Fujinon HD lenses make Dolphin debut

By Andrew Lippe

When the NFL’s Miami Dolphins opened the 2006 preseason at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 12 quarterback Daunte Culpepper wasn’t the only one making his debut: it also was the debut Fujinon HDTV camera lenses. The lenses are part of a renovation project to modernize Dolphin Stadium and convert all video equipment to high definition. The upgraded camera lenses package installed included one XA101x8.9BESM HD zoom lens, two XA76x9.3BESM HD zoom lenses, and three HA18x7.6BERM HD ENG-style lenses.
Before the renovation, the in-house video infrastructure was strictly standard definition, employing three Ikegami HL-43 cameras with a variety of Fujinon SD lenses. To improve image quality they upgraded their cameras to six Ikegami HDK-725P 720 p triax HDTV camera systems.”We’ve always had great success with Fujinon lenses and Ikegami cameras,” says Chad Messina, Director of Scoreboard Operations for Dolphin Stadium. “If it aint broke don’t fix it.

“Ownership wanted to promote a better fan experience for everyone attending our games,” says Messina. “Dolphin Stadium now has the distinction of being the first stadium in the country to offer spectators in-stadium video entertainment produced and displayed entirely in HD.”
The one Fujinon XA101x8.9BESM lens is used for long-range zooms to capture close-ups of fans in the stadium and the upper deck. Images stay stabilized and are never shaky even when showing people in the stands.

The two Fujinon XA76x9.3BESM HD telephoto field lenses are situated in both end zones for zooming in on game action. “The lens lets us zoom in on the quarterback’s face. It can zoom in on everything on that field,” says Messina.

The three Fujinon HA18x7.6BERM HD ENG/EFP-style lenses are used on portable handheld cameras by roving cameramen to capture low-angle game shots from the sidelines. “It helps get those wide angle crowd shots,” says Messina. The cameras also are used for promotional videos. “The quality and clarity on all these lenses is truly great,” he adds.

The Fujinon lenses will also play a role in instant replay. “We have nine cameras for instant replay and the Fujinon lenses have had an improved impact on replay,” says Messina. “Regardless of the weather conditions or light levels, the HD video images have been exceeding our expectations.”
Another HD purchase was a Ross Synergy MDX-3 HD switcher installed in the video control room.