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Zoom fixture recommendation

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by MRlettherebelight, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. MRlettherebelight

    MRlettherebelight Member

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    I am looking to get some Zoom ellipsoidals for our new building.
    What are some recommendations for lights. I am looking at source 4
    jr zooms and the NSI/Leviton zoom fixtures. I have experience with
    regular source 4s but none with NSI. any thoughts?
    Thanks
     
  2. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    My first question is as always...why zooms?

    That being said if you're going to go zoom go full size.
     
  3. MRlettherebelight

    MRlettherebelight Member

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    I need the flexibility of a zoom, but its a small room with close throws so I don't need a full size light and jr sizes are much cheaper.
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    The ETC S4 Jr Zoom is a great little fixture, and quite sturdy. It just doesn't have the amazing zoom mechanism of the S4 full size zoom (but it's considerably lighter and smaller).
     
  5. MRlettherebelight

    MRlettherebelight Member

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    has anyone used the NSI zooms?
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    The only zooms I would recommend are ETC SourceFour, Strand SL, or Selecon Pacific. The Leviton/NSI/Colortran model is outdated technology (unless a Leo, and I don't think it's available in a Zoom). Much would depend on what your inventory consists of already. As Grog intimated, a Source4 with an extra lens tube may be more economical than a zoom fixture.

    The S4 Jr. Zoom is probably the most economical, and is a quality fixture, but I prefer the full size, unless your space is very small.
     
  7. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Personal preference would be for ETC Source 4 Zooms or Selecon Pacific Zooms.

    Altman Shakespeare Zooms and Strand SL Zooms would be passable, but try for ETC or Selecon.
     
  8. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I agree with Grog. What are you potentially moving fixtures within the room within a range of 5 to 50' so as to require a zoom? Or is the zoom the coverall for the room in not deciding what size fixtures you need to stock for the room? Sure might take extra fixtures so as to have a few extra for every change in design and location but for the cost of a zoom over that of a standard fixture, one might afford one or two more anyway for each position plus a few extra lens trains.

    Don't know about some advantage of a zoom over fixed focus fixture especially for a smaller room where one or two lens types most likely would be sufficient. Still, never really heard of anyone needing a zoom fixture for small rooms/budgets. Let us know how well it works for ya in better advantages of the zoom for their added cost. Curious debate, zooms verses fixed and JR's verses normal fixtures. Could be right, or perhaps just buy a few of them and do the rest with fixed focus.
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    If you're referring to the Zoom Ellipse, I used it's predecessor in the 1980s and was unimpressed. 1) It was not as bright as similar fixed focus models. 2) There were only two focal lengths that would produce a sharp gobo. 3) It was significantly heavier than other models.

    Now if you're referring to the Mini Ellipse, although much maligned, I liked that fixture very much for small spaces. 30, 40, 50 degrees, just by moving lenses around. But nowhere nearly as efficient as a SourceFour Jr.
     
  10. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Note that the Strand SL Zoom is probably the smallest full-sized zoom you will find anywhere. It is between the size of a Source Four and a Shakespeare and looks more conventional than most zooms. I wouldn't downplay it's performance too much - it may not carry "Source Four Performance", but it can hold its own. I might be crazy here, but strictly judging by outer appearances only, the Source Four Zoom/Shakespeare Zoom looks like an improved version of the 1KL. There I said it. And I did say outer appearances only!
     
  11. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I really really hate zooms, I'm just gonna say that now. I find there awkward balancing makes them really hard to focus and have them stay focused. That being said that is my experience with the full sized zoom. Looking at the ETC propaganda it looks like the Jr won't have that problem as much because there's less stuff in the lens train and the proportion of length in front and behind the yoke are closer to that of the traditional S4 (which I think is nicely balanced). It looks like a zoom jr is a little cheaper than a fixed jr with all three barrels, but you don't necessarily have to buy 3 barrels for every fixture (in reality 1 that comes with the unit and 2 extra). Depending on the number of unit, it very well might be cheaper to buy fixed beam units and just barrel swap as necessary.
     
  12. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    I'd like to offer my theories on zooms:

    They might allow you to obtain a special degree that doesn't otherwise exist.

    They have merit in a rep plot. Helps make change-overs easier.

    Lens tubes and barrels can get lost in those situations where someone doesn't keep track of them. (Small schools, churches, etc.) Not saying it will, but it can happen.

    The one we debate all the time: zooms allow for fewer fixtures. This may or may not be true, it all DEPENDS on each individual case.

    Myself, I usually prefer to do the math and figure out what degree fixed beam I need, however, I am fond of zooms for gobowork. I also like zooms in the box booms. My personal preference would be to have a well established stock of fixed beams with about a dozen or so zooms, more or less depending on venue size.

    To sum up: Zooms are just another paint brush of light. They can be an excuse to be lazy, but used consciously, are useful for overall creativity.

    Not related to the zoom debate:

    I was exploring the Leviton Leo. They have a 15 degree version. I wonder how the 15 degree Leo compares in price and output to the 14 degree Source 4. Additionally, has anyone seen the LEO in real life? How does the quality compare to our (generally) accepted list of Source 4, Shakespeare, SL and Pacific? I'll probably answer my own question before someone else does, but in my mind I was like "A 15 degree, thats cool".

    Update: Well the 15 degree LEO is easily $200 cheaper than the 14 degree Source 4 from most sources on the internet. Now, to compare manufacturer's data sheets and find some reviews of the LEO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  13. Lightingguy32

    Lightingguy32 Active Member

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    My personal preference is Source Four Full Size zooms, but if size really is the limiting factor here, I would have to recommend either the SL soom or the Source Four Jr. zoom. The only down side of the source four Jr zoom is that the optics just don't kick as hard has the Full Size fixtures, that and the Zoom mechanism (already mentioned) isn't nearly as complex or easy to pick up. Also the Jr. zoom is only available in 25-50° for zooming. What kind of throw distances are you talking about, if they are long throws, there isn't really any escape from a full size zoom fixture and you may just want to go with fixtures with lens tubes.
     
  14. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    Not the 15, but I did play with a Leo for a few minutes at LDI. I was not impressed. It's an almost direct copy of the S4....poorly done.

    I honestly don't remember many specifics about it, as my general reaction was "you're kidding" and walked away after a few minutes.

    My $.02.

    --Sean
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  15. jmabray

    jmabray Active Member

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    It (the leo) also does not have the EDLT which the 14 deg comes with standard...
     
  16. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    In the Jr range you're right the Zoom's are more flexible than the Fixed Jr's.

    I worked in one of the smallest Black boxes west of the mississippi (highest point in the grid was 13') and I understand wanting to keep a low profile. But if your throws are as close as you're hinting at you'll be losing a key element for the space; 70 and 90 degree lens tubes. We rarely if ever used any thing under a 36 degree in the theatre I spoke of. Though I would have died for 70's or 90's if they'd existed then.
     
  17. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Yes, but do you always need the abilities of the EDLT, especially at their price?
     

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