Panamorph is already known for its top-performing Paladin UHD lens ($6995 MSRP), which provides home cinema enthusiasts a way to utilize all the pixels on UHD projectors for widescreen (2.35:1/2.40:1) cinematic presentations. Now, the company has announced a new lens— the Paladin DCR ($8995) —that promises to make the very most of the true 4K (4096 x 2160) sensors on select Sony projectors.

Whereas the Paladin UHD worked with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio sensor (HD or UHD) and features 0.75X vertical compression, the Paladin DCR (digital cinema resolution) lens has 0.8X vertical compression, which works to deliver widescreen imagery with the entire Sony sensor. That translates to more pixels and therefore more light output—just under 40% greater screen brightness than zooming and displaying native pixels.

Panamorph says that the 40% figure is derived from the 1.22X increase (measured) in brightness from the anamorphic process, and 13.8% greater brightness from using the entire sensor.But that's not all in terms of benefits. The new lens requires a shorter throw ratio, with a 1.4:1 minimum versus 1.6:1 for the Paladin.

According to Panamorph, the Paladin DCR minimizes distortion. To be precise, the company notes that at the 1.4:1 minimum, less that 5/8" of edge masking is needed to make it work, and with longer throw ratios the distortion decreases. Plus, if you are a dedicated perfectionist, Sony software is available that lets you tune the projector and remove that lingering bit of distortion.

Notably,  Panamorph is offering a steeply discounted pre order price on the Paladin DCR. AVS Forum members get 50% off the MSRP, a savings of just about $4500. So if you plan to buy one, make sure you mention you belong to the forum. If you want to see the offer, just follow this link .

Anyhow, I recently finished evaluating a Sony VPL-VW885ES with the Paladin UHD lens and the extra brightness it proves made HDR content look "just right" on a 120" (horizontal) StudioTek 130 2.40: 1 screen. But due to the limited length of my room, I used the Paladin UHD at its minimum effective throw distance. The Paladin DCR will provide even greater brightness (HDR can use as much as you've got), and with its favorable throw ratio even better performance in terms of geometry.

Panamorph says that initially the Paladin DCR will work with Sony's VPL-VW5000ES and VPL-VW885ES, which require nothing other than the addition of the anamorphic lens to start offering brighter widescreen presentations. Plus, when you do watch 16:9 content, the projector handles that by using the "Squeeze" mode—no lens zooming or mechanical lens sliders required.

According to the press release from Panamorph, the Paladin DCR will ship January 31, 2018.

*Lens pictured in post is the Paladin UHD. The Paladin DCR will look like what you might have spotted in ads on this site...