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hey guys & girls,


a nice topic here... we are after 1 follow spot (used a profile before as one and it looked CRAP!)...


preferably 1000w+ so I can easily project through Par64s and 4x 575w Profiles (our brightest)....


also not to sure on the beam angle (unfortunately we are a drama stage so we cant have a proper follow spot position - so lowish level)


our plan is to get a new follow spot (by order of the Drama Dept. Head).... I worked out that the from the front of the stage stage to the back (hall) wall is 17m and from the back of the stage to the back (hall) wall is about 23m..... I think I worked out the beam-size to cover 6' 6" at the tallest and that gave me a beam angle of 8 degrees... which I thought was wrong... any idea on the beam angle?


as I said before we used an old CCT profile (which you couldn't see as it was a 650w tungsten!!)

I thought if we placed our new follow spot on the stand and places the stand and follow spot on a Riser (we have a 3.5 - 4 Ft riser) so we can raise up to the stage height but im sure we could get higher but haven't looked into it...


also I have a budget of under £600 so I'm pretty stuffed but any ideas are welcome... also I would like one with the color filter changers & iris.




just to fill in gaps:

- we do many shows a year (usually at least 1 Panto, 1 Musical, 3 Musical Concerts and countless other shows (Drama Performances, Presentations, Drama Exams etc etc.)

- we need it mainly for spotting musicians (usually singers) in concerts and main parts in pantos and things (like wizard of oz, using it to spot dorothy moving around during somewhere over the rainbow etc..)


by the way... sorry about all the brackets!!!



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heya thanks for the reply.....



any idea on the beam degree I would need though... also are you sure the 575 HMI would shine through it all....


also we use many par 56s, Acclaim 650w Fresnels & PCs etc... and our 575 Profiles, I want the spot to be seen over the lights for obvious reasons


also in the production I have quite a few movers.... 4x 250w Movers (Acme somethings), 2x 250w Oby 3s, 4x Martin MX-1s, 2x Mojo Scans 1s (all used for effect and maybe wash purposes) so I dont know on the exact power on the stage that the spot will need to cut through... although HMI is the higher colour temperature so will appear bluer???




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although HMI is the higher colour temperature so will appear bluer???

Only at full-open*; you'll get great color out of it (especially blues, given the HMI source); an option I have used in the past is loading one frame with 1/4 or 1/2 CTO to warm it up. Option B is if you know ahead of time you need to get close to tungsten, you can clip/tape a larger piece of CTO over the end of the barrel.




*and this assumes that you have a lot of tungsten on stage; it's all about the viewer's perceived white balance.

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A 575w discharge lamp will give you roughly the same sort of brightness as a 2000w halogen. You shouldn't have any problems using it with the rest of that rig.


The 1200w version would definately give you a good bright spot through anything else you're likely to be using.

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any idea on the beamsize...

Eight degrees definitely in is the right range. Too tired to actually try trig now, but most follow spots have lenses in the 5 - 17 degree range.


We have recently put 2 Teclumen Arena+ 1200's into my old school, which has a 20-25m throw. These happily cut through other washes, even when gelled, though are knocking on twice the price of the ones Paul linked. They are quite nice, only problem being the amount of light they spill out of the back of the lamp housing; In the regular cabaret evenings, they're fine, but in theatre shows, we have to mask bits with black wrap. Back to the topic though, these have a 5-12 degree lens, so your 8 is definitely in the right ballpark.





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As Paul has pointed out the Dts moon 575 I won't go over his reply, just to affirm thease are great "budget" follow spot's, great optic's for the price and Electrovision stock them (U.K, St Helen's) if you don't fancy dealing with Thomann, they also stock the stand's (www.electrovision.co.uk)

Hope you get it sorted


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My analysis is that most followspots in your budget wont be bright enough for your rig because:


You have 250 watt discharge lamps you sometimes use as wash. If you use the inverse square law, assuming your moving lights are 2 metres from the downstage area and the followspot is 10 metres from the downstage area, there is a ratio of 1:5 so a 575 watt followspot will be 1/5x5 =1/25 x 575 =23 watts. (someone needs to check my maths).


Your movers have dichroic filters which have lower transmission losses and you will normally use high temp gel for the followspot which are cheaper but have higher transmission losses.


You have parcans, whos main advantage is very efficient output in a narrower beam than most profiles so a parcan wash would be very hard for a followspot to be seen in.


If you use a soft edge focus on the followspot it will be harder to see the beam in a bright wash, and the reason for using a followspot is to make performers stand out.


I suggest you look at getting one 1200 watt discharge followspot with the money you would have spent on two 575 watt followspots, as that money will probably be wasted on the lower power verions.. if you look at the purchase of a high power followspot versus hiring, you may find hiring more ecconomical. If you are looking at using the followspots for training purposes, then that may help tip the balance to purchasing.


Make a scale side elevation of your venue so you can measure what beam angle you need and get a followspot with a zoom lens so you are not wasting light output on shutters or an iris that is normally closed in.


You can cheat the stage down when plotting if using lower power followspots to allow them to be seen.


If possible, use a light meter for comparison purposes and have the followspot demonstrated on your stage or go to a venue and see the comparison done there with a similar stage wash to what you would use.

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Just wondering if any of the guys have used the DMX followspots ( http://www.thomann.de/gb/sagitter_tracer_2_1200_msr.htm ) and what people think of them quality usage wise thanks joe


It 'kind of' links - offereing a few more ideas on low end spots.


We have two pearl river orland followspots that like the ones joe mentions, are basically Golden Scan copies. Brightness wise, they are great. We bought ours because one of our regular ops was left handed and most 'nice' followspots are now geared up for side operation from the right only. Some RJs have an option to convert to left, but not both. So rear operation seemed a good idea. In practice, the ops preferred the old Patt 765s that had been there since the mid 70's.


problems - none major, but it takes a while to get used to the hysteresis on the iris. Dimmer function is ok - but a snap is a very quick fade - not a SLAM!. They are noisy - not noisy fans, just damn big ones that shift a lot of air. Starting up when the house is open is scary - the clanks and bangs are quite loud.


Colour wheels are rubbish - moving head primaries and secondaries just don't get used. In fact, we use the colour temp switch a lot. Useful light pink. at some point a diffuser in one of the colour positions could be good - we just gaffer a bit of diff to the front of the housing, and flop it over the lens. Lamp life has been ok. On the few shows I had to use them, I quite liked them - but I spend a lot of time behind cameras, so working from the back for me is ok. The lads have added a couple of wire sights, and the two front handles have 4 G clamps attached to them which balance it perfectly - they were very rear heavy as supplied. Remote DMX was an interesting possibility but is actually horrible. If you could overide the local contol for snap BOs etc that would be good - but remoting means te lx op has to talk to the spots so much to confirm they are in position before lighting up, that mistakes are far too easy. Also, the ops can't back off a little or push levels as they often have to - and the lx op is too busy. So good idea, but doesn't work.


They are smallish, clever, and seem quite reiable. I would buy more. I wonder if they will last 30 years?

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[temporary hijack] :(


We are in a similar position at my school. We have a banged-up old strand something-or-other (which looks to me like a profile on a camera tripod) and it's ridiculously un-bright (if that's a word).


We have some money in the pipeline atm, so I've been observing this topic with interest, but I have a question which seems to be unanswered as of yet; We have a good 20m throw - I'm presuming the 575w version of this DTS spot won't be bright enough (all our rig is tungsten, but...), so is the 1200w a better option? It still seems pretty cheap... ;)


And suggestions?

[/temporary hijack]



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