Originally Posted by jeahrens
Thanks for the info John. Just a question. Won't the VC lens require him to compromise 16:9 quality by leaving the lens in place if he does not want to zoom the picture substantially when switching? Unless I am missing something it looks like the VC lens is compressing the 2.35:1 image to same width it has in 16:9 mode, so the picture would have to be zoomed out to get the image framed on his extended 2.35:1 screen. Then zoomed back in to watch 16:9 content without throwing away resolution (which is the majority of his viewing). Wouldn't an HE lens on a slide have been the best solution solution? Am I missing something?
No, you are not really missing anything. Since most of his viewing is 16:9, most of the time he can leave the lens out of the light path. Cgott42 says he will watch Scope films maybe two or three times a month, so most of the time the lens remains off.
When he DOES want to watch Scope, he can move the lens into place and either A) zoom the image in to fill his "patched" 2.35:1 screen for Constant Image Height (which is exactly what he would do if just zooming anyway), or B) move the lens into place and enjoy a much brighter 2.35:1 image on his 16:9 screen for Constant Image Width (if he doesn't want to hassle with attaching the "wings" or mess with zoom). The advantage of "A" over standard zooming is that the picture will be a good 20 - 30% brighter, plus the black bars will be gone rather than projected above and below. The advantage of "B" is a 30% brighter, more impressive Scope Constant Image Width picture than standard letterbox, and again, no projected letterbox bars. Since going to Scope means attaching screen "wings" to achieve Constant Image Height, moving the lens and zooming is the least of the hassles
Yes, leaving the lens in place all the time means compromised quality for 16:9 sources, but of course that is true for both VC and HE designs. With both you will need a transport, so a wash. (A quick note. Yes, leaving a lens in place for 16:9 does mean reduced resolution in the horizontal for 16:9 sources - a resolution of 1440 x 1080 vs. 1920 x 1080. However, the biggest noticeable difference is a reduction in overall brightness, as resolution remains the same vertically, where human beings perceive most detail. On the upside, with the lens in place both 16:9 and Scope material have the same brightness per unit area.)
The benefits of an HE lens are not having to zoom to fill the larger screen and the ability to be used at shorter throw distances. Of course, with today's lens memory projectors, the zoom is handled automatically anyway. A VC lens with transport makes a great companion to a projector with lens memory
, since (as I mentioned before) with this type of system you get the brightness benefit of zooming plus the brightness benefit of the lens (plus of course the elimination of projected letterbox bars). You really do end up with about a 30% brighter image than just zooming. Of course, cgott42 does not have a lens memory projector, so he will need to zoom manually.
If cgott42 had a true 2.35:1 / 2.40:1 screen and could have found a high quality HE lens for $500, for sure I would have pointed him in that direction, if only because he would not have to manually zoom. It was the combination of having a (primarily) 16:9 screen, a long throw, and the availability of a high quality VC lens for $500. The FVX200 will certainly have better picture quality than the HTB lens (in fact, better in many ways than most HE lenses).