In addition to manufacturing and distributing our fine optics and lens assemblies for the broadcast, digital cinema and industrial markets, part of our goal here at the Optical Devices Division of Fujifilm is to promote professional education and skill for those who seek it. In support of this initiative, and to increase awareness of our Cine-Style zooms among cinematographers, camera operators and camera assistants at all levels, we’ve embarked on a series of hands-on, educational seminars called “Fujinon Days.” Based on initial reviews from leading feature film and episodic cinematographers, as well as the rental house lens technicians who have been present at these regional events, we’re proud to report that it looks like this series is headed for a long and impactful run.
The first Fujinon Day was held this spring at the ASC Clubhouse; several others followed in U.S. cities including MPS in Austin, ARRI Rental in Atlanta, and Abel Cine in New York City. Upcoming Fujinon Days will take place in Los Angeles (at Sony DMPC), Sao Paulo, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Miami, and Boston.
The main goal of these events is to allow filmmakers to see for themselves the capabilities and characteristics of Fujinon’s extensive range of Premier and Cabrio lenses, and to combine that with the opportunity to learn from powerhouse guest presenters such as Bill Bennett, ASC; William Wages, ASC; and Dejan Georgevich, ASC. Comments and questions are strongly encouraged during the presentations, giving attendees a chance to discuss how the technical aspects of lens design relate to look and feel.
Here are a few highlights from insights shared by our esteemed Fujinon Day presenters:
According to three-time ASC Award winner William Wages, ASC, who presented at Fujinon Day Atlanta, “the Cabrio 19-90 and 85-300mm zooms are virtually the only lenses I’m presently using.The optical quality, small size and speed are unequaled. They’ve changed the way I shoot.”
Eric Steelberg, ASC (Baywatch, Draft Day, Juno, 500 Days of Summer), who was a featured guest at the ASC Clubhouse Fujinon Day, spoke about the role of Fujinon lenses in film: “In the past, cinematographers have relegated zooms to a lower place in the hierarchy of lens technology. If you wanted to use a zoom, you had to be willing to sacrifice. Fujinon, in my opinion, completely changed that paradigm. Now you don’t have to decide to shoot zooms or primes based on performance. Now it’s based on workflow form and factor, and a cinematographer’s philosophy. But the technical limitations have been solved. I’ve used them with Red, ALEXA, film, and across the board, they have performed. If you thought that Fujinon lenses were only for video or sports, I’ve got news for you.”
Another ASC Clubhouse presenter, cinematographer Bill Bennett, ASC, drew the following conclusion after leading a discussion about the subtleties of lens characteristics: “Many of the attendees were very experienced cinematographers. They don’t need to be told what a good lens is or what good performance is. They would just as soon come and see for themselves and make up their own minds. Everybody makes judgments about lenses in their own way, so we just gave people the tools to take a good look.”
Cinematographer Ian Ellis, who is known for his dramatically lit DP work on the TV series The Lying Game, as well as his second unit DP work on Friday Night Lights and Revolution, had never seen a Fujinon Premier lens in action before Fujinon Day in Austin. How did he feel after witnessing the lack of breathing, vignetting, and overall beautiful imagery captured by the Premier and Cabrio zooms? “Amazed.” “I would love to get the 25-300mm Cabrio ona TV show. It’s got such a huge range and doesn't fall apart at the long end wide open.We tend to live on big zooms on TV dramas, and we could go so many directions with that lens. I really want other people to see what it can do. And the Premier 75-400mm lens is insanely cool. It would be my ideal long-end lens for a feature film.”
We hope you’ll join us at a future Fujinon Day near you. Attendees are provided with a unique opportunity to participate in workshops and panel discussions centered on the creative, optical and budgetary considerations critical to modern optics design; learn about lens design, technology, and applications; and explore the wide selection of Fujinon PL mount zoom lenses.
For anyone who pays attention to music today, it was almost impossible not to have heard something or other about October’s Desert Trip—a music festival promoted as “the concert of the century.” Tickets were sold throughout almost every continent, with attendees eager to see some of our time’s most iconic classic rock musicians live in concert. For those who couldn’t attend in person, this was one multi-media event viewers wanted to experience in all its star-studded splendor. This required 4K imaging. Enter HD video and webcast production company Springboard Productions, led by music industry vet Hank Neuberger, who tasked renowned mobile truck provider NEPwith video acquisition and display duties.
NEP’s Cobalt, which was designed to cater to the specific needs of entertainment production, served as Desert Trip’s mobile production truck. NEP’s Screenworks, which specializes in video display solutions, supplied three of the large, audience display screens. The event was shot and ISO recorded in 4K, while the screens received a 1080i signal, and all the content was recorded onto 34 Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio Pro 2 disk recorders.
NEP’s Glen Levine, Co-President, U.S. Mobile Units, wanted to supply as many 4K lenses as they could for acquisition on the Sony HDC-4300 and PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K cameras. Of the 14 cameras used to capture performances as Desert Trip, 10 of them had 4K lenses, seven of which were Fujinon lenses. Two of those 4K lenses were UA107x8.4 4K UHD lenses (positioned at center house and center tower), which Levine said “looked outstanding.” The other lenses used on Cobalt included one UA80x9 4K 2/3-inch lenses (placed off stage right), three UA22x8 zoom lenses (directly on the event stage), and one UA13x4.5 4K 2/3-inch UHD portable zoom (on a jib device).
Here’s a fun fact: of the bands that performed at Desert Trip who are currently on tour, all of them use Fujinon lenses for in-venue production. Lenses currently on tour include: our XA99x8.4 ultra-wide field production lenses, UA22x8 portable zooms, and ZA12x4.5 wide-angle remote control lenses.
Fujinon is proud to have supplied our 4K UHD lenses to NEP, a company known for capturing great moments in entertainment history…Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza—and that’s just music! Desert Trip is sure to be looked upon as one of the greats, and we are excited to work together in the future to push the boundaries of live video production even further.
In its largest ever lens purchase, leading broadcast services specialist Gearhouse Broadcast has announced a multi-million dollar investment in Fujinon 4K and HD lenses. With this purchase, all of the company’s OB super trucks and a substantial portion of its entire Australian OB fleet will now be Fujinon 4K lens-enabled.
The purchase included a significant number of the following Fujinon lenses:
When asked about the order, Gearhouse Broadcast CEO John Newton said, “Our core philosophy has always been to deliver the latest and highest quality technology, workflows and services to our customers. Recently, we did a comprehensive evaluation of 4K lenses across the globe and it was very clear that Fujinon lenses are leading the world in 4K lens quality and technology, so this multi-million dollar investment in Fujinon’s 4K lenses is another great example of our core philosophy in action.”
Newton went on to further explain the logic behind this investment: “Put simply, these lenses with our current camera fleet will give the very best picture quality for our clients, as 4K lenses on HD cameras outperform and produce better images than HD lenses. That’s an immediate and tangible benefit for our customers. Then there’s the fact that our entire fleet is now futureproofed for 4K production of any kind. Finally, and particularly in the case of the UA107x8.4BESM, we now have not only the highest quality 4K box lenses available but also the one with the largest zoom range available of any 4K UHD lens in today’s market.”
Can’t argue with that logic!
Always looking to the future, Fujinon has developed lenses which not only meet but exceed 4K optical performance. And while 4K is a staple in any conversation about resolution, Fujinon has done substantial design work with our 4K lenses to transmit higher contrast pictures and less flare to contribute to an equally important component: high dynamic range. So, users of our lenses can expect high resolution, high contrast and high dynamic range. Other new technologies and features that help contribute to a better, sharper and more efficient production include the development of accuracy in focus control demanded by 4K resolution, as well as new manufacturing technology for configuring and positioning of lens elements.
We at Fujinon are delighted that our 4K and HD lenses will play such an integral role in Gearhouse Broadcast’s technology! This investment will surely bolster the company’s capabilities and allow the Gearhouse team to continue helping its clients create first-class productions for high profile sporting and entertainment events.
Big news for Fujifilm Optical Devices in the Southeast! The Regional Service Center for the
Optical Devices Division of Fujifilm North America has relocated from Atlanta to Marietta, Georgia. The new center will continue to service all customers of Fujinon’s HD, UHD and Cine lenses. The new office location is located at the following address:
South Eastern Regional Service Center
200 North Cobb Parkway
Building 100 (Suite 126)
Marietta, Georgia 30062
Should you need to reach someone at the new office, the main contact is Stephen Craig. Reach him via e-mail at
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Just months after purchasing 12 Fujinon lenses this spring, Denver-based Mobile TV Group (MTVG) has added two UA107x8.4 (107x) 4K UHD lenses onto its 39 Flex 4K mobile unit, marking the first delivery of the lens in the U.S. since its introduction at NAB Show. MTVG also added 13 Fujinon HD lenses to its newest 40HDX HD production truck, which is outfitted with Grass Valley LDX Cameras, including:
• Two ZA17x7.6BERD telephoto lenses with 2X extender
The 39 Flex was built to accommodate making major strides in 4K production, while the 40HDX is an addition to MTVG’s more traditional, though highly advanced, high definition fleet; the unit has four Super Slo-mo cameras and replay.
Photo credit: Mobile TV Group
When asked about this latest purchase, Philip Garvin, GM of MTVG and Colorado Studios, said, “With an f-stop of 1.7 and a focal length of 8.4 to 900mm, we had to have the UA107x on our super busy 39 Flex. It will take our clients’ 4K productions to the next level. The optical quality across the zoom range is beyond anything I’ve seen. And any of our customers familiar with the FUJINON UA80x and XA99x field lenses will feel at home with the UA107x. It has all the same digital features.”
We at Fujifilm Optical Devices were delighted to learn that MTVG’s decision to add Fujinon lenses 40HDX was based on their team’s excellent experience with the Fujinon lenses on 39 Flex. We are thrilled to have our lenses on board their mobile units, especially considering their status as such a technically progressive leader in our industry, always on top of advanced production techniques. For example, MTVG’s 39 Flex was the first mobile unit built from the ground up for 4K live sports production. That’s something!
39 Flex has been on the road since its launch last March covering a wide array of live events including the Masters, the PGA Championships, major concerts, beach volleyball championships, and much more.
For those unfamiliar with the UA107x, it is the longest and widest 4K lens created for Ultra HD (UHD) broadcast applications. It has a multi-group zoom system that suppresses image distortion and ensures that 4K UHD images captured remain consistent and accurate from center to corner. The lens’ refined optical quality has been engineered using Fujinon’s latest optical simulation software, which was used to model the UA107’s large diameter aspherical elements. A video describing the UA107x in more detail can be seen here if you’d like to learn more!