Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 06/01/04 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Navitar ScreenStar Conversion Lenses

Telephoto and wide-angle adapters for video projectors By Dave Nagel
Not all media rooms are ideally designed for digital projection. They may be too long or too short, so that it's nigh impossible to find an ideal balance between the location of the projector and the size of the projected image. If you position the projector in the rear of the room, the image may be too large for the screen; position the projector too close, and the image is too small, resulting in wasted screen real estate. What's the answer?

That, of course, depends on your situation. The ideal answer would be to slip a new wide-angle or telephoto lens into your projector. But many of the more popular portable models (including mine) don't offer interchangeable lenses. You could go with a ceiling mount to place your projector in the ideal spot, though this isn't always viable. You may have other fixtures in the way, or you may not be able to run the cables through your ceiling. You could go with a cart or podium, but, again, these may not be viable or desirable. But there is yet another option: a ScreenStar lens conversion kit from Navitar.

What are conversion lenses?
Navitar's ScreenStar kits are universal adapters for small-format LCD and DLP projectors. ("Small format" means projectors with certain panel sizes: 0.55" to 0.9" for DLP; 0.55" to 1.3" for LCD; 0.7" for DILA; and 0.9" for LCOS. The unit I tested this with is an NEC LT155, which has 0.9-inch LCD panels.) Their purpose is to reduce or enlarge projected images, allowing you to place the projector where you want in your media room and to maximize the space available on your screen.

But how can they be universal when there are so many brands and models of projectors out there? Simple: They don't actually replace or even connect to your existing lens. Rather, they sit in front of the existing lens to alter the throw distance of the projector.

The ScreenStar 1.2x Telephoto conversion lens

Currently, the ScreenStar line is composed of two models, a 0.8x wide-angle lens and a 1.2x telephoto lens for enlarging and reducing the projected image by 20 percent, respectively. (Navitar says additional models will be rolled out this month at the InfoComm convention, offering 50 percent enlargement and reduction.) I had the chance to test both of the current models.

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Related Keywords:projector, lens, adapter, conversion lens, wide angle, telephoto, lcd, dlp

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