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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How does it compare or contrast in real operations to UH480. At double the prices I would expect some picture quality improvement, even if its minimal. What are your experience with the lens.
 

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Hi, Jim! I lived with the UH480 for several years and finally upgraded to the DC1 about 6 months ago...


I have a Marantz VP-11S2 projector shining onto a Draper screen (92-inch 16x9, 115-inch 2.35) (Here is a link to a video of my theater: http://johnsciacca.webs.com/apps/blog/show/25528464-a-video-walk-thru-of-my-home-theater I can't remember if I shot the video before or after upgrading to the new lens...)


Any how, I always felt like the UH480 was a bit of a compromise as the Marantz has a terrific, hand-selected Konica primary lens. With the lens out of place, the video quality is razor sharp, and bright and looks terrific. When switching to the UH480, it always looked soft, and just ever slightly out of focus. In fact, I went back to check that I hadn't accidentally left the protective plastic film on the lens. I also had to readjust the brightness and contrast settings to account for it as the light output was so different and it just looked like it took a real quality hit when engaging the lens. However, I loved the anamorphic, larger experience, so it was worth the trade-off for me.


The DC1 is totally night-and-day better. It is crystal clear and there is no visible difference in the light output or image quality when it slips into place. When it engaged for the first time I couldn't believe how much better it looked. The picture is razor sharp and detailed with the lens, and the edge-to-edge geometry and focus is better. Now I get the very best images whether the lens is in place or not.


I couldn't be happier and would absolutely recommend the DC1 100%.


Best,

John Sciacca
 

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I am extremely impressed with my particular UH480 in terms of image sharpness. I see no loss of resolution with pixel delineation until you get to about 85% to the edge of the image and then it tapers off slightly but nothing I would call significant. It matches the ISCO IIIL that I also have in that regard minus edge resolution (the ISCO is basically perfect). Though with the UH480 you lose about 12% overall brightness when the lens is in place and it's noticeable. With the ISCO there is no perceived loss (about 3% is truly lost). It's good to hear the DC-1 is better in this regard. There was some added CA from the UH480, does the DC-1 do better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for inputs. I have had an UH480 on auto transport for a few months and my experience is similar to John's, Not so much that it caused a problem and to be honest was even noticeable to anyone but me obsessing about it. Finally pulled the trigger on the upgrade to the DC1 and it should arrive today. Excited to get it up on the transport and see if there is an improvement in my environment. I also just upgraded from the JVC RS 66 to the x900. the black level and detail on that projector is great, so hoping the combination will be outstanding. Will report back once I have had a chance to view.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sciacca  /t/1522260/any-first-hand-experience-with-panamorph-dc1-lens#post_24479114


Hi, Jim! I lived with the UH480 for several years and finally upgraded to the DC1 about 6 months ago...


I have a Marantz VP-11S2 projector shining onto a Draper screen (92-inch 16x9, 115-inch 2.35) (Here is a link to a video of my theater: http://johnsciacca.webs.com/apps/blog/show/25528464-a-video-walk-thru-of-my-home-theater I can't remember if I shot the video before or after upgrading to the new lens...)


Any how, I always felt like the UH480 was a bit of a compromise as the Marantz has a terrific, hand-selected Konica primary lens. With the lens out of place, the video quality is razor sharp, and bright and looks terrific. When switching to the UH480, it always looked soft, and just ever slightly out of focus. In fact, I went back to check that I hadn't accidentally left the protective plastic film on the lens. I also had to readjust the brightness and contrast settings to account for it as the light output was so different and it just looked like it took a real quality hit when engaging the lens. However, I loved the anamorphic, larger experience, so it was worth the trade-off for me.


The DC1 is totally night-and-day better. It is crystal clear and there is no visible difference in the light output or image quality when it slips into place. When it engaged for the first time I couldn't believe how much better it looked. The picture is razor sharp and detailed with the lens, and the edge-to-edge geometry and focus is better. Now I get the very best images whether the lens is in place or not.


I couldn't be happier and would absolutely recommend the DC1 100%.


Best,

John Sciacca

Hey John!


So glad you are thrilled with your DC1
Thanks so much for posting your comments here. I am a bit surprised, though, with your negative experience with the UH480. While the DC1 is a definite upgrade in terms of delivering better contrast and color accuracy due to the superior coatings, in terms of overall sharpness it should be roughly equivalent to the 480 (although a higher contrast image will definitely appear sharper). One of the main advantages to the DC1 is the fact that it is optically sealed so that no dust can get into the internal optics (in fact, the DC1 is the only optically sealed anamorphic lens on the market, at least as far as I am aware of). Since dust getting inside the optics can degrade image quality, I am wondering if your 480 got contaminated somehow. Generally the 480 is pretty resistant to dust contamination, but it is possible that it could get contaminated if it has been installed in a really dusty environment (especially if drywall work has been done), or if there are smokers in the house, or if it is installed somewhere around where cooking is done (don't laugh at that last one - we have seen several lenses over the years get contaminated with cooking oils).


Of course, I am not suggesting that you would smoke around the lens (or that you are even a smoker
), I'm just trying to figure out the image you were getting with the 480 in terms of overall brightness and sharpness. Do you still have it in your possession? Also, did you change your throw ratio and distance when you installed the DC1? If the 480 was installed outside of its throw distance spec (roughly 14 - 20 feet), that could explain the softness. However, the DC1 still has the same install spec.


Just curious
And if you still have the 480 we would love to take a look at it.


Thanks again for your comments!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108  /t/1522260/any-first-hand-experience-with-panamorph-dc1-lens#post_24479417


I am extremely impressed with my particular UH480 in terms of image sharpness. I see no loss of resolution with pixel delineation until you get to about 85% to the edge of the image and then it tapers off slightly but nothing I would call significant. It matches the ISCO IIIL that I also have in that regard minus edge resolution (the ISCO is basically perfect). Though with the UH480 you lose about 12% overall brightness when the lens is in place and it's noticeable. With the ISCO there is no perceived loss (about 3% is truly lost). It's good to hear the DC-1 is better in this regard. There was some added CA from the UH480, does the DC-1 do better?

Interesting here too. The 480 and the Isco should be roughly equivalent in terms of CA (as should the DC1). One of the things we have noticed, though, is that the 480 / DC1 can exaggerate projector lens CA more than the Isco. Can you check to see if it is the same CA as in the projector lens solo, only "spread out" a bit more?


Just about any lens (including - and usually especially - the projector lens) is going to have some kind of aberration so it is possible that these are strictly production variances. You say it is not significant. Would you say considerably less than a pixel? Also, has any horizontal lens shift been applied? It would also be interesting to know your throw ratio / distance specs.


RE: light output. The DC1 should have the greatest light and contrast retention of any lens on the market. The 480 should be *really* close to the Isco, though, essentially indistinguishable. As in my previous post, there could be some dust contamination. Have you compared the Isco and the 480 in this regard?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann  /t/1522260/any-first-hand-experience-with-panamorph-dc1-lens/0_50#post_24494955


Interesting here too. The 480 and the Isco should be roughly equivalent in terms of CA (as should the DC1). One of the things we have noticed, though, is that the 480 / DC1 can exaggerate projector lens CA more than the Isco. Can you check to see if it is the same CA as in the projector lens solo, only "spread out" a bit more?


Just about any lens (including - and usually especially - the projector lens) is going to have some kind of aberration so it is possible that these are strictly production variances. You say it is not significant. Would you say considerably less than a pixel? Also, has any horizontal lens shift been applied? It would also be interesting to know your throw ratio / distance specs.


RE: light output. The DC1 should have the greatest light and contrast retention of any lens on the market. The 480 should be *really* close to the Isco, though, essentially indistinguishable. As in my previous post, there could be some dust contamination. Have you compared the Isco and the 480 in this regard?

Light output through the lens has been measured before and the ISCO is a lot better than the UH480. A few members here have posted roughly 12% light loss through the lens and only 3-3.5% through the ISCO. I haven't measured myself, but from what I see on screen that amount seems about right. Visually the ISCO image is brighter. CA is definitely better on the ISCO. The UH480 shows more, but from a normal seating distance it isn't visible. I'm using no lens shift at all on my projector. It's "lens center". There is a small amount misconvergence on my JVC DLA-X90 but what I see when using the UH480 is more CA/misconvergence compared to the ISCO. For the price and size of the ISCO optics I'm not surprised that the UH480 can't keep up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108  /t/1522260/any-first-hand-experience-with-panamorph-dc1-lens#post_24495062


Light output through the lens has been measured before and the ISCO is a lot better than the UH480. A few members here have posted roughly 12% light loss through the lens and only 3-3.5% through the ISCO. I haven't measured myself, but from what I see on screen that amount seems about right. Visually the ISCO image is brighter. CA is definitely better on the ISCO. The UH480 shows more, but from a normal seating distance it isn't visible. I'm using no lens shift at all on my projector. It's "lens center". There is a small amount misconvergence on my JVC DLA-X90 but what I see when using the UH480 is more CA/misconvergence compared to the ISCO. For the price and size of the ISCO optics I'm not surprised that the UH480 can't keep up.

Yes, light output through a UH480 has been measured many times - by numerous reviewers, myself, Robin at SIM, Dan at Marantz (when Marantz still had a projector division), I think even Josh Zyber right here on this Forum, but I have never seen 12% light loss reported. All of the professional reviewers I have talked to or corresponded with found considerably less than 10%, and the comparisons I have done in my own home with three different Isco IIIs showed them to be essentially identical in terms of brightness.


Of course, I can totally understand why you or anyone would be completely skeptical of my statements, since I do work occasionally as a consultant for Panamorph. However, there is this thread right here on AVS that AFAIK is the only real posted shootout between the two lenses:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1148318/anamorphic-lens-shootout/120


As HogPilot says in his report of the shootout results:


Neither jonnyozero3 nor I could note an appreciable difference in light throughput between the two lenses.



RE: the shootout covered in the link I posted. I'd like to point out that the 480 in the shootout was not in its "sweet spot" (14.5 - 17.5 ft, while the tested lens was at 13.7 ft), yet the participants found that the 480 and Isco were essentially the same in terms of sharpness. The only issue they found was the one I acknowledged in my previous post in this thread - that the 480 / DC1 can exaggerate projector lens CA slightly more than the Isco. But in every case I've seen, it was CA already present in the projector lens. In other words, the 480 should not add an CA of its own.


So, long and short of it, the two lenses should be roughly equivalent in terms of sharpness and brightness. The fact that you say you see a marked difference is what led me to ask about dust contamination. BTW, I talked to Russell at Panamorph and he is happy to offer a free cleaning and inspection of your 480 (it normally runs $150 including return shipping) to see if there are any issues they need to be aware of. You would just have to cover shipping (happy to do the same for John Sciacca, too, if he still has his 480). Just PM me if interested and I will get you in contact with Russell.


As for the DC1, I have never personally shot it out against the Isco. However, I did shoot it out against my own 480. The DC1 is crisper, brighter, contrastier. I personally wouldn't say "night and day," but it was clearly noticeable. And it should stay that way because of the sealed optics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On vacation now, but had a few mins so thought I would share my thoughts. I am not an expert and can only report on what my eyes see but in general it is a noticeable improvement. The challenge I have in doing a direct comparison the 480 verse the DC1 is that not only did I upgrade to a DC1, but I also upgraded the projector so its a bit hard to know what improvement is the projector and what is the lens as I have to go by memory now. I can happily report that the combination is amazing!. The contrast jump is out of this world, the detail is amazing and the when moving the lens in and out from the projector I perceive no visible light loss, which I couldn't say with my 480. I can also tell that the contrast appears slightly improved when I move the lens in place, but not much and it doesn't appear to be increased contrast due to lower light level. All-in-all I am thrilled with the combination. Now i just need some time to dial in the settings to get the picture just right. I do have one problem that I didn't have with my prior combination. I have my projector set to trigger the lens transport on anamorphic, which needs to be set through the projector menus. This worked fine on my x95 projector only on my new x900 every time I turn on the projector (power on/power off) the lens moves into place and then back out when I turn the projector off as if I have it set that way in the projector menu options which is also a selection, but one I am not using. It sounds like a bug with the new projector. I might try cycling the power (unplugging it) and toying with the menu items to see if it solves the problem, but likely a software bug with the JVC.


Thanks for everyone's inputs. Very happy!
 

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John:


Sorry for the late reply!


I returned my lens directly to Russell W at Panamorph, so it would be back in house. I could go back and retrieve tracking if need be, but asking Russell directly would probably be a faster result. Nothing changed with the projector position. I would guess that it is probably 13-ish feet from the screen, 92-inch when in 16x9 mode. There is no electronic lens shift on the Marantz, just a physical vertical lens shift. Also, no one has ever smoked in our house. :) It is near the kitchen, but the stove is like 13 feet back from it and separated by a small drop down wall area. If you saw the video I posted, that will make more sense...


To me there was *always* an immediately noticeable quality diff between the Marantz main lens and the UH480, both in terms of loss of light and in sharpness/focus. Just a generally softer -- say "more film-like" -- image. The DC1 is visually identical and I would never be able to go back! :)


Maybe I got a less than perfect UH480 and a factory terrific DC1 and I'm noticing the extremes in performance. Either way, you have one super happy DC1 user here!


Cheers,

John Sciacca
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sciacca  /t/1522260/any-first-hand-experience-with-panamorph-dc1-lens#post_24555320


John:


Sorry for the late reply!


I returned my lens directly to Russell W at Panamorph, so it would be back in house. I could go back and retrieve tracking if need be, but asking Russell directly would probably be a faster result. Nothing changed with the projector position. I would guess that it is probably 13-ish feet from the screen, 92-inch when in 16x9 mode. There is no electronic lens shift on the Marantz, just a physical vertical lens shift. Also, no one has ever smoked in our house. :) It is near the kitchen, but the stove is like 13 feet back from it and separated by a small drop down wall area. If you saw the video I posted, that will make more sense...


To me there was *always* an immediately noticeable quality diff between the Marantz main lens and the UH480, both in terms of loss of light and in sharpness/focus. Just a generally softer -- say "more film-like" -- image. The DC1 is visually identical and I would never be able to go back! :)


Maybe I got a less than perfect UH480 and a factory terrific DC1 and I'm noticing the extremes in performance. Either way, you have one super happy DC1 user here!


Cheers,

John Sciacca

Thanks for responding here, John. I will check with Russell. I consult for Panamorph these days, so am hardly ever actually in the office. I always like to get to the bottom of these things and determine exactly what the causes are. The result is a better product
 
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