View Full Version : PAR64 VNSP, is this correct?
01-15-2008, 08:08 PM
Okay, newb question here. I bought 3 Par64 cans along with yoke adaptors and am assembling them tonight. I never helped out in theater so I'm guessing how to put these together, though it seems fairly straightforward (remove rear, remove retaining ring, put in bulb, put retaining ring back in again to pinch bulb in). One concern I had is that the bulb is almost touching the protective grid (presumably for broken glass).
Anyhow, my main question, I plugged in an FFN VNSP bulb and the pattern is oblong, is that normal? I thought a VNSP would be spotty, and it is, but oblong, here's a picture depicting what I am seeing.
David Mullen ASC
01-15-2008, 09:34 PM
Yes, the PAR 64 "firestarter" globe output has an oblong shape that you can make vertical or horizontal.
01-15-2008, 09:50 PM
You got the assembly right - good little fixtures to have around-
Par64's come in a few different flavors-
Very Narrow (Which you have), Narrow, Medium and Wide-
Wattages also vary (the Ansi code changes) - 500W, 1000W and I've always known "Firestarters" as 1200W VNSP - Aircraft landing lights - these are extremely difficult to find these days as that technology changed a few years back.....
Mediums are the Globe d'jour...
They all use the same socket - check prices though - some retailers charge $50+ each-
01-15-2008, 09:54 PM
David, about that moniker "firestarter", can I use the given gel frame without torching the gel or do I need to put the gel in a standalone frame an extra foot away from the light?
Bret, why are the mediums the globe to have? In everything I read from David, it seems he uses mostly just Very Narrow and occasionally Narrow but never Medium or Wide. I bought three cans and bulbed two of them VN and one of them Narrow, didn't buy any mediums.
01-15-2008, 09:55 PM
Oh, and I got mine off ebay from a reliable repeat seller, I paid $21 a piece (including S&H) for name brand GE bulbs.
David Mullen ASC
01-15-2008, 10:46 PM
I use other lights when I want a medium spread anyway, like a fresnel or open-faced, etc. To me, the PAR 64's are mainly useful for getting a really hot, searing spot on something for very little wattage.
There are times when medium PAR's are useful as a cheap light, like when you have to hang a hundred of them in a ceiling grid.
You need to put the gel at a distance from the firestarters, if you gel them at all. If you just need some warmer color, try dimming them instead.
If you have a PARCAN design, you can put gel at the end of the can in the gel holder, though I've done that with spot globes, I haven't done that with narrow spots. I suspect it will melt or fade pretty quickly.
01-15-2008, 11:09 PM
I have worked a lot with these lights for concerts and it is very common to have a gel in the gel holder at the end of the tube. And yes, they melt a bit or turn opaque after some time, depending on the color.
01-16-2008, 12:56 AM
All standard* PAR lamps exhibit an ellipsoidal (as opposed to circular) 'hot spot' in the projected field - if you slowly rotate even the MFL and wider PAR lamps you'll notice it.
*The new LED based "PAR" units project with a circular hot spot.
01-16-2008, 12:59 AM
(remove rear, remove retaining ring, put in bulb, put retaining ring back in again to pinch bulb in). One concern I had is that the bulb is almost touching the protective grid (presumably for broken glass).
Make sure that the bulb is free-spinning whilst held in with the ring - the ring should sit over all three notches in the back of the bulb. This will let you "spin the bottle/turn the ceramic/insert local phrase here" and rotate that elliptical hot spot.
01-16-2008, 02:26 PM
thanks guys! I then took both outside (last night, which was extremely foggy) and pointed them at the sky, that VNSP stays focused for a long time! Dang, you could use those to fake showlights if you weren't that far away!
01-16-2008, 04:14 PM
I think if you try the "narrow" MFL / FFR bulbs instead of the very narrow ones you will fall in love with these PAR lights. I think that the slight frost those bulbs have on the front glass make them much easier to use as the beam is more spread out than the VNSP with only a small loss of light. I also often put a layer of Opal over these and that will give you a fairly even yet very direct light.
I think these are the great lights for the money. I have 6 of the cans and also a 9 light Brute that I have used for years. I often use these instead of putting CTO on HMI's or when I need a warm light. And they are great to use with dimmers.
I have the wide bulbs but find I rarely use them as there are many other lights for that, my fav is the narrow spot: 1000W PAR64 120V (FFP)
Lights64 on eBay is great for all bulbs, good guys and usually the best price - these are less than $18.00 + S/H.
01-16-2008, 04:39 PM
Hey Enzo, thanks for chiming in! Though you are confusing me a bit.
I did buy the step down from the Very Narrow, I bought one Narrow Spot, the FFP. It has a frosted lens and does look very nice. The FFR is not a spot, it's the Medium Flood bulb.
So did you mean to say you like the Medium Flood FFR or that you like the Narrow Spot FFP?
Lights64 is where I bought them :-), I now buy all of lamps from him. Name brands, awesome prices.
01-16-2008, 06:15 PM
Sorry for the confusion..... I mean what used to be called the NSP bulb which is the narrow spot with the frosted lens -- I think... that is what I mean and I think that is what what you have. I find I rarely use the clear front VNSP and if so only with some diffusion but those suckers will fry your gels.
01-16-2008, 10:23 PM
When I mentioned mediums, I should have said "From a rental house perspective" mediums seem to be the globe of the day...
In our mostly music video town, Pars get used a bunch for truss behind talent during performances, and as David said, using a ton of them to throw light across walls, top lights etc. Kind of a good, all around blaster to get 500W-1K up someplace- also, parcans are a comparatively inexpensive rental fixture-
01-16-2008, 10:30 PM
Also, for those of you smoking up gel left and right- Check out a couple of things-
Rosco Heatshield is pretty cool stuff that will extend gel life a bit... not forever, and it isn't cheap, but it's cheaper than blowing through a 2 rolls of gel fast-
Also, better quality color filters last longer. Roscolux, Cinegel, Gam and other 1 piece dyed polyester filters will last longer than 2 part filters like Lee, Format and Cotech- personal experience, anyway-