Fujifilm Optical Division Blog
The 2016 NAB show is just a few days away, and we at the Fujifilm Optical Devices Division can’t wait to show you the fantastic lineup of new Fujinon lenses and options we’ve got in store!

In this video, Director of Marketing & Product Development Thom Calabro offers a sneak peek at what you can expect to see from us this year. You can find us at booth C7125. We’ll see you there!



As always, you can find more information on all Fujifilm products at Fujinon.com or FujifilmUSA.com.

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

Posted: 4/14/2016 2:52:58 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


The 2016 NAB Show is just about a month away, and while we can’t tell you everything we’ve got planned, we can tell you that we’ll be showcasing the entire 4K Ultra HD Series, Cabrio PL Cine/ENG-style lenses and Premier PL 4K+ cine lenses, plus the popular XA55x9.5BESM 2/3 inch zoom and XA99x8.4 ultra-wide field production lens.
 
NAB is obviously one of our favorite shows, and with the lineup we’re planning, we know we’re going to get an enthusiastic response from the crowd. Connecting with so many of our customers, at all levels, is really what makes NAB such a valuable event for us. We’re talking to a really broad range of current and potential customers including broadcasters, DPs, dealers, rental houses and their customers, corporate customers, live event producers...you name it! We count on these people—people like you—to give us fair and honest feedback, and we find that’s exactly what we get. 
 
Here are some of the highlights you can expect:

The UA80X9 field lens and the UA22x8 portable zoom from the 4K Ultra HD Series are designed for broadcast applications and are compatible with 4K 2/3-inch broadcast cameras.
These lenses produce the same focal length range DPs and camera operators have come to expect with HD, but at a much higher resolution, contrast, and dynamic range. With an 80x zoom and optical image stabilization, the UA80X9 is ideal for coverage of large-scale live events, such as concerts and sports. In addition to its advanced optical performance, the lens covers focal lengths ranging from 9mm in wide angle to 720mm in telephoto. As a frame of reference, its size and weight is similar to the popular XA99x8.4 field lens.

With a compact and lightweight design, a 22× zoom ratio and a focal length from 8mm in wide angle to 176mm in telephoto, the UA22x8 excels in capturing a broad range of applications, including live sports, program production, and news reporting.


The entire range of Premier PL 4K+ cine zoom lenses will also be present at the booth: the 14.5-45mm T2.0, 18-85mm T2.0, 24-180mm T2.6, and 75-400mm T2.8-T3.8. With the fastest T speeds available in a family of zooms, the Premier PL 4K+ Series boasts unprecedented color matched 4K and beyond optical performance. All four PL Mount zooms are similar in size and weight, and uniform gear placement and front barrel diameters (136mm) enable quick and efficient lens changes.
 
In addition to the entire Cabrio series, which includes the PL 19-90, PL 85-300, and PL 14-35mm, the Premier PL 25-300mm Cabrio zoom will also be featured. All Cabrio lenses feature exclusive detachable servo drive units for electric zooming, focusing and iris. Mounting the unit enables remote control of zoom, focus, and iris adjustment.  The PL 25-300 servo is optional, eliminating the need for external, rod-mounted motors, which can take time to line up accurately. This makes them suitable for use as a standard PL lens or as an ENG-style lens. All Cabrio lenses can be controlled using cinema industry standard wireless controllers, as well as existing FUJINON wired units.
 
From the field lens category, Fujinon booth visitors will have access to the FUJINON XA55x9.5BESM 2/3-inch zoom and the XA99x8.4 ultra-wide field production lens. The XA55x9.5 HDTV Telephoto Box Style lens is designed for large venues that require tight shots from long distances. Available with a built-in lens support bracket for mounting on an ENG-style camera, this lens also features built-in optical image stabilization, making it ideal for any application where the camera operator must maintain a steady close up shot for long periods, such as sporting events, houses of worship, corporate presentations, or concerts.
 
The XA99x8.4 combines high-performance imaging, a long zoom reach, and an ultra-wide angle. It offers a zoom range of 99x, a focal length of 8.4 to 832mm, and MOD of 2.9m. Especially of use with this lens is Fujinon’s patented image stabilization technology for rock-steady performance, which is especially critical for long-distance HD shots. High-resolution 16-bit encoders are also standard, making it suitable to virtual, robotic, and digital signage, among other applications.
 
Stay tuned for forthcoming news on developments in both the PL 4K and 4K Ultra HD Series!

Have questions about these products or the NAB Show? Connect with us on our Facebook page, or tweet us. Better yet, if you’re attending the show, stop by and see us! You can find us at Booth C7125 during the show, which runs from April 16-21 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Posted: 3/9/2016 11:59:10 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


Cinematographers across the globe have branded their favorite Fujinon Cabrio lens their “go-to” for a wide range of shooting scenarios. We are thrilled to offer them another tool for their arsenals with the addition of the Premier PL 25-300mm to the Cabrio family.

Complementing the line beautifully, the versatile PL 25-300 can be used as a self-contained ENG-style or cine-style lens, meeting a vast array of needs. Its generous focal range, smooth focus action and spectacular 4K performance make the PL 25-300 ideal for shooting documentaries, nature and wildlife, and car commercials, as well as those closer shots that can only be made with a wider angle lens.

In this video, Fujifilm Optical Devices Director of Marketing & Product Development, Thom Calabro, introduces the features of the lens. For more information on this and other Fujinon lenses, go to www.fujifilmusa.com.


Have a question, or something to share? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter
Posted: 3/23/2015 10:23:12 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


One of our favorite things to do here at the Optical Devices division of Fujifilm is to publicly recognize the professional experiences our talented, loyal customers have shared with us. Timur Civan is a Director of Photography and producer we are proud to call one of these customers. With a degree in studio art and previous career as a sculptor, Timur takes pride in telling an artistic story through his camera work. His production company, Tstop Cinema LLC, focuses on high-end commercial and feature film work, ranging from fashion and technology projects, to cooking, and Sesame Street promos. Over the last few years, one piece of equipment Timur has relied upon is the Fujinon PL 19-90mm Cabrio lens (ZK4.7x19). Most recently, he used it to shoot commercials for FILA sneakers and the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

Timur cites the Fujinon Premier Series 18-85mm T2.0 zoom as his all-time favorite lens, describing it on his website as “legendary” and “practically a miracle of modern optics.” So, naturally, when the Cabrio 19-90 T2.9 lens was introduced in 2012, Timur was one of its first customers. We spoke to him recently and he recalled:

“I’d just sold my previous lens because it was expensive and was not renting well, and was in the market for a new one. At first, I just thought that the Cabrio would be a good rental item, which it definitely is. What I didn’t expect was its high optical quality. Zoom lenses with such a long focal range can sometimes lack in image quality, but Fujifilm did an amazing job with its image quality. The optics on the lens are just beautiful.”



One of the things Timur particularly appreciates is the compactness of the lens. Weighing in at just 2.85kg, including its servo motors, the PL 19-90 offers the longest focal range available in a lightweight zoom. Another feature he was surprised to find so valuable is the detachable servo drive. The exclusive detachable servo drive unit makes the lens suitable for use as a standard PL lens or as an ENG-Style lens. For a recent Home Shopping Network (HSN) fall fashion commercial, Timur relied exclusively on his Fujinon 19-90 lens mounted on a RED Epic Dragon camera for the nearly 15 hours of footage he shot. “We were able to shoot through a variety of setups in the day using only the Cabrio. It saved us a lot of time and energy.”

On another recent shoot—this time a nighttime production for FILA’s TMNT shoe—Timur again shot with the Cabrio lens on a RED Epic Dragon. “The FUJINON lens covers 6K on the RED camera, so it produced full sharpness and breadth at the center. The lens is still sharp, even at the edges of the frame, with no soft corners. The Cabrio has a certain clarity that’s hard to explain.”
 



We’ve loved witnessing the results of Timur’s usage of our Cabrio lenses, and can’t wait to see what he does next. Learn more about his work on his website.

Have questions or comments about Fujinon lenses? Connect with us on our Facebook page, or tweet us.
Posted: 2/11/2015 1:13:38 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


Digital Cinema Report recently began exploring the evolution of lenses from the perspective of the manufacturers in its series, “Magical Glass.” How does a company determine what lenses to make and how to bring them to market? The fourth installment of the series features FUJIFILM Optical Devices Division’s Director of Marketing and Product Development Thom Calabro on the challenges lens manufacturers face. Continue reading below for the full interview, or you can view the original version.

“Digital Cinema Report: What drives lens development at your company? Is it customer demand, products introduced by your competitors, or innovations discovered by your own designers? A combination of all of those? Something else entirely?

Thom Calabro: Customer demand is a big component in our development decisions. Our 2/3-inch Compact Cine lenses were a direct result of speaking with cinematographers who were willing to jump into digital cinematography. Speaking with many of our mobile customers led us to develop the XA99x8.4. These customers wanted a tele lens that would be able to get relatively wide angle shots. The HA18x5.5 came about after a top sports network requested a wide angle ENG style lens that would be able to go long.

DCR: What is the single biggest challenge in making a high quality professional lens?

TC: One of the biggest challenges is making a high quality lens that is affordable. It has become increasingly difficult to do this. As cameras have gotten higher in resolution, the lenses have had to become better. Cameras, being electronic devices, have come down in price over the years; lenses have not. In fact, lens pricing has gone up.

DCR: Why does FujiFilm not make prime lenses for the cinema market?

TC: While it was difficult to break into the cine market with zoom lenses, we did so because of our expertise in making zooms for the broadcast industry for many decades. We feel that our zoom lenses compete, and in many cases beat the primes in quality comparisons.

DCR: How much time does it take to bring a new zoom lens to market?

TC: I could give you two very recent examples. At NAB 2013 we sat down with one of the sports cable networks. Their request was for us was to produce a high-quality lens that is rather multi-purpose. The need was for a wide angle lens that could also go long. The lens had to be similar in size and weight to what was currently being used. At NAB 2014 we were able to show a working HA18x5.5 lens, and we made deliveries in June. Also at NAB 2013 we were discussing with various customers what their requirements would be for a new PL cine lens. One year later we showed the Cabrio PL 25-300. This lens already has been delivered to a number of customers. So a bit over a year would be about normal.

DCR: Describe the steps in each process.

TC: We develop a set of parameters; size, weight, optical performance, and cost. Our designers work with our proprietary software, Global Optimization Technology, or GO Tech. This software allows us to produce lenses in a very short period. One of the ways it does this is by eliminating the need for early prototyping. We, of course, still develop prototypes, and we go through design changes, but it a much more streamlined process with GO Tech.

DCR: To what extent has digital cinematography changed lens design and manufacture?

TC: The resolution in today’s cine camera is very high, and most of the video being produced on these is slated for theatrical release, meaning very large viewing screens. Any and all chromatic aberrations will certainly show on these. So our tolerances have to be maintained to a very high degree.

DCR: Has there been a dramatic change in the kinds of lenses cinematographers request? If so, what?

TC: We are seeing that more and more cinematographers are using zoom lenses. While most don’t “zoom” the lens during a shot, they are using them as variable primes. Our cine zoom lenses have been compared to the finest primes, so quality is not an issue. The zoom lens allows the cinematographer to work faster, because there’s no need to stop production to change the lens to a different focal length.

DCR: How much of the lens-making process is still done by hand?

TC: Lens grinding, polishing, and coating are automated processes. The actual assembly and adjustments of all of our high-end lenses are very much a manual process.

DCR: Where are your lenses made?

TC: In our Japan factory.

DCR: Where do you source your glass?

TC: From premium and well known glass manufacturers like Ohara and others.

DCR: What new lenses are you developing now?

TC: We are working on a number of lenses for various applications, but I’m not at liberty to disclose anything more.

DCR: Will lenses always be analog or can you envision an all-digital high quality professional lens?

TC: Lenses will remain analog, but digital technology can help analog lenses. Chromatic aberration compensation is currently being used by many camera manufacturers. The digital electronics in the camera talk with the digital servo on the lens. This was originally designed to compensate for aberration errors in lower cost lenses, but even the finest lenses can benefit from this function.”

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

Posted: 11/6/2014 12:06:48 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


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