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Current Anamorphic lenses

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Is there a summary of the current anamorphic lenses?

I am thinking of getting one, but don't know much about the current offerings.

Current projector is still my trusty RS-1.

Wants:

HE rather then VC

No CA

Motorization would be nice.

Might be a few months before I would buy, since I will not have the time to set it up before then.

I would like to start looking into what would be best.

Thanks,

Doug
post #2 of 25
What is your budget?

-Sean
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I don't know. That might change by the time I get around to buying. Maybe somewhere between $1000 and $3000. Kind of depends on how well it meets what I would like in a lens, too.

Any other players than Panamroph, ISCO and Schneider? I guess that is not too many manufacturers to look up the current products, and if anyone has bought them out?

Doug
post #4 of 25
There is also CAVX, XEIT, Prismasonic, probably missing another one or two here. I don't think that the CAVX or XEIT would fit into your budget, but it wouldn't hurt to contact Mark (CAVX) or AussieBob (XEIT) to see about a possible "B stock" lens that might fit into your budget. Prismasonic has a model that I think could fit into the high end of your budget, but I don't think you'd be getting any transportation device with the budget given. You could also look into finding a used lens.

As far as transport, the CineSlide is what I use and highly recommend. You could contact Scott (CineSlide) to see if he has any "B stock" to help you get in on the tight budget.

-Sean
post #5 of 25
Speaking only for Panamorph, the UH480 meets all of your requirements if you can expand your budget a bit. Getting a transport included at close to that price, though, will be tricky (unless you can find a used system).
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sean and John.

I will look in to them. I may be able to do the movement part with some things I have laying around.

Just a question of time to put it together.


Doug
post #7 of 25
Is there a place out there on the internets where you can get honest reviews and rankings of the current crop of anamorphic lenses? Are some better than others? Do some have better quality glass, less distortion, better build quality? I know, as a general rule, cylindrical lenses are better than prism based lenses, but my knowledge basically stops there. I need to buy one, but I need more information and don't want to get stuck paying more for less.

I thought there would be more discussion of them on AVS but there doesn't even seem to be a specific forum where those discussions would logically take place, and there's no sub-forum specifically for lenses.
post #8 of 25
This is the forum where those discussions logically take place, and there's no subforum because there's really no need. There have been a few shootouts here and a lots of discussions of various lenses if you search around a bit.

As far as price, nobody's making bad expensive lenses, so you really can't get ripped off (unless maybe you spend more for a particular lens than the same one somewhere else, but that's what shopping around is for). Essentially the more you pay the better lens you get, it's just a byproduct of good glass being expensive to manufacture.
post #9 of 25
Apart from possibly picking up a used bargain, then IMHO you get what you pay for on the new ones. There are some cheaper options but they have limitations (such as no correction for chromic aberation) and then rely on using pixel shifting in the projector itself to fudge a solution. Fine if you just want to get rid of the black bars, but I suspect most viewers on this section will be more critical than this.

The main issue is throw distance/ratio: If you can set up your projector so that it's at or very near to minimum zoom then this will optimise whichever lens you buy. Even an Isco III will give some pincushion if you try to use it at a short throw (as will every other lens since it's more a physical fact that short throws cause more pincushion). It also means that you don't need such a large lens as the image directly from the projector lens will be smaller. I know that for some reason on this forum it seems that everyone wants to install their projector as close to the screen as possible, so it's a compromise. Though this is mainly to do with light output since IMVHO the negatives with short throws generally outweigh the higher light output (generally softer image due to using more of the projector's lens and lower contrast).

FWIW I run a 1.5 gain 112" wide 2.35:1 screen with an Isco II (the cheaper, smaller one) and a JVC X35 (previously the older HD350). I'm at minimum zoom since my throw is about 20' so I barely have any pincushion (electric tab tensioned screen, so I couldn't have a curved one anyway). I'm therefore getting the most contrast from my projector due to the minimum zoom setting and due to the size and gain of the screen I'm able to hit 15fL and still have the aperture closed down to help preserve contrast. I've tested out my lens and my previous HD350 projector and at 14' throw there was very considerably pincushion and almost on the point of vignetting. Just showing that the equipment is one thing, but the installation can have a dramatic effect on the end result.
post #10 of 25
My throw will be about 17.5' onto a flat 2.35:1 EN4K woven AT screen. I figure there's no need for a curved screen at that throw length, and pincushion shouldn't be an issue. Projector is the JVC DLA -RS4810 (aka DLA-X55R). I ruled out the new Panamorph CineVista lens in spite of its attractive cost because of the chromatic aberration caused by the non-cylindrical lens. But I still don't want to spend more than about $2500 on a lens. I want an electric lift or sled so I can optimize my projector's capabilities and get the best of all worlds regarding 'scope and HD material (lens on for 'scope films, lens off for 16x9 TV & movies).

I've been looking at the Prismasonic C-150 but can't find any reviews on it, here on AVS or anywhere else. It's a cylindrical lens made by a Finnish company that meets my price point. Does anyone have this lens or seen it in action? And I basically know nothing about the others in the marketplace. Again, I can't seem to find any information that speaks to the relative quality and features of various lenses. It's like there's this black hole when it comes to this one particular aspect of the HT world.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

My throw will be about 17.5' onto a flat 2.35:1 EN4K woven AT screen. I figure there's no need for a curved screen at that throw length, and pincushion shouldn't be an issue. Projector is the JVC DLA -RS4810 (aka DLA-X55R). I ruled out the new Panamorph CineVista lens in spite of its attractive cost because of the chromatic aberration caused by the non-cylindrical lens. But I still don't want to spend more than about $2500 on a lens. I want an electric lift or sled so I can optimize my projector's capabilities and get the best of all worlds regarding 'scope and HD material (lens on for 'scope films, lens off for 16x9 TV & movies).

I've been looking at the Prismasonic C-150 but can't find any reviews on it, here on AVS or anywhere else. It's a cylindrical lens made by a Finnish company that meets my price point. Does anyone have this lens or seen it in action? And I basically know nothing about the others in the marketplace. Again, I can't seem to find any information that speaks to the relative quality and features of various lenses. It's like there's this black hole when it comes to this one particular aspect of the HT world.

Correct, no need for curved screen at that throw distance.
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post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

My throw will be about 17.5' onto a flat 2.35:1 EN4K woven AT screen. I figure there's no need for a curved screen at that throw length, and pincushion shouldn't be an issue. Projector is the JVC DLA -RS4810 (aka DLA-X55R). I ruled out the new Panamorph CineVista lens in spite of its attractive cost because of the chromatic aberration caused by the non-cylindrical lens. But I still don't want to spend more than about $2500 on a lens. I want an electric lift or sled so I can optimize my projector's capabilities and get the best of all worlds regarding 'scope and HD material (lens on for 'scope films, lens off for 16x9 TV & movies).

I've been looking at the Prismasonic C-150 but can't find any reviews on it, here on AVS or anywhere else. It's a cylindrical lens made by a Finnish company that meets my price point. Does anyone have this lens or seen it in action? And I basically know nothing about the others in the marketplace. Again, I can't seem to find any information that speaks to the relative quality and features of various lenses. It's like there's this black hole when it comes to this one particular aspect of the HT world.

I've got that lens paired with a Sony HW50. I've previously owned another lens from Prismasonic, one of the prism based ones, but that one didnt quite live up to my standards (there was nothing wrong with that lens, just you get what you pay for, and it was an entry level prism lens). Never regreted one second upgrading to this lens. It's a good quality lens.
If there's anything in particular you're wondering about feel free to ask, I'll try to answer as best I can. Though I'm not at home right now, and wont be for a week +.
In regards to Prismasonic as a company, they are great, awesome customer support. I belive Ansi Leppanen from Prismasonic frequents these forums, maybe you'll be able to catch his attention.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by func View Post

I've got that lens paired with a Sony HW50. I've previously owned another lens from Prismasonic, one of the prism based ones, but that one didnt quite live up to my standards (there was nothing wrong with that lens, just you get what you pay for, and it was an entry level prism lens). Never regreted one second upgrading to this lens. It's a good quality lens.
If there's anything in particular you're wondering about feel free to ask, I'll try to answer as best I can. Though I'm not at home right now, and wont be for a week +.
In regards to Prismasonic as a company, they are great, awesome customer support. I belive Ansi Leppanen from Prismasonic frequents these forums, maybe you'll be able to catch his attention.

I've already had a long e-mail exchange with Anssi about this lens. Seems like a really good guy, and a good, solid company. There actually is a thread devoted to this lens and lift. I saw it a while ago, but because the model number had changed I didn't realize it was about the Prismasonic C-150.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I ruled out the new Panamorph CineVista lens in spite of its attractive cost because of the chromatic aberration caused by the non-cylindrical lens.

I've been testing a CineVista both with electronic color correction and without. For what it's worth, the chromatic abberation (without electronic correction) is really only noticeable on test patterns, not so much on regular content. Still, I can understand why this would be unappealing.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

My throw will be about 17.5' onto a flat 2.35:1 EN4K woven AT screen. I figure there's no need for a curved screen at that throw length, and pincushion shouldn't be an issue. Projector is the JVC DLA -RS4810 (aka DLA-X55R). I ruled out the new Panamorph CineVista lens in spite of its attractive cost because of the chromatic aberration caused by the non-cylindrical lens. But I still don't want to spend more than about $2500 on a lens. I want an electric lift or sled so I can optimize my projector's capabilities and get the best of all worlds regarding 'scope and HD material (lens on for 'scope films, lens off for 16x9 TV & movies).

I've been looking at the Prismasonic C-150 but can't find any reviews on it, here on AVS or anywhere else. It's a cylindrical lens made by a Finnish company that meets my price point. Does anyone have this lens or seen it in action? And I basically know nothing about the others in the marketplace. Again, I can't seem to find any information that speaks to the relative quality and features of various lenses. It's like there's this black hole when it comes to this one particular aspect of the HT world.

I cannot comment on the Prismasonic C-150 since I have never seen one in action. I'm sure it is an excellent lens based upon Prismasonic's reputation.

However, I did want to correct a couple of major misconceptions regarding the CineVista. The CineVista - and ALL Panamorph lenses - are prismatic / cylindrical hybrids, based upon Panamorph's unique patented design. Also, the lack of chromatic correction in the CineVista has nothing to do with it being a "non-cylindrical lens," it has to do with the corrector element being left out in order to hit the price point. For example, the Panamorph UH480 and DC1 have chromatic correction, yet still share the same basic design as the CineVista. It's a design / cost choice that has nothing to do with the whole "cylindrical vs. prismatic" debate.

Finally, I would like to address that "cylindrical vs. prismatic" debate and give Panamorph's perspective:

  • All Panamorph lenses are prismatic / cylindrical hybrids, the CineVista and FVX200 included
  • The lack of chromatic correction in the CineVista and FVX200 has everything to do with being designed to hit a price point, and nothing to do with any deficiency in the underlying technology
  • All Panamorph lenses are made from "ground glass." In fact, all glass used in the manufacture of optical lenses is "ground glass."
  • Panamorph will happily allow its UH480 and DC1 lens systems be shot out with any "pure cylindrical" lens on the market. Our own testing has shown the best of theirs is no better or worse than the best of ours. All are excellent designs.


FYI, the RS4810 has the ability to dial out the chromatic aberration inherent to the CineVista.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

My throw will be about 17.5' onto a flat 2.35:1 EN4K woven AT screen. I figure there's no need for a curved screen at that throw length, and pincushion shouldn't be an issue. Projector is the JVC DLA -RS4810 (aka DLA-X55R). I ruled out the new Panamorph CineVista lens in spite of its attractive cost because of the chromatic aberration caused by the non-cylindrical lens. But I still don't want to spend more than about $2500 on a lens. I want an electric lift or sled so I can optimize my projector's capabilities and get the best of all worlds regarding 'scope and HD material (lens on for 'scope films, lens off for 16x9 TV & movies).

I've been looking at the Prismasonic C-150 but can't find any reviews on it, here on AVS or anywhere else. It's a cylindrical lens made by a Finnish company that meets my price point. Does anyone have this lens or seen it in action? And I basically know nothing about the others in the marketplace. Again, I can't seem to find any information that speaks to the relative quality and features of various lenses. It's like there's this black hole when it comes to this one particular aspect of the HT world.

Have you considered the FVX200, if you can have a throw distance of 2.1 X your screen width, it would work:

http://hometheaterreview.com/panamorph-fvx200j-anamorphic-lens-system-reviewed/
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bardia View Post

Have you considered the FVX200, if you can have a throw distance of 2.1 X your screen width, it would work:

http://hometheaterreview.com/panamorph-fvx200j-anamorphic-lens-system-reviewed/

I believe that one is a "fixed in place" solution, which leads to compromises on 16:9 material. To get the best of both worlds out of your expensive projector, you have to be able to move the lens in and out of the light path.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I believe that one is a "fixed in place" solution, which leads to compromises on 16:9 material. To get the best of both worlds out of your expensive projector, you have to be able to move the lens in and out of the light path.

Correct - the FVX200 is designed to be used in a fixed configuration.
post #19 of 25
BTW, what happnes with either zooming method or using A lens when you watch dark knight?? ?Do the IMAX scense actually appear in 16X9?

So the opposite of the director's intention?
post #20 of 25
If you use a lens, you see scope, exactly like it was in the (non-IMAX) theater.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bardia View Post

BTW, what happnes with either zooming method or using A lens when you watch dark knight?? ?Do the IMAX scense actually appear in 16X9?

So the opposite of the director's intention?

Bardia, see the "Movies That Don't Fit" section of this article:

http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/2798
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

If you use a lens, you see scope, exactly like it was in the (non-IMAX) theater.

You mean all scenes remain scope?
post #23 of 25
Yes, there's no magic going on. Blu-ray (and just about everything else) is 16:9, when you scale for an anamorphic lens, you cut off the top and bottom, nothing in the system has any idea or care whether that top and bottom is black bars or "real" picture. When you engage "scope mode" the top and bottom are cut off regardless of whether it's the top and bottom of a normal 16:9 TV show, the black bars of scope movie, or the sometimes-black-bars-sometimes-picture of a movie (or anything else) that alternates aspect ratio.

It's all up to the user to pick the appropriate "mode" for the content they are watching.

Zooming is a little trickier, at the most basic level, the picture is just zoomed off the screen, again the system has no idea whether that area zoomed off is black bars or picture, so in the case of a variable aspect ratio movie, you'll get real picture showing up off the screen. Some of the more advanced zoom systems electronically mask (black out) the area zoomed off so that doesn't happen.


Now there is an exception to the above, there are systems (Panasonic I think and Optoma might have had one) that detect the aspect ratio and change accordingly. In addition to this arguably not being "right" for some content (as you suggest) the bigger issue is these changes aren't instantaneous, they take seconds, that's something you don't want happening in the middle of a movie so I would think you'd want that feature disabled for those movies (I'd probably disable it all the time personally).
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Yes, there's no magic going on. Blu-ray (and just about everything else) is 16:9, when you scale for an anamorphic lens, you cut off the top and bottom, nothing in the system has any idea or care whether that top and bottom is black bars or "real" picture. When you engage "scope mode" the top and bottom are cut off regardless of whether it's the top and bottom of a normal 16:9 TV show, the black bars of scope movie, or the sometimes-black-bars-sometimes-picture of a movie (or anything else) that alternates aspect ratio.

It's all up to the user to pick the appropriate "mode" for the content they are watching.

Zooming is a little trickier, at the most basic level, the picture is just zoomed off the screen, again the system has no idea whether that area zoomed off is black bars or picture, so in the case of a variable aspect ratio movie, you'll get real picture showing up off the screen. Some of the more advanced zoom systems electronically mask (black out) the area zoomed off so that doesn't happen.


Now there is an exception to the above, there are systems (Panasonic I think and Optoma might have had one) that detect the aspect ratio and change accordingly. In addition to this arguably not being "right" for some content (as you suggest) the bigger issue is these changes aren't instantaneous, they take seconds, that's something you don't want happening in the middle of a movie so I would think you'd want that feature disabled for those movies (I'd probably disable it all the time personally).

That makes me go for the A lens even more now..
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Now there is an exception to the above, there are systems (Panasonic I think and Optoma might have had one) that detect the aspect ratio and change accordingly. In addition to this arguably not being "right" for some content (as you suggest) the bigger issue is these changes aren't instantaneous, they take seconds, that's something you don't want happening in the middle of a movie

Especially on movies like The Dark Knight or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, where some of the aspect ratio transitions only last a few seconds before switching back.
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