AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
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A projector lens is a projector lens is a projector lens. A well designed lens will maintain focus throughout the entire zoom range. As long as the projector can actually handle a 120" diagonal from a 12' throw distance (triple check!) then the image should be sharp edge-to-edge regardless of model you purchase. Now, the 8350 I would not consider to be much better than the 8100. It is now a design that is several years old, and is still loved because it has so much placement flexibility for the money, but isn't a class leader in image quality compared to the Optoma or BenQ models out there.
Brightness generally is brighter as you move a projector closer to a screen, but there is a chance of a VERY small softening of the image if you are closer in the zoom range of the projector. The 'sharpest' image is generally available more towards the back of the zoom range for any given projector. But, this is not universally true, as (once again) it falls into the design quality of the lens and optics itself.
I would stick with the Optoma or BenQ and call it a day. Maybe get a decent minimal positive gain screen.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.