Fujinon Lenses Added As Part of NFL Films’ HD Upgrade

NFL Films
is capturing all the gridiron action in its award-winning, signature style this
fall using an expanded complement of Fujinon HD lenses. A large complement of
Fujinon HD lenses, including HA25X11.5 ENG-Style telephoto lenses, HA22X7.8
telephoto lenses and HA13X4.5 super wide angle lenses have been added to the
company’s equipment roster. NFL Films plans to round out the remainder of their
cameras with Fujinon glass as well.

According
to Hank McElwee, NFL Films’ Director of Photography, putting HD lenses on film
cameras has never been done on this scale before. The high speed film cameras
used by NFL Films help create the slow motion highlights that are a classic
element of NFL Films productions. Putting Fujinon HD lenses on high-speed film
cameras allows NFL Films to improve image quality while maintaining its
signature style.

NFL Films,
based in

Mount Laurel,
New Jersey is best known for producing
compelling highlight films of the National Football League, but the company
also shoots a variety of other events including rock concerts and commercials
in the off-season. Recently, NFL Films had six crews stationed in
Wisconsin and then in

Kansas City following the Kansas City Chiefs
during training camp. The show was produced for HBO and called “Hard
Knocks, Training Camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.” The crews were using
Fujinon’s HA25X11.5 ENG-style telephoto lenses and HA22X7.8 telephoto lens
mounted on Arriflex, Aaton and Sony HD cameras to shoot the team at practice
and at pre-season games.

NFL Films
is a long-time user of Fujinon lenses. McElwee said that the decision to add
more lenses to NFL Films’ inventory stemmed from a recognition of value and a
familiarity with Fujinon quality and performance. “All of our existing Fujinon
lenses were used during the last Super Bowl. They performed tremendously in all
the rain we had that day. They perform equally as well in, for example,

Green Bay where we often
have to deal with frigid conditions. The workmanship of these lenses is
outstanding, and I know I’m getting a lot for the money.”

NFL Films
is upgrading its equipment with an eye toward shooting completely in HD within
the next couple of years. “Three years ago, we had all SD lenses on the ground,
so we brought in a number of lenses for evaluation,” explained McElwee. “The
Fujinon lens offers more speed, and it’s great when you want cutaways of the
coach from across the field. The fact that it’s HD and you’re fully covering
the 16×9 frame helped us decide to go again with Fujinon.”

All of the
lenses that NFL Films purchased have Fujinon’s Digi Power Zoom mechanism built
in, which is used often during concert productions. But McElwee explained that
all NFL Films’ camera operators zoom by hand when shooting football: “We have
some of the best camera operators in the field shooting for us. One in
particular, Don Marx, is a real talent behind the camera, probably the best
sports cinematographer in the world. When he shoots night games with the 22X
using the 2X extender, he just loves that he can follow the ball through the
air and still get enough light (exposure) stop to do what he does.”