Projector Reviews

1080p Projectors Lens Throw and Lens Shift

Lens Throw and Lens Shift

Some projectors have a lot of placement range, while others are severely limited. With few exceptions, 3LCD projectors and LCoS projectors are extremely flexible, with zoom lenses with plenty of zoom, and all of these two groups of projectors have lens shift. By comparison, the DLP projectors consistently have very little zoom range. Some of the DLP projectors have lens shift others do not. Even when they do have lens shift, they don’t have as much as the other types.

Let’s discuss the issues, then get into the individual projector’s abilities.

Lens shift is a requirement if you want to shelf mount a projector in the rear of your room. It allows the projector to maintain a proper, rectangular image on the screen from different heights, and for a projector placed higher than the mid-point on the screen, without lens shift, the projector must be inverted, so, essentially ceiling mounted.

The other thing you need to shelf mount, is a projector that can be placed far enough back to sit on a rear shelf. Of course your room length and screen size come into play. Let’s say that those projectors without lens shift normally also have lenses with very little zoom range, so their throw distance range is normally kept fairly short, figuring that ceiling mounting is easier, closer to the screen.

Here’s a chart organized by our three Classes. For each projector, it provides placement information in terms of distance and height, for a 100 inch 16:9 screen. Using these numbers, you can determine the ranges for any sized screen just with a simple calculation.

All of these projectors can be ceiling mounted. The ones in Italic can be shelf mounted:

Under $2100 Closest in feet Furthest
in feet

Lens shift


Shift max Ht. (inches)
Epson HC6100 9.8 20.9 Y 22.7
InFocus X10 13.5 16.1 N 17.5
Mitsubishi HC5500 10.5 12.8 Y 0
Optoma HD806 13.5 16.1 N 17
Sanyo PLV-Z700 9.8 20 Y 24.5
BenQ W5000 13.4 16.1 Y 0
Epson HC6500UB 9.8 20.9 Y 22.7
Epson HC7500UB 9.8 20.9 Y 22.7
Epson HC7100 9.8 20.9 Y 22.7
Mitsubishi HC6500 10.2 16.4 Y 12.3
Mitsubishi HC7000 10.2 16.4 Y 12.3
Optoma HD8200** 10.9 16.6 Y 17
Panasonic PT-AE3000 9.9 19.8 Y 24.5
Sanyo PLV-Z3000 9.8 20 Y 24.5
Sony VPL-HW10 10.1 16.3 Y 7.5
Viewsonic Pro8100 10.3 16.6 Y 24
BenQ W20000 13.4 16.1 Y 0
InFocus IN82 13.5 16.1 N 17.5
InFocus IN83 13.5 16.1 N 17.5
JVC DLA-RS10 9.9 20.1 Y 15
JVC DLA-RS20 9.9 20.1 Y 15
Optoma HD8000-LV 13.5 16.1 N 17
Planar PD8150* 13.4 17.4 Y 29
Sharp XV-Z20000 13.3 18.3 Y 0
Sony VPL-VW70 10.1 16.3 Y 7.5

* Planar PD8150 – is interesting in that the lens shift is unequal. It can be placed higher above the screen top, than it can be lower, below the bottom.

** The Optoma HD8200 lens shift is unequal. The projector’s lens can only be slightly above the bottom of the screen surface, with the projector upright. That means that you cannot shelf mount it near the top of the screen. Bottom line – the HD8200 is not practical for rear shelf mounting (unless mounted low – which no one wants to do), despite having adjustable lens shift.

Note: All numbers above are approximate. Throw distances should be accurate within about one inch. In terms of Maximum shift, and especially the amount of shift (offset) on projectors without adjustable lens shift, we have found that manufacturers often make errors!