In Broadcast - January 2013 - 33


ISSUE 15 - JANUARY 2013 | WWW.INBROADCAST.COM

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

N E W S

InFOCUS
Lenses: The Film Heritage Cont.
light shoots there is no comparison between a fast prime – every fraction of a T stop counts. Furthermore, even where the production is to be distributed as HD, 4K production is still an attractive route for many directors who see the option of image cropping a 1080 pixel area from a 4096 image as an excellent means of creating the precise picture composition required. To achieve this, the director of photography must ensure that the 4K image is consistently sharp, geometrically accurate and equally lit across the frame. For this, high-quality zooms such as the Fujinon HK 4.7x18 may be able to match a master prime at certain apertures, but for consistent performance, only primes can truly deliver.

Fujinon Cabrio 85-300 heralds future 4K lenses

ENG HD Moves
they can all deliver outstanding sharpness and uniform visual exposure. Indeed the potentially extreme levels of image clarity with near perfect glass may look unnatural to eyes attuned to silky smooth celluloid pictures on the big screen: diffusion filters are certainly not a thing of the past. So selection of a particular prime will often come down to personal preference in terms of roll off and the way the glass handles extreme contrast. But what other factors persuade directors of photography when it comes to their optics? According to Zellan: “In the world of the ALEXA, Sony F65, EPIC and all these 2K, 4K and 5K cameras, people are looking for old-style lenses like Speed Panchros to shoot with, because we’re in a visual industry and what matters is what’s on the screen and how you tell the story... it doesn’t matter what the spec is if the look is right for your story.” He concludes with a salutary word for lens designers: “In today’s digital world there’s no reason to shoot anamorphic other than gaining that special look, and it’s why people are looking to older lenses or our Cooke Mini S4s with uncoated elements to knock the digital look away.” A director keen to ape the visual style of The Godfather or The Magnificent Seven will find a healthy stock of film lenses – anamorphic or otherwise – ready to deliver any particular look. Are prime lenses to be consigned to specialist roles? For very low While the film world is clearly very well served with a panoply of lenses new and old, zoom and prime, spherical and anamorphic, is the shoot-on-the-run brigade of news, documentary and live event producers equally well served for 4K production? The simple answer is “no”. To see how the sector may evolve, it’s worth looking back. For the film, commercials and drama industry, shoots are typically planned and budgeted in advance with a finite time scale. This makes high value equipment rental an option. For rolling news crews, kit ownership is the only choice and cost prices are therefore critical. When broadcasters made the leap from standard to high definition, they were delighted by the lowering in cost of digital camcorder equipment yet struck by the cost of HD lenses. In response, Canon released a paper in 2006 entitled “HDTV lens design: Technology and costs” written by Larry Thorne and Gordon Tubbs. In it the authors outlined the necessity to use new electronics, optics, coatings and precision engineering to enable HD lenses to capture images at the required resolution. They remark that while resolving 25 line pairs

per millimetre was acceptable for SD, the goal for 1080 production was three times this level. In simple terms, the result is that the lens can cost more than the camera body, a situation that can still apply today. Canon’s response was “pragmatic compromise”: the HDgc range with the same opto-mechanical and electronic subsystems, but new lower cost glass. The new range of lenses easily outstripped SD lens performance but fell short of premium HD glass. In Canon’s words, if camera operators were selecting 1/3” sensor cameras that were “good enough” for news gathering and low budget programming, then they would also be willing to accept a slightly lesser performing lens.

HD To Ultra HD
Will the same compromise happen with 4K ENG lenses? Will there be a set for high-end with a lower range for other productions? Fujinon’s new Cabrio PL 85-300 and PL 19-90 Cabrio suggest that the first 2/3” lenses for 4K production is imminent. These models, designed for PL mount, have an integrated servo drive unit, a feature that will be of great interest to ENG camera operators and even time-pressed film producers. Interestingly, both units are described as “ENG-style”, with the former weighing in at 3kg, quite unlike a typical heavyweight film lens. The downside, if any, appears to be a slightly inferior maximum aperture, compared with their HK premier zoom stable mates. In its launch press release, Thom Calabro, Director, Marketing and Product Development, Fujifilm North America Corporation, Optical Devices

Division noted: “Versatility means that videographers accustomed to shooting ENG-style will be right at home with a servo attached to the lens, while cinematographers who shoot projects like feature films and commercials can opt to shoot without it.” The advent of dedicated true 4K news lenses cannot be far away. Fujinon report brisk business with these models but pricing to the end user is as yet unconfirmed. Suggestions on the Internet rumour mill are that the price for the 85-300 will be double that of superior HD zoom lenses. If this is the case, lesser performing models will have to follow before TV can make the transition to the evening news in Ultra HD. Whereas Cooke’s Zellan is right to say that “it is the story and vision of the DP and the director that should govern these choices, not the technology” insofar as film production is concerned, when broadcasters are considering distribution at a new resolution, different drivers come in to play: politics, global standards, finance, advertising, infrastructure remodelling… these days no TV company is likely to invest in lenses for news crews that are substantially higher in price than the HD models they currently have in the inventory. The good news for broadcast producers is that the two independent companies that lead the field in TV optics are also at the forefront of 4K zoom lenses. They will understand better than anyone the constraints that buyers are faced with: when 4K 2/3” ENG cameras arrive, Fujinon and Canon’s experience in HDTV and 4K cinema should quickly bear fruit.

33

Cooke miniS4 lineup


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - January 2013

In Broadcast - January 2013
Contents
InNews: Harris Corporation Agree Sale of Broadcast Communications
InNews: Grass Valley Opens Solutions Center in Boulogne Office
InSound
InFocus
InStudio
InPlay
InFile
InTest
InMedia: Evolution of the Broadcast Systems Integrator
InMedia: Swedish Film Institute Chooses Divarchive 7.0
In Broadcast - January 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - January 2013 - In Broadcast - January 2013
In Broadcast - January 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - January 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InNews: Harris Corporation Agree Sale of Broadcast Communications
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InNews: Grass Valley Opens Solutions Center in Boulogne Office
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 19
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 20
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 24
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InSound
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 32
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InFocus
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 38
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 42
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InStudio
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InPlay
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 56
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InFile
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 65
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 67
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 68
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 69
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InTest
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 71
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InMedia: Evolution of the Broadcast Systems Integrator
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 73
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 74
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 75
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 76
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 77
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 78
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 79
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 80
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 81
In Broadcast - January 2013 - InMedia: Swedish Film Institute Chooses Divarchive 7.0
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 83
In Broadcast - January 2013 - 84
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S6
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S7
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S8
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S9
In Broadcast - January 2013 - S10
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