Originally Posted by adanny
Here, there is no demand for a higher quality product But there is a ton of latent demand for a simple to use lens, that does not cost more than the projector!
There have been some, like the Home Theater Brothers lens, I think that started out at about $500, the CAVX Mark 1 was pretty inexpensive as well. The problem with lenses that inexpensive is they don't have any of the correction/quality improvement features. To hit that price point you're basically stuck with just a pair of prisms, you can't do anti reflective optical coatings, nor can you do astigmatism correction. When you start adding those features the cost increases quickly.
If you're really curious take a look through the history of Mark's (CAVX) lenses and also the XEIT lens. Both are individuals that have built lenses because they weren't satisfied with the commercial or standard DIY options. But if you look you'll see they both ended up with "expensive" lenses (not saying overpriced, but their desires for quality led to requiring expensive fabrication features/techniques).
But I am wondering if demand could be exploded if someone could come up with a business model of creating a lens that delivers 90% of the performance of a DC1, motorized, at under $1k. You could then just build that into a $3k projector and sell it for $4k with a built in, motorized internal anamorphic lens. I might develop or fund a startup that develops that product myself quite frankly if someone here has the expertise to help me do it!
Define "90%", because you could argue that a lens made of trophy prism delivers 90% of the performance of an ISCO III, but you could just as validly say it's only 10% of the performance.
If 90% includes optical coatings and astigmatism correction, I'd be surprised if you could even get that fabricated for $1k.
Originally Posted by smuggymba
Why can't a 3-4K projector project native 2.35:1? Why does it have to zoom and result in picture quality loss to show 2.35?
Projectors are mass produced; how complex is it to make a projector show both 16:9 and 2.35 without loss of picture quality (for PJ's in the 3-5K range)?
I'd say pretty complicated, I can think of one thing that's similar in function to what's being asked for here, basically something with a "switchable" lens. Canon makes a 200-400 mm super telephoto with a switchable teleconverter. In principal it's a similar concept, it's got a lens element that can be switched in and out on demand to change the optical qualities. Something similar would be required for a switchable anamorphic element in a projector.
The EF 200-400 F/4L IS 1.4x is $12,000.
And actually that's simpler, a teleconverter element is relatively simple. But an anamorphic lens has anywhere between 3 and 5 elements and needs and airspace. That means anamorphic lenses are quite large, external lenses are larger than would be needed internally but they would still probably significantly increase the size of the lens group and probably the machine as a whole. Oh, and especially if you want to retain lens shift.
Originally Posted by John Schuermann
All of those things can be done, but no way they can be done at the price ranges you are requesting. It's not just a matter of creating a 2.35:1 chip, you also need the necessary video processing to take advantage of it (which even the Avielo projector above never truly had, as it could not accept a 2560 x 1080 native signal), a whole new optical engine, a new case design, etc. All of that takes quite a bit of investment of time, money and energy. Then there is the issue of demand. Panamorph came out with the CineVista, which had an introductory price of $1200. We sold hundreds and hundreds. But to get the prices to where you want them, we would need to sell millions and millions. That's NEVER going to happen (as much as we'd like it to
In principal it wouldn't be that hard, you could use one of the 2560x1600 chips available off the shelf and optically mask it down. I think that's what the Avielo did. But looking around I see only DPI, ProjectionDesign and Barco make projectors with chips that large, so I'm guessing those chips are prohibitively expensive for a <$5k price point.