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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Good Ol' US of A
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I owned an FPJ1 - RS2 clone - and used my Radiance XD to calibrate the greyscale, gamma, and gamut. The 11-point parametric RGB gamma adjustments on the RS2 can be used to calibrate the greyscale, if you are careful. There is no internal control that allows you to adjust the gamut properly since not all the colors are equally oversaturated (and the color control adversely affects the lightness of colors anyways). Red is the most egregious color by far, followed by green and then blue. Because I was used to the colors of my non-calibrated RS2, I never realized how far off the colors were - and that's just the adaptive nature of human vision. However, once I dailed in the gamut I was much, much happier with the picture than I was the non-calibrated one. Now I am very sensitive to oversaturated colors (or poor greyscale) because I'm so used to watching a properly calibrated picture. So no one is saying that the RS2 looks like crap, but once you've gotten used to a "correct" picture, its larger gamut is very noticable. The oversaturated colors were a well-known shortcoming of the RS2 when people bought it, but owners lived with it because no other manufacturer could touch its native CR and still output anywhere near as many lumens. Or they went out and bought a Radiance like me.
So, given that the RS2 is currently going used for around $2500, you'd have to pony up at least another $2K to get your hands on an RS20/LTX500 if you bought one outright. The $1500 that your dealer wants to upgrade you to the LTX500 is therefore very reasonable. Your only other option would be to find a used Lumagen HDP (which is hard to find and will run you between $500 and $700) to calibrate the RS2's gamut, but that only adjusts primaries and you don't get the higher light output or better blacks of the LTX500.
In that vein, if you compare the light output vs. CR numbers from the cine4home reviews for both projectors, it's very apparent that for a given CR, the LTX500 can put out significantly more light than the RS2 (or conversely, for a given light output, the LTX500 has notably better CR than the RS2).
Having actually seen and lived with an RS2 (and waiting for my RS35 to arrive), I can tell you that the difference between calibrated and non-calibrated gamut alone are not trivial. Add that to the rest of the improvements in the LTX500 over the RS2 - firstly light output and then CR - and $1500 is a great deal and a no-brainer.
There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't.