FUJIFILM Optical Division Expands Lineup

The FUJIFILM North America Optical Devices Division is at NAB 2013 with a new and improved image-stabilization system as well as a couple of new lenses, including the 99X lens that debuted at the end of last year but continues to gain interest from sports broadcasters.

“It also has better stabilization and is a tad lighter than the 88X lens, making it perfect for situations where weight and space are at a premium,” says Thom Calabro, director, marketing and product development, FUJIFILM.

Also new is the XA55x9.5 HDTV telephoto box-style lens, designed for large venues that require tight shots from long distances. Like the XA50x9.5, this lens will be available with a built-in lens-support bracket for mounting on an ENG-style camera. Also built in to the new XA55x is optical image stabilization.

Although most lens news for the sports-production market at the show has historically been driven by larger lenses for big-time sports production, the growing interest in midlevel-lens needs is a game changer.

“The 77X lens, introduced last NAB, is the right price and right focal length for people who don’t need a 101X lens or the 88X or 99X lens,” says Calabro.

As for 4K, Fujinon glass has already played an important part in recent productions that extracted HD-resolution images from 4K images. Fujinon lenses were coupled with FOR-A cameras at both the Daytona 500 (for Fox) and Super Bowl XLVII (for CBS).

“The 75×400 lens is used as a selective tool getting a wide shot so that the user can then zoom in electronically when something happens,” Calabro explains.

When it comes to the potential for 4K in a live-sports-production application, the trick will be making sure operators have the same tools and similar operations to the current HD workflow.

“They are going to also want the same or similar focal lengths and light sensitivity, as, in sports, they need to work with what available light they have,” adds Dave Waddell, regional sales manager, South Central, FUJIFILM. “But the biggest challenge right now is, we would need huge lenses that are about 2.5 times as large as current lenses.”

The Cabrio lineup, which currently serves the 4K market via PL-style lenses, has an 85-300mm version as well as a 14-28mm version (model ZK2x14) with a focal length of 14-28mm at T2.9, with 200-degree focus rotation. The digital servo’s 16-bit encoding assures operators that all lens data output — such as the position of the zoom, iris, and focus — is extremely accurate, and the lens supports Lens Data System (LDS) and /i metadata formats. The new PL 14-28 is also equipped with the same features as the PL 19-90mm, such as flange focal-distance adjustment; detachable, self-aligning servo drive; and coverage of a 31.5mm diagonal sensor.

“Everyone is still talking about PL-mount lenses for 4K field use, but they do not lend themselves to sports because of the very shallow depth of field,” says Calabro. “But they are suitable for entertainment-type shows and for creative things.”

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