Spotlight Guides


Active Member
Has anyone had any luck with the cheap $25-$100 spotlight guides that help you aim the spotlight before you turn it on? If so, which one, how much did it cost, and where did you get it?
the problem with them is you simply touch it, and you have to re-focus them. plus, i dont find them very accurate anyway. why would you need one? simply using the grooves on the followspot, such as air ventilation and such is good enough. just practice, youll get it down. just have to practice for an hour.
For long throw operations, I like a product called Telrad. When properly gaffed down it is very effective. I use it quite often on my Lycian Super Trooper 2k spot light (it is very huge and is operated from the side). They go for about $43 (search with shipping and are designed for telescopes. I agree that one should be framiliar with a spot light where scopes are not needed but there are many times where it comes in handy. For instance in a very bright wash your diffused spotlight dissapears at 200 feet, or you need a very quick and tight pin spot on someone's head. I appreicate it when tours come through with Telrads for these reasons, and because you are seeing the show for the first time, it is easier to hit your mark as called. I am even thinking of buying one personally for the shows that do not travel with them, just to make my life easier. Hope this helps.

Telrad actually makes a spotlight scope type product that is specifically for follow spots. It goes for $40 from BMI Supply and is the one I was looking at. So it works well?
I did not realize that they made one specifically for stage. That said, does anyone know the difference between the Telrad for stage and for telescopes?

Overall they work well. If you focus the scope on your spot dead center on the stage you should have pretty good accuracy. As you aproach the edges of the stage your accuracy diminishes, but it is still within reason. If you use diffusion a lot this will help your accuracy. Tip: gaff it down in a couple of different locations until you can use it comfortably without kinking your neck. I have gone home many nights with a sore neck until I found my sweet spot.

I don't think they actually do make one specifically as a follow spot sight. I could be wrong, but presumably it's just the same thing just when it's sold by a theatrical supplier, they call it a followspot sight, and when it's sold by an astronomy supplier, they call it a telescope site. Targeted marketing and all.

As far as I know, the only sight made specifically for followspots is the Spot Dot.
A few years ago I did a rock tour where two of our lighting crew ran house spots for every show. Every show was in a different venue/city. with different lights, throws, etc... Both op's used telerads, to make their jobs easier. They both swear by them (and ran pratically perfect shows every time.)
Hope this helps
I made one myself out of 2 paper clips.

Two years ago we did the production of "My favorite Year". At one point of they musical the pit conductor held up a small tamborine and I had to spot it, and only it. I made a sight out of two bent paperclips and it worked great.

2 paper clips - $.05
6" of duct tape - $.50
knowing that you saved $25+ - Priceless
i heard that some people use a laser pointer, do any of you use them? i can see that it would look bad and distracting, but still a usefully thought.
A laser pointer would be a bad Idea in my book. The onll time that it would work is if nobody else was in the theater so that no one would see the red dot. And if there isn't anyone in the theater, who cares if the spot is ligned up.

I would NEVER use a laser pointer.

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