Fujifilm Optical Division Blog
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

It was standing room only at the recent Fujifilm 4K Day held at the Digital Motion Picture Center (DMPC) in Culver City, California on August 13, with attendees eager to discover what makes a 4K lens truly 4K. The crowd—a cross section of DPs, engineers, company executives, and TV and film rental house personnel— got to see the much buzzed about 4K PL-mount Cine-Style and Ultra HD lenses for 2/3-inch broadcast cameras operating side by side and participate in a Q&A following detailed presentations by Fujifilm executives about the nature of 4K optics.

10 4K Fujinon zoom lenses were on display throughout the day: a mixture of 25-300mm Cabrio (ZK-12-25) PL mount cine lenses, UA80x9 4K Ultra HD field lenses for 2/3-inch broadcast cameras, and UA22x8 4K Ultra HD portable zoom lenses for 2/3-inch broadcast cameras. The 25-300mm Cabrio was shown in both Cine and Broadcast style on a Sony F55 broadcast studio camera. The UA80x9 and UA22x8 lenses were shown on Sony HDC-4300 4K broadcast studio cameras.

Until recently, our 4K customers have been mainly in digital cinematography, but the introduction of our 4K UHD 2/3-inch lenses has widened our 4K clientele to include the broadcast and video production markets. This event was designed to showcase our PL mount and Ultra HD lenses together, taking the time to demonstrate what we at Fujifilm mean by 4K in optics.

Fujifilm has three design goals each 4K lens must meet: high 4K resolution, high dynamic range (HDR), and high contrast— each equally important: We also firmly believe a 4K lens is not just 4K in the center but extends to the outer edge of the image. Another part of reaching 4K is the precision of the movement of the glass. To that end, Fujifilm adopted a new mechanical design, originally developed for the Cine-Style lenses, to move the focus and zoom glass. The choice of glass material, how much glass, and the placement of the glass also plays an instrumental role in performance.

The presentations that took place addressed the electronic and mechanical designs, specialized HT-EBC (High Transmittance Electron Beam) coatings used to achieve true 4K optical quality. With 16-bit encoders in the zoom and focus controllers, as well as in the lens itself, the interaction between the controllers and the lens provides a greater level of precision than was possible previously. As the electronic movement becomes more precise, so does the creation of the lens.

Additionally, FUJIFILM’s IS-mini Rack 4K image processing system used for on-set camera preview and monitor calibration adjustment for film shoots was shown on a Sony F55 4K CineAlta camera at the open house. Product specialists were on hand to discuss the company’s approach for accurate ACES color management workflows, from on-set grading to final delivery.

The event was so well received that Fujifilm plans to hold similar meetings across the country.

Were you there, or are you interested in attending an upcoming 4K Day event? Send us feedback or ask us a question on our Facebook or Twitter pages!

Posted: 9/21/2015 5:04:20 PM 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

NAB 2014 may be over, but our roster of accomplished and loyal customers is still going strong. If you attended the show and stopped by our booth, you undoubtedly noticed the many posters featuring some of the field’s most distinguished professionals, spanning the industry from cinematographers to engineers. For those who did not make it to Las Vegas, in a recent blog post we provided a sampling of the commentary that was featured. Now, we’re sharing it all. If you want to know how some of the most successful cinematographers are using Fujinon lenses in digital cinema, keep reading.

“I have used the Fujinon PL Zooms on my last two movies, Oblivion and Tomorrowland, and love them. They are sharp, no distortion, and are beautiful wide open.” -Claudio Miranda, ASC, Cinematographer

“I started using Fujinon lenses on Lone Survivor. The director, Peter Berg, wanted to shoot the film in a handheld, documentary-shooting style, switching focal lengths between takes instead of using prime lenses. When I came across Fujinon’s 19-90 at Keslow Camera, I was blown away. It holds the exposure consistently all the way through, and I love the image quality, sharpness, and how it holds the highlights. The lens flares are beautiful and I ended up using them as a lighting effect. It's the perfect handheld lens and it became my workhorse on Lone Survivor; I shot at least 70% of the film on the 19-90 and I don’t know how we could have done it otherwise.” -Tobias Schliessler, ASC, Cinematographer

“We’ve used Fujinon’s optical zoom lenses for the last 25 years. The first time I saw and tested the 18-85 PL Zoom lens, it was the best thing I’d ever seen and it’s still my favorite. Not only is it a T2.0 lens with an excellent range, but to me, 18-85 means I can put that lens on my camera, shoot 95% of all my interiors, and have excellent quality on film or digital. The T2 stop is extremely fast and honest; wide open, the zoom looks great. With all the zooms, like the 24-180 and the 75-400, when you focus, there’s hardly any breathing, and they match perfectly with Zeiss Master Primes and the Leica Summilux. They’re also extremely good with skin tones, so actors love them. We’ve used Fujinon’s zoom lenses on all kinds of pictures, including Iron Man 3, Dumb and Dumber, Fast and Furious 7, We Bought a Zoo, and RIPD, to name just a few. Quality-wise, they are the best there is right now.” -Otto Nemenz, Owner, Otto Nemenz International

“I grabbed the first Fujinon Cabrios in Hollywood and immediately put them on my new show, Real Husbands of Hollywood. I was impressed by the image quality and ergonomics. The director was thrilled—he could keep the spontaneity of the scene without having to wait for lens changes. This was a game changer for us. With the addition of the telephoto and wide versions, we can cover practically any shot with perfectly matching optics, with absolutely no compromise. We had some bigger, heavier lenses on the truck for special shots but we sent them back to the rental house once we saw what we had with the Cabrios. For handheld work, there just isn’t anything that comes even close.” -Bill Sheehy, Director of Photography

“Since I first used Fujinon’s 18-85mm, I’ve never gone back to another zoom lens. It’s the only one that gives you consistently superior optical quality from its widest setting to its longest setting, with no tradeoffs in between. The level of quality is something I’ve ever seen before in a zoom lens for digital cinematography and 35mm film. It’s a very fast lens that prevents me from having to make the kind of quality compromises other zoom lenses force cinematographers to make. The operation stays smooth and consistent in all kinds of weather conditions, and the lens hasn’t needed any maintenance or repair since I got it over a year ago. It’s given me a very versatile, capable tool to realize the director’s vision and the creative goals of the production. The 18-85 has raised the bar on optical excellence.” -Eric Steelberg, ASC, Cinematographer

“As a documentary DP, my lens is what brings me into the world of the story. The Cabrio 19-90mm is gorgeous, balanced, and the perfect range for vérité shooting.” -Tom Curran, Director of Photography, Night Train Pictures, Inc.
For even more insight, tune into our next blog, where we’ll share what some of the top production, technology and engineering pros have to say about using Fujinon lenses in broadcast and video applications.

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

Posted: 7/15/2014 11:38:39 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

Welcome to part two of our Q&A with one of the world's premier wildlife cinematographers, Andy Brandy Casagrande IV, also known simply as Andy Casagrande.

We all know you are the camera-rig-master. What’s your latest?

I'm always trying to find ways to film wildlife from new and different perspectives. My latest gadgets include compact aerial quad-copter drones equipped with micro-gimbals and GPS-enabled flight support. These little drones are amazing and allow me to capture unique perspectives from the air, but at a tenth of the cost of a real helicopter…and they are so fun to fly! I have to admit, I have had a few crashes, but I'd much rather crash my quad-copter than a real helicopter.

Shark Week is always one of the biggest and most anticipated TV events of the year. This year, you worked on several programs, including “Spawn of Jaws,” “Top 10 Sharkdown,” “Serial Killer,” and “Sharkpocalypse.” What were you biggest professional accomplishments, lessons learned, and favorite moments?

Shark Week is what I live for! Ever since I was a kid, I have been watching Shark Week and every year it just keeps getting better. This year, I had the opportunity to work on four different projects; all were different and all were a lot of fun. In "Sharkpocalypse," I was able to attach my "SharkFinCam" system to the dorsal fins of Great White Sharks and Tiger Sharks in Africa and the Bahamas. This captured a very unique hunting perspective, directly from the Shark's dorsal fin, giving the viewer the exact POV of what it's like to hunt alongside some of the world's greatest marine predators. It was awesome!

Do you think, because of your great love and admiration for sharks, that you take a different approach to filming them than some other cinematographers? If so, how?

There are many wildlife cinematographers out there, but not that many that specialize in sharks. I definitely try my best to film sharks with a different mindset. Depending on the shot, I might act like prey in order to get the sharks to "chase" me, and sometimes I act like a predator if I'm looking for a competitive perspective. Whatever it is I'm looking to capture on film, I 100% always respect the sharks and look to present them in the most glorious light!

Tell us about Shark Angels.

Shark Angels is an amazing shark conservation organization. You can learn more about it here.

If you had to give one piece of sage lens advice to a rookie wildlife cinematographer, what would it be?

Always keep your lens clean! And protect the glass with your life! ;-)

To learn more about Andy’s work, visit his website: http://www.abc4explore.com/

Posted: 9/17/2013 12:26:40 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


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