Fujifilm Optical Division Blog

Welcome to part three of our series on lens technology and its influence on today’s broadcast and video world. Today, let’s take a close look at optical stability technology.

High def has brought with it crystal clear pictures that allow viewers to see the smallest imperfections. It also has made slight variations in camera operation stand out much larger than if they were made in standard definition.

That is one of the reasons optical stabilization technology has become so important. First, let’s explain how and why a shaky picture happens. To create an image, light rays travel through the lens into the camera, where they are converted into an image. If the camera operator happens to be on an unstable platform, is shooting in a driving wind, or simply has an unsteady hand for a fraction of a second, the lens will move. This causes the light rays to bend, relative to the optical axis. The result is a blurred image.

Optical stability technology has been developed to make sure those images remain crystal clear. Lenses are designed with OS systems that feature gyro-sensors that can detect the slightest movement that may cause vibration and subsequent bending of the light ray. The sensors detect the angle and speed of movement and send this data to a high-speed 32-bit microcomputer. The microcomputer then converts the detection signals into a correction signal that is applied to the optical correction system which actually moves the internal lens elements. This offsets the movement and helps to maintain a stable image.

OS systems are not just helpful during HD shoots. They’re also handy in applications in which a very long focal length is necessary, since the slightest movement will cause image shake and an unacceptable picture.

To learn more about how lens technology is reshaping optical stabilization systems, visit Fujinon.com.

Posted: 3/29/2011 2:00:07 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


In our final post on testing and comparing HD lenses, we are going to discuss contrast.
 
Lens contrast
HD lens contrast is a major factor in establishing picture quality. When breaking down this topic, we find there are two essential factors that determine the contrast ratio of a lens.  
 
The first is optical noise floor. This is determined by how the lens manufacturer manages flare and glare. If, for example, a fairly standard 2/3” camera is used with a signal-to-noise ratio of roughly 54 dB, an associated lens would need to have a contrast ratio of at LEAST 500:1; exceeding this number will offer better quality. Testing contrast ratio, while not a simple task, has become much easier by the addition of relatively new grayscale test charts.
 
Additionally, when testing contrast ratios in a camera/lens system on a grayscale chart, the user should optimize the camera’s settings to allow the richest and deepest levels of black. When comparing lenses, leave the previous camera settings to highlight the optical differences and limitations between the lenses.
 
The second factor to consider when determining contrast is a lens’ interaction with strong light sources – both direct and indirectly placed. Highlighting optical limitations and aberrations can be established by placing a direct source in front of the lens, be it studio light, the sun or hot open flame. 
 
Using the same or similar bright light source and placing it off-axis just beyond the imaging area and panning the camera/lens system horizontally and vertically will potentially bring up similar or variants of flare and glare. At this point, a user can decide which scenarios would be most common during shooting and how the lens will perform.
 
We hope you enjoyed this series on testing and comparing HD lenses with the five major factors - sensitivity, resolution, color reproduction, geometrical distortion, and contrast. Do you have any other testing methods? If so, we’d love to hear about them. 
 
To learn more about how to choose an HD lens, please visit www.fujinon.com.

Posted: 2/10/2011 3:22:11 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


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