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Anamorphic or Panmorphic lens: Significant improvement in my home theater?  

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just got my JVC G11 this past Tuesday. It is currently 18 feet from my temporary screen (a 4X8 sheet of foam backed poster board) and seated on a rear wall shelf that is about 4 feet high off the floor. I'm currently thinking of a 96 inch wide screen, perhaps as big as 108 inches wide, 16X9. The projector ideally needs to be hung from the ceiling since now I have to prop up the rear to aim it downwards at the screen. I could move it closer or leave it where it is. If I choose another lens, what are the advantages of the anamorphic vs. the panmorphic lens? Which would work better in my setting? Is there any advantage of moving the projector closer or leaving it near the rear wall? (My seating area is about 11 feet from the screen)

Joe Andresen
Palo Alto, CA
post #2 of 7
The main difference between the ISCO II and the Panamorph (other than one is available right now and the other should be available "soon") is that the ISCO shortens your projector's throw (makes your projected image bigger) whereas the Panamorph lengthens your projector's (makes the image smaller). I've never seen a live Panamorph, so I can't comment on optical quality, but I own an ISCO II and am VERY happy with it.

Some downsides of the ISCO compared to the Panamorh:
- It takes some time fiddling with focus, tilt, height, screen distance, etc. to get it perfectly adjusted. The results are great once you do, but the work is still there. Since the Pannie is composed of prisms, AFAIK it shouldn't require nearly as much adjustment to get into focus.
- Removing the lens isn't something you'd want to do frequently, both because the lens affects the projector's focus which must be refocussed slightly, and because the lens is _heavy_. I understand the Pannie will allow the prisms to just slide away within the bracket for shifting between 4:3 and 16:9.

If you're already at maximum zoom and can't move your projector back farther, buy an ISCO. If you're at minimum zoom and can't move your projector closer to the screen, get a Pannie. Either way, if you can afford it, get one or the other. Moving from 16:9 letterboxed into a 4:3 display to 'native' 16:9 is like getting a whole new projector.

Good luck!
post #3 of 7

Another way of explaining the difference is that the ISCO II stretches the picture width by a 3rd, keeping the full 4:3 picture height and resolution.
And the Panamorph compresses the picture height, providing the same result but keeping the picture width the same as stock.

So if you can get the picture width that you like without any lens, then the Panamorph will work for you. And if you have a shorter throw, or a larger screen then the ISCO is a better choice.

Both will provide a brighter picture and more resolution for widescreen material as long as you have a scaler or HTPC that can compensate for the 16:9 lens.

post #4 of 7
My understanding is that the panamorph lowers the image by 5%. Therefore, although the Panamorph will come with a bracket to slide it out of the way, the axis of the projector will change. So, if my understanding is correct, if you slide the prism out, the image will not be centered on the screen, unless you tilt the projector. Correct?

post #5 of 7
Bluhorizan -

Where did you find new G11's at this late date?

David S. (Count Macula)
post #6 of 7
The G11s will still trickle in once in a while. We have one on its way.
brand new sealed box full warranty!

Thanks Very Much!

Alan Gouger
AV Science
post #7 of 7

You said the ISCO II streches the image by a third. Does that mean if my maximum image width is 80", the ISCO II will enable me to project an image at a width of over 106"! If not, what maximum image width can I get with the ISCO II, assuming I can only get an 80" x 60" image at present.
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