Help me understand A-lens brightness advantage calculations! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 10-02-2019, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Help me understand A-lens brightness advantage calculations!

Hey folks,

If I want to calculate about how many ftL I'd get from a given screen with and without an A-lens (say a Panamorph DCR), how should I calculate that light output advantage?

For example, a DCR is marketed as a 38% increase, but from what?

Let's say I have a 140" wide, 1.3 gain, 2:40 scope screen and a projector that outputs 1000 lumens. Projecting the native 16:9 image means an effective area of about 77sqft. Calculating screen brightness in this instance then gives around 17ftL.

Does that mean I can expect adding a DCR to bring that to 17ftL + 38% = 23ftL?

Calculating using the 2:40 scope area (around 57sqft) gives basically the same result (23ftL).

In other words, does calculating using the 2:40 scope area basically account for the added brightness of an A-lens at any given width?

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post #2 of 22 Old 10-02-2019, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DigitalAV View Post
Hey folks,

If I want to calculate about how many ftL I'd get from a given screen with and without an A-lens (say a Panamorph DCR), how should I calculate that light output advantage?

For example, a DCR is marketed as a 38% increase, but from what?
Because on scope content, parts of the panel normally have black bars and are masked out. The lens warps the image and lets you use the entire panel for the scope content so you now get your whole panel in use within the scope content area.


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Originally Posted by DigitalAV View Post
Let's say I have a 140" wide, 1.3 gain, 2:40 scope screen and a projector that outputs 1000 lumens. Projecting the native 16:9 image means an effective area of about 77sqft. Calculating screen brightness in this instance then gives around 17ftL.

Does that mean I can expect adding a DCR to bring that to 17ftL + 38% = 23ftL?
Yes

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Originally Posted by DigitalAV View Post
Calculating using the 2:40 scope area (around 57sqft) gives basically the same result (23ftL).
Your calculation is wrong here. It would still be around 17. Your lumens are being partially wasted in the masked area so you didnt take that into account in this calculation. This what the lens fixes.

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Originally Posted by DigitalAV View Post
In other words, does calculating using the 2:40 scope area basically account for the added brightness of an A-lens at any given width?
Yes, if you are assuming the full lumen output of your projector is being 100% used into the scope area. That's what the lens does.
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post #3 of 22 Old 10-03-2019, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by DigitalAV View Post
Hey folks,

If I want to calculate about how many ftL I'd get from a given screen with and without an A-lens (say a Panamorph DCR), how should I calculate that light output advantage?

For example, a DCR is marketed as a 38% increase, but from what?

Let's say I have a 140" wide, 1.3 gain, 2:40 scope screen and a projector that outputs 1000 lumens. Projecting the native 16:9 image means an effective area of about 77sqft. Calculating screen brightness in this instance then gives around 17ftL.

Does that mean I can expect adding a DCR to bring that to 17ftL + 38% = 23ftL?

Calculating using the 2:40 scope area (around 57sqft) gives basically the same result (23ftL).

In other words, does calculating using the 2:40 scope area basically account for the added brightness of an A-lens at any given width?
With the DCR lens ( which requires you to use 4096 x 2160 resolution ), I got a 38% measured increase in lumens going to 4096 x 2160 resolution with the lens ( JVC RS4500 ) from zooming using 3840 x 2160 resolution. From 288 Lux to 400 Lux.
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post #4 of 22 Old 10-04-2019, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DigitalAV View Post
In other words, does calculating using the 2:40 scope area basically account for the added brightness of an A-lens at any given width?
It's more complicated than that, but Craig and Markmon1 have explained the concept. It is really about eliminating black pixels on the panel by scaling. And it is important that you are always comparing the same size final image.

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With the DCR lens ( which requires you to use 4096 x 2160 resolution ), I got a 38% measured increase in lumens going to 4096 x 2160 resolution with the lens ( JVC RS4500 ) from zooming using 3840 x 2160 resolution. From 288 Lux to 400 Lux.
To expand on Craigs numbers above, the DCR is made for a 17x9 panel like in JVC and Sony 4K projectors, not a 16x9 panel so a portion of the 38% calculation is actually due to the extra width of the panel itself being used and that using a 1.25 expansion or .8 compression lens (like the DCR) allows you to stretch 17x9 to 21x9ish scope ratio. So the real increase is created by scaling the scope input of 3840 x 1600 (with black bars) up to full panel size of 4096 x 2160, then using the lens to correct the shape of the image.

More traditional lenses are 1.33 stretch or .75 compression for transforming 16x9 to 21x9, yielding 25-30ish percent increase in light (some loss from lens).
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-04-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottAvery View Post
It's more complicated than that, but Craig and Markmon1 have explained the concept. It is really about eliminating black pixels on the panel by scaling. And it is important that you are always comparing the same size final image.



To expand on Craigs numbers above, the DCR is made for a 17x9 panel like in JVC and Sony 4K projectors, not a 16x9 panel so a portion of the 38% calculation is actually due to the extra width of the panel itself being used and that using a 1.25 expansion or .8 compression lens (like the DCR) allows you to stretch 17x9 to 21x9ish scope ratio. So the real increase is created by scaling the scope input of 3840 x 1600 (with black bars) up to full panel size of 4096 x 2160, then using the lens to correct the shape of the image.

More traditional lenses are 1.33 stretch or .75 compression for transforming 16x9 to 21x9, yielding 25-30ish percent increase in light (some loss from lens).
The added pixels using 4096 give you 6% more light. Of course if one has a 4K projector with native 4096 x 2160 chips, why not use that for scope. Nobody likes leaving unused pixels on the table if they don't have to !

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post #6 of 22 Old 10-06-2019, 06:18 AM
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Cheers guys. I've been trying to get my head around this too. Just to make sure I get it - if you're going for a scope screen, you work out the ftL of the 16:9 image required when zooming to fill it, and add 38%?
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-06-2019, 09:36 AM
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Help me understand A-lens brightness advantage calculations!

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Originally Posted by howiee View Post
Cheers guys. I've been trying to get my head around this too. Just to make sure I get it - if you're going for a scope screen, you work out the ftL of the 16:9 image required when zooming to fill it, and add 38%?


Not exactly. First off, it will depend on what projector and whether it has native 4096 x 2160 chips. Also, zooming for 2.35 or 2.40:1 will result in a loss of around 25% light from the black bars. If not getting a lens but using a scope screen, that’s your starting point light calculation wise. The 16:9 portion of the screen will be bright enough no doubt if the scope picture is bright enough.


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post #8 of 22 Old 10-06-2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
Not exactly. First off, it will depend on what projector and whether it has native 4096 x 2160 chips. Also, zooming for 2.35 or 2.40:1 will result in a loss of around 25% light from the black bars. If not getting a lens but using a scope screen, that’s your starting point.


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Damn, i'm failing to grasp something basic here, or not explaining something proprely. Possibly both!

I'd like ~140" wide scope screen and used this calculator to work out the ftL of a 16:9 image the same width, which resulted in 19ftL. It gives the same ftL when selecting zoomed 2.40:1. I was adding 38% to that to work out the ftL if just projecting the scope portion with a DCR lens @ ~ 26ftL



Does that sound right?
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-06-2019, 11:46 AM
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Maybe I wasn't understanding you. The 16:9 image - using 3840 x 2160 - if the same width as the scope screen, subtract 25% for black bars. Then if using a DCR lens or other lens that is designed to have the correct aspect ratio using the full 4096 x 2160 panel, and scaling to use the full 4096 x 2160 panel one way or another, add back about 38%.

You will get 38% more light using a DCR lens and 4096 x 2160 compared to zooming with no lens and using 3840 x 2160.
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-06-2019, 12:40 PM
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It is pretty simple. When doing the zoom method your projector has X lumens and you are throwing away the percentage of light equal to the percentage of area in the black bars top and bottom. The lamp puts light to these areas but the projector stops it from coming out.

When you use a lens you distort/ compress the whole image into the height of the CIH as a 16:9 image with software and then let the lens pull it wider side to side by making each square pixel into a rectangular pixel.

Each pixel has the same unit brightness in both methods but with the lens you are using more or all of the pixels. The difference in the pixels used is what calculates the increase in brightness.
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post #11 of 22 Old 10-06-2019, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
Maybe I wasn't understanding you. The 16:9 image - using 3840 x 2160 - if the same width as the scope screen, subtract 25% for black bars. Then if using a DCR lens or other lens that is designed to have the correct aspect ratio using the full 4096 x 2160 panel, and scaling to use the full 4096 x 2160 panel one way or another, add back about 38%.

You will get 38% more light using a DCR lens and 4096 x 2160 compared to zooming with no lens and using 3840 x 2160.
Man - I had it for a second! It's the 25% bit I don't get. If you're watching a scope movie on a 16:9 screen, isn't the visible movie bit as bright as watching a movie that fills the screen? Less light is going out in total but the movie part is the same? Minusing 25% off before adding 38% - effectively getting another 13% - doesn't seem that great.

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It is pretty simple. When doing the zoom method your projector has X lumens and you are throwing away the percentage of light equal to the percentage of area in the black bars top and bottom. The lamp puts light to these areas but the projector stops it from coming out.

When you use a lens you distort/ compress the whole image into the height of the CIH as a 16:9 image with software and then let the lens pull it wider side to side by making each square pixel into a rectangular pixel.

Each pixel has the same unit brightness in both methods but with the lens you are using more or all of the pixels. The difference in the pixels used is what calculates the increase in brightness.
Cheers man. I'm pretty sure I get the concept with vertical lenses now. You display the image as wide as the scope content you want, use processing to vertically stretch to us all the pixels, and then the lens squashes things back to how it should look. It's brightness levels that's causing me to fail an IQ test!
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
It is pretty simple. When doing the zoom method your projector has X lumens and you are throwing away the percentage of light equal to the percentage of area in the black bars top and bottom. The lamp puts light to these areas but the projector stops it from coming out.

When you use a lens you distort/ compress the whole image into the height of the CIH as a 16:9 image with software and then let the lens pull it wider side to side by making each square pixel into a rectangular pixel.

Each pixel has the same unit brightness in both methods but with the lens you are using more or all of the pixels. The difference in the pixels used is what calculates the increase in brightness.
Thanks Bud - I rode my bike 100 miles yesterday and the coffee just isn't helping as much as I'd like today. Always good to get another explanation !
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Thanks Bud - I rode my bike 100 miles yesterday and the coffee just isn't helping as much as I'd like today. Always good to get another explanation !
Way to go a century ride is quite an accomplishment. I used to ride a lot and I never got there. I was out in my yard one night and a haggled old biker stopped and asked me how much farther to get to Lake Erie. I told him .6 miles and he looked down and he was at 99.4. I told him to hang on I grabbed a 6pack and jumped on my bike and told him it was his lucky day as the .6 miles was all down hill. We rode down together and he watched it click over to 100 his first century run. He called his kid that lived north of Pittsburgh to come and get him and we sat and talked bikes a couple hours watching the sunset over the lake drinking some Yuengling.

It takes more than coffee after a ride that long.

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post #14 of 22 Old 10-06-2019, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by howiee View Post


Cheers man. I'm pretty sure I get the concept with vertical lenses now. You display the image as wide as the scope content you want, use processing to vertically stretch to us all the pixels, and then the lens squashes things back to how it should look. It's brightness levels that's causing me to fail an IQ test!
Glad to help.
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-07-2019, 12:11 PM
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Way to go a century ride is quite an accomplishment. I used to ride a lot and I never got there. I was out in my yard one night and a haggled old biker stopped and asked me how much farther to get to Lake Erie. I told him .6 miles and he looked down and he was at 99.4. I told him to hang on I grabbed a 6pack and jumped on my bike and told him it was his lucky day as the .6 miles was all down hill. We rode down together and he watched it click over to 100 his first century run. He called his kid that lived north of Pittsburgh to come and get him and we sat and talked bikes a couple hours watching the sunset over the lake drinking some Yuengling.

It takes more than coffee after a ride that long.
That was good of you to do ! This is my 3rd Century this year - one more on the 19th. Think I'll watch some movies this week and rest.
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Originally Posted by howiee View Post
Damn, i'm failing to grasp something basic here, or not explaining something proprely. Possibly both!

I'd like ~140" wide scope screen and used this calculator to work out the ftL of a 16:9 image the same width, which resulted in 19ftL. It gives the same ftL when selecting zoomed 2.40:1. I was adding 38% to that to work out the ftL if just projecting the scope portion with a DCR lens @ ~ 26ftL

Does that sound right?
I'm not sure how Jack's calculator handles the fact that this projector uses a 17x9 panel, so his estimates may be off in calculating that 19fL. But you are close. It may be overstated by that same 6% Craig mentioned, but in any case, you'd be getting the brightest possible image with that combo. Panamorph is very conservative in their throw range requirements. Use the calculations on their website to determine if you have the range for this install. If you have not got the throw you may need to consider a horizontal expansion lens.

I don't think it matters much, but technically there is also a negligible difference between the 2.4 source ratio he is quoting and the 2.36 anamorphic ratio of that projector/lens combo, so there will be tiny black bars, losing 1.6% of the total panel light, but I think that only affects total lumens, not fL on the viewable screen area.
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post #17 of 22 Old 10-07-2019, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottAvery View Post
I'm not sure how Jack's calculator handles the fact that this projector uses a 17x9 panel, so his estimates may be off in calculating that 19fL. But you are close. It may be overstated by that same 6% Craig mentioned, but in any case, you'd be getting the brightest possible image with that combo. Panamorph is very conservative in their throw range requirements. Use the calculations on their website to determine if you have the range for this install. If you have not got the throw you may need to consider a horizontal expansion lens.

I don't think it matters much, but technically there is also a negligible difference between the 2.4 source ratio he is quoting and the 2.36 anamorphic ratio of that projector/lens combo, so there will be tiny black bars, losing 1.6% of the total panel light, but I think that only affects total lumens, not fL on the viewable screen area.
I don’t have an A-lens, but have often saw that you date your projector but you marry your lens. Many people upgrade projectors but keep the same lens.

Would it be logical to buy a lens for a 17:9 projector with the likelihood the next projector might be 16:9?
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post

I don’️t have an A-lens, but have often saw that you date your projector but you marry your lens. Many people upgrade projectors but keep the same lens.

Would it be logical to buy a lens for a 17:9 projector with the likelihood the next projector might be 16:9?
Well, what is the 8k standard? Is it going to have both 16:9 and 17:9?

I would not spend that kind of money on a VC lens at any ratio.
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post #19 of 22 Old 10-08-2019, 03:27 PM
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I don’t have an A-lens, but have often saw that you date your projector but you marry your lens. Many people upgrade projectors but keep the same lens.

Would it be logical to buy a lens for a 17:9 projector with the likelihood the next projector might be 16:9?
I'll probably have my RS4500 for at least 5 more years, so I'm not particularly worried about it. And seeing what a cluster#%#$ the 4K rollout was, I'm not holding my breath for 8K. 8K might only be useful for driving down 4K prices.
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Well, what is the 8k standard? Is it going to have both 16:9 and 17:9?

I would not spend that kind of money on a VC lens at any ratio.
The 8K standard is 7680 X 4320, so 16:9. 17:9 is a byproduct of the DCI standards for theatrical exhibition, which specified 4096 X 2160 for 4K (as opposed to 3840 X 2160 for consumer UHD). I do not expect there to be any 17:9 8K panels.
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The 8K standard is 7680 X 4320, so 16:9. 17:9 is a byproduct of the DCI standards for theatrical exhibition, which specified 4096 X 2160 for 4K (as opposed to 3840 X 2160 for consumer UHD). I do not expect there to be any 17:9 8K panels.
I thought so. It is another strike against the DRC for long-term investment.
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post #22 of 22 Old 10-11-2019, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottAvery View Post
I thought so. It is another strike against the DRC for long-term investment.

I'll bet it's at least 10 years before there are native 8K consumer projectors, if then ( except at Ferrari like prices ). We barely have any native 4K projectors now. But there is no such thing as a " long term investment " in home theater gear anyway. It's money spent to enjoy something. It's no different than buying a new Lexus or Mercedes Benz - a new car certainly isn't a " long term investment ". Besides, they are going to try and sell us giant Micro LED screens and make all projection obsolete. On the other hand, theoretically my RS4500 won't drop to 1/2 brightness for another 32 years. I'll be 95 years old. Or dead. Maybe I'll blow off 8K and just watch 4K for the next 2 or 3 decades. That's pretty long term.

[email protected] JVC RS4500, Lumagen Radiance Pro, Panamorph Paladin DCR lens, Stewart Luxus Model A ElectriScreens - 128" diagonal 2.35:1 ST130 & 122" diagonal 16:9 Cima Neve, Denon X8500, Parasound A 52+ amp, Martin Logan Motion series 9.4 speakers, four SVS subs, Panasonic UB820, Oppo 203, PFP M1500 UPS
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