The Sky’s the Limit with Navitar HemiStar® 100º/160º/180º/360º Fisheye Projection Lenses in Planetariums

Planetarium photo

Planetarium photo provided by The Drake Planetarium & Science Center.

September 12, 2012

ROCHESTER, NY — September 12, 2012 – Navitar, a global leader in optical technology, offers a series of HemiStar® fisheye projection lenses perfect for immersive presentation experiences such as planetarium shows. Designed for projecting images onto curved surfaces in 2K and 4K resolutions, HemiStar lenses have been installed in numerous venues around the country, including most recently the Drake Planetarium & Science Center.

Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Drake Planetarium installed Navitar’s HemiStar HS28 lens to project 180° content into their 30-foot dome. The Drake had been using an outdated 2000‑lumen XGA projector with a flat field lens placed at the outer edge of the dome to project onto a small section of the curved surface. With a desire to expand their show offerings and update their equipment, the Drake contacted Navitar.

The Drake now uses the HemiStar HS28 lens with a Panasonic PT-DW6300 projector. “We couldn't be happier with the lens,” comments Nate Banzhof, Planetarium Educator at the Drake Planetarium. “We built our own system around the HemiStar lens and it allowed us to provide full dome content for a fraction of the cost of an off-the-shelf unit.” The Drake, a non-profit organization, now offers many different educational programs on topics from astronomy to underwater life.

With an almost infinite depth of focus, HemiStar lenses are also well-suited for use in single and multi-projector applications, including inflatable, small and midsize planetariums; and spherical display systems. “The beauty of the HemiStar lens is its versatility,” says Julian Goldstein, Co-President of Navitar. “The range of applications is truly unlimited – rear projection, dome projection, planetariums, you name it, HemiStar can do it.”

Navitar continues to develop its HemiStar offerings, which are featured in a new 100º/160º/180º/360º fisheye projection lens brochure. As with Navitar’s NuView® and ScreenStar® lenses, HemiStar lenses are compatible with many major projector brands such as InFocus, Panasonic, Optoma, projectiondesign, Digital Projection, Christie, Sanyo and Eiki.

Navitar, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures and distributes precision optical solutions across the globe. Navitar Imaging Solutions, Projection Optics and Custom Optics divisions produce leading-edge optical and electro-optical technologies for the fastest growing segments of the world's economy. Their optical solutions are used in a wide variety of industries including Biotechnology & Medical, Defense & Security, Industrial Imaging, and Projection. Applications include machine vision, automation, assembly, imaging, testing, measurement, metrology, biometrics, telecommunications, photonics R&D, non-contact measurement, simulation, and much more.

Navitar is the largest manufacturer in the world of stock and custom designed projector lenses for most formats of digital projectors including new high resolution 3-chip DLP, SXRD, D-ILA, LCOS, WUXGA, 1080p, 2K and 4K projectors. These lenses let you place the projector almost anywhere while maintaining high quality images. Navitar has designed lenses for a variety of applications including flight and training simulators, dome presentations, planetariums, Broadway shows, amusement rides, retail display, and art in public places. For more information, contact Navitar at

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