FUJIFILM to Bring Two HDTV Lenses to NAB 2012
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At NAB 2012, in Booth C7525, the Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation will present two new HDTV lenses for the U.S. market. Originally unveiled at IBC 2011, the two lenses, which expand their respective product lines, are the HA19x7.4BERM/BERD 2/3-inch Premier Series high-performance HD ENG/EFP production lens and the XA19x7.4BESM-D8 compact, HDTV studio and field box-style lens. Although these two lenses are aimed at different markets, they are quite similar and were developed to fulfill the same need.
More specifically, says Calabro, consumers can now see some of the deficiencies in lenses. "Lenses in general are very sharp in the center, losing sharpness at the edges," he notes. "Every lens has its sweet spot; for a wide-angle lens, that will be more towards the wide side, and for a long lens, on the tele-side. But we realized that with those much-larger consumer TV displays, there was a need for a very high quality lens that has extremely sharp corners and that's uniform from top to bottom, left to right. And that we need to put it in a package that the operator can hold for the ENG lens."
In fact, getting a lens with those uniform characteristics into a package that doesn't require a tripod was the trickiest aspect of developing the two new lenses. "We have a 22x7.3, which is a superb lens, but the front is massive," says Calabro. "Even though it has a grip and rocker switch, it was meant for a tripod. A cameraman can't run around with it on his shoulder at a baseball game."
Weighing 3.3kg, HA19x7.4BERM/BERD 2/3-inch lens is both lightweight and high-quality enough for high-end ENG/EFP HDTV production, including entertainment, news, sports, and documentaries. The lens features a new ergonomic grip designed to reduce operator fatigue, and the lens can be ordered with manual or servo focus and zoom.
These two new lenses also offer 16-bit encoders and 2.2X extenders as standard features, which gives zoom capabilities and reach similar to that of FUJINON HA23X lenses.
Calabro compares the new lenses to other FUJIFILM lenses. "The 19x7.4 comes in at a kilogram less than the 22x7.3," he says. "It's a little heavier than our 23x7.6 but it is certainly a very manageable size and weight. It's close in size and weight to the 23x7.6 but it has very high quality like the 22x7.3."
Another key differentiator is that both lenses are the first in such a compact size to feature three floating zoom groups and Aspherics, which combine to improve optical performance. "What this does is allows the lens to correct itself for aberrations at various points in the zoom range," says Calabro. "We've used it on much larger lenses, but to make it a compact size and weight is much more complicated. The miniaturization of the free floating zoom groups is a breakthrough."
The lenses also feature the latest EBC coating. "Coating makes the glass," says Calabro. "It improves transmittance and makes or breaks the color characteristics of each element. We've been working on this technology for some time, and this latest version of our EBC coatings gives us a lot of quality in the lens."
The XA19x mini-box lens offers automatic compensation of focus breathing. "This synchronizes the zoom movement to the focus movement, enabling the image size to remain constant when focusing," explains Calabro. "It's a necessity for episodic production." Both lenses also feature advanced diagnostics and a short "MOD" or minimum object distance of 0.55mm, which allows shooting at closer distances.
Glass makes the camera, and FUJIFILM has made a strong statement by acknowledging the challenges of producing creative content for ever-bigger and higher resolution consumer TV screens. Although the price has not yet been set for the new lenses, they both promise to be a solid and desirable option for broadcasters and producers of high-end sports, entertainment and even documentary work, both in the field and the studio.