Short throw lens options for high-end PJs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 06-23-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I have limited room in a small, dedicated home theatre. The maximum throw distance I can accommodate is 8ft 6in. The screen size I have is 92 inches diagonal, 16:9.

 

I am currently using a BenQ w1070 PJ, which is an entry-level model and, considering its price, is a good performer. However, it is substantially below the quality level of all my other gear. It does have the great virtue of perfectly filling my 92 inch screen from a distance of 8.5ft though ;)

 

To give an indication of what I would have bought if I did not have these constraints, it would probably have been the JVC DLA-X55.

 

I am wondering if anyone knows of a much more 'high-end' PJ (up to about $5,000) that either has a native throw ratio that will permit a 92 inch (diagonal 16:9) image from a distance of 8.5ft, or if anyone knows of such a PJ that can accommodate a short throw accessory lens?  

 

I am new to PJs and, having had the experience of the big picture, I am hooked - but I would love a substantial increase in quality, especially wrt to black levels. I am used to extremely good black levels from a Pioneer Kuro and a Panasonic VT60.

 

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.

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post #2 of 33 Old 06-23-2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I have limited room in a small, dedicated home theatre. The maximum throw distance I can accommodate is 8ft 6in. The screen size I have is 92 inches diagonal, 16:9.

I am currently using a BenQ w1070 PJ, which is an entry-level model and, considering its price, is a good performer. However, it is substantially below the quality level of all my other gear. It does have the great virtue of perfectly filling my 92 inch screen from a distance of 8.5ft though wink.gif

To give an indication of what I would have bought if I did not have these constraints, it would probably have been the JVC DLA-X55.

I am wondering if anyone knows of a much more 'high-end' PJ (up to about $5,000) that either has a native throw ratio that will permit a 92 inch (diagonal 16:9) image from a distance of 8.5ft, or if anyone knows of such a PJ that can accommodate a short throw accessory lens?  

I am new to PJs and, having had the experience of the big picture, I am hooked - but I would love a substantial increase in quality, especially wrt to black levels. I am used to extremely good black levels from a Pioneer Kuro and a Panasonic VT60.

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.

Sent you a PM. smile.gif

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post #3 of 33 Old 06-24-2013, 02:42 PM
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There's a short throw add-on lens in the classified http://www.avsforum.com/t/1471836/navitar-0-8x-screenstar-wide-angle-lens/0_50

also check ebay; search for short throw and/or conversion lens

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post #4 of 33 Old 06-24-2013, 03:14 PM
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You should only use that lens if the light beam leaving your projector is particularly small. This type of smaller lens basically restricts the use of the telephoto end of a zoom lens. Navitar makes an HD version of the lens which uses larger diameter glass elements to deal with larger light beams (which most higher end projectors use) and will allow the use of some zooming. What I have said is also common practice with anamorphic lenses. The larger the glass elements the more zoom you can use and the closer your throw can be.
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post #5 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

There's a short throw add-on lens in the classified http://www.avsforum.com/t/1471836/navitar-0-8x-screenstar-wide-angle-lens/0_50

also check ebay; search for short throw and/or conversion lens

 

Thanks Noah. (Not seen you post for some time - hope all is well chez vous).

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post #6 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

You should only use that lens if the light beam leaving your projector is particularly small. This type of smaller lens basically restricts the use of the telephoto end of a zoom lens. Navitar makes an HD version of the lens which uses larger diameter glass elements to deal with larger light beams (which most higher end projectors use) and will allow the use of some zooming. What I have said is also common practice with anamorphic lenses. The larger the glass elements the more zoom you can use and the closer your throw can be.

 

Thanks. One thing that confuses me is that these lenses say they "increase the size of the picture by xx%".  Is that what I want to do?  My problem is that often at the minimum throw distance of most PJs the image is too big here. For example, I was looking at the spec of one PJ that attracted me (using one of the online calculators) and its minimum throw distance was 8ft 3 ins, but from that distance it projected an image of over 100 inches (diagonal), which is too big for me as I can only accommodate a 92 inch screen.  Am I missing something?

 

My ideal PJ would throw a 92 inch diagonal image from 8.5ft (like the BenQ w1070 that I am using currently). 

 

I am very attracted to the JVC RS45 for example but at max zoom it will throw an image of 92 inches diagonal from 9ft 2 ins, frustratingly close to the 8ft 6 ins I need, but still too far.

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post #7 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 06:51 AM
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If your looking at lens options you may have to go higher with the price since most good quality lenses are roughly $2000 on there own. Also there are more business class projectors, or looking at the price of Digital projection or projector design. Those will both be out of your range.

You could use the Navitar adapter but you will have focus issues since your light beam will be big coming out of the lens.

One suggestion would be to use a mirror. I have seen this in many cases.
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post #8 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 07:52 AM
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Your current projector has a TR of 1.1 - 1.5 which is a very short-throw lens....something common in business platform projectors where they typically get plunked down on a conference table close to a wall or pull-down screen. The better more cinema-oriented projectors with good optics are not likely to offer a lens option less than 1.3 or 1.5. So your choices are to 1.) reduce screen size, or 2.) employ a mirror system that would enable you to lengthen the focal distance (projector lens to mirror + distance from mirror to screen). Mirror systems can be tricky, however, so the best solution might well be to reduce screen size by a few inches.
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post #9 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by space2001 View Post

If your looking at lens options you may have to go higher with the price since most good quality lenses are roughly $2000 on there own. Also there are more business class projectors, or looking at the price of Digital projection or projector design. Those will both be out of your range.

You could use the Navitar adapter but you will have focus issues since your light beam will be big coming out of the lens.

One suggestion would be to use a mirror. I have seen this in many cases.

 

Thanks. Could you elaborate on the use of a mirror system, or provide me with a link. I have no idea what to google for, sorry.

 

I would be prepared to raise the budget if there was a PJ that would suit my circumstances but, so far, I have been unable to find anything suitable at any price.

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post #10 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pete View Post

Your current projector has a TR of 1.1 - 1.5 which is a very short-throw lens....something common in business platform projectors where they typically get plunked down on a conference table close to a wall or pull-down screen. The better more cinema-oriented projectors with good optics are not likely to offer a lens option less than 1.3 or 1.5. So your choices are to 1.) reduce screen size, or 2.) employ a mirror system that would enable you to lengthen the focal distance (projector lens to mirror + distance from mirror to screen). Mirror systems can be tricky, however, so the best solution might well be to reduce screen size by a few inches.

 

Thanks. I'm reluctant to reduce the screen size below 92 inches TBH. If I had to go to, say, 84 inches, I might as well opt for one of the larger displays that are now coming onto the market, albeit in LCD form which I have always shied away from in favour of plasma. I don't think it will be too long before these supersize displays are available at a reasonable price.

 

What I love about the BenQ w1070 is the film-like quality of the image. If only it had greater contrast/black levels it would be perfect. I take the point about business platform PJs. 

 

I’d appreciate more info on the mirror system you mention. I am happy to lay out the cost for an adapter or conversion lens - just don't know which PJ/adapter combination would suit me best. 

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post #11 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 10:23 AM
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http://www.avsforum.com/t/1371862/diy-short-throw

Here is thread from a while ago. I believe you have to make sure to get a front mirror so it does not go though extra glass.
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post #12 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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post #13 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Thanks. One thing that confuses me is that these lenses say they "increase the size of the picture by xx%".  Is that what I want to do?  My problem is that often at the minimum throw distance of most PJs the image is too big here.

I thought it was too small; to get a 92" image at 8.5 feet is a throw ratio of 1.28, smaller than most pj.

Either way, to get the net throw ratio, multiply the pj's throw ratio by the power of the conversion lens; if the pj's range is 1.2 - 2.4, with the .8X lens it would be .96 - 1.92.

As mentioned, if you need a bigger image, you can also get it by folding the optical path, i.e put the pj at the back of the room firing sideways and reflect the beam off a mirror that's at 45 deg, which will send it to the front wall.

This is cheaper and better optically (less CR and brightness loss, no chromatic aberration) than a lens.

I have a first surface mirror you can have for cheap if you want to go that way; IIRC it's about 7" x 16".

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post #14 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 05:36 PM
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Sorry to Hi-jack the thread but am in the same boat with a W1070 too! and want to upgrade with a short throw!..... Does using a mirror lower the picture quality in any way with 2D and 3D?
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post #15 of 33 Old 06-25-2013, 10:18 PM
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Your throw ratio (distance/screen width) is ~ 1.27, which is the min throw ratio of the Sony1000ES (and which I take advantage of). However it is quite a bit above the $5K price limit you mentioned.
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post #16 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Thanks. One thing that confuses me is that these lenses say they "increase the size of the picture by xx%".  Is that what I want to do?  My problem is that often at the minimum throw distance of most PJs the image is too big here.

I thought it was too small; to get a 92" image at 8.5 feet is a throw ratio of 1.28, smaller than most pj.

Either way, to get the net throw ratio, multiply the pj's throw ratio by the power of the conversion lens; if the pj's range is 1.2 - 2.4, with the .8X lens it would be .96 - 1.92.

As mentioned, if you need a bigger image, you can also get it by folding the optical path, i.e put the pj at the back of the room firing sideways and reflect the beam off a mirror that's at 45 deg, which will send it to the front wall.

This is cheaper and better optically (less CR and brightness loss, no chromatic aberration) than a lens.

I have a first surface mirror you can have for cheap if you want to go that way; IIRC it's about 7" x 16".

 

Thanks Noah. I shall do some research into the use of a mirror. Thanks for the offer of yours BTW, but I can’t imagine a mirror surviving a transatlantic courier! :)

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post #17 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by millerwill View Post

Your throw ratio (distance/screen width) is ~ 1.27, which is the min throw ratio of the Sony1000ES (and which I take advantage of). However it is quite a bit above the $5K price limit you mentioned.

 

I've noticed that a lot of the very expensive (> than about $25k) PJs have shorter throws. I have no idea why, but if I filter for PJs above $25,000 I have a reasonable choice! 

 

While I can appreciate that a 25k PJ will no doubt be a very superior piece of kit, it seems perverse to buy one *just* to get a throw a foot shorter.  At least I have three options now:

 

  1. Use a mirror
  2. Use a converter lens
  3. Spend 25 grand :)

 

eek.gif

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post #18 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I've noticed that a lot of the very expensive (> than about $25k) PJs have shorter throws. I have no idea why, but if I filter for PJs above $25,000 I have a reasonable choice! 

While I can appreciate that a 25k PJ will no doubt be a very superior piece of kit, it seems perverse to buy one *just* to get a throw a foot shorter.  At least I have three options now:
  1. Use a mirror
  2. Use a converter lens
  3. Spend 25 grand smile.gif

eek.gif

Or go for a business model. Trade off will be the jvc blacks that you are looking for and no 3d on some models, but then you can go for a bigger screen.
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post #19 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 06:46 AM
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Alert. Collective brain fart. Minimum throw is how close you can put the projector to fill your screen size. To make the image smaller at the minimum throw point, just zoom the lens out to make the image smaller. You don't have a problem. I think the posters have missed the cow flying by the window. smile.gif

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post #20 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Alert. Collective brain fart. Minimum throw is how close you can put the projector to fill your screen size. To make the image smaller at the minimum throw point, just zoom the lens out to make the image smaller. You don't have a problem. I think the posters have missed the cow flying by the window. smile.gif

Mark, nothing missed. The poster said he has a maximum throw distance of 8'-6" and he needs to fill a 92" diagonal 16:9 screen. Poster said he would like to do so with a higher end projector like the JVC X55. A JVC X55 requires, at a minimum a little over 9' of throw (1.37 x 80" = 109.6") to fill a 92" diagonal screen. Poster will only be able to make the image around 86" diagonal, not filling his screen. Adding a conversion lens would allow him to do so.

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post #21 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Alert. Collective brain fart. Minimum throw is how close you can put the projector to fill your screen size. To make the image smaller at the minimum throw point, just zoom the lens out to make the image smaller. You don't have a problem. I think the posters have missed the cow flying by the window. smile.gif

I was assuming he wanted a pic as large as his screen. With a 1.4 throw ratio, he could put the pj lens 1.4 ft away, and have a pic 1 ft wide.
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post #22 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 09:12 AM
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I've noticed that a lot of the very expensive (> than about $25k) PJs have shorter throws. I have no idea why, but if I filter for PJs above $25,000 I have a reasonable choice!

Buy this - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1457054/make-an-offer-projectiondesign-f32-1080-very-low-machine-lamp-hours-used

A T1 1.2 - 1.6 lens for that projector would easily give you the size screen you want from 8'6". And a super sharp picture, considering the quality of the lenses these come with ( the lens cost about the same as a JVC RS46 ).

I had a DP dVision 1080p version - it was awesome ! smile.gif

You'll probably want a hush box though.

By the way, this is a $ 25K projector new - and they are built like a tank !!

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post #23 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Alert. Collective brain fart. Minimum throw is how close you can put the projector to fill your screen size. To make the image smaller at the minimum throw point, just zoom the lens out to make the image smaller. You don't have a problem. I think the posters have missed the cow flying by the window. smile.gif

 

The problem I have is that to fill a 92 inch screen, the PJs I am interested in require a throw distance in excess of the 8.5ft that I have available.

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post #24 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Alert. Collective brain fart. Minimum throw is how close you can put the projector to fill your screen size. To make the image smaller at the minimum throw point, just zoom the lens out to make the image smaller. You don't have a problem. I think the posters have missed the cow flying by the window. smile.gif

Mark, nothing missed. The poster said he has a maximum throw distance of 8'-6" and he needs to fill a 92" diagonal 16:9 screen. Poster said he would like to do so with a higher end projector like the JVC X55. A JVC X55 requires, at a minimum a little over 9' of throw (1.37 x 80" = 109.6") to fill a 92" diagonal screen. Poster will only be able to make the image around 86" diagonal, not filling his screen. Adding a conversion lens would allow him to do so.

 

You've got it, Mike :)

 

I am currently favouring the JVC you recommended with a 0.8x conversion lens. That lens will give me about 25% shorter throw distance for the same size image, which would bring the PJ within the available distance I have to work with. 

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post #25 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Alert. Collective brain fart. Minimum throw is how close you can put the projector to fill your screen size. To make the image smaller at the minimum throw point, just zoom the lens out to make the image smaller. You don't have a problem. I think the posters have missed the cow flying by the window. smile.gif

I was assuming he wanted a pic as large as his screen. With a 1.4 throw ratio, he could put the pj lens 1.4 ft away, and have a pic 1 ft wide.

 

You assumption is correct. In fact, it's what I said in the original post too ;)

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post #26 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 09:52 AM
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You've got it, Mike smile.gif

I am currently favouring the JVC you recommended with a 0.8x conversion lens. That lens will give me about 25% shorter throw distance for the same size image, which would bring the PJ within the available distance I have to work with. 

You will have to be careful with this 0.8 lens. While is does work if the beam is too big out of the projector and assuming you are going to use lens shift you may have some focus issues.
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post #27 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
I've noticed that a lot of the very expensive (> than about $25k) PJs have shorter throws. I have no idea why, but if I filter for PJs above $25,000 I have a reasonable choice!

Buy this - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1457054/make-an-offer-projectiondesign-f32-1080-very-low-machine-lamp-hours-used

A T1 1.2 - 1.6 lens for that projector would easily give you the size screen you want from 8'6". And a super sharp picture, considering the quality of the lenses these come with ( the lens cost about the same as a JVC RS46 ).

I had a DP dVision 1080p version - it was awesome ! smile.gif

You'll probably want a hush box though.

By the way, this is a $ 25K projector new - and they are built like a tank !!

 

Wow. Thanks for the link. I will consider it.

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post #28 of 33 Old 06-26-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

You've got it, Mike smile.gif

I am currently favouring the JVC you recommended with a 0.8x conversion lens. That lens will give me about 25% shorter throw distance for the same size image, which would bring the PJ within the available distance I have to work with. 

You will have to be careful with this 0.8 lens. While is does work if the beam is too big out of the projector and assuming you are going to use lens shift you may have some focus issues.

 

Yes, I can see your point. I'm starting to wonder if the best bet isn't to find a good local dealer and make it his problem. I can give him the spec and it will be up to him to make it work. Otherwise I can foresee a lot of potential problems that could bite me on the a**.  The last thing I want to do is buy a PJ and a converter and then find they don't work well together, and have the hassle of returning it all. Not to mention the work involved in getting to the point of discovering there is a problem. I don't usually go down the installer route, but this might be the exception.

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post #29 of 33 Old 11-02-2013, 03:14 PM
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kbarnes, any update on what you ended up with? I have a 9'10" wall-to-wall to work with.

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post #30 of 33 Old 11-02-2013, 03:43 PM
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I have a Navitar lens for sale in the classified if anyone is interested smile.gif
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Reply Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP

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