Anamorphic Lens  

A specially constructed lens that squeezes a wide angle view into about half it's width on film, or re-expands the
image upon projection. Designed for wide screen photography and projection.

An anamorphic lens that produces a "squeezed" image onto film in the camera. When the processed film is
projected on a screen, an appropriate lens
reverses the effect, and the image spreads out to lifelike proportions.

The anamorphic process was designed for
wide-screen motion picture photography and projection.

Two types of anamorphic lenses
Without wanting to complicate this much further, it needs to be pointed out that there are two types of
anamorphic lenses on the market. One
compresses the image vertically, and the other expands the image
horizontally. Ultimately they accomplish the same thing.

The lens being offered with the HT1000
compresses the 4:3 image vertically. That means at any given throw
distance, the width of the resulting 16:9 image with the anamorphic lens will be the same as the width of the
native 4:3 image (or 16:9 image in 1024x576 format) that would otherwise be displayed without the lens. What
you get is a
brighter, higher resolution 16:9 image, and the lens does not change the projector's throw

The other style of anamorphic lens will take a 4:3 image and optically stretch it horizontally into a 16:9 image.
With this type of lens the width of the resulting 16:9 image is 1/3 wider than the 4:3 image that would otherwise
be projected from that distance. Therefore, this type of lens shortens the throw distance of the projector for any
given size of 16:9 image.

One notable problem with anamorphic lenses
A potential problem to be aware of when considering the use of an anamorphic lens is this: What do you do
when you want to see regular 4:3 material? When you put a lens that optically distorts what is being projected in
front of your projector, it distorts everything, whether it is pre-compressed 16:9 or not. So when you try to play
native 4:3 material through it, you get an image that is distorted horizontally--people are shorter and fatter than

If you don't plan to watch any 4:3 material, or if you don't care if your 4:3 image is distorted, this is not a problem.
However, if you want to see your 4:3 sources in normal aspect ratio, you only have two choices. The first is to
physically remove the anamorphic lens when switching to 4:3 material. The second is to use an external scaler
that can pre-squeeze the 4:3 signal so that it comes out normal when passing through the anamorphic lens.
Neither of these is an overly appealing solution for most users.

The lens offered by NEC attaches to the projector via a hinge and can easily be swung down out of the way when
you don't want to use it. But if the unit is ceiling mounted, this may still be a nuisance—think in terms of having a
small stepladder standing by when you want to switch from 16:9 to 4:3 viewing.
Panamorph specializes in anamorphic lenses.
If you want to learn more about it click on Panamorph.
This is how the NEC anamorphic lens works:
Sony VPL-HS20 from

There are several things that make the VPLHS20 stand out. Actually, one great
feature doesn't stand out at all, and that's a good thing. The VPLHS20's fan noise of
28dB is the lowest level in the Sony projector lineup. It is barely noticeable, which is
critical for home applications.
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