Fujifilm Optical Division Blog
Our loyal Fujinon users take their lenses to the ends of the earth. We know this because we see the amazing footage on big and small screens, displayed on websites and blogs, featured in the press, shared across social media and beyond. Much like the talented professionals who capture this footage, the lenses make their magic from behind the scenes. We think it’s time to draw the curtain back and give your Fujinon lenses a leading role!

Take a photo of your lens on location and show it off to the world. It could be a standalone shot of your setup (like this one from Flying Fern Films), a photo a colleague snapped of you in action…whatever you want to show off! Then, simply share the photo on Twitter with the hashtag #FujinOnTheRoad. If you’d like to include a caption setting the scene, even better! We can’t wait to see where in the world you take your lenses.

Have a question, or something to share? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Posted: 5/13/2015 9:19:07 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

We had such a fantastic experience at NAB 2014, we’re still talking about it…but we’re not the only ones. For those who did not make it to Las Vegas this year, we’ve summarized “The Fujinon Experience” through a series of blog posts. Rounding out the recap, we bring you the words of some of the field’s most experienced and respected production, technology and engineering pros, as they appeared in posters featured throughout our booth.

“In our nearly 30-year history, we’ve always purchased Fujinon lenses for our six production trucks, and have put them through their paces. They are extremely reliable, and only require minor maintenance to keep them working properly. This kind of reliability is invaluable, particularly when working on a high profile assignment, such as the State of the Union Address, which we shot this year. One of the most challenging locations to use lenses is at The National Hot Rod Association’s drag racing events, which are extremely contaminated by gas fumes, car exhaust and burning rubber. If the lenses can stand up to these conditions, they can stand up to anything. The Fujinon lenses we’ve used are all securely weather proofed, so our engineers only have to do routine cleaning and replace front element lens filters to protect the front glass. Then, they’re ready to go.” - Spruce McRee, President/CEO, Crosscreek Television Productions

“We have had great success on all our virtual productions around the world using Fujinon lenses. The encoding, quality and configuration of the lenses are the best combination for our clients.” - Sam Nicholson, ASC - CEO and Founder, Stargate Studios

“I’m a longtime user of Fujinon lenses. The quality of the lenses has always been excellent, and from a technical standpoint it meets all our requirements. The Cabrio lenses in particular fit our niche market very well as a crossover between video and digital cinema. We buy those on a regular basis. We’ve also found the overall cost of ownership to be lower than competitors. Not only do we need fewer repairs on the Fujinon lenses, but when we do, it’s typically only for routine maintenance and service, and the costs are always lower than other companies. Plus, the service is great.” - Tom Dickinson, Chief Technology Officer, Bexel

“Since Nocturne Productions’ inception in the 1970s, we’ve only purchased Fujinon lenses and now have over 100 of their ENG, EFP and RoboCam lenses. Fujinon produces the most exceptional products in the industry, but they also provide unparalleled support. When we’re on a global tour with the biggest acts around, from Lady Gaga to The Rolling Stones, to Paul McCartney, they can’t stop in the middle of a show, and neither can we. If something goes wrong, it needs to be fixed right away, and the personal service I get from Fujinon can’t be matched.” - David Lemmink, Director of Engineering, PRG Nocturne

“We’ve been Fujinon customers here in the Nashville remote operations group for decades. There’s a reason we keep coming back. The quality and performance of Fujinon lenses is beyond reproach. Support from sales and service is unmatched, and they make a lens that meets our every need. Their new Cabrio line is the ideal mix of a cine-style lens with familiar broadcast-style controls. They were the natural choice for our entry into large-format imager technology.” - Danny Walters, Director, Remote Engineering, Music Group, Viacom Media Networks

“Fujinon’s new 99x has quickly proven itself as an effective tool for the "Entertainment and Award Show" side of the TV business. Awards shows such as the Oscars and Grammys need lenses with extreme optical and low light performance; they are placed into critical camera positions with challenging distances to the stage. Camera operators who specialize in these Entertainment shows prefer Fujinon lenses because of their smooth servo "feel," useful lens features, and reliable performance. Fujinon has earned a reputation in the live television production industry for quick and reliable service, emergency loaners, and dependable support.” - Keith Winikoff, Technical Director and Video Engineer for Entertainment and Live Award Show Productions

“The Fujinon Cabrio series has made a big impact on the way our clients shoot. Whether they shoot documentaries, live events or run-and-gun features, they love having the choice of a single PL-mounted zoom, where they might have had two zooms or set of primes. The servo motor serves ENG-style shooting flawlessly and it’s good enough for cinematic commercial shoots. The focal range, weight and quality put the Cabrio series in a class of its own.” - Erik & Oliver Schietinger, Owners, TCS

Have questions or comments about Fujinon lenses? Connect with us on our Facebook page, or tweet us.

Posted: 7/30/2014 1:27:04 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

Welcome to the second half of our interview with Aerial Director of Photography at Aerial Filmworks, Ron Chapple!

5. Do you have a favorite "go-to" camera and/or lens?
We have both the Fujinon 42x 9.7mm and 13x 4.5mm lens kits for our Cineflex systems. (We own 3 of the 42x lenses, and one 13x lens.) While most of our clients request the longer lens for the amazing range, I personally like the wide lens. With the wide, I can get images that feel as if they are wrapping around the helicopter. In December, I filmed in the narrow canyons of Big Bend National Park where we had less than 200 feet between 1,000 foot canyon walls. The Fujinon 13x wide was perfect!

6. You film a lot of wildlife. For example, the PBS/Nature film, "Bears of the Final Frontier" must have been a challenge. What is that like?

Our first premise is that wildlife must be filmed without any awareness of the helicopter. Having the right long lens is critical to getting the shot.  If any animal is startled or intimidated by the helicopter, we immediately cease filming. The big "no no" in nature documentary work is seeing the backside of the animal running from the camera. On the "Bears…" project, we were fortunate to have a strong wind that pushed the helicopter noise away from the animals, and by using the 42x 9.7mm lens from 1,500 feet away, we were able to get really great images of the bears interacting normally.
7.  What are the most significant changes in aerial filming from when you started until now?

The newest trend we are seeing is what the industry calls "Piece to Camera" where the actor or presenter looks at the Cineflex to deliver their lines. We are circling the scene zoomed in to the actor , and then pull out to full wide to reveal the whole scene. The new PBS series "America Revealed" has many of these scenes. We have filmed the host skydiving from 10,000 feet, riding along in open cockpit airplanes, standing on top of huge industrial cranes, and flying in ultralights. Last week in Costa Rica, I filmed two actors in a helicopter flying low through the rainforest!

8. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Yes! Lenses and cameras are critical hardware for any creative business. The part of this business that always is most impressive is the teamwork! Everyone in the entire process is important, from the people that make the lenses, build and design the Cineflex, to the creative director, helicopter pilot and logistics crew. We all have our unique role in bringing great images to the viewer.

For more information on Aerial Filmworks visit http://www.aerialfilmwork.com/.

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: 5/23/2012 11:10:12 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

1. Is there one instance you can pinpoint that turned you on to photography and cinematography?

In high school, I was always the kid that could not quite figure out the whole social scene. When I discovered photography, my whole world opened up to new ways of communicating. I could now create an image and get really interesting responses from people.  
2. What do you view as emerging trends in cinematography today?

For me, creative trends are far more interesting than technology trends. In our business, we are seeing the need to have aerials, or establishing shots, in all productions from full scale nature documentary to reality shows to indie films. Aerials are unique in their power to set a place and mood for the film.

Planet Earth established the Cineflex V14HD as the "must have" camera for any nature documentary. Now, almost every "Made for TV" program needs aerials.

3. What were your FIRST and BEST experiences using the revolutionary Cineflex HD technology?

Everyday! I absolutely love exploring new landscapes and communicating the beauty of the planet with the Cineflex and Fujinon lenses. My personal favorites are The Andes mountains, glaciers, Grand Canyon, and filming volcanoes. Lately, we have been working in Latin America where the landscape is just now being explored with the Cineflex camera systems.
4. You started working mainly in fashion, annual report photography and advertising.  How did you transition from that to the range of everything you do now?

I think anyone starts business with the opportunity at hand. I was based in Charlotte, NC when I started business 30 years ago. At that time, the only work was from textile mills and banks. My only business strategy was to differentiate my studio by specializing in location work rather than studio. From my start in commercial work, I then produced images for license as stock for many years before moving to aerial HD video. As a caveat, I have been shooting aerials for many years, so moving into aerial film was an easy transition. Creating aerial video is really just creating many, many still images in sequence. Every image composition must be perfect, and transition into the next image.

Stay tuned in to our blog for part two!

For more information on Aerial Filmworks visit http://www.aerialfilmwork.com/.

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: 5/9/2012 10:06:37 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

Welcome to the second half of our interview with Director of Photography for the National Geographic special, Oceanus, David Linstrom!

Q: You not only used the Fujinon HA13X4.5 lens during the filming of Oceanus, but you've said that, in using the HA13X4.5 it over the past 6 or so years, it's become your favorite lens. Why do you think it works so well for your style of documentary shooting?

A. The Fujinon HA13X4.5 is a beautiful lens. It allows me to get up close and personal. When shooting handheld, it allows me to move with the camera more fluidly. It makes my work look better by taking out a lot of the shake. And it's pin sharp.

Q. You said in a recent article (http://www.btlnews.com/crafts/camera/spintec-keeps-lens-clean-for-david-linstrom's-columbia-river-voyage/) that you were able to protect the Fujinon HA13X4.5 lens while in difficult waters during the shooting of Oceanus with the Spintec rain deflector from Innovision Optics. How much footage did this save from the cutting room floor, and are there any particular scenes we should watch out for that might have otherwise not been included?

A. The Spintec was used with a Tyler helicopter nose mount. It keeps rain and bugs off of the lens. Helicopter shots are expensive and since it was raining on and off the entire week we were there, it was the perfect tool for this shoot.

Q. Aside from adverse weather, is there another major challenge you often face during shooting, and if so, how do you combat it?

A. When shooting for National Geographic (and all non-fiction for that matter) I usually find myself in adverse conditions. Long flights, long car rides, hot and buggy or freezing locations, marginal food. That said, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've been to some of the most fascinating places on earth. The trick is to stay healthy and travel safe. I learned early on how important it is to re-charge at the end of the day. And to keep in mind that I'll probably never be back to this location, so get the most out of it in the short time I'm there.

Q. What was most unique about the production of this documentary?

A. The Columbia Bar Pilots have a very dangerous and unique job. It is their responsibility to navigate large tankers and container ships over one of the most treacherous waters, where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. If the Bar closes, the river traffic backs up and million of dollars are at stake. It's their job to keep the commerce moving. And they risk their lives every day just to get to work. They either have to climb up a rope ladder that extends down form a moving super tanker or be lowered via cable onto a moving ship. Then they have to steer a gigantic vessel over a sand bar in waves up to 40 ft that clears the bottom by as little as 5 ft. These men and women are some of the most easy going yet confident people I've ever met. Simply amazing.

Oceanus will air on the National Geographic Channel next year.
Posted: 1/9/2012 4:50:57 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


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