I need some custom gobos (client logos) for my Source 4 Jr Zoom. I need a good one made of metal that won't burn up right away, and which is made by somebody intelligent enough not to try to cut too fine a pattern (as those seem to have a tendency to burn up). There are a number of suppliers on the first Google search page, so I wanted to ask the experienced hands here for a recommendation for a gobo maker.
The largest that I know of is Rosco. That's who we use, and we've never had any issues. Apollo is also good, I have used some made by them but never ordered any.
To be honest with you, the Source 4 Jr is not a great choice for metal gobos. It requires a smaller gobo size (43 vs 58mm) than a full size Source 4, but attempts to shove the same amount of light through it. The Jr is pretty inefficient, being considerably less efficient than it's big brother. With a 575w lamp in both - at 50 degrees is about 60%, at 25 degrees is only 50%. Many people buy the Jr because they don't need the extra lumens, but it's a better idea to buy the full size and lamp at 375w. However, the full size zoom is ridiculously large and I find the Jr zoom to be quite good compared to the regular Jr.
A metal gobo in size B (58mm) should last for at least two 4hr sessions without much deforming of the edges (assuming your lamp is centered properly). Beyond that, it's a matter of detail. I wouldn't say it's up to the manufacturer of the gobo to decide how thin lines of detail are or not. They are going to make the closest thing they can to the graphic you send them. However, we project gobos all the time that are extremely detailed and of course they burn up quite quickly. It's just the nature of the beast. If you don't need that kind of detail either tell them or modify the graphic appropriately yourself.
If you find that life span above too short, you really need to buy screened dichroic glass gobos instead. They are meant to last, you will likely damage the gobo from handling before anything else happens to it. Plus, they look better and you can introduce colors.
I'm fairly committed to using the Source 4 Jr. Zoom, for ease of packing. The idea of simplifying the logo, i.e. removing some of the finer filigree work, is a great one. I've noticed the same thing, that the fine metal burns much more rapidly. My favorite abstract patterns are two that I cut myself, out of aluminum cake pans. Very durable too!
Have you successfully used glass gobos in a Source 4 Jr. Zoom?
Frankly, if the budget is available, glass is always the way to go. It's what I recommend to all our clients, and ultimately end up using when they're not happy with the metal templates (which always require "spoking" to keep the negative space from falling out).
They work fine in Juniors ....just make sure if you go with glass you order the correct size, and have the correct pattern holder.
Apollo does an excellent job with glass, as does Rosco
I've never used a glass gobo in a S4 Jr, but I don't see any reason why it would not work just fine. You will need to order a special holder for glass gobos since they are 1-2mm thick, instead of sheet metal.