Fujifilm Optical Division Blog
We are excited to announce our co-sponsorship of the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Event, which takes place from September 24-30 at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA.  The film festival—which brings together the world’s top filmmakers, scientists, environmentalists—is a cornerstone of the organization’s mission to provide entertainment, education, and foster greater appreciation for oceans and marine ecosystems.

During the festival, BLUE Ocean will honor Director James Cameron with an award for “Lifetime Achievement in Ocean Filmmaking.”  The award will be presented at the Legacy Awards Dinner on September 27—an exclusive “Marquee Event” for BLUE Ocean benefactors and sponsors. 

James Cameron was chosen for BLUE’s Lifetime Achievement Award because his passion for diving and deep-sea exploration led him to produce a treasure trove of memorable ocean-oriented films. For many of his movies and 3D epics, like “Avatar,” “Ghosts of the Abyss,” and “Aliens of the Deep,” Cameron has relied on a variety of Fujinon lenses.  In many cases, Cameron chose lenses from the Fujinon HA Series of high-performance, 2/3-inch HDTV portable lenses.  The Fujinon HA16x6.3BERM/BERD lens, used on “Avatar,” gives filmmakers a 16x zoom and focal length ranging from 6.3-101mm.  

As many of our readers may know, James Cameron co-invented the FUSION 3D technology used in many of his groundbreaking 3D movies.  For over a decade, Fujifilm worked closely with he and his fellow co-inventors, Vince Pace, ASC, and Patrick Campbell, to customize select Fujinon lenses to meet the exacting requirements of digital stereographic production. Cameron and Pace are co-chairmen of CAMERON | PACE Group (CPG) where Patrick Campbell serves as Chief Technology Officer.

Vince Pace has credited Fujifilm, saying, “When we began developing the FUSION 3D camera system, Fujifilm contributed their experts, engineering resources, and factory support to build precision lenses that captured incredible, outstanding 3D imagery for the big screen.” Custom FUJINON lenses were paired with Sony cameras such as the HDC-F950 and HDC-1500on Cameron’s 3D movies.
Fujifilm’s sponsorship of the BLUE Ocean Film Festival is consistent with its Green Policy, which promotes efficient management of chemical substances during lens manufacturing to reduce environmental risks.

Everyone here at Fujifilm sends their congratulations to James Cameron for this award.  We appreciate the trust and confidence he puts in Fujinon lenses to capture the beauty of the oceans and other breathtaking imagery.  We look forward to a continued close working relationship with James and Vince, and will continue to support their innovative uses of our optical lens technology on their future cinematic expeditions.

Posted: 9/24/2012 10:57:16 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

Technological innovation in broadcasting is alive and well. New services for broadcast now go beyond HDTV, multicasting and mobile DTV and incorporate interactive experiences. One such experience that is already coming into living rooms is 3D.

Like any technology, the success of 3D relies on viewer acceptance. And nothing will speed acceptance more than quality programming. This means it is essential to understand the mechanics behind 3D shooting.

Lenses, of course, perform the vital act of image capture, which is the stepping stone for everything that follows. When it comes to 3D, lens controllers, as well as the lens design construction and the manufacturing processes used take center stage.

Controllers ensure that the various lenses track perfectly, both electronically and optically. They also help the cameras move in and out more easily and in perfect synchronization, which is critical in 3D shooting. Another critical element is setting depth of field properly, especially in close ups, over the shoulder shots and other narrative scenes. It is the difference between having a 3D program look cartoonish or having it appear as though it is actually taking place in the viewers’ living rooms.

Lens construction and the manufacturing processes are essential as well. That’s because 3D shoots involve two cameras, so each lens must be of the same focal length, with zoom and focus positions moving in perfect synchronization. If this doesn’t happen, the picture will not come together properly. Aligning the optical axis exactly can take work, primarily because the beam splitters and image sensors may not align accurately.

Lenses from Fujifilm Optical Devices are constructed in a way that ensures the synchronization process happens smoothly and successfully. That’s why some of the most distinguished 3D houses have converted to Fujinon lenses.

Generally, lenses of the same specification are closely matched. But when they are measured with a collimator—a device for aligning lenses—they often differ slightly, which means shooters can end up wasting time searching for two accurately aligned lenses.

Fujinon lenses are optically and electronically matched, with precision zoom and focus servos that allow the control system to synchronize the left and right camera lenses for 3D, and offer pinpoint operational accuracy. This can simplify the process, and reduce set-up and shooting times significantly.

For more information on Fujifilm Optical Devices, go to www.Fujinon.com, or follow us at www.Facebook.com/FujifilmOptical and www.Twitter.com/FujifilmOptical.
Posted: 12/16/2011 11:22:07 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

After some much-needed rest and time to reflect, the 2011 NAB Show once again proved that it is the most influential event in the professional broadcast market. While the announced attendance of more than 92,000 seemed high according to some exhibitors, it was important to note the type of people who came. It was clear to me that the “right” people were at the show – few “tire kickers” and plenty of decision makers with the authority to purchase.

Of course, with so many attendees and nearly 1,500 exhibitors there is bound to be a lot of buzz about many different topics. Not surprisingly, one of the more talked about trends continued to be 3D – and not in just the aisles and booths. Sessions were held on 3D, how it’s being used and what’s next.

That is probably one of the reasons there was strong interest in one of our introductions at NAB. Our 3D synchronous box drew a crowd because it allows for two lenses to be joined and automatically synched, making it perfect for 3D productions. As most professionals know, in order to shoot 3D images, the left and right camera lens must be the same focal length. When utilizing zoom lenses, the zoom and focus position of the left and right lenses must match. Our new 3D synchronous box helps make that happen seamlessly.

Our wireless “connection” also proved popular. While much of the general talk around NAB focused on mobile DTV, people in our booth spent a lot of time discussing our wireless control system. Guests wanted to see how it worked and were happy to see that it can connect our full servo digital lenses to any of our analog or digital controllers – with no fear of interference.

Well, that is my take on the show. We’d like to hear your thoughts about NAB 2011. Let us know.

To view more pictures from NAB 2011, go to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fujifilmoptical.
Posted: 5/17/2011 4:50:15 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


In only a couple of days, 90,000+ broadcast and video professionals will converge once again on Las Vegas for the annual NAB Show. While the gathering in Sin City has become familiar to most, ever-changing technology continues to make the show look quite different with each passing exhibition.

Within the past decade, we have gone from standard def to HD, and last year 3D was in vogue. Station engineers are still around but they’ve been joined by a level of IT professional that would have been more apt to be strolling down the aisles of Interop rather than NAB a few short years ago.

But, as the old saying goes, “Change is good.” That is certainly the case with this year’s NAB. A global platform (attendees are expected from more than 150 countries, according to show management), NAB has a concentration on 3D once again, but also mobile apps and transmedia will make their presence known. Personally, I’m excited to see how the world of digital media will continue to revolutionize our industry. No doubt, some of that change will be on display by the approximately 1,500 exhibitors, of which Fujinon is one. We will be addressing the trends in the marketplace with our new optical products.


One thing that I believe NAB management has done successfully the past few years is to define the areas of interest so it is as easy as possible for attendees to make the best use of their time. This is no easy task, given that the show covers so many topics over a landscape of more than 800,000 square feet. Areas such as the various “PITS” (People Integrating Technologies and Solutions) worked well last year and it’s good to see them again at NAB 2011. Given the whirlwind pace of change in our market, it’s also good to see the educational program have such depth.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” is another well known saying. That applies to NAB 2011. It remains the show of our industry but it continues to have a different look and feel. I’m interested to hear some other thoughts, so stop by our booth (C7525) and let me know what you think of the show. And check back here, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages, for show updates.
Posted: 4/5/2011 5:22:03 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

Technologies such as HD and 3D are reshaping how we record, produce and distribute programming. Viewers are becoming more savvy with each passing day and now expect crisp, lifelike images to jump out from their home theater systems and movie screens. These demands have necessitated advancements in lens technology that are helping professionals capture the sharpest images possible and deliver those robust pictures viewers now insist on.

In part one of our five-part series on lens technology, I’d like to review advances made on digital cinema lenses. For years, died in the wool cinematographers steadfastly held on to their 35 mm film over digital video. Recent lens and camera developments, however, are giving these experienced professionals compelling reasons to think about converting.

Today’s digital cinema lenses can replicate much of their film counterparts. How? By using new designs and technologies. For example, the diagonal image size of a CCD in a traditional HD camera is 11 mm. A 35 mm film format lens has a diagonal image size of 27.26 mm. New digital lenses are now available that have the same angular field of view as the most commonly used 35 film format lenses, so cinematographers can easily adapt to the HD format.

Cinematographers also demand minimal changes in field of view during focusing. Traditional digital lenses suffer from a phenomenon called focus breathing in which there are slight changes to the field of view during focusing. Inner focus and floating methods has been developed that reduce focus breathing to a level so low it does not interfere with the visual content of the production.

That’s only a part of the story, though. Cinematographers also demand more precise, aberration-free images. To meet this demand, lenses now incorporate a low dispersion and high refractive index glass, such as calcium fluoride or fluorite, to reduce chromatic aberrations.

Plus, each glass material is coated by a special EBC coating that decreases flair and ghosts. It also provides for a high contrast, flat field, razor sharp corners and a high MTF image with low-color fringing throughout the image plane.

In cinematography, lenses are chosen for each scene according focal length. This makes it extremely important for all lenses to have the same color-balance. Advanced design and manufacturing processes are now being employed so lenses exhibit the same transmission characteristics.

To learn more about lens technology and how it is helping reshape digital cinema, visit Fujinon.com.

Posted: 12/21/2010 12:16:08 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


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