WAYNE, NJ, October 1, 2007 —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 16x9 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.”
Fujinon is a major manufacturer and distributor of optics and lens assemblies for the broadcast, digital cinema and industrial markets. The company’s line of television zoom lenses are used in virtually every segment of the broadcast industry, including electronic newsgathering, studio and field production, and high definition television. For more information about Fujinon broadcast and communications products visit our web site at www.fujinon.com.
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