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Author Topic: Hybrid Fixtures  (Read 522 times)

Nate Zifra

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Hybrid Fixtures
« on: January 30, 2020, 10:25:01 am »

I'm curious as to opinions on the hybrid type fixtures.  They come from different manufactures, some use lamps, others led.  What they have in common is a 3 in 1 Spot/Beam/Wash function. I may be making another investment into lighting this year, and thought perhaps these type of fixtures would offer the most versatility.  They would be used in a mobile environment in different configurations.

Thank you.
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Hybrid Fixtures
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2020, 10:56:41 am »

Hi Nate,

I have some knockoff Robe Pointe's.

Personally, I love them.
But honestly, I mostly use beam mode and prisms.

What other lights do you use/have?
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Hybrid Fixtures
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2020, 03:01:12 pm »

Hi Nate, here’s my take on hybrid fixtures.  Talking budget units, it’s really a case of “pick two” – either you can get a spot fixture that can tighten down enough to function as a beam, or you can get a spot fixture with a wide zoom and frost to give you a wash.  Nothing that I’m aware of at the weekend-warrior level truly does all three well.

You also have to ask yourself what meets the classification of a “wash”.  Many moving lights can zoom out to the 20-30 degree beam angle range and drop in frost flags.  What sets a wash fixture apart from the others to me is full color mixing – either RGB(W) additive or CMY subtractive – in addition to a wide beam angle, soft edge, and occasionally additional beam-shaping utilities.  You can use a fixture artistically however you want, but a wash without color mixing isn’t very useful.   Wide beams and soft edges are still important, but you can achieve that with other fixture types easily enough.

To namedrop a few fixtures, I’ve been very impressed with the Robe Pointes, MegaPointes, and Martin Mac Axioms.  I can’t speak to the knockoff variety or how well a generic fixture selling for 1/6th the price of the original will work, but the authentic Pointes are very tight and punchy.  I wouldn’t really consider them a wash though for the reasons mentioned above.  Both the MegaPointes and Mac Axioms are the best “true” BSW fixtures that I’ve seen thus far, but both fixtures are a bit on the pricier side (along with the usual Clay Paky offerings).  The Axioms aren’t too common in the wild yet, either.  On the budget end of things, the Chauvet Intimidator Hybrid 140SR is probably my current favorite moving light that can be had “new” for under $1000.  Again, it’s not really a wash light, but the beam is decently bright and the effect options are sufficient to make for a nice general-purpose small moving light that’s still cheap enough to purchase by the dozen and see good ROI. 

The “right” fixture for your needs will depend on your budget, expectation, available power/rigging, and what else is already in your rig as Nathan mentioned.  Hope this helps! 
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Luke McCready

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Re: Hybrid Fixtures
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 07:12:08 pm »

I agree: it'd be rough to lack access to color mixing, instead sticking with color wheels.

The following is assuming you're in my price bracket of shopping:

The Chauvet Pro Rogue line makes for an interesting comparison:
- R2X Wash: $1700 for full color mixing with 19x25w RGBW, zoom range of 12-49°, no extra effects
- R1X Wash: $1100 for full color mixing with 7x25w RGBW, zoom range of 8-30°, no extra effects
- R1 BeamWash: $1600 for full color mixing with 7x40w RGBW, zoom range of 5-58°, no extra effects
- R1x Spot: $1500 for 1x170w locked at 16°, uses a color wheel, also has gobos and prism

Personally, I wouldn't want the Spot at all, with the color wheel and no zoom, but I'm not particularly interested in gobos.

BeamWash costs a fair bit more than the R1X Wash, which doesn't seem good value for the extra zoom range. However, it's also brighter than the Wash, approaching the brightness of the R2X Wash.

In my opinion, if you don't need the extra brightness, it's better to have more fixtures at a better price. And if you want some effects, step up to something really interesting like the MK Pyxis.

If others can vouch for the reliability, consider the Blizzard Blade for $550 in addition to your washes.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Hybrid Fixtures
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 09:01:40 pm »

Personally, I wouldn't want the Spot at all, with the color wheel and no zoom, but I'm not particularly interested in gobos.

BeamWash costs a fair bit more than the R1X Wash, which doesn't seem good value for the extra zoom range. However, it's also brighter than the Wash, approaching the brightness of the R2X Wash.

Similar to the thread you just started, beams, spots, and washes are different types of fixtures with different intended applications.  Some fixtures blur the lines between the categories more than others while some can truly do all three well.  Gobos and prisms aside, the biggest differences are the focus and beam control that the “spot” will have over the wash. 

While I haven’t had a chance to see the new BeamWash in the wild, I think they’re really using the phrase “beam” too liberally here.  The optics of that fixture simply won’t allow it to pull off the type of beam and effects we’re used to seeing with Sharpys and the like.  I think the zoom is also too slow.  Elation’s Dartz 360 pulls off this effect much better - I have experience with them and they’re quite remarkable.  Zoom is traded for frost here, and while not entirely a wash it’s suitable enough to work as one while still allowing the unit to have gobos and prisms, full color mixing, plus the namesake infinite pan/tilt.  The 50w LED engine is surprisingly bright with sufficient output to be an arena-capable fixture. 

Just my two cents, but I think it’d benefit you tremendously to sit down with an LD who can show you the benefits and uses for the different types of fixtures on the market before you spend $45K of someone else’s money on your project.  Good luck!
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Luke McCready

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Re: Hybrid Fixtures
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2020, 11:56:39 pm »

3° beam? Nice! And with gobos and prism and frost in addition to infinity pan? That's a very compelling fixture, especially for the price. I might have to find room for it in my current project. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

No doubt, affordable hybrid fixtures will suffer compromises.

I started programming shows in 2006, and I'm well-acquainted with the differences between washes, spots, and beams. It's designing lighting rigs from the ground up that's new to me, though I started down that road because the vendors I approached put together very half-hearted designs. Unfortunately, I've been programming on an island without much interaction with other LDs, and never with truly vast numbers of fixtures. I'd love to meet up with any LDs in the Denver area.


Thanks, Jeff.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Hybrid Fixtures
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2020, 11:56:39 pm »


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