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School Followspots

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by JackMVHS, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. JackMVHS

    JackMVHS Member

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    I know that there was a recent thread about followspot rentals, but I just found out that our school's drama department is looking into buying 2 new followspots! This is very exciting for us, as our current ones are in need of desperate replacement.

    Skimming through the last thread about followspots I saw that Lycian Midget HP 1209 was mentioned quite a bit. I was wondering what made this spot superior and if anyone had any other recommendations.

    Our stage is 50' wide by 30' deep and is probably about 100' away from the spot booth. I'm not yet sure how much money we have to burn at the moment, but probably enough for 2 decent followspots. We would also idealy like it to be dimmable, or something of that nature, so the on/off times between the two spots can be coordinated from the light board.

    So, does anyone know of a followspot that meets our requirements?

    If more info is needed just ask!

    EDIT: It needs to be QUIET because the spot booth is right above the audience!
    Thanks in advance,
    ~JackMVHS
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  2. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    There are no quality spotlights out that (to my knowledge) that are remote dimmable, you just have to rely on good spot op training.

    Also Robert Juliat make some good gear, but they may be above your price point, worth looking into none the less.
     
  3. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    Having a spot controlled by the board op sounds like a bad idea to me. What happens when you turn it on and the spot op isn't ready and has the spot pointed somewhere it shouldn't be pointing, say down at the audience, the ceiling, etc.
     
  4. JackMVHS

    JackMVHS Member

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    Well we have them on Clear-Com and warn them before cues.

    Side note, we have been blessed by having actually clear-com gear at our school, but many of our beltpacks need repair, any advice? Also, because of this they are looking into 2-way radios! Can you please tell me that is a very bad idea!
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    There are a few companies that make a DMX option for their spots. I want to say Robert Juliat does. I am however not crazy about this option. I prefer to give the control to the spot ops and let them do their thing.

    As far as the 1209 goes, its just a good spot. It has nearly all the controls of a larger unit, but at a lower cost. They are punchy fixtures in a small frame without an external ballast. Now, they are no trouper, but if you need a small light for a medium throw its the spot you want to go with. I am looking at getting two of them for my space in the near future. I have used them in everything from truss positions, balcony positions, and even custom built bases to use from cove positions. They are the light to buy if you have around 4k to spend per light.

    One of my favorite uses...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
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    We own two of the Lycian Midget HPs (I forget the model number) and four of the Robert Juliat Topaze followspots. The RJ fixtures are a far superior fixture, but they are also about $8500 before you add the tripod (which costs a pretty penny as well). One of my main complaints with the Lycians that we own is that they don't really have a dowser. They have a "dark slide" in the color boomerang, which works as a dowser somewhat, but not as nice. My operators also really like the control layout on the RJ fixtures better.

    Also, there are very few (if any) followspots that come standard with remote dimming. I think, as has been said, that you just need to train your operators. It is really the easiest and best solution. One of the biggest reasons being, what if you have a problem with your controller or dimmers and you need the spots to come up? Finding a reliable operator will be fare less expensive and less headache. Also, putting control in the operator's hands is more educational, and is how it is done "in the real world." It actually gives you much more control and wiggle room in case an actor changes what they are doing, or whatever.

    I think that you would benefit from actually measuring the throw distance from your spot positions so that you can pick an appropriate unit. Also, if you get into higher end fixtures, make sure that the powers that be are aware that you will be spending at least $100 per lamp, probably every year. I am not saying this to dissuade you for buying these fixtures, but you don't want to have units without lamps in a year.
     
  7. JackMVHS

    JackMVHS Member

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    The whole dimming option was just a thought, but I like your response.

    I do need to measure the throw distance, but this week is spring break and I don't have a chance to do this...
     
  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Those are the 1209's. And yes, having just a chopper and that black out flag is a bit annoying. None the less, it still works. For the price, they are a good fixture.
     
  9. Wolf

    Wolf Active Member

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    iv used the Lycian 1267 Super Arc for years now. I really like these spots. Havent run into to many issues with them just once we had one over heating but we sent it out to get repaired and its been fine since then. These spots get used ALOT and not always by people that really know everything they should so they can take some abuse. Although I dont know your budget I saw these listed for about $6K Now I truly like the Super trouper but I dont think thats probably right for you lol.
     
  10. marshmolly123

    marshmolly123 Member

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    We have a stage about the same size as yours, and about the same distance away from our spotting area. We have two followspots (and I can't for the life of me remember what they are... :oops: ) but what we much prefer is putting someone up in the catwalk. We set up a Source 4 with either a 19-degree or, usually, a 10-degree barrel, an iris kit, and a handle. This provides a much better light and, with practice, is very effective. Also, it is controlled by the board as you specified.

    But I should stress how it is important that you have attentive spot ops and plenty of standby time -- I was running a performance of Beauty and the Beast and I brought up one of my spots and it was nowhere to be seen. A second or two later we saw it swing through the audience and finally spot on Belle. It was pretty painful to watch.
     
  11. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    That is known as a S4 on a stick. City Theatrical makes a full package that can take a 10deg or a 5 deg S4 and turn it into a fully functioning spot.
     
  12. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    All right! You have got me curious... What is the white band of tape and the string for? ;)

    BTW, on my 1209's, I ended up moving the douser plate to the rear position. Gels last a lot longer and less leakage.
     
  13. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Tel-rad spot scope. Traditionally used for home astronomers to aim telescopes. They work very well for spot lights as well. They are not spot-dot, but for forty bucks you can't go wrong. The tie line was there to just act as a safety because the nose of the spot stuck out of the cove, over the audience.
     
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    As explained the tie-line is just a safety for the sighting device. The white 2" tape holds the base of the sight to the fixture. (I'm sure if the Op had known a picture was going to be taken, he/she would have used black gaffters tape.:)) Very interesting custom yoke.
     
  15. hsaunier

    hsaunier Active Member

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    Also take a look at the Strong Radience. We have 2 of these and have great success in a house about the same size as yours. BTW it does have a douser.
     
  16. RichMoore

    RichMoore Member

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    Another option is the Canto 1200. We have two of the units and they work quite well. They are also one of the most quiet units that I have found. Since the acoustics in my room are so good, it was vital that they be as quiet as possible. I have them positioned on the near catwalk, so the angle to the stage is quite steep, which for my application is necessary, since I cannot have excess light spilling into the orchestral musician's eyes. My cost was $3,130.00 per unit. The lamps, MSR 1200W Metal Arc, were $168.00 apiece and I believe they are good for 2000 hours.
    Good luck,
    Rich
     
  17. JackMVHS

    JackMVHS Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone!
    I was recommended the Lycian Midget II 1212, does anyone have any experiences or opinions about this spot?
     
  18. MikeyHP

    MikeyHP Member

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    I personally do not like quartz followspots, go with arc lamps
     
  19. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    I don't know what the others will think of this, but our stage and distances are roughly the same dimensions and we use the Strong Trouperette III's for our follow spots. They work pretty well, but don't compete well with full stage lights (I don't expect them to, really). Again, only problem is that they don't have a douser, just a "chopper."

    I don't even know if they make them anymore!
     
  20. cw4u

    cw4u Member

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    We had somebody donate two Clay Paky Shadow QS LT series follow spots. We have never ran DMX to them, but they have the capability to do that. I think intensity, shutter, and gel changes can be made by DMX.

    I haven't used them since our production of Beauty and the Beast in October, and I don't attend the school, but if you need more information on them, let me know.
     

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