# Sidelighting & 3.5Q Ellipsoidals

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
What's your opinion on these fixtures from altman, and is there anything better for that much money or less? I'm looking for very cheap ellipsoidals for sidelights, because I need to shape the beam (keep it off the cyc and out of the house area). The cost of a fully outfitted fresnel or PAR w/barndoor and lamp is about the same as a rigged up 3.5Q. I would like to buy these used, but I don't know where to get them for REAL cheap. My school knows that it's equipment is THIRTY YEARS OLD, but it really doesn't care. The only thing that's been upgraded is the control, and half of the old-style twist lock connectors and their fixture counterparts were changed out for new ones, but not the other half. I need sidelighting. Mainly for dance concerts. And all of the rest of our inventory is completely used up, and is already drawn very, very thin. Rental is out of the picture, because it would cost too much just for temporary usage of about a two months a year. New-style twist lock connections are required.

Any and all input is welcome.

#### Foxinabox10

##### Active Member
I would try an Altman 6" Fresnel as they can be used for a lot more than the 3.5Q in my opinion and give you the same flexibility.

#### drumbum

##### Member
Foxinabox10 said:
I would try an Altman 6" Fresnel as they can be used for a lot more than the 3.5Q in my opinion and give you the same flexibility.
He's looking to shape the beam, and explained why hes looking at 3.5's.

Frankly, i think you'd be better off with 6x9 . . . if wanting to go with 360q series. first off, its a more common instrument, and if neded parts can be swaped out with 4.5's, 6x12's, 6x16's (bases, caps, shutters, certain lenses in the lense train).

Also, they put out a brighter beam, because its a smaller beam angle. Over at NIU we use them all the time for side light from trees. Not my choice instrument, but we have tons of them. It's also nice if you can get enough for high sides, add a b-sized template . . . nex textured look. Much more versatile than a 6" fresnel . . . the two lights are used for very differnt applications.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
well, if I could get 12 lamped, plugged 6x9's for $50 each (600 total), my high school budget would pay for it. that's what a lot of 12 3.5's went for on ebay today, but i couldn't contact my mom in time to bid on them (i can't have an ebay account yet, because i'm not 18.). the problem is that the lens trains and fixtures all need to be the same length (e.g. 5", 6", or 8"). i need them all the same to have a uniform wash. i can find unlamped 6x16's for$50 a piece plus shipping, but my budget doesn't have room for those twenty or thirty dollar lamps per fixture. and i think that they are stagepin, and i need twistlock. acht, stupid compatibility issues. why didn't they just make everything twistlock to begin with?

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
oh yeah...all of our other fixtures that we already have are THIRTY YEAR OLD century strand fixtures. reliable, but still thirty years old, and no replacement parts are available today (i need a bunch of bulb ends and lens trains for old strand radial ellipsoidals. the ones with the angled bulb holder.) we have 24 working ellipsoidals, all permenantly FOH batten. we have about 16 3 circuit by four bulb (12 bulbs total) century strand borderlights for cyc lights and general wash. we have about 20 or so old century strand fresnels. we have no barndoors, snoots, tophats, donuts, or anything but fixtures, bulbs, and gels. i want the 3.5q's because they're compact, and our sidelighting has to fit in a tight space in order to work around the little space there is in the wings. but if i was able to get cheap lamped and plugged (twistlock) 6x9's, i'd take 'em in a flash.

#### drumbum

##### Member
Ahh . . .much to learn grasshopper.

All i said was that if you need parts they were easier to obtain . . i said go with 6x9s as a general instrument. the 3.5's really wont work for you for what youre trying to do. 6x16s will be too small of a beam angle if your only looking at 12 . . .

twistlock also is a great end, but expensive and not leagal to use in some states . . . or so im told . . . besides, theres nothign that says you can't buy a few twists, and take the rest off lights youre not using.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
yes, with the altman 6x9's, you can change them to 6x12's, 6x16's, or 6x22's just by switching out the lens train, if you have spare ones of those laying around, or if you feel like hitting up the nearest theater for a few extras. that might work.

yes, i know that the 6x16's are too small. i pulled out my little section view template with the beam spreads on it, and laid it out on a plan of our stage. it didn't look nice. i'm just saying that if there are $50 6x16's out there, there have got to be some$50 6x9's. and then i can at least get the fixtures.

the only reason that i want everything to be twistlock is because it is what we have, i actually like stagepin alot better after working with completely different system at a summer program this summer. besides, twist-locks are generally more expensive than stage pin connectors.

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
Soundlight wrote:

"yes, with the altman 6x9's, you can change them to 6x12's, 6x16's, or 6x22's just by switching out the lens train,"

No actually, you cannot do this. Each model of 360Q uses a different length lens tube. Only the 4.5 and 6x9 share the same front end. The lens barrel (It's late and I hope I'm not confusing barrel with tube) - the sliding part that contains the lenses, is that same from fixture to fixture, just different lenses. The different length lens tube is the reason they look different when standing on their lens end, 6x0 shorter then a x12, which is shorter then a x16, etc...

SB

#### ship

##### Senior Team Emeritus
I have seven of my own in the 3.5Q5 and 3.5Q6 series. I absolutely love them for short throw small venu uses. As a designer, they supplement for my specials really well. They are the for runner to the mini Leko ETC sells and the follow up to the 3.5Q Kliegl used to sell. Many other brands also sell someting in the 3.5Q line.

Same lamp cap as a 360Q thus in lamp cap you can interchange caps with the others. Smaller gel size saves money especially when you collect up the scrap gel others just throw out. Put in a request to your local lighting company for their waste gel too small to use. Even burnt up gel sometimes will result in it's four corners being of sufficient size for this Leko. You will easily fill up a pre-cut gel file sufficient for this equipment given some collecting of scrap.

The fixture itself while the 360Q is reated for 750w, is only rated for 500w. I have been using HX-600 than FLK lamps in these fixtures - literally since Robert Altman sent me a pre-market sample of the lamp. (Long story but I was the most cool kid in the college theater for about a week, or until someone else got his very own laser.)

Due to the smaller cooling area, I would not put a 750w lamp in such a fixture, but I have been using 575w lamps in these fixtures for over ten years now without any cooling or lamp base problems. No melted down reflectors or anything else similar other than normal for the equipment. The maximum 500w rating of the fixture is a serious limitation at times for your application. This in addition to the beam of light coming from a smaller source as might show to become a design factor.

These days I install the HPR lamp in my 3.5Q fixtures. The Osram HPR 575w/115v #54549 has the same basic specifications as the FLK and an internal reflector inside the lamp which completes the ellipse of the reflector. This adds 15 to 20% more output and refined beam of light to the lamp. In testing while dissimilar beam angles, a 3.5Q6 will easily out punch a thirty degree ETC S-4 Leko even if the 3.5Q6 has a wider beam angle. You can see the hard edge of a HPR lamp inside the beam of a HPL 575w/C lamped Leko.

I have not tried such a lamp on smaller beam angle equipment of the 3.5Q series but expect it to have similar results. As I remember it, the S-4 had a slightly more even beam of field (Hard to get rid of the Altman 360Q series hole in it's center, but otherwise it was a very good and even beam of light and much more intense than that of the ETC fixture.)

Recently I specified lighting for a low budget theater. I chose 360Q fixtures not the 3.5Q, tough them and the 10" scoops were if budget held out in the plans. The 360Q line while on a budget is still more normal to use and when used should be in the \$95.00 each range in price. Go for the 4.5Q6.5 fixtures - they are very useful for wide angle throws. This with a on stage inventory of a mixture of 6x9 and 6x12 is very useful. Been years since I have seen other than a wide throw 3.5Q fixture in use. Think my old college had some 3.5Q12's in the inventory but I don't remember designing with them.

Primary reasons for this 6" Leko size was the standardized fixture, and gel frame size. This theater in also having 6" Fresnels could than use the same top hat and gel cuts. The 3.5Q line is an acquired taste but more normal for short throw and small working space use.

I'm not sure if used gear is on a budget if a 3.5 verses 6" Leko would be less money. A few years ago I bought some 3.5Q5's from Bash (aka. these days Forth Phase.) I believe they were the same amount of money with either size. Buying used gear from a company that uses the gear as part of it's living will often imply but not dictate professionally maintained gear. Inspect it, but my gear came with a fresh coat of paint and all in practicly new condition. Buying used gear from Ma and Pa who used until it's dead means you might have to complete service call the gear.

Look really well at the lamp bases and shutters. You might save money at some point if you send back what Ma and Pa trashed and shopping elsewhere. Than again, you might be just fine.

In having given my own gear a recent service call, also check the lenses. Them lens retaining rings are murder on the lenses. Just got some replacement lenses in and I think I'm going to pad the lens ring.

As for patterns, while you can cut down some A and B sizes for the much smaller 3.5 size, it is otherwise it's own size of gobo. This means more money in the long run to supplement your inventory with what otherwise might be more universal pattern size if normal 6" or ETC size.

Good fixtures, but if shin busters and used, I would search first really hard for some 6" 360Q series Leko.

#### drumbum

##### Member
Thanks Ship . . . .thats what i was trying to get out last night . . . just really really tired. . . . 8)

Anycase, what i ment when you could swap parts out i was talking about the base cap and sometimes the lenses based on what instruments you have. THe shuttres are always a good thing to have spares for for this instrument . . . i can ttell you hpw many times i wish i could swap some out for better ones. One other thing you may want to keep an eye for is the cableing going from the base to the plug- a lot fo times when fixtures are that old the cableing is asbestos, and even sometimes not sheathed. quick dirt way to fix this is jest get some fairly cheap webbing and just cut it down to size for the cable. ou may also want to consider changing out the lamp base at some point as well . . . being used you honestley have no idea how well each one works. Be sure that all four (yes, some people dont know that they exist) bench focus screws are stillin the cap . .which reminds me, im going to make a post tonight about bench focusing . . many people in highshool arent even taught the idae of what it is, much less how to do it . . . Anything i missed?

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
i got it backwards. yes, the different dimension 360Q's have different tube lengths, and only the caps, screws, and sometimes lens trains are switchable. my bad. i just got it backwards.

#### ship

##### Senior Team Emeritus
soundlight said:
yes, with the altman 6x9's, you can change them to 6x12's, 6x16's, or 6x22's just by switching out the lens train, if you have spare ones of those laying around, or if you feel like hitting up the nearest theater for a few extras. that might work.
Urr, while the 4.5Q6.5 and 6x9 can do this, the rest have different snout lengths in that tube that holds the lens train in place. OK as long as similar lot number in screwing in the self tapping metal screws holding tube to frame, but if slightly off as common, changing one to anoter - and this given a 1/4" nut driver is not all that simple.

Instead, what is a 6x12 sould never be expected to be a 6x16. If even than, it's far simpler and faster to move one instrument already set up to a new location than hoping you get the screws in and out. This would be one of the improvements ETC had over older equipment that was not universal.

#### ship

##### Senior Team Emeritus
Doubt you will find much asbestos leads coming off a 3.5Q or 360Q fixture. A bit before my own history but I believe they stopped doing asbestos in general with te 360 radial series.

Point I think many are making is that the 3.5Q is probably not an optimum piece of equipment for this side light application. Lens in starting point for the light is just too small.

#### drumbum

##### Member
ship said:
Doubt you will find much asbestos leads coming off a 3.5Q or 360Q fixture. A bit before my own history but I believe they stopped doing asbestos in general with te 360 radial series.

Point I think many are making is that the 3.5Q is probably not an optimum piece of equipment for this side light application. Lens in starting point for the light is just too small.
Oh, you'd be surprised. The student center at NIU, most of their 360q and 3.5q is all asbestos leads . . .and one of the local theatre companies has stuff thats asbestos . . . the past few times i've designed for them, i refused to use the equipment. Speaking of, im designing a show for them in march. I wonder if they've replaced those or at least covered them like i recomended . . .

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
I am almost positive that all of the leads on our instruments are asbestos. All of them have three seperate (not under one jacket) wires, all covered with white, "asbestosy" insulation. What exactly does asbestos look like on wires? How can I tell if what I have is really asbestos?

#### drumbum

##### Member
Asbestos on leads, that i've come across anyway, has a very flat look and feel to it, usually a braid. When you touch it, it feels super dry, the best way i can think about it is it's kind of like really, really old and dry cotton.

Anyone else have any onput on this?