Originally Posted by Gregory
Can you describe what you liked about the lensed image, as compared to the zoomed image?
What would you say is the weak point of a lensed image, other than cost and complexity?
I found that the lensed image had better contrast (due to using much less zoom on the projector's own lens), brighter for the same iris position as using the whole panel on the projector (so I could close it one step and retain the same brightness, thus gaining further contrast as smaller iris on the HD350= best ON/OFF CR). Although I couldn't 'see' the pixels when zooming as I'm at approx 1.4 x width, the image did still seem more dense, or rather shots of the sky, for example, seemed to have real 'distance' to them that was missing when viewed when zooming. In a similar way to simply reducing the screen size gives a richer picture, but this way the image stays large. Of course there are no 'black' (dark grey) bars to shine on the screen wall beyond the screen edges (I have a dark matt brown painted screen wall rather than pure black as it's a living room). Granted this would be less noticable in a dedicated room with black cloth/velvet surrounding a screen. Also with the lens in place it blocks some light spill from my projector that previously would light up part of my ceiling above my seat (though this could be solve by placing some sort of mask in front of the projector to be fair).
Aside from cost (approx 1/3 the current list price as it was secondhand) and the initial setting up, the only issues I have are slight pincusion due to my screen being flat, so I slightly overscan the image. However, I'm at a very long throw so even this is minimal. I thought at first that the lens might be causing some fringing effect on a white crosshatch test pattern, but it is there without the lens in place, so that is just the slight missconvergance of my HD350 (need to be within a few feet of the screen to see, so not too bad anyway). My Isco II slightly enlarges the image when in place, so for 16:9 viewing without the lens I have to adjust the projector's zoom to compensate, so I don't have a true CIH setup if I just move the lens, but for all but the most critical of viewing I can leave the lens in place for 16:9 and use the squeeze mode on my VP.
I should add that around the time of getting my lens I moved my projector to a higher position, which means I have to apply some lens shift (it was dead centre before). This has a side benefit on the HD350 of improving ANSI contrast, so it is noticably better in this regard. It was apparent on certain end credits that I was seeing a 'ghost' image of the white titles, which must have been effecting the 'in scene' contrast, depending on where the 'ghost' landed it could have lightened supposedly dark areas. However, removing the lens doesn't seem to further increase ANSI (though I have no way to measure it) any noticable amount and others have reported that the Isco doesn't impact on ANSI contrast anyway.
I hope that helps, though to be fair, I was a disbeliever before the lens came up so I only bought it as a trial intending to sell it on once I'd 'proved' it was a waste of time...but I still have it.