Fujifilm Optical Division Blog
Lenses are the first entry point for light in all content acquisition. With the ever-increasing amount of 4K production for both television and movies, extremely high optical technologies and mobility are required to satisfy this new level of enhanced, high-quality filming. It is important that those on the front line and cutting edge of motion picture production have the support they need to be truly successful and raise the bar in filmmaking.

We believe that technology should allow professional shooters, DPs, and others to explore the possibility of creating new images that represent the broad range of human emotions. Of course, developing tools such as the well-received CINE family of premium film and digital cinematography lenses is only part of the support that needs to be offered.

Creating resources to learn how innovators are using technologies to capture the most dynamic shots is another important support tool. That is why we created – and are proud to unveil – our new website: Special CINE Lenses. It features detailed trial reports, compiled by industry leading production professionals, that examine the capabilities, performance, and quality each of our lenses offers and how to use them to achieve the best possible shot.

The new website is dedicated to providing visitors the closest possible experience to using and evaluating the lenses themselves. It offers the visuals, details and answers to questions that industry professionals look for, because it was compiled by the very same experts who understand the need for those answers.  This website is meant to act a true resource for those who care about the fine details, performance, and quality of their glass.

Field Report: Ellroy Inc.
Nothing can explain the benefits of a technology than a real-world experience. That is why field reports from industry leaders are a big part of the content. The first is entitled Will the ZK Series Revolutionize Advertising Photography? A Cutting-Edge Video Production Firm Takes an In-Depth Look. This report is a thorough hands-on investigation conducted by renowned Tokyo-based video production group, Ellroy Inc., to disprove the common perception that zoom lenses fall short when it comes to image quality.


Fujinon’s goal in developing the ZK Series was to create a zoom lens with optical performance on a par with that of a prime lens. If you believe that PL primes are superior to PL zooms, then you are likely to scoff at this notion, and you are not alone. Fujinon and Ellroy’s extremely talented industry professionals, however, show that the ZK series offers the same level – and in certain situations – higher quality. 

Ellroy’s pros shoot with single-focus prime lenses every day, are well-versed in capturing video and still images at 4K, and even offer professional services for 6K video shoots. Their portfolio of accomplishments spans genres, such as advertising to film, drama and television.


After performing extensive field tests and analysis using the ZK series, Ellroy’s findings – including detailed product specifications, verification and quality tests that span wide parameters – and  conclusions were compiled into the trial report. The report is easy-to-navigate, guiding readers through product specs, on site usability, and conclusions. Quality tests and comparisons focusing on resolution, distortion, and color can be viewed through flat imagery and also through video. Readers are also provided with a complementary takeaway; a downloadable copy of the Fujinon CINE Lenses Catalog

To find all the details and conclusions Ellroy’s team uncovered during its investigation, visit Fujinon’s Special CINE Lenses website and read through the trial report.

Posted: 1/19/2016 1:47:23 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


Jackson, Wyoming turnkey production house, Brain Farm, was recently featured recounting their adventures in 5K and 6K shooting. We talked to CEO and Director/DP Curt Morgan about how they’ve evolved over the years, the role their location plays in their work, and new material we can look forward to from them.

Brain Farm has become known for aerial shooting, with a particular emphasis on athletes. Was that an immediate specialty, or more of an evolution?

I would say it was more of an evolution. When we started Brain Farm we were hanging out of the door of the heli, hoping to come home with some cool shots. One day I had the opportunity to work with the Wescam and shoot some stable 35mm film shots, and when the footage came back from telecine, there was no going back. Then came the Cineflex, which was groundbreaking at the time and gave us the ability to shoot digitally using the Sony 1500 and the extremely long and sharp Fujinon 42x lens. It was a major turning point for us. As of late, we have been using the Shotover, which has a sixth axis so we can look straight down, along with a host of other amazing features. Technology is always evolving and we try our best to stay ahead of the curve. As far as the athletes are concerned, we built the company around action sports, as that was where we all came from and what we were passionate about, so it was a natural progression and is still the foundation of our company.


James Buchmann interviewing Luis de Los Reyes with the 19-90mm Cabrio. Photo credit: Daniel "Buddy" Bleckley Photographer.

Does your location in Jackson, Wyoming play a big role in the type of work you do?

I have traveled all over the world, and when I finally came to Jackson Hole for a snowboard shoot about 15 years ago, I was hooked. I thought it was the most beautiful place on the planet (and still do) so I ended up moving from New York and planted my flag in the Hole. Jackson has a spirit of adventure and has some of the best snowboarding terrain on the planet, so it makes perfect sense for a company that does so much work in the mountains to be located there. I would have thought that we would have moved to LA by now, but something keeps us here. Maybe it’s the clean air and light traffic? :)


James Buchmann filming a lifestyle shot of Jordan Maxham with the 19-90mm Cabrio. Photo credit: Daniel "Buddy" Bleckley Photographer.

We’d love to hear an example or two of how the Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio lens has come in handy.


When we upgraded the whole company to RED cameras and had to shoot all PL lenses, we had to find a lens that was light enough to pack but could be versatile across a multitude of shooting scenarios and cover the larger sensors. There really isn’t another lens out there that’s a fit for what we are doing so the Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio was an obvious choice. It has become a staple in our field kits. The images that they produce are outstandingly sharp and the colorimetry is on point. It’s hard to hone in on just one or two times the lens has come in handy, when it comes in handy every day of shooting we do. It’s a killer!

Do you see a big difference in your approach to aerial shooting with athletes as opposed to, say, wildlife?

Shooting athletes is almost exactly the same as shooting animals except you can kind of direct an athlete. The biggest difference is the budget. To really capture animal behavior from the air takes a lot more heli time, as you are never really sure of what they are going to do and when. To me, there is no feeling more rewarding than nailing the perfect aerial animal shot; it just takes patience.


Action shot of Tiago Lemos with the 19-90mm Cabrio. Photo credit: Daniel "Buddy" Bleckley Photographer.

Are there any upcoming projects you’re working on that we should be on the lookout for?

We have scaled up quite a bit over the last year and are now producing over five films. We have a follow-up to The Art of Flight, a surf film following John John Florence, a skate film with Paul Rodriguez, a film about a man running across Mongolia, and we are now in post-production on a large, blue chip, two-part natural history series. We will keep everyone posted on Brain Farm social media (@Brainfarm) and website as to the release dates for our new projects. They are all looking great and we are stoked to show them to the world soon!


Fun interview with Paul Rodriguez and James Buchmann with the Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio lens. Photo credit: Daniel "Buddy" Bleckley Photographer.

Any parting words of wisdom for aspiring cinematographers interested in the space you’re in?

You can never stop learning. Take a class, read a book, get schooled, don’t be afraid to ask questions and make mistakes. I started out with a 16mm camera, a backpack and few rolls of film and had almost no idea what I was doing. I just loved it. It doesn’t take much to be creative. You just need to get out there and do it. Enjoy!

Want to know more about Brain Farm? You can connect with Curt and his team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Posted: 11/18/2014 12:00:57 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


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


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