot strip u.s. where we couldn't get by the set. It has been flat black for years, but this was a not well thought out decision in the first week of March. I hope to get flat black soon, the dept. head is hating it too.
Sorry about that, half the time floors are shiny, its because they are wood. Get a top hat, that should solve most of your problems.
 

ship

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If it’s like a 36 degree one of the lenses has fallen or in the wrong position...

Nope on the gobo slot, as small as it is.. No really, a little spillage from the iris/gobo slot if open but not much.

Hmm, reflection off a semi-gloss paint, not much you can do about that - it’s semi-gloss thus reflecting semi-in gloss coating. Go non-reflective or wash the stage further in compensating.

ETC for the most part solved spillage out the rear of the cap - this especially with 360Q’s without the ring at the rear of the cap would be a problem, on the ETC fixture it solved that problem.

My girl friend mused over this problem some in not having a solution over the above and in the type of paint. She runs the Leko department at work and thus has more practical experience than I do with the ETC line of fixture. Have to agree with her in semi-gloss having a semi-gloss bounce as opposed to flat black absorbstion, and also the cautions of a improper lens train. Top hat verses normal beam type of thing, not sure if that’s the problem here.

I’m sure it’s much the have to be there type of thing in understanding both the observation and cause of the problem.

The top hat cleans up the beam but doesn’t do much for spill overall given a focused beam of light.

Change your angle and or change your paint I would theorize initially.
 

squigish

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Dec 27, 2004
I'm assuming you realize this, but in the event you're using frost in the instrument, take it out. Other than that, it seems like a canditate for a good bench focusing, and while you're at it you could check the lens(es) too. A 36 degree source four has two lenses, but all the rest of the field-angles have just one lens (unless they're the new, fancy enhanced definition lens tubes), so I would say a lens alignment problem is much more likely the culprit in a 36 degree fixture than in a 26 or a 19.

What field angle is it?
 

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
I'm assuming you realize this, but in the event you're using frost in the instrument, take it out. Other than that, it seems like a canditate for a good bench focusing, and while you're at it you could check the lens(es) too. A 36 degree source four has two lenses, but all the rest of the field-angles have just one lens (unless they're the new, fancy enhanced definition lens tubes), so I would say a lens alignment problem is much more likely the culprit in a 36 degree fixture than in a 26 or a 19.
What field angle is it?
We only have 19º S4s. Funny thing is the dept. head thought they were all zooms.
 

drawstuf99

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I still think just adding a top hat should be your best bet assuming all iris slots..etc are closed. The fact is, most ERS instruments do spill a little anyway and those instruments seem to be mounted kind-of close to where the light is spilling anyway.
 

TimMiller

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I know it may sound weird but make sure there isnt any water dripping on the instrument. A/Cs do tend to leak source 4's will start to leak light all over the place. B/c the lens hazes over with condensation. Last show i was doing with source 4's we were using them to project logos. I had one sitting outside projecting the logo on the building. Well it started to rain and i figured it was better leaving the instrument plugged in rather than me going out to strike it and move it in. (it was plugged into a GFCI outlet). So not a lot could go wrong. And with just a few drops of rain the inner lens fogged up. Also dust could cause a lot of light spilling all over. I have seen that happen before. So a good cleaning with some alcohols does work miracles.
 

gafftaper

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He Charc,

Have you had a chance to try my do it yourself tinfoil top hat?
 

ship

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Use it sparingly, you could effect the fixtures cooling if you cover up too much.

Take a photo of the problem, it will better help analize what's going on.
 

Charc

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He Charc,
Have you had a chance to try my do it yourself tinfoil top hat?
I haven't yet. I've been waiting for our blackwrap to turn up. It was last spotted in November in our worst theater. I'll end up trying your tinfoil thing eventually. Unfortunately I've got a lot on my to do list right now, including balancing school and theatre.
 

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