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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would share my initial observations of my new panamorph. For those who do not care about my HT setup or my history with Panamorph lenses, please feel free to skip the next few paragraphs. For the rest of you brave souls, I'll continue. I have owned a G-15 for the last 1½ years. My setup includes a Dune scaler with SDI, SDI DVD player, D-VHS player and High definition cable from Time Warner (HBO-HD, Showtime-HD, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox (sort of), PBS). My screen is a 92" 16:9 Stewart Greyhawk Electriscreen. My G-15 is proudly William Phelps calibrated at over 700:1


My HT is about 18' x 15'. My projector is on a shelf inverted behind the back wall of the theater. A piece of Edmunds Optic non-reflective glass separates the G-15 from the theater for sound attenuation purposes.


Like many of the group, I owned the original Panamorph (P752). I went through three of these lenses before I got one with no bubbles and could achieve uniform focus. I was very happy with this setup, but there is an old saying. A man HAS to continue to strive for perfection (ie. gotta tweak). So when Alan had a special sale on Panamorphs last fall, I bought a Jumbo Panamorph from him to replace my original. The reason I did this was because the specs of the Jumbo were slightly better and the price was right. I was told that I should see a significant improvement in overall picture quality. With I substituted the jumbo for my P752, I did indeed observe the picture to have better uniform focus and geometry than my original panny. Additionally, the large aperture of the jumbo gave it a greater “sweet spot†and made it much easier to setup. The jumbo is also built like a tank weighing in at about 11 pounds. This was my setup for about six months and it gave me a great deal of enjoyment. I showed off my system frequently and it definitely had the WOW factor going for it. The clarity of the image, particularly with well mastered DVDs and HiDef, was extremely engaging.


But the one drawback that the Panamorph had (and to a lesser extent the Jumbo) was there were always areas of the picture that were “fuzzy†or slight soft to my eye. I only noticed this with test patterns and Windows desktops. No amount of manipulation of the Panny or projector (and we’re talking hours of trying various configurations), could completely remove the “soft spots†completely. Remember, this is REALLY nitpicking. This was only noticeable if you were looking for it. I always felt that this issue was attributable to the oil in the lens or something else introduced in the lens manufacturing. Because this was an oil filled lens, before I had adequate cooling in my media closet (where my G-15 is located), if the Panny ever got too hot, the ENTIRE picture would degrade. This was a known and oft discussed issue.


Anyway, on to the reason for this post, my new Orion series oil-free Panamorph affectionately known as PSO-G15. The one thing I was always conscious of with my HT setup was that if there was any problem with cooling around my panamorph, I could not use the projector because the picture would be noticeably blurry and degraded. I was also hoping that they would come out with a next generation Panamorph which would completely eliminate any soft focus and geometry issues. So when the new Orion series of lenses was announced, which included one with an adapter specifically for the G-15, I jumped on it with great anticipation. Although I ordered it soon after it was announced, they only just started fabricating the G-15 adapter for this lens.


The new series of lenses are solid prism construction vs. the original oil filled Pannies. The lens comes ready to mount directly on your projector if you are lucky enough to have one of the listed projectors. When the lens arrived, what first struck me was how incredibly light and small it was...less than two pounds. By comparison, the original Panamorph was about 6 pounds and my jumbo was a mammoth 11 pounds. They were each set up in front of the projector in their own bracket. The new Orion is so light, small and well made that it easily mounted to the lens housing of my G-15. Setup was a breeze. Once I centered and leveled the projector image without the panamorph, attaching the new lens was a cinch. I fit like a glove. After making sure the Panny was level with the projector image, I used a small Allen wrench (included) to secure the lens it to the projector housing. That’s it. Done.


Now for the good stuff. I started by displaying a Windows desktop full of shortcut icons. If there are any focus issues, they are easy to spot on a Windows desktop. With the old panamorph, I always noticed that the text beneath some of the icons was blurry in various places on the image. A small complaint as I mentioned, but certainly noticeable on the windows desktop with the original Panny. With the new oil-free Panny, the focus was absolutely PERFECT throughout the image. I mean the ENTIRE image, even in the far corners of the image, which, for anyone who has ever tried positioning an anamorphic lens, knows are the most problem areas. If you can get good focus in all four corners, you were golden. That’s exactly what I got. I have not done any geometry testing yet, and these are just initial observations, but their was no significant warping or bowing of the image that I could discern in either the horizontal or vertical plane. I will post more detailed observations of the Avia test pattern when I have the chance.


I then briefly tested some video material. First was Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets through SDI DVD (modified RP-91) which looked spectacular. I’d already watched this (with my kids) using the Jumbo Panamorph,. The image seemed much sharper, more uniform and somewhat brighter. I can’t swear to the increased brightness because I did not do an A/B comparison, but the image was outstanding overall. It was as close to high definition as I have seen on a DVD. Speaking of hi-def, the high definition channels looked awesome as well. Everything appeared extremely detailed and vibrant. The images were as sharp throughout as I had ever seen them.


The bottom line. For a G-15 owner who is not planning on changing his projector anytime soon, this purchase is a no brainer. This Panny produces the best image I have ever seen from my system. It is light, small, fits the projector like a glove and is easy to install. My compliments to Shawn, Paul and the crew. Well done.


Alan
 

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Alan,


Great post. Is there any way that you can follow this post up with some screenshots of the lens and mount? I use a Hushbox on a G11 and any anamorphic lens will have to be mounted outside the hushbox. Do you think an air separation of ~1/4" would be a problem?


I went through two P752's to find one with acceptable (to me) image quality, but then it started to leak so I finally just removed it. The slightly fuzzy windows desktop really started to bug me after awhile too. This new lens sounds great!
 

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Hi Alan,

Great review! I was just waiting for someone to post a review on the new Oil free pannies. This would be the final tweak for my G15 and reading your review it sounds worth it.


If you do have a chance to get some pics that would be great!


Cheers


Paulh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mark,


I am not sure what you mean by the question. I doubt that a 1/4" of distance would make any significant difference, but this particular lens has to be physically attached to the projector. However, they are now advertising a new oil free Panny which is mounted separate from the projector, similar to the original panamorph. That might be your solution.



Mark & Paulh,


I will try to take some photos tomorrow and post.


Alan
 

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AlanMFriedman,


can you please give me a link to where to get this edmund non reflective glass? I search google but couldn't find anything. thanks
 

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Alan,


Thanks very much for the kind remarks!


Mark,


The 1/4" won't be a problem as long as the beam can get into the Panamorph without the edges being clipped. As long as the vertical beam dimension is less than about 1.5" where it will enter the Panamorph you should be good.
 

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Great review, Alan. Sounds awesome! I'll bet this lens is staying put, huh? After having my 752 in place for a couple years now, I can't imagine watching the G11 without it. :D


Shawn, there's a lot of G11 owners out here, any chance of this new lens fitting properly to the G11? I think the lens housing is the same, isn't it?


Chris
 

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I can confirm that the lens fits the G11 (and G1000 I believe). I will try to get a picture up soon as well, but the lens is working well. I was happy with the 752, but the smaller size and lighter weight helped out with my setup.


Jay
 

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Here's a pic of my setup. Think it'll work?


Chris

Pic
 

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Jay, I checked your PM and back at ya. I think we can tweak that.


Chris, we do have a custom lens that fits right on the G11/G15. However, with your through-the-wall setup I think you should go with the PSO-UNI. Of course, since the PSO-UNI is much smaller than the P752, you might want to alter that beautiful shelf a bit.
 

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Hey Shawn, you take trade ins? :D


Dan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Shawn Kelly
Chris, we do have a custom lens that fits right on the G11/G15. However, with your through-the-wall setup I think you should go with the PSO-UNI. Of course, since the PSO-UNI is much smaller than the P752, you might want to alter that beautiful shelf a bit.
Thanks for the info, Shawn. Sounds like a great opportunity for those who missed out early on to now get the most out of their 4:3 projectors. If my 752 wasn't working so dang good I'd strongly consider purchasing the new solid unit.


Moving the shelf wouldn't be a problem. Painting my living room grey to control light spill would. Ya know, wives and all. :D



Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Shawn,


Your welcome. But I'm just calling it like I see it.

Congrats. This is a terrific lens.


Of course, I'm sure my superlatives regarding the PSO are not helping me to sell my Jumbo in the individual sales section; but I'm thrilled to finally be able to achieve the full visual potential of my G15, a projector which is getting too little respect lately IMHO.


Now its time to have some movie nights and start showing off :D


Alan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Shawn Kelly
Jay, I checked your PM and back at ya. I think we can tweak that.
I tried what you suggested and it took care of the problem. Looks great now.


You've improved on the design of the P752 I had previously in every way. I agree with Alan's assessment of the quality of the product.
 

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"a projector which is getting too little respect lately IMHO."


True Alan, but heck, we know what we have. ;)


Hmm, with what looks to be promised success of the new Pannies, could we possibly see a 2.35 lens in the future?? Now THAT would be the ultimate, IMO, and THAT I'd be in the front of the line for. :D


Chris
 

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"Chris, no P752 performance can compare to the PSO"


Stop it already, you guys are killin' me. :(


"gee honey , I don't know what happened to the money we were saving in the cookie jar for the new bedroom curtains, bedding and doilies, did you ask the kids? :rolleyes:


Chris
 

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Chris,


Here is a picture of my PSO/G11 combo. I have a Whisperflow, somewhat similar to your hole in the wall as far as mounting (I had a shelf attached to the hushbox previously). I managed to use the existing hole by removing the lens from its adapter, mounting the adapter to the projector, sealing up the box, then attaching the lens to the adapter. I am going to rotozip the hole to accomodate the exact shape of the mount (it has a squared off bottom, then use foam to seal around it. Your lens hole appears to be smaller, so you would have to enlarge it for it to fit at all.


Jay
 
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