Fujifilm Optical Division Blog

If you didn’t get a chance to see our versatile, new Premier Series HA18x5.5 HD zoom at the NAB show in Las Vegas, you’ll have another chance at the Cine Gear Expo from June 4-7 at The Studios at Paramount in Hollywood (Booth #43). We’ll also showcase our range of Cabrio PL cine/ENG-Style lenses and Premier PL 4K+ cine lenses.

 

Our Cabrio and Premier PL 4K+ lenses are very busy on a wide range of high-end theatrical releases, TV projects and commercial productions, so we couldn’t be more optimistic about the continued growth of the Cine-Style market. We were also thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received on our HA 18x5.5 at the NAB Show. It lets operators shoot very wide from a long range, which is something our customers—particularly sports producers—have been requesting.

 

 

The HA18x5.5 offers 18x zoom from 5.5mm at the wide angle to 100mm on the telephoto end to capture images for a versatile range of scenes. With this lens, the operator can get as close to the subject as a minimum distance of 40cm. With the built-in 2X extender, the focal length on the telephoto end can be extended to 200mm. These features accommodate a broad range of scenes to dramatically improve usability in a variety of shooting environments including live news, sports and dramatic program production. The lens also has built-in digital servo drive units for zooming and focusing, and its ergonomic design reduces the weight for camera operators working handheld. It is also equipped with a 16-bit encoder, which outputs focus and other lens data at high resolution, and enables compatibility with various systems, such as a virtual studio programs and combining CG with live footage. It’s a very solid all-around, standard lens.
 

Also being featured at our booth is the newest addition to our popular Cabrio series, the Premier PL 25-300mm Cabrio. Equipped with a 35mm PL mount, the PL 25-300mm boasts a high zoom ratio covering the focal length of 25mm to 300mm and the lens supports an optional, detachable servo drive for electric zooming, focusing and iris. Mounting the unit enables remote control of zoom, focus, and iris adjustment. The entire family of Cabrio lenses will be on display, including the PL 19-90, PL 85-300, and PL 14-35mm.

To round out our display, the full range of Fujinon Premier PL 4K+ cine lenses will be on hand.  This series features the fastest T speeds available in a family of zooms, with unprecedented color matched 4K and beyond optical performance. The 14.5-45mm T2.0, 18-85mm T2.0, 24-180mm T2.6, and 75-400mm T2.8-T3.8 will all be on display. All four PL Mount zooms are similar in size and weight, and uniform gear placement and front barrel diameters (136mm).

We are, of course, excited to show off our latest and greatest gear, but the Cine Gear Expo has become one of our favorite shows particularly because of the audience it draws. We look forward to the tremendously valuable feedback we receive from these key decision makers in entertainment production, some of whom are our most passionate customers!

Have questions about these lenses or the Cine Gear Expo? Connect with us on our Facebook page, or tweet us. Better yet, if you’re attending the show, stop by our booth, #43.

Posted: 6/3/2015 5:13:06 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


One of our strengths here at the Fujifilm Optical Devices Division is listening to what our customers want, and delivering. To that point, when we knew our customers were looking for a lens capable of shooting very wide, but also at long range, we designed the Premier Series HA18x5.5 zoom lens to meet those needs.

Offering 18x zoom from 5.5mm at the wide angle, to 100mm on the telephoto end, this lens is able to capture images for a versatile range of environments including live news, sports, and dramatic program production. A versatile lens, the HA18x5.5 allows sports producers to go wide and still follow the action, while those who need a solid all-around lens for an interview or studio work will be more than satisfied.

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: 3/18/2015 11:27:30 AM 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


The NAB Show is always an exciting event for us here at the Fujifilm Optical Devices Division, and 2014 was no exception. We were thrilled to introduce our Premier PL 85-300 Cabrio lens, XA55x9.5 field production lens, and HA18x5.5 HD ENG lens.

Attendees welcomed the new lenses and upgrades for broadcasting, sports, digital cinematography, and production applications with expected curiosity and enthusiasm. For those of you unable to make the trip to Las Vegas, or couldn’t stop by our NAB booth, here are some highlights.

Capping off an already stellar event for Fujifilm was winning a StudioDaily Prime Award for our Cabrio Series PL Mount lenses. According to the award’s organizers, finalists represent the top tier of new technology, creative thinking, and high-end craftsmanship in media and entertainment. The awards spotlight engineering excellence, usability, and value in technology products, and winners are selected based on the criteria of Features, Innovation, Value, and Ease of Use. We are honored to receive this award.


Photo Credit: Mark J. Pescatore

One of the highlights of our booth this year was a series of posters featuring testimonials from some of the industry’s most distinguished professionals spanning the industry, from cinematographers to engineers. Here are a few sound bites of what they had to say about Fujinon lenses:

“When I came across Fujinon’s 19-90, 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.” - Tobias Schliessler, ASC, Cinematographer

“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

“The quality of the lenses has always been excellent, and from a technical standpoint it meets all our requirements.” - Tom Dickinson, Chief Technology Officer, Bexel

“The encoding, quality and configuration the lenses are the best combination for our clients.” - Sam Nicholson, ASC - CEO and Founder, Stargate Studios

“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.” - Otto Nemenz, Owner, Otto Nemenz International

“The focal range, weight and quality put the Cabrio series in a class of its own.” - Erik & Oliver Schietinger, Owners, TCS

“Camera operators who specialize in Entertainment shows prefer Fujinon lenses because of their smooth servo "feel," useful lens features, and reliable performance.” - Keith Winikoff, Technical Director and Video Engineer for Entertainment and Live Award Show Productions

“The 18-85 has raised the bar on optical excellence.” - Eric Steelberg, ASC, Cinematographer

“For handheld work, there just isn’t anything that comes even close.” - Bill Sheehy, Director of Photography

“Fujinon produces the most exceptional products in the industry, but they also provide unparalleled support.” - David Lemmink, Director of Engineering, PRG Nocturne

“They are sharp, no distortion, and are beautiful wide open.” - Claudio Miranda, ASC, Cinematographer

“Their new Cabrio line is the ideal mix of a cine-style lens with familiar broadcast-style controls.” - Danny Walters, Director, Remote Engineering, Music Group, Viacom Media Networks

“The Cabrio 19-90mm is gorgeous, balanced, and the perfect range for vérité shooting.” - Tom Curran, Director of Photography, Night Train Pictures, Inc.

Stay tuned, because next time we’ll share the full testimonials so you can see exactly how these pros are using our lenses.

Have questions about Fujinon lenses, the NAB Show, or something else? Connect with us on our Facebook page, or tweet us.

Posted: 5/13/2014 9:23:44 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


The 2014 NAB Show has begun, and we at the Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation are thrilled to share our latest and greatest lenses with the audience. In addition to the NAB debut of the Premier PL 14-35mm Cabrio wide-angle lens [ZK2.5x14] and the XA55x9.5 HDTV Telephoto Box Style lens, as discussed in our last blog, we have a few more exciting debuts lined up.

We keep a close eye on what our customers are looking for, and with its capability of shooting very wide but also at long range, the Premier Series HA18x5.5 delivers. The lens, which offers 18x zoom from 5.5mm at the wide angle to 100mm on the telephoto end, features high-precision, large-diameter aspheric elements designed with Fujifilm’s proprietary cutting-edge optical simulation technology, achieving sharpness at the center and all corners to deliver edge-to-edge premium image quality. Sports producers looking for a lens that can go wide and still follow the action will certainly want to check out the HA18x5.5, but it’s also a solid all-around lens that can shoot interviews, documentaries, and other applications typical for a standard telephoto lens.

The HA18×5.5 allows its operator to approach objects up to a minimum distance of 40cm, and with the built-in 2X extender the focal length on the telephoto end can be extended to 200mm. These features accommodate a broad range of scenes to dramatically improve usability in a variety of shooting environments, including live news, sports and dramatic program production.

Other features include built-in digital servo drive units for zooming and focusing; an ergonomic design that reduces the weight for camera operators working handheld; and a 16-bit encoder, which outputs focus and other lens data at high resolution, enabling compatibility with various systems such as a virtual studio programs and combining CG with live footage.

Also joining the Fujifilm Optical Devices family of professional lenses is the Premier PL 25-300mm Cabrio. The latest addition to our popular series of cine zooms, this lens is equipped with a 35mm PL mount, boasting a high zoom ratio covering the focal length of 25mm to 300mm. Like all Cabrios, the PL 25-300mm supports an optional detachable drive unit for electric, zooming, focusing and iris. Mounting the unit enables remote control of zoom, focus, and iris adjustment. It can be used as a self-contained ENG-style or cine style lens. When used without the drive, industry-standard cine motors can be fitted.

Designed using the latest proprietary optical simulation software, the PL 25-300mm offers exceptional optical performance in the center of the image and in the corners of the frame. The digital servo’s 16-bit encoding assures operators that all lens data output—including the position of the zoom, iris, and focus—is extremely accurate. The zoom supports Lens Data System (LDS) and /i Technology metadata formats, and can be controlled using cinema industry standard wireless controllers, as well as existing FUJINON wired and wireless units. Both lenses will be available in June.

You won’t want to skip our booth (#C7025) at NAB this year; in addition to these exciting new products, we’ll be broadcasting a presentation that features commentary from several of the industry’s top cinematographers, including Claudio Miranda, testifying to the unsurpassed versatility and image quality of the FUJINON cine-style lenses.

Have questions about these lenses or the NAB show? Connect with us on our Facebook page, or tweet us.

Posted: 4/7/2014 9:42:49 AM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


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