About Drake Planetarium
Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Drake Planetarium & Science Center offers educational and entertaining programs for all ages. Through planetarium shows, summer camps, laser shows and youth and family programs, Drake strives to help children develop a love of science and a better understanding of the world around – and beyond – them. As part of their programs, Drake presents planetarium shows in their 30’ dome, which can seat 70 adults.
To project into the dome, Drake Planetarium had been using an antiquated 2000-lumen XGA projector with a flat field lens at the outer edge of the surface. The planetarium was only showing astronomy-themed shows because of their limited system. The Tri-State Education and Technology Foundation, which operates the Drake, felt it was time to upgrade the Planetarium’s projection system. As a non-profit organization, however, funding for the project was limited. The Planetarium was unsure they would be able to find a cost-effective and satisfactory solution. Nate Banzhof, Planetarium Educator at Drake, came across Navitar and hopes of finding an economical solution were restored. He began working with Navitar to find the right lens for the planetarium.
The Drake Planetarium chose Navitar’s HemiStar HS28 lens paired with a Panasonic PT-DW6300 projector. The HS28 is a 2.86 mm focal length fisheye lens, and is ideal for video image quality. The Drake installed the lens and projector system and is very satisfied with the results.
“We couldn’t be happier with the lens so far,” commented Nate Banzhof. “We were able to build our own system around it and it allowed us to provide full dome content for a fraction of the cost of an off-the-shelf unit.” The planetarium is now presenting shows about underwater life, astronomy and even has a “meditainment” series featuring a guided meditation and relaxation session under the stars.
The Drake Planetarium is a valuable resource for the greater Cincinnati community, and their new projection lens system ensures they will be able to bring important educational and entertainment programs to the public for years to come.