NAB Perspectives: Fujinon’s Calabro on Wireless Controls, New Servos, 3D

Thom Calabro, director of marketing and product development at Fujifilm’s Fujinon optical-devices division, says that visitors to the NAB booth will find new servos across all of the company’s premier and select lenses, offering a 50% reduction in power consumption, reduced backlash, and a more economical design.

“We’re still seeing demand for the 88x lenses, and, in the smaller markets, there is a huge demand for 50x lenses,” says Calabro. “For smaller arenas or hockey and basketball, it’s flexible because it has brackets built in so you can put an ENG camera on the back and you’re good to go.”

Calabro says mobile companies continue to economize, purchasing more of the ZA select lenses than the premier HA series of lenses: “They are getting the 88x and 101x lenses and economizing a bit on the ENG lenses.”

Sports-content creators like NFL Films are the ones most likely to use the higher-end PL lenses, which are 4K capable (and can shoot up to 9K in the center of the lens).

“They used one on the Super Bowl on a film camera. Our PL lenses are unique in that we can have either a film or video back on the lens,” says Calabro. “And we are being asked for PL lenses that are more affordable, smaller, and lighter, as people are thinking along the lines of using the 4K cameras and lenses in a handheld configuration.”

With respect to 3D, Fujinon lenses were used on The Masters golf tournament that was broadcast in 3D by ESPN this past weekend. A 3D Synchronous System introduced at the NAB Show this week will power the cameras and automatically sync the lenses. An added benefit, says Calabro, is that, through the use of the WL-325A, the 3D lenses can be controlled wirelessly from a distance of up to 300 ft.

“The wireless control is for 2D or 3D needs, and, in 3D, it will take the precision focus in one lens and be able to provide precision focus to a non–precision-focus lens,” says Calabro. “From up to 100 meters away, the user can control zoom, focus, and iris through standard hand controls via a 2.4-GHz frequency.”