I bought a 4805 during the Staples black Friday deal and decided to build my own DIY screen. Over the past 3 months it seemed that there were great strides made in ambient light paint formulations. My room has some ambient light issues, making something like CG, BigLyle, or the BFLF mixes perfect for my situation. I was going to go with Beven's formulation but being a sucker for the mysterious and forbidden I decided to PM Pbmaxx and see if I could get a hold of the Black Flame mix. Finally got to rolling the screen Sunday and did some preliminary critical viewing tonight.
My room (bedroom) is ~20' x 14' x 9' with two large windows opposite of the screen spanning the whole width of my room.
The projector is the 4805, basic calibrations performed with Avia Video Essentials.
The screen after the boarder is 52" wide and about 57" diagnal (or thereabouts).
Making the screen:
I had no access to a sprayer, so I decided to roll the screen. This is the first time I've ever rolled anything, so bear that in mind. I used as my substrate an unprimed white melamine Do-able board 1/8" thick mounted on a table top stand I build myself (yes, I am very proud, even though its a bit crooked here and there).
I used a reddish colored 3/16th" 9" roller made for smooth surfaces. Started rolling. Eek, bad roller marks. Double Eek: the damn thing shedded all over the place. Yeah, red pieces of whatever all over the screen. Not good. Grabbed one of my towells out of my bathroom and wiped off the entire screen....
I also bought 2 foam rollers made for smooth surfaces. Opened the first package and there was some huge inch worm thing crawling on it--yeah, not a big "bug person" so that roller went into the trash.
Used the second foam 9" roller. Surface went on smoother, but again bad roller marks. This might have been worsened by the fact I was painting straight onto the melamine surface. Let that sit for about 30 minutes. Yikes, the roller marks! This is no good so onto....
I also bought a ultrafoam trim roller from HD (I tend to buy multiple backups of items from HD due to my lacking of the 'handy man' gene). I rolled on a coat of the BF mix with the trim roller. MUCH better. Went on extremely with little or no marks. There were still marks from the first layer, but after 3 more layers, the roller marks were gone and I had a fairly smooth, uniform surface......until as I was mounting it it dropped on my head creating a big mark on the screen, so I went with a fourth layer of BF
The mix is light-mid gray/bluegray (by my eyes).
Very easy to roll once you know what you're doing. Use a trim roller.
I tried to use as little paint as possible for each layer.
I waited 30"+ for each layer and another 24 hours before I took pictures.
The way I did the black flame mix was not optimal. Its apparently best sprayed and using a mirror as a substrate (the LF part of BFLF). I'm also using a lower lumen projector and this is the absolute first time I've rolled paint or made a screen. I think my review is still valuable because it sets sort of the lower range of what's acheivable with the BF mix. Using a sprayer and a mirror and a higher-end projector should only IMPROVE your results. However, I believe there are many out there like me in this situation. In any event there's are my preliminary results YMMV.
Screen shots (A/B with a plain Do-able board):
These are just some random images from the Dicovery Channel HD comcast cable feed as well as a Hi-Def Leno broadcast (I believe). I'm using the component connection and a Moto 6412 DVR box. I know these aren't the preferential 5th element or Finding Nemo pics, but they'll have to do for now.
I have 4 overhead recessed lights--I think they're 75W each and a table lamp right behind the projector--another 75W. Its pretty bright. I don't know how to quantify it besides pretty bright. I used a strip of unpainted Do-Able as the reference. I'm also using a ND2 filter, which cuts the brightness in half. One of the overhead recessed lights falls on the left side of the screen--so if it looks light there more ambient light on the left of the screen that's because there is
Black levels are improved anywhere from moderately to dramtically depending on the scene. White levels suffer a bit when compared to the "clean" whites of the do-able board. This isn't surprising since the BF is gray. But you ONLY really notice it when you do a direct A/B comparison. Once I take the do-able away, within a minute or two my eyes adjust and the whites in the BF mix seem very white. I'm sure this is pretty typical of many of your experiences. In bright scenes the colors seem a bit muted. I just took off the ND2 filter and the colors seem a bit more vibrant--more pop so-to-speak. Overall with the lights on on a scale of 1 to 10, in my hands with my situation I'd give it a solid 7.
I think more critical viewing is in order with some good DVDs or HD broadcasts--something like the Fifth Element or Nemo or Gladiator or whatever else. I just wanted to put up quick and dirty pics to get things started. My camera is a Casio EX-Z750. Many shots were with a mini tripod, but they are untouched processing wise. I should mention that in the dark, there isn't a whole lot of difference between the Do-able and BF screen, which is generally a good thing. Differences in whites and lighter fleshtones are still noticable, but only minimally. One thing that I found interesting is that the black levels are still improved in the dark with the BF mix. I have white walls in my bedroom, so maybe there is a minimal amount of ambient light from reflections. But I thought this was pretty cool since I didn't expect improved black levels in the dark.
Sorry for the mediocre pics and the rambling post. Its late so I might have forgotten some important info. If anyone has any questions or pic requests I'd be happy to accomodate. Big thanks to Pbmaxx and MM. They were both extremely helpful over PM and patient with my neverending stream of questions.