Jump to content

Martin Vs Vari Lite

Ben Lawrance

Given the choice (with money nothing to do with it) what would you choose to work with?  

58 members have voted

  1. 1. Given the choice (with money nothing to do with it) what would you choose to work with?

    • Martin
    • Varilite
    • Neither, they are both crap
    • Other Brand

Recommended Posts

The clincher there was the "money nothing to do with it" clause ...


In terms of bang for your buck, Martin are just dandy - with Mac 250/300/500/600's in such plentiful supply they can be had for silly money these days, and although they have their faults it has to be said that they're fine pieces of kit for what they are.


But in terms of sheer quality and usefulness, if it was a direct trade-off between Mac500 and VL2k spot or Mac600 and VL2k wash with budget no object, the VLs would win every time for me. Brighter, faster, better. And of course the VL1k is just the mutt's nuts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

isnt this a little unfair? I like to work with a mix and thats not an option also idfferent things are good for different uses, you couldnt use a mac 2000 in a small rig. im sure this has been brought up in the past but use is a big factor, also why use only one brand where you can use a mix to do the job better?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well you can't beat the 5 for the light output colour mixing and the fact that it's a tungsten bulb that can sit at 50% with out seeing the shutter. Had my first play with VL1000's this week on a certain large scale tour heading to a theatre near you.


Very impressed. Cut's the FOH ring by 80% and 4 shutters work a treat.... Only draw back that some of the mechanics seem to be loud enough for the audience to question if it's all safe with the light's above there heads.....


So all thought the Mac's are good VL's for me every time



Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's got to be said that Vari*Lites are better - I for one love the VL6, but the problem is that Martin gear is cheap as chips, and good workhorses, so are nice and reliable if you don't know how the internals on a mover works!


Pehaps if Vari*Lite were a bit cheaper alot more people would use them....



Link to comment
Share on other sites

em weres the profile with gobo rotator,scroller,and  remote  pan and tilt yoke button?

Fair comment ... although I guess a Source4 in an AutoYoke would come under the heading of "Other Brand".


At least that combination is a viable option these days. When I worked at Glyndebourne, we had some Cantatas in Strand PALS yokes running off the Galaxy's motion control panel. They were only used for one production while I was there, but they were so poor that on every change-over, we had to lay a specially marked-out 'calibration sheet' in a predetermined place on the set near to where the units were hung, send them to a programmed 'calibration cue', and manually pan'n'tilt them around so that they were pointing in the right place - and then hope that they didn't drift over the next few hours until curtain-up. The PALS parcans and 5k's didn't seem quite so bad - perhaps it was something to do with the weight of the Cantata in a relatively small yoke ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whatever you do, don't use Autoyokes!


Actually, that's not entirely true, I've used them in two shows and they do kind of work. The trouble with them is that they are incredibly slow (~8sec 360 degrees), and the irises are nothing but trouble.

I've never had a single unit where the iris worked first time, and only once where it worked at all.


Still, if all you want is a pan&tilt unit they are useful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfair to single out these two manufacturers, I have a lot of experience working with a vast array of fixtures by many manufacturers. Each one requires careful consideration as to application, venue size, rigging position, control equipment and operator. The most important however is the lighting design, will it do what I want it to do, in a simple effective way?

Hence, why are we not using more moving mirrors in the theatre industry? :) ;) ;)


With tightening budgets and production schedules requiring faster fit ups, intelligent fixtures have become necessity, as we can put them up and remote focus from the desk. Not to mention the health and safety issues (that can now be easily solved by not hanging by a big toe over a crocodile tank trying to shutter off that little bit of spill!) They are a valuable tool in the lighting designers toolbox, but as always, a mechanic will always have the right tool for the job, they are not the only tool, and for many of the venues which I am sure we work in, an unneccessary expense for all the use we will put them to.


Anyway rant over

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.