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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In building my poorman's HDTV Home Theater, I have added

a poorman's Panamorph..



I have been experimenting around with various ways to get a cheaper way than some of the big expensive, anamorphic lenses to get a nice widescreen. I picked up a Ultra Panatar Panavision Lens off of Ebay for $170. (I've seen them go for as low as $50) Credit for this goes to heimkino

, who gave me the idea, he was using the older Super Panatar for the same deal. This won't work for all projectors but it worked really well for my Compaq MP1800. The picture is phenom.. The ultra panatar, is selectable on the ratio, so you can stretch to the exact ratio size you need. Plus my MP1800 suffered some awful halo, when it was in native 4:3, showing a letterboxed title. Now that is greatly reduced.. On a typical 16x9 movie, I am playing it is sized at 130 inches, with the projector 17 feet from the screen. I'll try to post some pictures soon if any one wants to see the setup, and the picture it results in. The only one downside I have come across is the prisms used are very thick, and eat alot of light.. So I would say the picture is around 15% dimmer. There are no color problems, and the already minor DLP screendoor effect is even reduced further. The picture improvement blew me away! I wasn't expecting it to be as great as it worked out. But! For the price, and the fabulous picture.. It is very much worth it.. Especially if you can't afford the denero for the panamorph..


My setup so far:


Compaq MP1800 $1100

RCA DTC-100 $350

HTPC, Radeon,P3,DVD $400

Mr Wiggles Cat5 SVGA $12

UltraPanatar $170

JVC 5.1 DD Receiver $280

JBL Speakers $310

Sony SA-WM40 w/Mods $140



[This message has been edited by Eirikur (edited 07-17-2001).]
 

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Congrats on your purchase. I have a question, though - what mods have you done to your Sony sub? I have one, and I like it very much, but if it can be improved...

 

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Thanks for the info. Do you notice any image distortion like barrel distortion?


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Greg
 

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How about the DTC-100. Where'd you find it for $350? On ebay?


-phil
 

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sounds like a good deal... Quick question though, wouldn't any percived loss of light output be related to the fact that you're covering 20-30% more screen area than you do without the lens? Seems more liekly than a 15% loss to optics - heck, I've seen sunglasses that would do less...


Thanks for the great tip though! Can you post some pics of your setup and the lens?


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Darren Rogers


Please stop reading my signature....

NOW!!!

I really mean it, you're starting to get on my nerves!

Listen, I'm not kidding here, if you keep reading, you're gonna regret it!

Look into my eyes, and do not doubt my reslove - if you persist, you will be taught a lesson you will not forget!
 

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How do you go about connecting it to your projector?


Which end do you connect?


What does it do to throw distance?


Please answer ASAP!



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Through man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world...


- Saint Arnoldus
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will try and give some more details here..


The Ultra Pantar itself:

I used one that is the 300x version.. They originally came with a long skinny tube attached to them. I don't have this tube, and don't think it would help.. The unit itself is very large.. 8 1/4 inches long, and about 7 inches high.. It weighs about 5 lbs.


Lens size:

You do need a projector with a small lens.. My compaq MP1800 has about a 40mm size exit lens, framed up to plastic that sizes it to about 50mm. At least in expansion mode, i.e horizontally expanding the image. I think that anything larger than 40mm would have a hard time dodging vignetting around the edges. However, if you put the UltraPantar on backwards and vertically compressed the image. You might be able to go slightly larger.. I

m not totally sure as I have nothing larger to test with.

The input diameter on the ultra-panatar is 62mm. My last lens on the projector is about 40 mm, with a frame size of about 50mm..


Throw Distance:

It doesn't change the throw distance, as far as I can tell with my setup. Without the lens my vertical height is 60 inches, with the lens vertical height is also 60 inches. The device only stretches your current image hortizontally. So use anamorphic mode on DVDs, and change your HD reciever to output to a 16x9 source.


Using the lens to compress vertically:

If you turn the lens around backwards and tilted 90 degrees, it will compress the image. Thus I ended up with a image about 37 inches in height. (This would vary according to the amount of stretch I dialed in on the Pantar) I couldn't get this end of the lens lined up properly to my MP1800 due to it's odd shape. But the idea works. I am thinking that if I took the prisms out of their housing I might have better luck..


Light Loss:

I do believe luvmytivo was correct in saying that some of the light loss I mentioned is coming from the image being so much larger. Of course the optics are still eating light. However one has to remember that the projector now has more light turned on than it would normally in letterbox mode. Placing the lens backwards, results in a brighter but smaller image.


Image Distortion / Barrel Distortion:

I can percieve no barrel distortion at all. I do believe earlier models of the Panatar suffered from this. But that was fixed with the Ultra. It is important that the lens project perfectly flat to the wall, the more keystoning you have, the more the image will be out of focus.


Mounting:

Right now, the lens is just propped up on some magazines in front of the projector. But I will alter this soon as I had my projector celing mounted, and I will have to come up with a mounting bracket of some sort. I am thinking of perhaps removing the prism assembly. It's funny to see year 1960 technology being used with year 2001 technology and actually work to a benefit!


The Cheap Stuff I have:

The receiver and speakers was open box at Best Buy, the rest was all carefully acquired on E-bay.


Useful Links:


Ultra-Pantar Manual: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/wide...rapanatar1.htm


History: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingup1.htm


Heimkino's German Site on the Super Panatar: http://heimkino.dvdplanet.de/specials.php3?id=1


Michael Todd's Site: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/80page1.htm



On the Sony SubWoofer Mods:

I have added a little bit of PolyFill from Wal-Mart $2 and I have upgraded the driver, $28.. Next I am going to add spiked feet.. You can find mod information at: http://www.audioreview.com/reviews/S...ct_48108.shtml




[This message has been edited by Eirikur (edited 07-17-2001).]
 

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Try projecting a cross hair pattern on the screen. Adjust the mechanical focus on the projector and observe if the vertical and horizontal lines are the sharpest at the same time. If the vertical and horizontal lines do not appear to focus sharply at the same time, you have astigmatism issues.


Look of the front glass that you removed for an etched 80-100, 60-80, or 40-60 close to the edge of the glass.


What is your actual projection distance?


Vern


[This message has been edited by Vern Dias (edited 07-17-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The front piece of glass is perfectly flat.. I placed water on a piece of plate glass and then placed the Panatar glass on it.. It completely and smoothly squished all the water out, with no air bubbles. Both sides had the same condition. Perhaps there is more to a astigmatism lens than just this.. The indicators on the glass are as follows: MODEL H 175-225 feet or - 68 meters. The book indicates that is just a corrector glass. So Thus it must be an astigmatism corrector. I wish mine wasn't so scratched up. I will test it with and without the lens when I get a chance..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Projection distance is 17 feet.. The focus on the projector has to be changed once the Panatar is on the front of it. But it does focus computer text sharply.

 

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OK..I just won the Ultra Panatar Panavision off ebay..I payed a little more for mine but I wanted to try this at what ever cost.


I will let everyone know my finding when it comes in..when ever that will be. I just closed about a hour ago so I assume it will be a week before I see this thing.

Here is a link so everyone can see what it looks like.

Scroll down to see the pics.


Thanks Eirikur for peeking our interest.

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI...tem=1254313950


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Alan Gouger

Thanks for supporting AV Science.
www.avscience.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't think you will need that long extension tube.. Check it out and let us know if it is of any use. The one you won is worth more anyways. From the pictures it is in excellent shape. Most of them that I have seen are heavily used and abused. Once I can get some pictures of mine up, you will see the difference. I did notice that the one you won does not appear to come with the astigmatism front lens. However I wonder if it even makes a difference in short throw applications? The lens may not properly work, except in longer distances.


This isn't the panamorph, but for the price, it does improve the picture if you are wanting to watch letterbox materials with a bit more resolution and all of the pixels your projector has.


[This message has been edited by Eirikur (edited 07-17-2001).]
 

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OK, you definitely don't want to use that, although at 175-225 feet, the lens may not need any correction. The only explanation that I can come up with for not using the astigmatism corrector is the the depth of field of the lens is great enough that the minor differences are not visable.


I assume you are using a HTPC or scaler test pattern, since the test pattern off of a DVD may not be sharp enough to show you the focus differences when you change the projector focus.


Just to make sure I have communicated the procedure:


1. Project a cross hair or cross hatch pattern

2. Slowly change the projectors lens focus adjustment

3. Pay attention to the vertical lines and focus for the sharpest vertical lines

4. Rock the lens focus back and forth, the horizontal lines should defocus rather than getting sharper.


Another thought: At a 1.4 expansion ratio, astigmatism would not be as much of a problem as at a 2.0 expansion ratio.


Anyhow, enjoy....


BTW, I am assuming you have YXY if you are using a HTPC source.


Vern


I know for a fact that using the 35mm test loop and a standard 35mm projector requires the astigmatism to be carefully adjusted.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alan Gouger:
OK..I just won the Ultra Panatar Panavision off ebay..I payed a little more for mine but I wanted to try this at what ever cost.
so you're the one... PUNK!!!


PS - if you want to get rid of it when you're done playing, let me know!


------------------

Darren Rogers


Please stop reading my signature....

NOW!!!

I really mean it, you're starting to get on my nerves!

Listen, I'm not kidding here, if you keep reading, you're gonna regret it!

Look into my eyes, and do not doubt my reslove - if you persist, you will be taught a lesson you will not forget!
 

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I think a number of us had the idea to look up the Panatar on ebay. I was the one dueling it out with Alan till the last 30 seconds.


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Mark Virtue
 

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Before anyone gets all excited and tries to go find one. There aren't any as of now on Ebay. Good thing! My checkbook couldn't finace a war like that between Alan and Darren.


Hopefully Alan can give us a review as well. Although, I hate to say this cause it maybe recieved poorly, I assure it is not intended that way, any negative review would be taken with a grain of salt by me due to the developements with the panamorph project.


Sounds harsh, but I'm skeptical by nature. I've been beaten down too much.


Tim
 

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Great links on the lens!!! Was facinating reading. Thanks


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Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Vern Dias:

Okay, I have a HTPC and the DTC-100 hooked up as a source.

I have the Radeon card, which I thought did not work with YXY? Is there a way to get it up and running?


Also is there a program or a source for a test pattern? I was thinking of just creating some vertical and horizontal lines in photoshop?


The UltraPantar is a Nissan Sentra

The Panamorph is a Ferrari

without either you are riding a bicycle..


Okay before everyone here beats me up! Let me clarify, that the UltraPanatar is no Panamorph.. If you have the money, then get the best.. Get a Panamorph.. I'm sure the UltraPanatar will fall short in every category except for price! You get what you pay for.. I don't have the money for the Panamorph, and luckily found that the UltraPanatar works for me! I will be curious to see Alan's results. I think bang for the econo-buck, the UltraPantar is a viable option for us poorer folk! As far as availability there seems to be about 1 to 2 a month on ebay.. There are probably other sources for these things, as thousands upon thousands of these units were built.. I think I am not the only one to start using this for HT projection, as the prices seemed to have recently taken a rise on these little puppies.. That said, I love mine enough that I won't separate from it, for anything less than Panamorph money.



[This message has been edited by Eirikur (edited 07-18-2001).]
 
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