ISCO 3 Anamorphic Lense. - AVS Forum

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Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP

elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
03:10 PM Liked: 36
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All,

I realize this is in the wrong forum (non 2.35), but I hope to generate more interest in anamorphic lenses in this forum. I believe many still do not know what an anamorphic lense can do for their setup and resulting 2.35/scope experience...

Is there any interest in an AVS power buy for the ISCO 3L lense? I believe it is ISCO3's top lense, hence costs a bit of mula ... but wondering if we could bring that down with a power buy.

-ELmO
Kris Deering's Avatar Kris Deering
03:50 PM Liked: 397
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Less than what can be done with a good masking system. I still think the cons (added scaling, additional lens artifacts) outweigh the pros (more chip resolution, albeit with inherently false detail).

By having a larger screen and doing a masking system you can have your cake and eat it, without the unnecessary crumbs.
elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
04:09 PM Liked: 36
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What about people like me, who don't have nearly enough throw distance to achieve much larger screen sizes?

Masking system does nothing for me because I can't get any larger from 16ft back. I'm currently at 10.75 ft wide without a lense, and the image is spectacular no matter what aspect ratio (with or without black bars), but the image is "small" to me. I sometimes have trouble understanding people who are only at 8' wide and think they're getting the best out of the projector world?

There is more chip resolution and lumens for scope movies, but to me it's more about screen size. This is what a projector should be used for! Why are people projecting 90" screens with them?

We already have trade offs with going from an HDTV to a projector.

Carada will get mad at me again for posting this, but who on earth is buying a masquerade system at their MSRP and not investing that in a larger screen or anamorphic lense? I guess there are more 30' long theaters out there than I thought.

-ELmO
Kelvin1965S's Avatar Kelvin1965S
04:44 PM Liked: 48
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I thought along similar lines to Kris after 2.5 years of zooming and laterly shrinking. I picked up a lower spec Isco II secondhand for a price that meant I could sell it on at little or no loss if I wasn't impressed. In short, I plan to keep the lens as the overall result is an improvement IMHO.

Some of this may be due to peripheral reasons:Using the lens means I've had to reduce my zoom from approx 1.5 to 1, which puts me at the higher contrast end of the zoom. Plus the extra brightness (for 2.35:1 content) has allowed me to close my iris a couple of stops, which in total has maybe gained me 10-15% CR improvement. I'm too far back (112" wide 2.35:1 screen at 12' viewing distance) to actually see the pixels when zooming, but I never noticed before that scenes with the sky in really looked like they were 'distant' and not just an image on a screen....the screen really has disappeared. That is compared to straight zooming.

Sure there is a little pincusion, but having invested in a good quality tab tensioned electric screen I have no intention of going for a curved screen and I don't think that such a screen is available anyway. My Lumagen helps me to trim the borders exactly and my screen has very dark edging too. The theoretical drop in ANSI contrast doesn't seem to be noticable (though my room isn't perfect, as I only have a 'Bat tent' over the first 2 metres or so from the screen). In short it would be better for me financially if I'd found the lens wasn't worth the cost as I could spend elsewhere on my system, perhaps improving the audio side with a separate pre pro combo. However, I've deceided to keep the lens.

For reference my system is: JVC HD350, ISCO II, 2.35:1 112" wide Tab tensioned Beamax 1.5 gain Matt White, Lumagen HDQ fed from a Sony BDP-S350.

OK, so I'm a recent convert, but I was pretty sure that zooming/shrinking was the best way forward in my setup, I'd convinced myself that zooming is great and that I didn't want or need a lens. I figured that until I'd actually seen one in my own home I couldn't truthfully argue against one.....now I'm a lens club member.
rabident's Avatar rabident
10:39 PM Liked: 25
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There was a long thread on it the 2.35 forum. I still think like everything in life it's application dependent and each person needs to weigh the pros and cons and see how it applies to their particular setup.

If you're fighting throw distance, don't have enough brightness, or sit so close that SDE becomes an issue then an extra lens makes sense.

If you have bright corners, noticeable misconvergence towards the edges, or uneven screen focus/uniformity then using a smaller, but better portion of the chip is advantageous.

The negative effects of scaling haven't been documented to my knowlege. People will cite DVD as an example, but the case is different with DVD. It's upsampling more than 2x both directions (exactly 6x more pixels). That gives the scaling algorithm a lot more to work with than scaling by 0.3x. Prevailing wisdom on scaling is even multiples are best and you're better off not scaling at all vs trying to gain slightly more resolution.

There's also the extra glass. Anything short of perfect degrades the image, and as good as the ISCO III is, it's not perfect.

Proponents will argue all the negatives are imperceptible while all the advantages are readily apparent. I think it depends. Neither solution is ideal.
elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
06:20 AM Liked: 36
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I agree with you. if I had throw distance I would not be considering a lens.

If you tape out different size screens, you become envious of a-lens scope users. I can't imagine what the feeling is to watch on a 14ft+ wide image. If I could move my projector back and get that, it would be done...

-ELmO
Bob Sorel's Avatar Bob Sorel
07:36 AM Liked: 117
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I am a happy ISCO 3 lens owner now for about 3 years, but if I had a choice, I would rather not use a lens for the following reasons:

1. Cost!! (these things are expensive!)
2. Reduced lumens when watching 16X9 material (I am way too lazy to move the lens out of the way and I have no room to accommodate a sled).
3. Extra glass is extra glass - the less glass in front of my image, the better.
4. Slight pincushioning - as has been mentioned, there is a slight pincushioning, but I don't notice it on anything but test patterns.

That being said, in my situation I have found the lens to be a wonderful addition. My room is height limited, but I have all the width that I want, so I built a 2.35:1 screen that used all of my available height. The lens allows me to stretch the width to fill up the entire screen when viewing widescreen material. The degradation from adding the extra glass is minimal with the ISCO 3, as it is a very high quality lens, and my projector puts out enough lumens to offset the loss due to the lens. Also, my projector does not have enough zoom range to use the zoom method of CIH.

The biggest plus about the ISCO 3 is that I have changed projectors 3 times, yet I have not seen any reason to change lenses even once. When you have the best there is (arguably), there is nothing to upgrade to. Also, since the ISCO 3 is a very LARGE lens, it can be used as far as 12" away from the projector lens without any issues, so projectors with recessed lenses can still work with the ISCO 3. In this hobby it has become the single best "investment" I have made, as it is the only piece of equipment I own that has actually appreciated in value...
stanger89's Avatar stanger89
10:13 AM Liked: 156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post

Less than what can be done with a good masking system. I still think the cons (added scaling, additional lens artifacts) outweigh the pros (more chip resolution, albeit with inherently false detail).

By having a larger screen and doing a masking system you can have your cake and eat it, without the unnecessary crumbs.

Are you really saying that 16:9 CIW is a "have you cake and eat it" substitute for CIH?

You post seems to be a classic example of one of the big misconceptions about CIH and anamorphic lenses (especially in this day of HE lenses). CIH is not about eliminating black bars. CIH is about maintaining the cinematic relationship of aspect ratios, ie constant height.

Lenses are a means to that end. Masking on a larger 16:9 screen is not.

Unless you're zooming (which lets not forget is impossible with a lot of very nice projectors) you're permanently throwing away 25% of your projectors's resolution, 44% of it for 1.78:1 material.

Now if you're talking the "old" idea of a VC lens being used to increase brightness and reduce black bars on a CIW screen, then I agree, masking is probably better, but this is a CIW config.
mark haflich's Avatar mark haflich
10:16 AM Liked: 586
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Bob. Twelve inches away with no problems? A statement like that is totally irresponsible, something I know you are not. Any anamorphic lens should be mounted as close as possible to the primaryl ens, meaning ideally within about 1\\2 inch. The Isco III is so large in diameter, it has a larger sweet spot than the beer budger anamorphics permitting a further away placement say up to a few inches with minimal adverse effects. Remember the further the anamorphic is from the primary, the larger will be the image size on the entry glass of the anamorphic and the more vertically the lens vill have to be displaced vertically to center the entry image on the anamorphic. There is no excuse for mounting up to 12 inches away or suggesting this is OK. It isn`t.
elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
10:26 AM Liked: 36
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Mark,

How does Sim2 get away with selling anamorphic lenses then? I believe they offer an isco3 setup with their projectors. Check out how recessed my lens is:




mark haflich's Avatar mark haflich
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If the back surface of the Isco was mounted about 1\\2 inch in front of case (to allow some tilt to the lens) how far would that surface be from the front of the primary lens/ something like 3 1\\2 inchs? not ideal but it would work very well.
mlang46's Avatar mlang46
12:02 PM Liked: 11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

Mark,

How does Sim2 get away with selling anamorphic lenses then? I believe they offer an isco3 setup with their projectors. Check out how recessed my lens is:




I use a Panamorph 480 in front of a Sim2 ht380 and I see no degradation in the resolution at all. You will see no increase in performance replacing a Panmorph 480 with an ISCO 3 none nada but you will spend a lot more money.

I agree with Bob Sorel and Greg Rogers that the best way to get a 2.35 image is just use the zoom feature to overfill the screen.
elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
12:21 PM Liked: 36
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I wish that were true, mlang, but I'm thinking I would, from my research. My throw ratio is only 1.488.

10.75ft wide 16x9 (nearly max zoom) at 16 ft throw = 14.25 ft wide scope. This type of throw ratio only the ISCO3/aussimorph MK4 and large aperture lenses can handle without problems (pincoushining/CA)?

What is your TR and screen size?

Here is Schneider's response to the Sim2 HT380 and their lenses:

Quote:


The HT380 is a tough projector for anamorphic mainly because of the design of the housing. The primary zoom lens is so far recessed from the front of the case that the anamorphic cannot be positioned close enough for use without vignetting.

The smallest lens that could be used is our CDA 1.33x Anamorphic M lens (cat# 54-1055212). We haven't tested it, but I think you'd need a distance of about 2x the 16:9 screen width to make it work.

They did mention the ISCO3 and the Schenider XL lense would work well around 1.5 TR. Looks like I'll try to get an ISCO3 or MK4 since the Schnedier Cine-Digitar XL MSRP is 10.5K (yikes)..bet it's lower at street but still.

ELmO
Bob Sorel's Avatar Bob Sorel
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Quote:


Bob. twelve inches away with no problems? a statement like that is totally irresponsible, something I know you are not. Any anamorphic lens should be mounted as close as possible to the primarylens,meaning ideally withiong about 1\\2 inch.the IscoIIIis solarge in diameter,it has a larger sweet spot than the beer budger anamorphicspermitting a further placements ay up to a few inches withminimal adverse effects. Remember the further the anamorphic is from the primary,the larger willbe the image size on the entry glass of the anamorphic and the more vertically the lens villhave tobe displaced verticallytocenter the entryimage on the anamorphic. There is noexcuse for mounting upto12 inches or suggesting this is OK. It isn`t.

Mark, 12" was what I was told when I bought the lens 3 years ago, though I have personally not tried it. I have personally used it at 6" with no issues whatsoever. I agree that I prefer to use it as close as possible, but it most certainly can be used at a distance greater than the 1/2" that you mention. In fact, I used it with a Sim2 HT-380, with its recessed lens, for about a full year, also with NO ISSUES whatsoever. To the best of my recollection, 12" was the limit I was told back then, and from my personal experience, that seems like a reasonable limit. Of course there will always be issues of getting the lens in line when the image is offset, but as long as the person can get the entire image into the lens before vignetting (is that the correct term?) starts to occur, then the ISCO 3 can do its thing. Again, the further the lens is away from the PJ lens, the more opportunity there is for stray light to enter, as well as reflected light to bounce around and degrade the image, so keeping the lens as close as possible certainly is optimal.

My point here actually is that there is a lot of talk in the forum about recessed projector lenses and how they can not use anamorphic lenses with those projectors. While this *may* be true with the prism type devices (I don't think those units actually qualify as lenses at all, but I don't know for sure), I have found no such limitation with a large, TRUE lens such as the ISCO 3.

I'm sorry if you find my reporting irresponsible, but I am simply calling it the way I see it, as well as repeating information that I got when I bought it.
Jason Turk's Avatar Jason Turk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlang46 View Post

I use a Panamorph 480 in front of a Sim2 ht380 and I see no degradation in the resolution at all. You will see no increase in performance replacing a Panmorph 480 with an ISCO 3 none nada but you will spend a lot more money.

I agree with Bob Sorel and Greg Rogers that the best way to get a 2.35 image is just use the zoom feature to overfill the screen.

Ditto when I had my HT380 (Short throw at that).
Bob Sorel's Avatar Bob Sorel
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Quote:


The HT380 is a tough projector for anamorphic mainly because of the design of the housing. The primary zoom lens is so far recessed from the front of the case that the anamorphic cannot be positioned close enough for use without vignetting.

Elmo, that statement from Schneider leads me to believe that their lens is significantly smaller in diameter than the ISCO 3. I just did a quick and dirty measurement of my ISCO 3 and it is roughly 5" in diameter (glass diameter, not lens diameter). IIRC, one of the main improvements between the ISCO 2 and 3 was the significant increase in lens diameter - the ISCO 2 and ISCO 3 are very different beasts, so don't make the mistake of thinking that if you find an ISCO 2 at a good price that you are getting something similar to the ISCO 3. If Schneider lenses are smaller than the ISCO 3, then personally speaking I would not consider one, as I never know how far back my PJ lens may be the next time I upgrade...
Bob Sorel's Avatar Bob Sorel
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Oh yeah, that's right....throw ratio needs to be considered as well because the smaller the throw ratio, the quicker the image becomes larger. All of my usage has been at a throw ratio of about 1.8X. YMMV.

Edit: Corrected typo...throw ratio, not through ratio...
mark haflich's Avatar mark haflich
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One wants to use a anamorphic at long throws. The whole idea is to have the image entering the back surface of the anamorphic as small as possible and to have it centered. You guys are bright enough to figure out why. It isn`t to prevent a loss of resolution. If you think there isn`t a hugh difference between using a panamorph, a schneider, and an ISCO III, think again. Not that a panamorph is bad, its just that the Isco is better, especially if used correctly. And this is unbiased. I don`t own one myself. I use a 1.78 screen with no anamorphic. I don`t zoom. I horizontally mask from 1.78 to 2.35 or 2.40. But I have installed many and the Isco III is the performance champ when used at long throw and placed close to the primary.
elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
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This is why I think it's difficult for someone like me (short throw) to buy a nice lens and not be able to test it out in my situation first before saying whether or not I want it...

Schneider said their XL and the ISCO3 would work in this situation. I'd like to test all your guys theories, if it's as good as it is, I bet I would be happy at 1.5 TR with a huge image to boot. The Sim2 has not let me down yet...

-ELmO
Kelvin1965S's Avatar Kelvin1965S
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sorel View Post

......so don't make the mistake of thinking that if you find an ISCO 2 at a good price that you are getting something similar to the ISCO 3.

Oops, I just did that. I thought that an ISCO II was simply a smaller ISCO III for those at a very long throw like me. However, I can only imagine what a 'III' must look like as I'm very impressed with my lowly 'II' (maybe the very long throw of near 2.7 helps?).

I've checked mine carefully and it's definately a 'II' (was hopeing there had been some mistake ).
elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
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From what I read (which may be wrong), the new ISCO3S (small) is supposed to be kind of similar to the ISCO2. I don't know, because in the used market the ISCO2 is significantly cheaper than the ISCO3S.

Can you take pictures of your lens?
Bob Sorel's Avatar Bob Sorel
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Quote:


I thought that an ISCO II was simply a smaller ISCO III for those at a very long throw like me.

It might very well be. Let me clarify - They are very different beasts in size and therefore in flexibility of setup and usage. I have no idea of how the 2 lenses compare quality-wise. If you can use the smaller lens of the ISCO 2, my thoughts would be that it would be a fantastic deal if you could get your hands on a used one at a good price. I have never personally used an ISCO 2, but my *assumption* would be that the optics quality would still be top notch.
sfogg's Avatar sfogg
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"but my *assumption* would be that the optics quality would still be top notch."

The II is good enough that I see SDE in my front row with the II in front of the RS-1. The biggest difference is the II is smaller (your III is a giant) so you have to get it close to the projector lens and has a long enough throw ratio. The II was much better then the Prismasonic I replaced, that had a lot of CA.

The other difference as I recall is the II ever so slightly zooms the image while the III doesn't. That makes the III better for a sled type arrangement.

Shawn
Bob Sorel's Avatar Bob Sorel
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Hi Shawn! Gee, I was just thinking of you when I posted about the ISCO 2...

The last I heard you were using it with a JVC RS-1. Is that still the case or have upgraded since then? As I remember, you loved your ISCO 2. Is it still working out as well these days? And you are using the ISCO 2 at a very short throw, right?
tbase1's Avatar tbase1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Onewants to use a anamorphic at long throws. The whole idea is to have the image entering the back surface of the anamorphic as small as possible and to have it centered. You guys are bright enough to figure out why. It isn`t to prevent a loss of resolution.If you think there isn`t a hugh difference between using a panamorph, a schneider, and an an ISCO III, think again. Not that a panamorph is bad, its just that the Isco is better, especially if used correctly. And this is unbiased. I don`t own one myself. I use a 1.78 screen with no anamorphic. I don`t zoom. I horizontally mask from 1.78 to 2.35 or 2.40. But I have installed many and the Isco III is the performance champ when used at long throw and placed close to the primary.

ditto Mark, I've owned 5 anamorphic lenses in my time and all the companies I message board with told me that beam spot is key to a good setup. i.e zero zoom You let the anamorphic lens do the work. My reason for getting the 3L is to try to project a 8' wide image from 25'....now this might not happen with my ruby, so I might have to try a longer throw projector to make it work.
elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
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Why wouldn't you use any zoom, I just don't get it. I have 20/20 vision and my sim2 ht380 looks effing marvelous when it's huge! People are amazed that on a white wall (no screen), the image is very watchable from only 2 feet away. This is nearly an 11ft wide image from 16ft back..!
sfogg's Avatar sfogg
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Hi Bob,

Still using the Isco II. I don't have a reason to change it out and at the $500 it cost me it was a steal. My throw is about 1.5x which is pretty much the limit with the ISCO II. It has to be positioned carefully to avoid vignetting.

Shawn
elmalloc's Avatar elmalloc
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I doubt I could use an ISCO2 with my recessed lens?
sfogg's Avatar sfogg
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"I doubt I could use an ISCO2 with my recessed lens?"

To get my 1.5 ratio to work the lens on my RS-1 is within a hair of touching the ISCO.

Shawn
tbase1's Avatar tbase1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

Why wouldn't you use any zoom, I just don't get it. I have 20/20 vision and my sim2 ht380 looks effing marvelous when it's huge! People are amazed that on a white wall (no screen), the image is very watchable from only 2 feet away. This is nearly an 11ft wide image from 16ft back..!

The smaller beam spot the sharper image is why I use very little if any Zoom. Zooming the way I see it is for fine tuning...albeit it can be used to make the image larger. Try looking at a 12' image then zoom in an look at a 8' image and you'll have your answer.

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