Fujifilm Optical Division Blog
In its largest ever lens purchase, leading broadcast services specialist Gearhouse Broadcast has announced a multi-million dollar investment in Fujinon 4K and HD lenses. With this purchase, all of the company’s OB super trucks and a substantial portion of its entire Australian OB fleet will now be Fujinon 4K lens-enabled.  
The purchase included a significant number of the following Fujinon lenses:

When asked about the order, Gearhouse Broadcast CEO John Newton said, “Our core philosophy has always been to deliver the latest and highest quality technology, workflows and services to our customers. Recently, we did a comprehensive evaluation of 4K lenses across the globe and it was very clear that Fujinon lenses are leading the world in 4K lens quality and technology, so this multi-million dollar investment in Fujinon’s 4K lenses is another great example of our core philosophy in action.”
Newton went on to further explain the logic behind this investment: “Put simply, these lenses with our current camera fleet will give the very best picture quality for our clients, as 4K lenses on HD cameras outperform and produce better images than HD lenses. That’s an immediate and tangible benefit for our customers. Then there’s the fact that our entire fleet is now futureproofed for 4K production of any kind. Finally, and particularly in the case of the UA107x8.4BESM, we now have not only the highest quality 4K box lenses available but also the one with the largest zoom range available of any 4K UHD lens in today’s market.”
Can’t argue with that logic!
Always looking to the future, Fujinon has developed lenses which not only meet but exceed 4K optical performance. And while 4K is a staple in any conversation about resolution, Fujinon has done substantial design work with our 4K lenses to transmit higher contrast pictures and less flare to contribute to an equally important component: high dynamic range. So, users of our lenses can expect high resolution, high contrast and high dynamic range. Other new technologies and features that help contribute to a better, sharper and more efficient production include the development of accuracy in focus control demanded by 4K resolution, as well as new manufacturing technology for configuring and positioning of lens elements.
We at Fujinon are delighted that our 4K and HD lenses will play such an integral role in Gearhouse Broadcast’s technology! This investment will surely bolster the company’s capabilities and allow the Gearhouse team to continue helping its clients create first-class productions for high profile sporting and entertainment events.
Have a question, or something to share? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Posted: 10/18/2016 2:14:54 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments

The dust has begun to settle since we returned from the 2016 NAB Show, and what a show it was! We introduced the new XK6x20 Cine PL mount Cabrio XK lens, a 1.2 extender option for the UA 80x9, and the newest addition to the UA Series of 4K 2/3” lenses, the UA107x8.4 (UA107x) broadcast lens—the longest and widest 4K lens ever created for Ultra HD (UHD) and HD video production. The result of all this was a whirlwind of activity at our booth throughout the show. The cherry on top was winning a Best of Show award for the UA 107x8.4 lens!

The UA107x, the industry’s longest and widest 4K UHD lens, was honored with NewBay Media’s Best of Show Award from "TV Technology." We thank the panel of judges for recognizing the innovation, and quality this product brings to the industry! Part of the FUJINON Premier 4K product family, the UA107x provides superb 4K optical quality across the entire zoom focal range, thanks to Fujinon’s latest optical simulation software, which was used to model the lens’ large diameter aspherical elements. With high resolution, high contrast, and high dynamic range (HDR) coatings, the UA107x produces images that are sure to impress. It was an especially big hit with mobile production crews! To hear about all the other features this award-winning lens offers, as well as the other Fujinon lenses shown at NAB 2016, watch this quick video from Thom Calabro.

In addition to the excitement surrounding the UA lenses, there was also a lot of interest in the new PL 20-120 Cabrio lens. While we are thrilled, we can’t say we’re surprised! It employs all the great features and quality that’s become expected of Cabrio lenses, has a focal range of 20-120mm, covers S35mm sensors, and is available for under $20,000! Needless to say, we took a lot of orders on the spot, and with no sign of slowdown in sight.

We loved seeing what everyone had to say about our lineup before, during, and after the show on social media! Here are just a few examples:

There was still a lot of talk about 4K this year, but there was even more buzz about HDR—or High Dynamic Range—in conference sessions and throughout exhibit areas. Fujinon’s contribution to this hot topic lies in the HT-EBC coatings on our new 4K UHD lenses, which will improve the image in HDR cameras, and a new barrel design that improves the light transmission through the lens. All of the new Fujinon 4K lenses are compatible with both HD and 4K cameras, providing a seamless solution as broadcasters once again find themselves transitioning from “old” to “new.” At the end of the day, if you’re looking at HDR cameras, you’re going to want to start off with HRD lenses, too. Options include the Fujinon Premier PL 20-120mm Cabrio XK (XK6x20) zoom, the UA13x4.5 wide angle Ultra HD lens and the Fujinon UA107x8.4 (UA107x) broadcast lens.
Keep the comments coming! Have a question, or something to share? We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter

Posted: 5/5/2016 4:01:16 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

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

We are pleased to share that Talamas Sales and Rentals, a broadcast equipment rental house in Boston, recently took delivery of the new FUJINON PL 85-300 (ZK3.5x85), making it the first in the region to receive the HDTV PL mount zoom lens.

Dave Talamas, president of the rental house, expects strong demand for the PL 85-300, following in the footsteps of the PL 19-90, with which they’ve had tremendous success.
Talamas credits the design of the two Cabrio lenses with providing exactly what the market needs: fast, lightweight, multipurpose lenses offering ideal focal ranges at a price point sweet spot.

While demand for the PL 19-90 has been very strong and feedback has been positive, Talamas customers were asking for something a little bit longer. When the PL 85-300 became available, the Talamas team knew the new lens’ longer focal length would be of great use for beauty shots, nature cinematography, sports documentaries, and other applications.

Talamas Chief Engineer Anthony Bottaro considers both lenses to be crossovers, as they combine the look, resolution, and other picture attributes associated with large sensor PL mount zoom lenses, but with the compact, lightweight “run and gun” functionality ENG/EFP shooters expect.

This lens seems to be particularly appealing to ENG shooters who like to be agile and follow the action. Talamas Senior Video Technician Daniel Ardizzoni tributes that to there being a digital servo handgrip right on the lens for zoom control in combination with today’s small, lightweight digital cameras.

While those shooting ENG-style are right at home with the servo unit attached to the lens, both Cabrio lens models are designed to allow cinematographers to detach the handgrip and shoot instead with industry-standard cine motors and matte boxes, as well as FUJINON wired or wireless controllers. The digital servo on Cabrio lenses has 16-bit encoding to ensure that lens data output is extremely accurate.
The FUJINON PL 85-300 offers a focal length of 85-220mm at T2.9 and 300mm at T4.0. Weighing 3.0kg with servo and 2.5kg without, the lens offers flange focal distance adjustment, 200-degree focus rotation, a short MOD, a macro function for close-ups of objects and the images captured cover a 31.5mm diagonal sensor size.

Have questions about the PL 85-300 or any of our other professional lenses? Leave a comment here, on our Facebook page, or tweet us.

Posted: 3/20/2013 2:39:48 PM by Thom Calabro | with 0 comments


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