What do you think pf Parnels?

klane2

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
Notre Dame, IN
I have a small blackbox theatre where I am looking to replace some really old 6"fresnels. I'm wondering what people think of parnels. I've never used them and no one I know has either. Thoughts? Pros and cons? Anything else you would receommend? I'm looking for conventional fixtures, not ready for LEDs in that space.
 

SteveB

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Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
I have 12, I use them on a Box Boom location as side light on a large pit. They are super punchy at 750 watts, certainly brighter than any 6" fresnel I've used, even with fresnels at 1kw and they work very well for my application.

They do not have the same beam spread, ParNel is 24-47 degrees, while an Altman 65Q is 16-70, so chose wisely for the application. As well a barndoor on a ParNel does not function as well as on a fresnel. Thus I never purchased additional units.

You may read/hear complaints of the dreaded "hole in the middle" when a ParNel is zoomed out, I do not have this issue and the scuttlebutt is it was only with the early models, then ETC seemingly changed the design.

My thought would be if you are currently happy with the intensity and zoom range of the current fresnels, maybe update the wiring ?, or just buy replacements. The ProAdv website shows a ParNel at $325 while an Altman 65Q fresnel is $156. BIG difference, you can but 2 fresnels for the price of a ParNel. Personally though, my all time favorite fresnel is made by Colortran, now owned by Leviton, NSI/Leviton 1K Hanging 6-Inch Theater Fresnel

Seems to run about $300 ea.
 

klane2

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
Notre Dame, IN
Any thought of replacing these with LED fresnels? would you need to purchase fewer as you double up for colors with your current conventionals, or are these just being used as generic wash lights and you need the quantity for coverage?
Because it's an older facility (127 years) getting LEDs would also require getting DMX. We're using an ETC Express so programming LEDs would also be more difficult. Given the amount the space gets used and what it is used for I think conventional fixtures would be better. A lot of the students I work with have little to no experience and I don't want to overwhelm them. Mostly the lights get used for general washes and I have a few small ellipsodals for specials
 

SteveB

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Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Not to start the wireless debate again, but you could get DMX there without too much hassle with some solid wireless. Showbabies or something from RC4. A show baby is something like $300 last I checked.
To go that route you always have to think of them as a pair and it’s a bit over $600.
 

DELO72

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Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Location
New Hampshire
Pros: A high quality fixture (solid construction, durable) with a lot of punch and a gorgeous beam. Brighter than the equivalent 6" fresnel by wattage due to the reflector it uses, which is more efficient than the Spherical reflector of the true Fresnel. Uses an HPL lamp, which often lets you maximize your inventory by having fewer lamp types on the shelves.

Cons: Doesn't have quite the same spot <--> Flood range of a typical fresnel. Most 6" Fresnels have a tighter spot and a wider flood, maybe by 8-10 degrees or so. Another thing that PARnels don't do as well as true fresnels (due to the lens and reflector used) is barn doors don't have as crisp of an edge to them. You can still add barndoors to the fixture, but it's not as good as with real fresnels. You get a little bleed and a slight rounded edge with the PARnel (it's minor, but can be noticeable) instead of a crisp hard edge.

I think PARnels have their place, and they are a great fixture-- BUT, if they truly replaced Fresnels 1:1, ETC wouldn't have felt the need to develop the ETC Fresnel, would they? :)

**EDIT - I just went up and looked at the other responses and see SteveB said basically the exact same thing. *laugh* Sorry to be redundant, but it's nice to have both our opinions from using them validated. :) **
 

MNicolai

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Mar 30, 2008
Location
Sarasota, FL
**EDIT - I just went up and looked at the other responses and see SteveB said basically the exact same thing. *laugh* Sorry to be redundant, but it's nice to have both our opinions from using them validated. :) **
I had the same post saved as a draft but closed out of the tab before posting yesterday.

Only thing I would add is that, whether through manufacturing defect or through abuse by high school students, I have encountered a number of PARnels where the knob that spins the lens was stripped and the fixture was unfocusable until the knob was replaced.

From purely an engineering perspective I love the design of the optics though. It really is amazing how those lenses function in conjunction with one another.
 

EWCguy

Active Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Location
Wyoming
Only thing I would add is that, whether through manufacturing defect or through abuse by high school students, I have encountered a number of PARnels where the knob that spins the lens was stripped and the fixture was unfocusable until the knob was replaced.
Yes, it seems these knobs self-destruct because they can easily get out of alignment with the lens ring they turn. I've killed a couple of these myself. I think they need tighter clearance and need to be made of different material.
 

DELO72

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Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Location
New Hampshire
Huh.. I never experienced that with PARNels- but then they all had less than 8 years of use on them, so maybe it's a factor of time and type of use or how they are handled/stored?