CIH noob needs help with aspect ratio craziness - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 02-09-2014, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I am in the planning process right now of building a CIH system. I want to use a 2.40 lens from Prismasonic. It is going to be paired with a Sony 500es. Does the 500es support vertical stretch for 2.40? If not I plan to buy a Lumagen video processor. Do Lumagen products have this function? How much do I need to vertically stretch scope films given that the 500es has a 1.89 aspect ratio?

Finally, I just found out that 1.89 is really 1.89 followed by a whole lot of decimals after playing around a calculator. Ditto for all the other aspect ratios. I have also noticed that 2.40 and 2.35 are used almost interchangeably. How do lens and video processor makers take this into account? Do they just ignore it?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 09:23 AM
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The Sony has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which translates to 1.77777... usually just referred to as 1.78. That's the ratio used by HDTV, so your HD cable/sat/OTA channels will fit that. Films are generally 1.85:1 or 2.35:1, and many older films at 4:3 (1.33:1). As you noted, that 2.35 ratio is sometimes called 2.40, sometimes 2.39. It's not really a big deal in the end, as it's a negligible difference given the size of most home theater screens.
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post #3 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your nice reply.

While 2.35 and 2.40 are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. For example, using a 2.40 lens with a video processor that is stretching for 2.35 would introduce sone unsightly distortion. That is why there are 2.40 lenses, 2.37 lenses, 2.35 lenses, and video processors that let you stretch by different percentages. Also, the Sony 500ES has a native aspect ratio of 1.89 not 1.78.

I really have three questions:

1. Will I need a separate video processor to use a 500es with a 2.40 lens? Can the internal video processor be adjusted to do the appropriate stretch? I know it can for 2.35 lenses.

2. If the 500es can't do stretch for 2.40 on its own, how much stretch do I need to program the external video processor for? Remember the native aspect ration on the 500es is 1.89.

3. How precisely can aspect ratios be entered into video processors? Limited to two digits after the decimal?

Thanks for your help!
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jaychatbonneau View Post

Thank you for your nice reply.

While 2.35 and 2.40 are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. For example, using a 2.40 lens with a video processor that is stretching for 2.35 would introduce sone unsightly distortion. That is why there are 2.40 lenses, 2.37 lenses, 2.35 lenses, and video processors that let you stretch by different percentages. Also, the Sony 500ES has a native aspect ratio of 1.89 not 1.78.

I really have three questions:

1. Will I need a separate video processor to use a 500es with a 2.40 lens? Can the internal video processor be adjusted to do the appropriate stretch? I know it can for 2.35 lenses.

2. If the 500es can't do stretch for 2.40 on its own, how much stretch do I need to program the external video processor for? Remember the native aspect ration on the 500es is 1.89.

3. How precisely can aspect ratios be entered into video processors? Limited to two digits after the decimal?

Thanks for your help!

Anamorphic lenses for home theater projection stretch the image horizontally by 33% or (compress it vertically by 25%). What you end up with is a 2.37:1 aspect ratio when extrapolated from a 16:9 display (1.78 x 133% = 2.37). AFAIK, no HT lens manufacturer differentiates between a "2.35:1 lens" and a "2.40:1" lens (or even a 2.37:1 lens), at least in terms of manufacturing two different options. I believe some of the Prismasonic lenses allowed for variable stretch, but I am not familiar enough with their product to know how this is implemented.

Just about any video processor used for electronically stretching the image does so by the same 33%. Lumagen processors do allow for variation lesser or greater than 33%, I believe. If you want to stretch material to compensate for the rare film that falls outside of the 2.35:1 / 2.40:1 ratio "family," a Lumagen would be a good investment. Otherwise, you are left with the same 33% stretch that just about every projector manufacturer has built in. Normally this is not an issue, since it works with just about any consumer anamorphic lens available.

To add further confusion, aspect ratio is also influenced by throw ratio. If you are in the lens "sweet spot" (typically around 3 - 3.5X screen height back) you will end up with around a 2.37:1 aspect ratio from the lens itself. If one were to pair this lens with a 2.35:1 screen, you would have an image that slightly bleeds into the left and right screen surround for both 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 material, and barely perceptible letterbox bars for 2.40:1 material. If you choose a 2.40:1 screen, you end up with the opposite - slight bleed top and bottom.

But all of this is also dependent on throw ratio, like I originally stated. If you have an extremely long throw (say, 4 or 5X screen height), the projector / lens combo will create an aspect ratio of less than 2.35:1 (perhaps, 2.25:1). Conversely, if you have an extremely short throw ratio, you will end up with the opposite problem (a ratio of greater than 2.40:1). This is true of any anamorphic lens, regardless of manufacturer. Fortunately, the cast majority of installs fall into the sweet spot and this is not an issue.

RE: the Sony projector. The Sony has a 1.33X stretch built in for consumer anamorphic lenses, and a 1.25X stretch built in if you want to use a "professional" anamorphic lens (one used in commercial cinemas). I don;t know of anyone using the latter solution.

That said, it is important to note that the Sony will not vertically stretch native 4K content! The above applies to 1080 and lower resolution content only. If you want to scale native 4K you will *probably* need a Lumagen (I say probably because we have not confirmed compatibility with Lumagen regarding Sony 4K content yet).

As for the difference between scaling 2.35:1 or 2.40:1, it is really so negligible as to not be worth worrying about. It is amazing how much you need to mangle geometry before it becomes noticeable.

Good luck!

Kelvin might jump in and comment on his ISCO 1.25X lens.
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post #5 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a lot to think about. I might go the zoom route to get CIH. It would be on a much smaller Scrern though. frown.gif

FIY Prismasonic says their 2.40 lenses stretch by 35%. The distortion you mention is non-linear, right? I bet a curved screen and a little bit of overscan would do the trick. If most of the distortion was on the edges and I could hide it that would be fine.
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post #6 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the typos. I am doing this on an iPad mini.
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post #7 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 04:06 PM
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If I understand your question correctly, the distortion would be linear. But how visible is it? Technically you would want to do a 35% vertical electronic stretch for a lens that does a 35% optical stretch. This is fine if you have a scaler that can make those fine adjustments. But again - how visible is all of this stuff and is it worth worrying about? That's a personal call.

All lenses - even projector lenses - add a certain amount of distortion. Is it noticeable with actual video content? Usually not, but if you bring up a test pattern you can see it. But fortunately we don't watch test patterns.

If I made all of this sound complicated, I am sorry. You are asking pretty high level, almost theoretical questions, and the answers are therefore quite a bit more detailed and esoteric. I can give you much more real world answers if you can share the specifics of your setup. I can only answer with high accuracy regarding Panamorph products (which all work based on 33%), but I'm pretty confident that it would apply to Prismasonic too.

My main advice is not to worry about these fractional differences. I work in the film industry too, and it's not as if cinematographers calculate each composition with a slide rule and a set of micrometers. After all, they are looking through either a small viewfinder or a small video monitor when setting up a shot. There are also inherent distortions in camera lenses as well.

Typically all of this is a one time "set and forget" type setup. As long as your projector is at proper throw ratios and distances most of this is academic.

Interesting that Prismasonic offers a 2.40:1 lens.


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post #8 of 24 Old 02-10-2014, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I figured it out. The Sony only has two preset vertical stretch modes. One for 1.35 lenses and another for 1.24 lenses. Since the 500ES only has two setting for vertical stretch I will just get a Lumagen. If I light the center 3840 by 2160 pixels a 35% vertical stretch will result in exactly a 2.40 aspect ratio with the Prismasonic lens. If I light all the pixels, a 26.66% stretch will get me almost exactly 2.40. The difference from 2,40 would be basically invisible.

So, how precisely will the Lumagen set the stretch? Will it let me set a stretch to a tenth of a percentage point?
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post #9 of 24 Old 02-11-2014, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post

Kelvin might jump in and comment on his ISCO 1.25X lens.

I'm presuming you mean me, but my Isco II is a 1.33x lens, though I know they do make 1.25x as I've occasionally seen them for sale on auction sites.

In answer to the OP, my Lumagen gives me the scaling (and slight cropping) I need so that any film I watch between 2.35:1 and 2.40:1 fits my 2.35:1 screen. Due to an excessively long throw I actually have an image a couple of inches too big all round to fit my screen, so I use the cropping function in my Lumagen to trim the image back to the (not so black) screen borders. Since doing this I've never had a 'scope' film that didn't perfectly fit my screen though I know I may be missing out on some tiny detail at the very edges of the screen, it seems to work well enough for me.

Having read the latest reviews of the new JVC X500 it looks like the calibration facilities in the Lumagen are still worthwhile (non linear saturation of the red on the review I read) so at least with JVCs I'd say a Lumagen is desirable along with an A-lens. I'm sure Lumagen won't leave Sony owners without a solution for long if there is a compatibility issue between Lumagens and Sony projectors.

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post #10 of 24 Old 02-11-2014, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

I'm presuming you mean me, but my Isco II is a 1.33x lens, though I know they do make 1.25x as I've occasionally seen them for sale on auction sites.

Due to an excessively long throw I actually have an image a couple of inches too big all round to fit my screen, so I use the cropping function in my Lumagen to trim the image back to the (not so black) screen borders. Since doing this I've never had a 'scope' film that didn't perfectly fit my screen though I know I may be missing out on some tiny detail at the very edges of the screen, it seems to work well enough for me.
.

Yes, I did mean you smile.gif

I thought you had a 1.25 lens, but now I remember your issue was the long throw.

Thanks for posting this.
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post #11 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jaychatbonneau View Post

I figured it out. The Sony only has two preset vertical stretch modes. One for 1.35 lenses and another for 1.24 lenses. Since the 500ES only has two setting for vertical stretch I will just get a Lumagen. If I light the center 3840 by 2160 pixels a 35% vertical stretch will result in exactly a 2.40 aspect ratio with the Prismasonic lens. If I light all the pixels, a 26.66% stretch will get me almost exactly 2.40. The difference from 2,40 would be basically invisible.

So, how precisely will the Lumagen set the stretch? Will it let me set a stretch to a tenth of a percentage point?

No offense, but you're thinking about this way, way too hard, you just can't get down to 1% accuracy and even if you could it doesn't matter. The difference in height between 2.35 and 2.40 on a 100" wide screen is only about 3/4" (3/8" on each side). So there's really no point worrying about whether it's 2.35:1 or 2.40:1, not to mention whether it's exactly 2.400000 or 2.4001. On top of that it's a crapshoot whether a given scope movie on Blu-ray is 2.35:1, 2.40:1 or something in between, and there's no telling from the box, those aren't accurate.

As far as the Sony goes with it's ~1.9:1 imaging device and the Prismasonic. Prismasonics have manually adjustable stops for both pass and stretch mode, so it would be relatively easy to adjust one to produce only (approximately) 1.25x stretch (getting it exactly 1.25000x would be essentially impossible they're not that precise, but you could get close enough easily). After that I think a Lumagen should be fine if you tell it the screen is 2.37, between that and the 4096x2160 output resolution I think it should automatically do the 25% vertical stretch necessary.
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post #12 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 07:00 AM
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I have a Panamorph on the Sony 600ES and also am a confessed OCD-aholic. I was trying to figure out how to get the perfect 2:40 vs 2:35 compromise until last night when I watched Ghost Protocol on my 2:35 screen (the movie is allegedly 2:40).

There is indeed a small black bar on the top and bottom (maybe .75 inches or so) but sitting back 14 feet (10 foot wide screen) in a very dark room it was completely unnoticeable. My screen does have black felt or equivalent on the frame.

My recommendation would be to be OCD about something else smile.gif
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post #13 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

I have a Panamorph on the Sony 600ES and also am a confessed OCD-aholic. I was trying to figure out how to get the perfect 2:40 vs 2:35 compromise until last night when I watched Ghost Protocol on my 2:35 screen (the movie is allegedly 2:40).

There is indeed a small black bar on the top and bottom (maybe .75 inches or so) but sitting back 14 feet (10 foot wide screen) in a very dark room it was completely unnoticeable. My screen does have black felt or equivalent on the frame.

My recommendation would be to be OCD about something else smile.gif

I'm sorry then, you are just not OCD enough...in anycase if you were you would put the letters in alphabetical order as CDO. wink.gif

It's a similar reason why from seated distance any slight overspill in the screen corners caused by pincushion becomes a non issue too.

Anyway, I'm off to try to adjust my new subs to within +/-0.5dB 20-120Hz. wink.gif
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post #14 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 08:37 AM
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Anyway, I'm off to try to adjust my new subs to within +/-0.5dB 20-120Hz. wink.gif

Now THAT I can identify with!!!!

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post #15 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jaychatbonneau View Post

While 2.35 and 2.40 are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. For example, using a 2.40 lens with a video processor that is stretching for 2.35 would introduce sone unsightly distortion. That is why there are 2.40 lenses, 2.37 lenses, 2.35 lenses, and video processors that let you stretch by different percentages.

The difference between 2.35:1 and 2.40:1 is not as straightforward as the math would seem. Many DVDs and Blu-rays are mislabeled. These terms are used interchangeably.

See explanation here:

http://www.highdefdigest.com/blog/constant-image-height-refresher-2013-part2/

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post #16 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

As far as the Sony goes with it's ~1.9:1 imaging device and the Prismasonic.

Why is Sony using a non-standard aspect ratio in its imager? Does the company really think it can make everything proprietary? rolleyes.gif

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post #17 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 10:12 AM
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Actually it's using a real 4K imaging device, 4096x2160, so arguably it's "more standard" than the UHD 3840x2160.
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 11:12 AM
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Actually it's using a real 4K imaging device, 4096x2160, so arguably it's "more standard" than the UHD 3840x2160.

That's correct - it's an actual D-Cinema configuration.


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post #19 of 24 Old 02-13-2014, 10:05 AM
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That's correct - it's an actual D-Cinema configuration.

But it's not a D-Cinema projector. It's a home theater projector. Unless it can display D-Cinema files and Sony has a plan in place to ship DCP hard drives to everyone who purchases the projector, I fail to see the point releasing this to the home market.

When the 4k Blu-ray format is finalized, it will be UHD 3840x2160, not 4096x2160.

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post #20 of 24 Old 02-13-2014, 10:58 AM
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The VW1000 came out over two years ago, quite a while before the UHD flood, and the VW500 uses the same chips.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #21 of 24 Old 02-13-2014, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

But it's not a D-Cinema projector. It's a home theater projector. Unless it can display D-Cinema files and Sony has a plan in place to ship DCP hard drives to everyone who purchases the projector, I fail to see the point releasing this to the home market.

When the 4k Blu-ray format is finalized, it will be UHD 3840x2160, not 4096x2160.

As Stanger points out, it was released early on and there was no consensus yet on what 4K would be.

The Sony has various modes that let you use all or just the 16:9 portion of the chips, even for anamorphic.

BTW, I can personally confirm that some of the major studios are using the VW1000 in their labs (I saw it in action).


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post #22 of 24 Old 02-15-2014, 08:06 AM
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This thread is making me giggle a bit...mostly because I was in the same boat last year. Some way overthinking on here. (And by me in the past)

Get the Sony 500, an A-lens, a 2.35 or 2.40 screen (doesn't matter)....set it up....it will rock...guaranteed. A little overscan onto the felt as needed and the aspect ratio is no biggie.


If it doesn't, I'll be happy to buy your Sony 500....at half off smile.gif

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post #23 of 24 Old 02-19-2014, 03:16 AM
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Don't sweat about exact ratios.

I design and make anamorphic lenses, and even I don't obsess about it. I just use my old JVC's "2.5% crop" feature to level everything out.

2.4:1 movies aren't cropped much because they're not tall enough. 2.35 movies are cropped more, 2.37 a little less. 16:9 is cropped too.

What you end up with is everything basically the same height and the same width. Sure, you lose a few pixels, but not as many as in commercial cinemas where masked 2.2:1 ratios are not unheard of.

Enjoy the show, don't worry too much about a few pixels here or there. If it's a good movie then you won't miss those pixels. If it's awful, no amount of exactitude in screen proportions will help it.


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post #24 of 24 Old 02-19-2014, 09:03 AM
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2.40:1 movie on a 2.35:1 screen:

Skyfall-on-235-Screen.jpg

2.35:1 movie on a 2.40:1 screen:

Licence-to-Kill-on-240-Screen.jpg

Really not worth fretting over, IMO. Zoom a smidge to let the black bars spill off onto your masking material if they bug you.
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