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Does anyone have a link to affordable Anamorphic Projection lenses ? I am interested in this format for my HT that I will be building in the next year. I am new to PJ's as well. I will probably get something like the sony VPL-HW55ES or VPL-HW40ES. Do I need a lens for these ? I will only be watching movies or TV shows on Blue ray etc. I do not watch sports.

Going into the 2.35 CIH seems to be a niche but is this what I would want if I were to be mostly watching movies?
 

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That's a good screen size to opt for if you're looking for a movie-centric set-up. You do not necessarily need an anamorphic lens... For instance I run a JVC projector that has a zoom feature that fits a 2.40:1 image to a CinemaScope screen. Panasonic offers a similar feature (as do several other brands). Both projectors can auto-zoom to make it work (sometimes necessitating a few tweaks to focus, etc).

One thing to remember, projectors display a 2.40:1 image much like a TV does (with black bars on the top and bottom. You'll want to make sure that you buy a screen with a black surround/ edge that will help to soak up spill-over. There are some great sources... Review sites such as projector central... That can help you sift through the available models. Definitely give JVC a fair shake... Phenomenal picture quality!

Also, if you're considering a projector, and have a dedicated space, definitely consider making the room as light controlled as possible... Black/dark walls go a long way to help keep light reflecting Back on the screen.
 

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im going to have no windows and be able to paint the room black... black ceiling... I may throw in some really dark reds... I will check out the JVC. I am nost sold on anything just yet.
 

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I have an anamorphic projection setup with a lens and transport and i will never go back. To be fair i have never done the zooming because my runco has manual zoom and focus. I would sift through the avs forum classifieds. There are always lenses for sale and with the community the way it is, for the most part items are well taken care of only being parted with due to "upgraditus". If the idea of used doesnt sit well with you (i dont particularly care for it) contact GetGrey over on avs. Last i knew he had a great deal going for avs members on the automated Cineslide paired with the phenominal Australian made XEIT 4KR anamorphic lens. Truth be told i am a little biased as i own a cineslide and XEIT 4KR lens but you can get 99% Schneider performance for 1/2 the cost of their big lens.
 

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Animorphic lens setups are not cheap. And if you do get one cheap it is usually sub par and not good quality giving poor image quality. The projectors mentioned by Todd are a much better idea if cost is a factor. I have a Panasonic AE8000u and love the auto zoom
 

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Does anyone have a link to affordable Anamorphic Projection lenses ? I am interested in this format for my HT that I will be building in the next year. I am new to PJ's as well. I will probably get something like the sony VPL-HW55ES or VPL-HW40ES. Do I need a lens for these ? I will only be watching movies or TV shows on Blue ray etc. I do not watch sports.

Going into the 2.35 CIH seems to be a niche but is this what I would want if I were to be mostly watching movies?
Please define "affordable" in your context. You really can't expect coherent and efficient responses to your interests until you provide minimally sufficient specifics. What is your system budget? What do you plan for a screen width or primary seating distance from the screen?

Anamorphic lens solutions are not really necessary for DIY projection systems any more. The added cost and complexity do not balance well against the minimal benefits versus using a projector with automated zoom memories. There are projectors lacking such features, but certainly the ones that do will span a range of costs and capabilities typical in home system designs and budgets. Many of the great blockbuster movies have odd aspect ratios that still would leave black bars in anamorphic lens systems. The "zoom method" offers infinite image size adjustment for many of the odd aspect ratio titles. I have a 2.35:1 system in my show room that uses the zoom and lens shift method of image adjustment by deliberate choice. There are benefits and consequences to both types of solutions.

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.
A Lion AV Consultants affiliate

"Advancing the art and science of electronic imaging"
 

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I personally disagree with the idea that an anamorphic lens introduces complications. It is definitely more difficult to get set up and get focused but especially with an automated transport, your automation software or universal remote should make it 1 touch to scale and slide the lens. If you choose to use the original remote/s associated with the equipment it is 2 buttons at most. The first to stretch the material (not familiar with sony but with runco its the cinewide button) then a second on the transport remote to slide the lens into place. While there are several different iteration of scope content ie 2.4, 2.39, 2.37, 2.35 on my screen (110 inch wide 2.37 ratio) an inch of overscan on 16x9 content will make all scope content fit perfectly. Also there is quite a cool factor, at least for me, when the movie first starts and the image has black bars on all 4 sides and occupies only 75% of the projected 16x9 image. Then when you scale it and slide the lens in place the movie become HUGE! Just the way it was intended. As a side benefit with an anamorphic lens you dont have to deal with variable aspect ratio movies being projected onto your floor ceiling
 

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Have you considered a Panasonic 8000? Anamorphic expense is really unnecessary IMO. I wanted 2.35 and went with the Panny because it's the most feasible and with the least complications. I just got the biggest 2.35 and am still able to get a 130" 16.9 image when I zoom in. Majority of movies are 2.35, and you will never enjoy a movie the same way on a 16.9 screen when you get used to the enveloping immersion of a 2.35.
 

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I personally disagree with the idea that an anamorphic lens introduces complications. It is definitely more difficult to get set up and get focused but especially with an automated transport, your automation software or universal remote should make it 1 touch to scale and slide the lens. If you choose to use the original remote/s associated with the equipment it is 2 buttons at most. The first to stretch the material (not familiar with sony but with runco its the cinewide button) then a second on the transport remote to slide the lens into place. While there are several different iteration of scope content ie 2.4, 2.39, 2.37, 2.35 on my screen (110 inch wide 2.37 ratio) an inch of overscan on 16x9 content will make all scope content fit perfectly. Also there is quite a cool factor, at least for me, when the movie first starts and the image has black bars on all 4 sides and occupies only 75% of the projected 16x9 image. Then when you scale it and slide the lens in place the movie become HUGE! Just the way it was intended. As a side benefit with an anamorphic lens you dont have to deal with variable aspect ratio movies being projected onto your floor ceiling
It's the setup that I was referring to when I mentioned added complexity, which you confirm. There are several classic films formatted to 2.00:1. There are also several exceeding 2.40:1 that can be formatted with or without the top and bottom black bars with a zoom system. A recent one I acquired is the newly remastered 'The King And I." Anamorphic fans typically leave out the downsides and limitations of using an anamorphic lens when they discuss why they promote such a methodology. In my experience, formal training, and understanding, the primary benefit of an anamorphic lens/automated sled system has been the pre-programmed automation possible for system owners who want a one touch solution that they don't have to think about. In a DIY context, the new lens memory options save a lot of cash.
 

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Have you considered a Panasonic 8000? Anamorphic expense is really unnecessary IMO. I wanted 2.35 and went with the Panny because it's the most feasible and with the least complications. I just got the biggest 2.35 and am still able to get a 130" 16.9 image when I zoom in. Majority of movies are 2.35, and you will never enjoy a movie the same way on a 16.9 screen when you get used to the enveloping immersion of a 2.35.
im glad to hear a couple nods to not needing a lens to enjoy 2.35. I will check out a couple of those models I am not sold on anything yet. My PJ budget is btwn 2-3K. Maybe a little more but dont want to push it to hard. my room will have 9 foot ceilings... around 18 foot wide by 20 foot long.
 

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Just a side note: It is also my understanding that when using an Anamorphic lens you loose about 40% of the image brightness so you need a projector that has a high brightness level and the ones in the 2-3k range are going to struggle with that.
 

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im glad to hear a couple nods to not needing a lens to enjoy 2.35. I will check out a couple of those models I am not sold on anything yet. My PJ budget is btwn 2-3K. Maybe a little more but dont want to push it to hard. my room will have 9 foot ceilings... around 18 foot wide by 20 foot long.
The Panasonic 8000 is only $1500 shipped now from BHvideo, an authorized and very reputable dealer....the 8000 used to sell for $2200-$2500. This model makes it easy to have a great PJ and 2.35. Best of all, the auto zoom feature is awesome when it detects ratio, it zooms in or out to the saved memory. You can also sace additional ratios as needed. You honestly won't find a better value for 2.35. This PJ has been going strong and unchanged for 3+ years for a reason.
 

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Just a side note: It is also my understanding that when using an Anamorphic lens you loose about 40% of the image brightness so you need a projector that has a high brightness level and the ones in the 2-3k range are going to struggle with that.
False!
While an anamorphic lens will create some light loss it is absolutely no where near 40%... more like 5%-8% depending on the design of the lens and how many elements it has. Plus you get the added benefit of using the entire imaging chip and the increased pixel density that comes with it. These items have a place that goes beyond the well off looking for a 1 touch solution. If its not in the budget I get that. Can you make do without one... absolutely. But please dont espouse these lenses as "no longer relevant" because they do serve a purpose, even for the diy community.
 

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False!
While an anamorphic lens will create some light loss it is absolutely no where near 40%... more like 5%-8% depending on the design of the lens and how many elements it has. Plus you get the added benefit of using the entire imaging chip and the increased pixel density that comes with it. These items have a place that goes beyond the well off looking for a 1 touch solution. If its not in the budget I get that. Can you make do without one... absolutely. But please dont espouse these lenses as "no longer relevant" because they do serve a purpose, even for the diy community.
Additional potential down sides to anamorphic systems seldom mentioned by proponents is the softening of the image that can be caused by the addition of added optics into the light path, along with the necessary digital scaling of the pixel mapping. Adding more optics will also slightly decrease black level and dynamic range due to light scatter within the anamorphic lens.
 
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