ISCO IIIL (and general A-lens) set up questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 10-01-2013, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I just set up my lens yesterday for the first time. I used Scott's (GetGray's) setup guide, but I'm not getting the results I'd like--just a first pass so far.

1) Does it matter how close or how far the lens is from the projector lens? Right now it is < 1" away. Would closer/farther be better?

2) I'm getting a weird warp on the upper left of the screen, i.e. the squares are widening as you go up the screen towards the edge of the screen. Any suggestions?

3) The focus adjustment seems to affect much more than focus: As I turn the image gets larger and larger and then the horizontal lines begin to bump up and/or down distorting the geometry of the squares in the test image. Is this normal?

4) I'm getting more curvature than I expected on a flat screen from a distance of about 16' with a JVC projector with ~ 52" image height. Is this a setup issue with the lens?

Anyone in Los Angeles with more experience want to help in trade for a free meal? some DVDs/CDs? ??


Thanks,
Brian

PS. For anyone wondering if masking panels are worth it the answer is a big "YES."

PSS. I can understand why people just go for a zooming setup--way easier and less costly. Perhaps I will experiment and see how bad the overspill on the wall is and see if I notice a loss of resolution.
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post #2 of 33 Old 10-01-2013, 12:42 PM
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Don't use any horizontal lens shift.
If you are doing a vertical lens shift, you will need to tilt the lens.
Play with the lens angle to reduce distortion.
Closer to the projector is generally better, to avoid shadows from the edges of the lens.
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post #3 of 33 Old 10-01-2013, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post

Don't use any horizontal lens shift.
If you are doing a vertical lens shift, you will need to tilt the lens.
Play with the lens angle to reduce distortion.
Closer to the projector is generally better, to avoid shadows from the edges of the lens.

Lens is tilted down currently. Do you mean down angle or left to right angle?

Since the lens is not centered on the projector (HD250) I have corrected w/ horizontal offset. I can try to move it closer to center. JVC expert Q: If I reset the settings in the projector do the offset settings return to 0? (I have no idea how to figure out where "center" is..

Thanks for the suggestions,
Brian
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post #4 of 33 Old 10-01-2013, 06:25 PM
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I don't know the specifics on your projector, but I think you want to avoid any left/right shift, so you might need to center the lens, rather than the projector case

If your projector is on the ceiling, you would tilt the lens down to match the angle. I think this kind of up/down shift is okay, with the right lens tilt.
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post #5 of 33 Old 10-07-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I re-checked and the projector lens was centered with the screen. After more experimenting with the lens it seems I needed to adjust the roll. I believe the slide was designed to hang from the ceiling and perhaps in that installation the lens' roll would be correct. In my case I had to prop up the slide on a the side to get the roll correct. Once I did this the image improved dramatically (in terms of geometry). With some adjustments forward and back on one side I was able to get it to point where I'd say it is 90%+.

The curvature due to the lens is very noticeable to me. I will live with it for a while and consider if going to a zoom method makes more sense. I don't have a dark wall and am worried about light spill on the wall underneath the image.

Curious to hear what you guys might suggest?

1) Sell the HD250 and ISCO + slide system and get newer JVC with Eshift (~$1-3k upgrade cost) and lens memory and don't worry about possible loss of resolution when zooming?

2) Sell the HD250 and ISCO + slide system and get new Sony VPL-VW600 4k projector (~$5k upgrade cost) and get a projector upgrade and no big deal with resolution change?

3) Something else?

Edit: I should mention...123" W (2.35) and ~16' viewing distance.

Thanks!
Brian
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post #6 of 33 Old 10-07-2013, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

The curvature due to the lens is very noticeable to me. I will live with it for a while and consider if going to a zoom method makes more sense. I don't have a dark wall and am worried about light spill on the wall underneath the image.

What curvature are you talking about? Pincushion? I would not expect that to be significant unless your throw ratio is very short. What is your throw ratio?

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post #7 of 33 Old 10-07-2013, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

What curvature are you talking about? Pincushion? I would not expect that to be significant unless your throw ratio is very short. What is your throw ratio?

Projector distance is ~ 15.5', so 186". Based on a 1.78:1 screen shape width is 93", so 2x, is that what you are asking?

Here is a lousy picture I took last night

There is a slight overall curve of the screen due to the camera picture (obviously it is flat), but you can see the curve (pincushion) at the bottom above the masking. This is a shot from LOTR--box says 2.40:1.

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post #8 of 33 Old 10-07-2013, 06:34 PM
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Interesting, that seems like quite a bit more than the 0.6" of pincushion it should be. Do you know how much it actually is?

Also are you saying the curve at the top is from the camera? And that it's actually straight? If so you should tilt the lens up a bit to even out the pincushion, and then you should be able to zoom the small amount (should be about 0.6") onto your border.

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post #9 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 06:55 AM
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That looks normal to me, since the pincushion is balanced on the top and bottom and the image is symmetrical.

Some options:
1) Use black masking and overscan to hide the pincushion.
2) Move the projector further back, to reduce the pincushion.
3) Get a curved screen, to cancel out the pincushion.
4) Zoom, rather than using the a-lens.
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post #10 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 07:07 AM
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This spreadsheet will calculate pincushion based on lens and radius:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1118055/diy-screen-curve-calculator-aussie-bob
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post #11 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Interesting, that seems like quite a bit more than the 0.6" of pincushion it should be. Do you know how much it actually is?

Also are you saying the curve at the top is from the camera? And that it's actually straight? If so you should tilt the lens up a bit to even out the pincushion, and then you should be able to zoom the small amount (should be about 0.6") onto your border.
I fiddled with it some more and not sure what I did. However, the result is much, much less noticeable curve. The image is slightly shifted down (with 2.40 material), but the curvature of the top and bottom are almost identical.

I can't seem to attach pictures at the moment, but 2.35 currently fits with no visible screen area. 2.4 is very slightly curved as you suggested, but with the image shifted down so there is more space up top. I guess with more messing with it I can get the picture centered vertically although it isn't as big a deal as the extreme curve was.

Thanks for the help everyone.

Still curious about what a good upgrade path might be. Starting to get the projector upgrade bug after a couple of years.

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post #12 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post

That looks normal to me, since the pincushion is balanced on the top and bottom and the image is symmetrical.

Some options:
1) Use black masking and overscan to hide the pincushion.
2) Move the projector further back, to reduce the pincushion.
3) Get a curved screen, to cancel out the pincushion.
4) Zoom, rather than using the a-lens.

1) Did the best I could.
2) No way to do this on the lift.
3) Can't do it, needs to be retractable and screen is brand new.
4) This is the big question....worth it?

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post #13 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post

This spreadsheet will calculate pincushion based on lens and radius:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1118055/diy-screen-curve-calculator-aussie-bob

Thanks for this. As stranger89 said, .6" is the predicted pincushion. I believe I am currently close to this. I will see if I can shift the image up and then maybe try a little more zoom to get the picture onto the masked section.

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post #14 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some more lousy pictures.

Here's a pic from Flash Gordon (2.35)--aside from the pause menu from the Blu-ray being at the bottom the image fills the screen.


and here is one from Blade Runner (2.40 according to box):


If you have really good eyes you can make out about 1-1.5" strip on the top showing the picture is shifted down (although the curve is fairly benign.

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post #15 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 12:22 PM
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I guess another option is digital pincushion correction, if your projector supports it. Depending on the projector, you either lose a bit or sharpness or gain some aliasing problems.

It's up to you which you prefer - regarding curves, zooming, digital correction, etc. It's hard to accept compromise when this stuff is so expensive.
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post #16 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post

I guess another option is digital pincushion correction, if your projector supports it. Depending on the projector, you either lose a bit or sharpness or gain some aliasing problems.

It's up to you which you prefer - regarding curves, zooming, digital correction, etc. It's hard to accept compromise when this stuff is so expensive.

No, it doesn't. I'd be hesitant to try and correct the situation by digital means anyway.

I guess I'll wait till the Sony 600 starts shipping and get some opinions on it vs. the newer JVC product. I wouldn't mind a bit more light output and improved image--I guess who wouldn't?? smile.gif However, I don't want to sacrifice black level performance which I've seen as an issue with a lot of higher output/DLP projectors.

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post #17 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 03:38 PM
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Some suggestions / comments:

Going to zoom means losing light output and black bars (and menus) projected onto the wall. This can be somewhat mitigated by painting wall above and below the screen matte black.

Some zoom projectors (like the JVC) increase light output when zooming, but at the expense of contrast. Sticking with the ISCO means maintaining brightness and contrast.

Strongly suggest zooming the 2.40:1 image into the screen until the curvature disappears into the screen surround. You will have a bit more overscan on the side for 2.40:1 images but that's WELL within tolerances for even commercial cinema projection. Your pincushion will disappear.

I don't believe the Sony 600 has lens memory. The ISCO would work great with it though.

Don't use electronic pincushion correction.

Contrast is more important than resolution. The Sony *may* have better resolution than the JVC, but *may* not have better contrast. All things being equal, then yes - go for the improved resolution.

Remember, anamorphic uses all pixels and actually eliminates the black bars. Zoom just projects them on the wall. Also, you cannot fill the whole 2.40:1 screen with 16:9 material using zoom without also projecting onto the wall. Anamorphic supports stretched and cropped 16:9 content filling the whole UltraWide screen.

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post #18 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

I fiddled with it some more and not sure what I did. However, the result is much, much less noticeable curve. The image is slightly shifted down (with 2.40 material), but the curvature of the top and bottom are almost identical.

You should be able to fix that with lens shift on the projector.

And like John suggested, I'd just zoom out a bit so the pincusion is cropped by the screen border for 2.40:1 content.

Oh, and one more thing, don't rely on the case for the AR, it's a crapshoot what the actual AR is.

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post #19 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 07:15 PM
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The Sony vw600 does have lens memory.
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post #20 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

Some suggestions / comments:

Going to zoom means losing light output and black bars (and menus) projected onto the wall. This can be somewhat mitigated by painting wall above and below the screen matte black.

Some zoom projectors (like the JVC) increase light output when zooming, but at the expense of contrast. Sticking with the ISCO means maintaining brightness and contrast.

Strongly suggest zooming the 2.40:1 image into the screen until the curvature disappears into the screen surround. You will have a bit more overscan on the side for 2.40:1 images but that's WELL within tolerances for even commercial cinema projection. Your pincushion will disappear.

I don't believe the Sony 600 has lens memory. The ISCO would work great with it though.

Don't use electronic pincushion correction.

Contrast is more important than resolution. The Sony *may* have better resolution than the JVC, but *may* not have better contrast. All things being equal, then yes - go for the improved resolution.

Remember, anamorphic uses all pixels and actually eliminates the black bars. Zoom just projects them on the wall. Also, you cannot fill the whole 2.40:1 screen with 16:9 material using zoom without also projecting onto the wall. Anamorphic supports stretched and cropped 16:9 content filling the whole UltraWide screen.

Black bars on the wall is definitely a concern. System is in a living room so no way to paint the ceiling or the wall below the screen a dark color.

When I have time I will try zooming the image a bit more--I will need to get the image up a little first to make it even on the top and bottom.

The Sony is a good deal more expensive than the step-up model JVC, so if it doesn't give me the added benefit of elimination of the lens, then I probably wouldn't do it.

I would imagine a contrast improvement with either projector based on what I have. I would like some more light output, but I suppose I could just try the high lamp mode.

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post #21 of 33 Old 10-08-2013, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

You should be able to fix that with lens shift on the projector.

And like John suggested, I'd just zoom out a bit so the pincusion is cropped by the screen border for 2.40:1 content.

Oh, and one more thing, don't rely on the case for the AR, it's a crapshoot what the actual AR is.

I'll try to zoom a bit more to fix the image in anamorphic mode. I was reporting the aspect ratio based on the case, but visually it seemed correct.

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post #22 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

I re-checked and the projector lens was centered with the screen. After more experimenting with the lens it seems I needed to adjust the roll. I believe the slide was designed to hang from the ceiling and perhaps in that installation the lens' roll would be correct. In my case I had to prop up the slide on a the side to get the roll correct. Once I did this the image improved dramatically (in terms of geometry). With some adjustments forward and back on one side I was able to get it to point where I'd say it is 90%+.

The curvature due to the lens is very noticeable to me. I will live with it for a while and consider if going to a zoom method makes more sense. I don't have a dark wall and am worried about light spill on the wall underneath the image.

Curious to hear what you guys might suggest?

1) Sell the HD250 and ISCO + slide system and get newer JVC with Eshift (~$1-3k upgrade cost) and lens memory and don't worry about possible loss of resolution when zooming?

2) Sell the HD250 and ISCO + slide system and get new Sony VPL-VW600 4k projector (~$5k upgrade cost) and get a projector upgrade and no big deal with resolution change?

3) Something else?

Edit: I should mention...123" W (2.35) and ~16' viewing distance.

Thanks!
Brian

 

I'm late to the party but it sounds to me like your screen might need some adjustment.  Have you checked to see if it is plumb?  I have yet to see a wall in a house that is true plumb.  If the screen is not plumb it will introduce "Keystone" and this can result in some possible "pincushion" or "curvature" and focus problems.  I would suggest you check this aspect again and shim the screen if necessary.

 

Also, you may have some curvature in the wall, concave or convex, that is causing the edges to be a different distance form the lens than the center of the image.  Typically people will measure the mounting screws relative to the wall position and not to each other.  If this is the case, when the screen is hung you maybe bending the screen frame in a way that all the screen material is not equal distance from the lens; especially the corners of the screen.

 

The ISCO IIIL is an excellent lens.  I don't think you can do much better.  I've found that most focus problems, short of the projectors primary lens, when using the ISCO come from screen projector misalignment.  With good projector/screen alignment I've found you minimize the amount of adjustment required with the ISCO.

 

If you don't get the screen hung properly and the projector centered and perpendicular to the screen material, no amount of adjustment at the lens will overcome the misalignment.  At best you will have some sort of comprise.

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post #23 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm late to the party but it sounds to me like your screen might need some adjustment.  Have you checked to see if it is plumb?  I have yet to see a wall in a house that is true plumb.  If the screen is not plumb it will introduce "Keystone" and this can result in some possible "pincushion" or "curvature" and focus problems.  I would suggest you check this aspect again and shim the screen if necessary.

Also, you may have some curvature in the wall, concave or convex, that is causing the edges to be a different distance form the lens than the center of the image.  Typically people will measure the mounting screws relative to the wall position and not to each other.  If this is the case, when the screen is hung you maybe bending the screen frame in a way that all the screen material is not equal distance from the lens; especially the corners of the screen.

The ISCO IIIL is an excellent lens.  I don't think you can do much better.  I've found that most focus problems, short of the projectors primary lens, when using the ISCO come from screen projector misalignment.  With good projector/screen alignment I've found you minimize the amount of adjustment required with the ISCO.

If you don't get the screen hung properly and the projector centered and perpendicular to the screen material, no amount of adjustment at the lens will overcome the misalignment.  At best you will have some sort of comprise.
The screen is retractable and not fixed, so what you are describing is not possible. As for being equal distance from both ends to the center of the lens it isn't the easiest thing to measure, but I believe it to be close otherwise I'd see keystoning on one side of the image and the other would be flat (which isn't the case).

I'm pretty happy with the lens at the moment. The slide takes ~ 10 seconds to get into place and the stretch is accomplished via remote pretty easily on the projector. With some more twiddling I think I can get the extra 5% out of the picture and with some additional zooming I can get a 2.40/2.39 image to fit the screen area.

At that point it will just be a question of whether it makes sense to upgrade the projector or wait another year. I will have to do a calibration and watch a few more blu-rays to decide.

B.
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post #24 of 33 Old 10-09-2013, 05:01 PM
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You've got a pretty "current" projector, by that I mean it's a nice 1080p machine. Personally I wouldn't buy a projector this year in that situation (I have a nice 1080p projector and I'm not upgrading at least). There are some very nice machines out, and at some attractive prices (especially if you've got an above average budget), but I think this year, more than last year and likely more than next year is a transition year. 4K is coming, whether you are interested in 4K today or not, but there are many questions about it right now. We don't even have a complete list of HDMI 2.0's capabilities yet. We don't know what requirements 4K content will have, like will it actually follow the ITU recommendation (BT.2020) like HD did (BT.709), which would "require" displays with wider gamuts, and likely greater than current (this year) HDMI implementations.

I guess what I'm saying is if you "needed" a projector today, there are great options, but if you don't (and with an HD250, I don't think you do), I think it's better to wait and see how 4K/UHD Blu-ray and HDMI 2.0 shake out. With the quality of projectors these days, and the relatively slow pace of advancement, I'm personally prepared to pay a good bit more than I have in the past, but if I do that I'd like to have some confidence that what I buy will satisfy me for a number of years, and I'm not convinced anything I get this year will do that (save maybe the VW1000 which Sony is willing to support with hardware upgrades, but that one's a bit too much for me).
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post #25 of 33 Old 10-31-2013, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I played with the setup a little more this evening and I cannot get the 2.40(?) image zoomed to the point that it is on the screen masking area. I can when zooming the projector, but then I have too much spill onto the masking when it is in 1.78 (and the lens is out of the path). (The projector does not have separate memories as far as I can tell.) Turning the lens seems to expand the image, but I can't turn it far enough. I have a DVDO Duo that I took out of the system--perhaps if I put it back in I can use it to zoom the image when I use it to vertically stretch? Is this correct?

Perhaps I'll wait till next year, buy a new model and simplify...

B.
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post #26 of 33 Old 10-31-2013, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

Well, I played with the setup a little more this evening and I cannot get the 2.40(?) image zoomed to the point that it is on the screen masking area. I can when zooming the projector, but then I have too much spill onto the masking when it is in 1.78 (and the lens is out of the path). (The projector does not have separate memories as far as I can tell.) Turning the lens seems to expand the image, but I can't turn it far enough. I have a DVDO Duo that I took out of the system--perhaps if I put it back in I can use it to zoom the image when I use it to vertically stretch? Is this correct?

Perhaps I'll wait till next year, buy a new model and simplify...

B.

Why don't you just sell your lens to me and be done with it?wink.gif
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post #27 of 33 Old 10-31-2013, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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post #28 of 33 Old 11-01-2013, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

Well, I played with the setup a little more this evening and I cannot get the 2.40(?) image zoomed to the point that it is on the screen masking area. I can when zooming the projector, but then I have too much spill onto the masking when it is in 1.78 (and the lens is out of the path). (The projector does not have separate memories as far as I can tell.) Turning the lens seems to expand the image, but I can't turn it far enough. I have a DVDO Duo that I took out of the system--perhaps if I put it back in I can use it to zoom the image when I use it to vertically stretch? Is this correct?

This post confuses me, let me see if I understand what you're saying:

1) Without the lens in place you can zoom large enough for the projector to fill the screen's width.
2) With the lens in place, you can't zoom to fill the height? Or the width?

That doesn't make any sense, if 1 is true, you should (with the lens in place) be able to zoom 33% of the picture off the screen both horizontally and vertically (not saying you should).

Oh, I think I get it now, if you zoom the pincushion off the screen, when you remove the lens, there is more overscan than you want. That also seems a bit odd, 16:9 should (I believe) be the same height as the center of the scope image with the lens in place.

You, know, I'm back to the beginning, I'm not following what the problem is. Maybe you need to back up a bit:

1) Make sure the projector is aligned without the lens in place
2) Insert the lens and adjust the focus/alignment of the lens
3) Worry about content.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #29 of 33 Old 11-01-2013, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

This post confuses me, let me see if I understand what you're saying:

1) Without the lens in place you can zoom large enough for the projector to fill the screen's width.
2) With the lens in place, you can't zoom to fill the height? Or the width?

That doesn't make any sense, if 1 is true, you should (with the lens in place) be able to zoom 33% of the picture off the screen both horizontally and vertically (not saying you should).

Oh, I think I get it now, if you zoom the pincushion off the screen, when you remove the lens, there is more overscan than you want. That also seems a bit odd, 16:9 should (I believe) be the same height as the center of the scope image with the lens in place.

You, know, I'm back to the beginning, I'm not following what the problem is. Maybe you need to back up a bit:

1) Make sure the projector is aligned without the lens in place
2) Insert the lens and adjust the focus/alignment of the lens
3) Worry about content.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. 1) is easy to achieve. Since I have side masking I can make the image fit nicely and then zoom it out a bit. 2) is where I might be having the issue. With 2.35 material (on the 2.35 screen) everything is "peachy." But with thinner 2.39/2.4 material the image shows the pincushion above and below and has "unprojected" space. The recommendations above were to zoom the image out to fix this. Unfortunately, as I said, without lens memory this is a problem--1.78 material is over the masking to the sides and looks noticeably bad.

Will inserting the Duo back in the chain let me store a zoomed preset for 2.35/39 that will eliminate the black area??

B.
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post #30 of 33 Old 11-01-2013, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

Sorry if I wasn't clear. 1) is easy to achieve. Since I have side masking I can make the image fit nicely and then zoom it out a bit. 2) is where I might be having the issue. With 2.35 material (on the 2.35 screen) everything is "peachy." But with thinner 2.39/2.4 material the image shows the pincushion above and below and has "unprojected" space. The recommendations above were to zoom the image out to fix this. Unfortunately, as I said, without lens memory this is a problem--1.78 material is over the masking to the sides and looks noticeably bad.

Will inserting the Duo back in the chain let me store a zoomed preset for 2.35/39 that will eliminate the black area??

B.

You will always have issues with the pincushion on those "other" ratios where the height is lower than say 2.35 films (extra wide formats) The only way to fix that is to zoom them up with a VP, problem then is you loose some of the side information.
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