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Do You Prefer an Anamorphic Lens or Lens Memories for 2.35:1 Movies?

  • Anamorphic lens

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  • Lens memories

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  • Neither; I'm happy with 16:9 and letterbox bars

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As many AVS readers know, there are two ways to project a 2.35:1 movie onto a 2.35:1 screen without black letterbox bars. One way is to place an anamorphic lens in front of the projector's primary lens to stretch the image horizontally while electronic processing upscales the image vertically. This uses the projector's entire pixel resolution to reproduce the active image instead of "wasting" pixels at the top and bottom on black bars, which many claim increases the overall brightness. However, this approach can also introduce optical distortion and scaling artifacts.

 

The other way is to use a projector with motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift and several lens memories to store and recall the settings for different aspect ratios. With 2.35:1 movies, the black bars are simply "pushed" out of the way above and below the screen. This avoids optical distortion and scaling artifacts at the expense of lower brightness and vertical resolution.

 

If you have a 2.35:1 projection system—or you only dream about having one—which approach do you prefer? Or are you happy with a 16:9 screen and black letterbox bars framing movies?
 

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I haven't actually tried an A-lens because of the cost and complications, but I've never had a desire too either...


lens memory is super easy, provides 100% of the source's image quality, and I don't have an issue with brightness(my projector currently has the iris closed all the way on low lamp and eco mode)


whatever the reason is for using an A-lens, my theatre doesn't require it.
 

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Scott thanks for starting this discussion. You might have noticed that I was the one asking the questions on this subject in the Video Demos at CEDIA Expo 2013 thread.



When you say, regarding the anamorphic solution, "this uses the projector's entire pixel resolution to reproduce the active image instead of "wasting" pixels at the top and bottom on black bars," I assume you mean that the entire "surface" of the projector's chip is being used (pixels of light), correct? From what I have gathered, the resolution is still knocked down to 810 horizontal lines of information with either solution because that's all that exists on anamorphic blu-rays.
 

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I've used the zoom method for years on my JVC projectors, in a Variable Size Image system, and I introduced an A-lens into my system a while back (Panamorph UH480 and remote controlled sled).

Pretty much the only reason I got the lens was 1. My throw distance was just a wee bit too short to allow full zoom out to fill my entire screen, hence the A-lens and 2. I found wicked deals on both the lens and the sled.


I do very much like having the A-lens mostly for being able to now view movies at the very widest setting for my screen masking. And it's kinda neat when the A-lens stretch and lens slides in. Aside from that, I'd be perfectly happy zooming (and I still zoom for most content on my screen). In my situation with the A-lens I have a bit of barrel distortion to contend with and if zoom had filled the screen I would have used that to just avoid A-lens issues.


(My projector does have 3 lens memory settings but for a couple reasons I haven't employed it - one being I zoom to so many different image sizes that only 3 settings isn't much help).
 

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Isn't there a third way? Video processors like the lumagens. Or is that the same as the projector process?
 

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I use the "fourth way." (Isn't it actually the first way?) I simply manually zoom and focus my Epson

8700 UB projector on my 2.0:1 aspect ratio screen. I have been doing this for years, using a total of

three different projectors. I don't find it to be THAT much of an inconvenience.


As for the letter box bars being moved off screen, no problem. I simply painted the wall surrounding

my screen flat black.
 

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I don't think brightness is as big an issue these days as it once was, but it was when I first got into projection. Hence, I bought a lens. Having a lens now is great as I get to watch all the best movies in scope (for me, all my favourites tend to be in scope). Also, it gave me a reason to build a curved screen which is the coolest looking thing if I do say so myself. I also tend to favour DLP technology which doesn't lend itself well to vast amounts of zoom like the lcd projectors.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE TRUE ONE  /t/1494529/do-you-prefer-an-anamorphic-lens-or-lens-memories-for-2-35-1-content#post_23827850


Isn't there a third way? Video processors like the lumagens. Or is that the same as the projector process?

I skipped the lens and wen Lumagen! 100% 2:35:1 all the time
See below:

and
 

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I'm hoping to get my dedicated room going very soon, but I've been planning it for years.

I'm going to go with a combo projection size using zoom memory.

I'm going to get a 16:9 120" screen, BUT I will be masking it to 2.40 for 99% of the time.

Most of my blurays are 2.40, so I will keep it masked to that ratio most of the time.

Most 1.78/1.85 etc movies, I will use the zoom memory to zoom in to keep a constant height on the 2.40 masked screen (and possibly have curtains to bring in on the sides to cover the exposed white screen area).

However, on rare occasions I will take off the masking for what I will refer to as "Imax-lite" size. For instance, when watching The Dark Knight or TDKR, I don't want to lose anything, I want to see everything available. Or perhaps for Inception, which was filmed on 65mm for parts and I feel was intended for larger screens (I never go to Imax for non-70mm films, but I made the exception for Inception and saw it on Imax). There may be just a few others, but not many, this will be a rare occasion. Pacific Rim comes to mind, Del Toro very much intended for it to be as big as life (in fact, I saw it twice, once on a grand screen and again in a normal sized theater, and I found the impact was definitely lessened in the smaller theater).


Additionally, and I know I wouldn't notice on my screen, but the idea of upscaling perfectly good blurays for anamorphic projection just disturbs me. I am perfectly aware that it is almost irrational, but I'm just not going to do that. Upscaling is for dvds or at best blurays on 4k screens.

If, and only if, the new 4k bluray format allows 4k to be downscaled to anamorphic 1080p for 2.40 films, then I would get a 4k bluray player and an anamorphic lens to watch downscaled 4k but using the full 1920x1080 pixels available (and hopefully better color).
 

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Haven't had the opportunity to use a lens, so I can't compare it to my current zoom setup. All I can say is I'm perfectly happy with the zoom method and could think of lots of other ways to spend the extra $$.
 

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I Still prefer my Schneider M lens over using the zoom memory on my JVC X95. I hate to see the overspill on the black masking of 16.9 menus etc etc before the start of a scope film when zooming, + its never 100% accurate. Using my cineslide I can change from 16.9 to scope including the masking change within seconds, + its 100% accurate every single time. Its all about presentation and for me an "A" lens is the only way I will ever implement multiple film ratios.



 

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Some projectors do the same zoom to 2.35 but the action is manual not motorized such as my HW50ES. I believe I can do it faster manually than I can electronically to be honest.


My setup is a SI Solar 4K 120" diagonal 2.35 and I manually zoom between this and 16:9. Lots of light 2D for wide, the odd 3D that is 2.35 aspect will loose some lumens because of the loss of pixels in the black bar.

16:9 for 2D and 3D is good on my screen. 3D could always be better and nothing will change that until lumens hit 4000. Nothing under 30,000 will get you there so the only other option is stacking PJ's or going High

Gain and that opens up another topic so will end here.


I am going to add the A lens and higher gain curved screen first and see how that goes. Well, maybe a motorized dual screen instead of the curved the decision is not final yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson  /t/1494529/do-you-prefer-an-anamorphic-lens-or-lens-memories-for-2-35-1-content#post_23827605


As many AVS readers know, there are two ways to project a 2.35:1 movie onto a 2.35:1 screen without black letterbox bars. One way is to place an anamorphic lens in front of the projector's primary lens to stretch the image horizontally while electronic processing upscales the image vertically. This uses the projector's entire pixel resolution to reproduce the active image instead of "wasting" pixels at the top and bottom on black bars, which many claim increases the overall brightness. However, this approach can also introduce optical distortion and scaling artifacts.


The other way is to use a projector with motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift and several lens memories to store and recall the settings for different aspect ratios. With 2.35:1 movies, the black bars are simply "pushed" out of the way above and below the screen. This avoids optical distortion and scaling artifacts at the expense of lower brightness and vertical resolution.


If you have a 2.35:1 projection system—or you only dream about having one—which approach do you prefer? Or are you happy with a 16:9 screen and black letterbox bars framing movies?
 

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I have a Runco Q-750d with StudioTek 130 G3 in 2.35:1 that was calibrated by Kevin. We removed the anamorphic lens that attached to the projector as it was causing a diminishment in sharpness. The picture is awesome after calibration.
 

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2008 Sony VW60 + Panamorph 380 on simple manual DIY aluminum slide, works great for limited lumens PJ's of the late 2000's.




Possible for the higher 4k lumens PJ's of the later 2010's, a-lens not needed, tbc.

I'll be looking around 2015 to replace my VW60, letting technology mature, till then 2008 Sony VW60 + Panamorph 380 with 11.2 audio works for me and the family.
 

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I've seen two nice 3 chip DLPs (SIM2 HT5000 and Display Development HD5) in both zooming and through the ISCOIIIL I have and it isn't a contest really. The pixel loss without the lens leaves a very coarse looking image that results in pixel visibility pretty far back from the screen. I looked at both with my HD5 quite a bit and chose to keep the ISCOIII after seeing the difference.


Art
 

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I have a JVC RS46 in my theater room and love the lens memory feature. I have a room that is 8' in height so I went with a CIH 138" 2.35 screen. I am now finding myself basing my viewing on the aspect ratio - 16:9 is almost a let down because I want the movie to fill the whole screen. JVC's lens memory does the job for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmaddog  /t/1494529/do-you-prefer-an-anamorphic-lens-or-lens-memories-for-2-35-1-content#post_23829266


I have a JVC RS46 in my theater room and love the lens memory feature. I have a room that is 8' in height so I went with a CIH 138" 2.35 screen. I am now finding myself basing my viewing on the aspect ratio - 16:9 is almost a let down because I want the movie to fill the whole screen. JVC's lens memory does the job for me.

That's one big reason why I didn't go CIH, but rather used a wall-sized screen with 4-way masking and zooming for a variable size system. Any aspect ratio can be the size I want (relative to my wall space) so there's never a sense of disappointment or ever wishing a film were in some other aspect ratio. This is also very helpful due to variations in source quality.

(Though it's clear few others have gone this route).
 
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