These are so preliminary as to be almost invalidated by the technical issues I ran into...but since some of them are positive I'll mention them anyway.
When my projector lift is fully raised, the Projector sits about 3" above the height of my largest 2:35:1 image on the screen.
The first issue is that I set my image size, switched my RS55's anamorphic processing on, and then slid the UH480 into place. Right off the bat (looking at the lens pattern) the geometry was crazy-off, warping all over the place. So I tilted the UH480 to try to try to compensate, and it got a bit better, but was still a mess. The other issue was about 1/3 of the bottom of the image was in shadow - it was missing. I realised later, especially from looking at A-lenses in the "2:35:1 Screen Picture Thread," that my UH480 is riding too high on the shelf. It's mounted to a 1" high wood block, which appears to put it up too high in front of the lens as you can see here:
So it looks like I'll have to fix that issue somehow, for now I'll put something under my projector to raise it up. But my question is: do I need the projector to be perfectly level with the lens? Or, because it's slightly higher than my screen, will the lens be best placed slightly lower down, angled slightly down toward the screen? (That's how many of the ceiling-mounted A-lens set ups look to me, from pictures).
I ended up lowering my projector lift to the point I could tilt the UH480 up just enough to eliminate the bottom shadow from the 2:35:1 image. However, the image geometry was still pretty awful - not just the fringes of the image, but there was warping on either 1/2 of the image as well. I can really use some advice as to how to best situate and dial in this lens.
All that said, I watched some movie scenes anyway, just to see them fill my screen.
It was awesome seeing that even-more-huge-and-cinematic impact of using most of my screen width. The bigger the image, the more cinematic it feels.
The Alien Blu-Ray scenes had me feeling I'd lost a bit of clarity (hopefully attributable to the current crappy lens set up) and perhaps a bit of contrast (black levels seemed a tad higher). But then as scenes went on, many exhibited quite nice contrast. I was happier as I continued to view...it was at least quite promising. Was it brighter? I don't know objectively, but my over all impression from everything I watched was "hey, this is quite bright, especially given it's an even bigger image size than the biggest I've watched in quite a while." I had my RS55's iris down most of the way, to about -12 and the image was vivid at 123 or 124" wide.
After that I watched some of The Fifth Element and The Island. Holy cow they looked fantastic! (Though I could spot the poor geometry, it was far less intrusive than the lens pattern would have led me to predict). I think this is where a projector like the RS55 really comes into play, with it's amazing contrast and the added clarity you can bring in with the E-shift/MPC settings. But the huge scope image was just gorgeously sharp and detailed, with tons of "pop" and contrast. It just looked better than it had any right to at that size. Once those two movies went on, I was just "wow...wow!" for the rest of the night. I put on 2001 Space Odyssey and it looked astonishingly good!
Better than I thought it could at that size. And of course, no film demands more immersion than that one.
I don't know yet if I can attribute the excellence of the image to adding an A-lens or not. Maybe, in allowing this image size at a smaller zoom setting, it's allowing for more contrast in the image. That's the feeling I was getting.
But I won't know better until I do some good zoom vs A lens comparisons.
But it was a very promising first look in terms of the image experience. I just hope I can lick the geometry problems.Any advice would be much appreciated as to what type of angling I should aim for with the A-lens.
Thanks for reading....