Anamorphic Cinema Design Guide

The anamorphic modes integrated into today’s most popular projectors make integrating a Panamorph lens for full cinema performance easier than it has ever been. Follow these rules for the absolute best result but also check the compatibility guides for any other comments. 

LENS MODEL

  • Remember that the Paladin DCR is the go to lens for all full 4K/4096 wide projectors and the Paladin is the go to lens for UHD/3840 wide projectors. The Phoenix should only be considered for eShift 4K/UHD or lower resolution projectors which have electronic color correction capabilities.

YOUR SCREEN

  • Go flat, not curved. A curved screen adds barrel distortion at the top and bottom of the image. A curved screen also reflects light onto itself which can reduce contrast. Why do that?
  • Go with a standard border of at least 1.5″ (about 40mm minimum). This helps to mask variations in setup, residual edge distortion and slight variations in content aspect ratios.
  • 2.4:1 is the industry standard aspect ratio. 2.35:1 movies stopped being made in 1972. All the leading screen manufacturers make 2.4:1 so ask them for it. But if you have an older 2.35:1 screen then at least the Paladin lenses can adjust for it.

YOUR PROJECTOR THROW DISTANCE AND SCREEN WIDTH

  • Paladin DCR? The distance from screen to projector should be at least 1.4 times your screen width to get the beam through the lens and to minimize edge distortion. At 1.4 you will need a screen border of about 0.004 times your screen width to mask edge distortion. This decreases as the ratio goes up. At about 1.8:1 you’ll only need a sliver. The Paladin DCR works great from about 12 – 35 feet throw distance.
  • Paladin and Phoenix? The distance from screen to projector should be at least 1.6 times your screen width to get the beam through the lens and to minimize edge distortion. At 1.6 you will need a screen border of about 0.004 times your screen width to mask edge distortion. This decreases as the ratio goes up. At about 2.0 you’ll only need a sliver. The Paladin works great from about 12 – 35 feet throw distance. The Phoenix range is about 12 – 25 feet.

YOUR PROJECTOR LOCATION

  • Horizontal. The projector should ideally be horizontally centered on the screen center to within an amount around 0.05 times your throw distance to make the image geometry as optimum as possible.
  • Vertical. Paladin lenses are designed to work best when the projector is mounted around the top edge (Panamorph logo facing down) or bottom edge (Panamorph logo facing up) of the screen. There is not really a critical position but far above the top, far below the bottom, or even right in the vertical center of the screen makes it more difficult to get the right geometry.

SHELF OR CEILING MOUNT?

  • Panamorph lenses come with a lens bracket that can be inverted from it’s standard ceiling-mount configuration. That means you can mount the XM2 attachment plate to the top of a ceiling mounted projector or even to a shelf underneath the projector – your option.