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Source 4 ellipsoidal?


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#1 David Sweetman

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:08 PM

I was just browsing CML, and the first two lighting threads I opened referenced these "Source four ellipsoidals". Had no idea what they were, but I found the following website: http://kauai.hawaii....pac/source4.htm - but I can't figure out what "ellipsoidal" means, or what Source Four is - is it just the brand?

The image looks like theatre lighting, I always assumed those were 'par cans.'
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:21 PM

Stage Lekos are the most common ellipsoidal lamp that people are used to seeing; on film sets, you will also see Dedolights and Source-4's, which are just an updated version of a Leko made by ETC. See:

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Source_four
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 08:30 PM

I was just browsing CML, and the first two lighting threads I opened referenced these "Source four ellipsoidals". Had no idea what they were..............The image looks like theatre lighting, I always assumed those were 'par cans.'

They're made by ETC. They're the most modern ellipsoidals made, highly efficient, great optics, tons of accessories, etc. They've completely taken over Broadway and high end theatre and are making inroads into film and video. David Mullen has mentioned on the Forum that his Co-Cinematographer on "Big Love", Bill Wages, is a big S4 user:

http://www.cinematog...n...15091&st=45 post #59)

S4 info at: http://www.etcconnec...ew.asp?ID=20080

There also is a Source Four Par that comes in two versions, one with four substituteable lenses for different spreads, and the other a spread adjustable "Parnel". I'm not a great fan of either of them, they're hard on gels and the beam distribution isn't as even as I'd like. I much prefer real Fresnels.
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 02:18 AM

Thanks guys, that clears it up. That referenced thread helps define their use, where David said he used them to "add hot spots to a set." I guess because of their tightly focused beam.
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 03:26 AM

Ellipsoidals use lenses to focus the beam efficiently to a sharp edge. You generally get more intensity per wattage at a given distance compared to pars or fresnels, but with a smaller pool and a crisply focused beam (and blades/gobos etc.).
Posted Image

Compare to par cans:
Posted Image
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#6 Frank Barrera

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 06:36 AM

They are probably the most underated unit available. If you are shooting a scene and you want to have a slash of light with a hard shadow on a back ground wall you can take the time to put up a fresnel lamp and try to get it far away enough from some solid flags to get that very sharp edge or you can use a Leko and get that sharp shape with no other gear very quickly. This is essential in tight spaces. No matter what type of job I always try to carry a couple of Lekos. And they're cheap.
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