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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping to get an anamorphic projection setup in the coming year. Unfortunately, costs are looking to be out of my range when I look at most options out there. I have no experience with anamorphic lenses, so I've no idea of the practical realities, but...

I'm assuming that a signifcant part of the cost of an anamorphic lens is the frame to house the lens(es?). Machining and cutting stainless steel can't be cheap or easy, particularly with complex shapes and assemblies. Not to mention the cost of the material itself. Would it be feasible to use 3D printing technology to create a lens frame that the lens could just be inserted into?

Granted, at this point I think you'd be limited to some sort of plastic frame, but for a budget assembly would it work? One needn't even have a 3D printer, since you can send the CAD design to various companies who will "print" the unit for you and mail it back to you.

What are some of the technical difficulties that would make this more difficult than it seems at first?
 

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Depends on which type of anamorphic lens you're referring to..If you mean the latest cylindrical type lenses, then it's not only the cost of making the case, it's the cost of the lens elements as well..
Also the accuracy of assembly and adjustment is extremely critical and the reason the case is machined from metal..
Mark can explain all this is more detail..

If the current lenses are not in your price range, then I would suggest looking at a prism lens with corrective elements..These types of lenses still work very well with minimal CA and are a very good alternative..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I had budget lenses in mind, but I didn't know how much the lens itself contributes to the cost. Looks like I may have severely underestimated that. So that would seem to leave a prism lens setup for those on a budget. IIRC, people are able to make their own frames from wood for these, yes? This pretty much eliminates the budget advantage of 3D printing.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of adjustments are typically required with the prism lenses after the metal housing is machined? I'm not sure I understand why adjustments can be made to a metal housing, but not a 3D printed one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I've started reading the DIY anamorphic lens sticky thread. And I'm starting to understand a bit more why the cylindrical lenses would be so tricky. I'm very curious to see how Mark's "DIY" prism lens system turned out. Back to the reading! :nerd:

*Edit* It seems the DIY became the MK V. I guess I'll be sticking with a prism lens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Prof! I've just got back after Christmas break and haven't yet had a chance to read it, but it looks like a great find - and with pictures! :D
 

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When you go into manufacturing the parts needed, you are faced with machine costs which include the set up time. An operator would rather produce 10 than 1 because the time for set up is the same, so therefor the more you make, the less each costs. But what do you do with the other 9?

And yes, then there is the cost of the optics because theses are more than "2 lumps of glass".
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Unfortunately, I'm not at that stage yet. Just started putting drywall up. I may order some prisms at the same time I order a projector. That way I'll be seeing what size screen is best based on a cinemascope picture - as I anticipate most of my movie watching will be.

I'll have questions at that point, I'm sure!
 

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The price of the lens is mostly in the glass. Case is the relatively easy part. Some cases are better than others. Glass on the other hand is a different animal. You can get any machine shop to make a case. Only a handful of places in the world can grind glass, correctly. If you think you would be happy with a pair of inexpensive prisims (I would not), there are a couple of options out there. Here are most all of the choices:

From bottom to top (cheapest first):

- Home Theater Brothers (think they changed their name). Trophy prisims, sheet metal case, executed decently for a DIY. Cheap. (http://www.anamorphicresearch.com/)
- Mark Techers older Prisim lenses (not in production AFAIK)
- CAVX newer Prisim lenses (limited, import. Touch base with www.ozts.com.au )
- Prisimasonic prisim (www.prismasonic.com)
- Panamorph Prisims (www.panamorph.com)
- Prismasonic Cylindrical (ditto)
- CAVX Cylindricals (cavx.blogspot.com) Not sure on price, think I have it placed right.
- XEIT Cylindricals (www.xeitoptics.com)
- Isco Cylindricals (www.techht.com)

I have strong reasons to beleive which are the better choices. None of those are cheap however. Here, you really do get what you pay for.
 

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Good information.. but one thing I will add to that..

A simple prism lens is a good and inexpensive way of being introduced into anamorphic projection..
They are easy to make (with basic DIY skills) and relatively easy to set up..

It gives one the opportunity of seeing the advantages of having an anamorphic lens and benefiting from the low outlay..should you desire not to proceed any further..

If the image produced is appealing with the inherent benefit of no black bars to zoom out..then you can choose.. if you so wish, to improve on the quality of the lens..
There are several products available (as listed above) as a step up in quality..
 

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The price of the lens is mostly in the glass. Case is the relatively easy part. Some cases are better than others. Glass on the other hand is a different animal. You can get any machine shop to make a case. Only a handful of places in the world can grind glass, correctly. If you think you would be happy with a pair of inexpensive prisims (I would not), there are a couple of options out there. Here are most all of the choices:
As far as I know, 2 factories in the world can produce glass to the size and spec required.

In my case the optics represent about 70% of the price. My case has been made as cost effectively as I could. If I was to machine it from a solid bar, the price of the lens would be triple due to the time it would spend in a lathe turning out the centre section. So I turned to a combination of plastic (this part is made from 10mm, laser cut, glued and turned) and alloy. I am looking at molding this part as that will considerably reduce the cost again, but the cost of the mold is considerable and would not be viable unless I was producing 20+ units at a time.

I'm just editing this list rather than re-type.
From bottom to top (cheapest first):

- Home Theater Brothers (think they changed their name). Trophy prisims, sheet metal case, executed decently for a DIY. Cheap. (http://www.anamorphicresearch.com/)
- Mark Techers [email protected][dicontinued]
- CAVX MK3+C [discontinued]
- Prisimasonic prisim (www.prismasonic.com)
- Panamorph Prisims (www.panamorph.com)
- CAVX MK5 Cylindricals (cavx.blogspot.com) It is now the most cost effective of the four large anamorphics
- CAVX MK4 (cube shaped lens) discontinued and replaced by MK5 it used the same optics.
- Prismasonic HD6000 Cylindrical (www.prismasonic.com)
- XEIT Cylindricals (www.xeitoptics.com)
- Isco Cylindricals (www.techht.com)
Below is the MK5 with a Epson TW9000, so you get some sort of scale.
 

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