Anamorphic lenses - worth the prize of admission?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Javier_Huerta, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    I own an Infocus DLP projector. I love it to pieces, but I hate the fact that I lose resolution everytime I switch to widescreen.

    I've heard about anamorphic lenses, and the idea seems very good - stretch the image without losing any resolution. But their price seems ridiculous to me - $500 and up. As is, they are 1/4 the price of my projector, and they can be even more expensive than that.

    My question is: are they really worth it? Why are they so expensive? Care to recommend any particular brand? Do you think their price will drop someday?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Anamorphic lenses are expensive because they are very precisionly ground. You can't just mass manufacture them cheaply. The price may drop $100 over the next few years, but I doubt much farther. I'd say it's worth it personally.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    As a matter of perspective, when I was with a group of hardcore film buffs in the early '70s, we researched buying an anamorphic lense for our 16mm Graflex film projector (we had just scored a 16mm 'Scope print of 2001). The cheapest we could find (and this was in 1973) retailed for $250. As Jeff notes, these are precision optics, and they don't come cheap.

    But there was a cool ending to our problem: One of us espied an anamorphic lense in excellent condition at a local flea market. The seller had no idea what it was he had on hand. Our friend told him he'd take it off his hands for $10. Sold!
     
  4. Frank

    Frank Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Isco anamorphic lens that I have used with a JVC D-ILA projector.

    I found that I like the image much better without it.

    In theory it should improve the image but it doesn't.

    Without the lens, the image is extremely sharp from corner to corner. With the lens, the focus varies quite a bit and the colors shift increasingly towards the edges of the screen. There is also barrel distortion.

    Frank
     
  5. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Hmm.

    So I guess the recommendation would be to buy the best I can afford, or else risk not being happy with an inferior product. Sounds fair enough.

    Besides, my projector lacks resolution as is. I'd guess buying an anamorphic lens is not a bad idea, if I can reuse it down the road.

    Thanks!
     

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