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


One of our favorite things to do here at the Optical Devices division of Fujifilm is to publicly recognize the professional experiences our talented, loyal customers have shared with us. Timur Civan is a Director of Photography and producer we are proud to call one of these customers. With a degree in studio art and previous career as a sculptor, Timur takes pride in telling an artistic story through his camera work. His production company, Tstop Cinema LLC, focuses on high-end commercial and feature film work, ranging from fashion and technology projects, to cooking, and Sesame Street promos. Over the last few years, one piece of equipment Timur has relied upon is the Fujinon PL 19-90mm Cabrio lens (ZK4.7x19). Most recently, he used it to shoot commercials for FILA sneakers and the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

Timur cites the Fujinon Premier Series 18-85mm T2.0 zoom as his all-time favorite lens, describing it on his website as “legendary” and “practically a miracle of modern optics.” So, naturally, when the Cabrio 19-90 T2.9 lens was introduced in 2012, Timur was one of its first customers. We spoke to him recently and he recalled:

“I’d just sold my previous lens because it was expensive and was not renting well, and was in the market for a new one. At first, I just thought that the Cabrio would be a good rental item, which it definitely is. What I didn’t expect was its high optical quality. Zoom lenses with such a long focal range can sometimes lack in image quality, but Fujifilm did an amazing job with its image quality. The optics on the lens are just beautiful.”



One of the things Timur particularly appreciates is the compactness of the lens. Weighing in at just 2.85kg, including its servo motors, the PL 19-90 offers the longest focal range available in a lightweight zoom. Another feature he was surprised to find so valuable is the detachable servo drive. The exclusive detachable servo drive unit makes the lens suitable for use as a standard PL lens or as an ENG-Style lens. For a recent Home Shopping Network (HSN) fall fashion commercial, Timur relied exclusively on his Fujinon 19-90 lens mounted on a RED Epic Dragon camera for the nearly 15 hours of footage he shot. “We were able to shoot through a variety of setups in the day using only the Cabrio. It saved us a lot of time and energy.”

On another recent shoot—this time a nighttime production for FILA’s TMNT shoe—Timur again shot with the Cabrio lens on a RED Epic Dragon. “The FUJINON lens covers 6K on the RED camera, so it produced full sharpness and breadth at the center. The lens is still sharp, even at the edges of the frame, with no soft corners. The Cabrio has a certain clarity that’s hard to explain.”
 



We’ve loved witnessing the results of Timur’s usage of our Cabrio lenses, and can’t wait to see what he does next. Learn more about his work on his website.

Have questions or comments about Fujinon lenses? Connect with us on our Facebook page, or tweet us.
Posted: 2/11/2015 1:13:38 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


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