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Director Pierre De Lespinois Uses Fujinons 101X HD LensXA101x8.9BESM HD zoom lens used for one-hour special, ?Red Flag? (January 20, 2005)
After director Pierre de Lespinois used Fujinons innovative new XA101x8.9BESM HD zoom lens to shoot the one-hour special, ?Red Flag, he had one thing to say about the experience: ?This lens is extraordinary.
The film, which was produced for Discoverys new Military Channel (formerly Discovery Wings Channel), is scheduled to premiere March 31, 2005 at 8pm. De Lespinois describes the movie as being in the mold of ?Top Gun. It was shot on location at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada, using 150 fighter jets in the shoot.
Fujinons new Precison Focus Assist Technology (PFA) and latest generation of Image Stabilization were key features of the 101x, particularly for the films spectacular action sequences. At times the camera was panning with jets traveling at speeds up to 500 mph and, despite that, the veteran filmmaker said, ?Tracking was no problem. We were simply blown away by this lens. Weve been able to do things with this lens that were impossible to do before.
de Lespinois utilized Fujinons Precision Focus Assist system, a built-in feature that precisely adjusts the lens for optimum focus. This system addresses focus issues common to HD production due to the formats shallow depth of focus and the lack of size and resolution in camera viewfinders. Because the smaller viewfinders on HD cameras lack high-quality resolution, operators often believe theyve achieved focus when they havent.
?The focus assist within the lens automatically optimized focus for all shots from tight close ups to wide angles, explained de Lespinois. ?When youre shooting jets at varying distances and angles, traveling at extreme speed, the automatic focus feature allowed us to concentrate on capturing the best possible shots without worrying about focus.
One scene in particular he would not have even tried without the 101x. Because of the lenss F1.7 capability and what he called ?its incredible sharpness, de Lespinois shot a critical night scene with it. The scene involved four F-15 fighter jets on a runway. de Lespinois and crew set up the shot about a half-mile away from the jets. The lens was mounted on a Sony 900 HD camera. The backdrop was the Las Vegas skyline, and the city was about nine miles away from them.
?The heat waves were amazing, he explained, ?and this was at night.
As testimony to the capabilities of the 101x, de Lespinois focused their attention that evening on a hotel window in Vegas, some nine miles away: ?We could actually see people in their hotel rooms from that distance at night.
Even more remarkable was the fact that de Lespinois also selected the Fujinon 101x for interior scenes with actors. He made that decision because the 101x ?provides angles that you dont normally see. The dramatic scenes took place in two small rooms, and he took advantage of the wide screen capabilities of the 101x. ?I didnt have to stop and change lenses, he explained. ?Its a huge time saver and gave us unbelievable versatility.
?This lens is a cinematographers dream, said de Lespinois. ?There's nothing like this in film. It's a whole, new palette and provides a new way of looking at things. It allows for a whole new look to put on film.
de Lespinois, Executive Producer and Director, for Evergreen Films, used the same Fujinon lenses for his previous and highly acclaimed prehistoric series for Discovery, ?Dinosaur Planet, which aired the winter of 2003, and ?Before We Ruled the Earth, which aired in February of 2003.
de Lespinois has taken four Emmys, garnered 12 Emmy nominations and won numerous other awards, including the first Digital Golden Laurel Award presented by the Producers Guild for the HD production, ?The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne.
Multiple moving zoom groups designed into the XA101x8.9BESM lens minimize coma and field curvature while reducing overall size and weight. In addition, Fujinon's exclusive advanced back focus technology enables remote control of macro and focus fade on wide shots. No other lens in this category has this feature.
The new high-powered zoom lens is designed for 2/3 HD CCD cameras and provides focal lengths of 8.9-900mm (1x) and 17.8 -1800mm (2x), a 2x extender and an industry leading zoom ratio of 101x. At 252 (h) x 252 (l) x 666 (w) mm in size and weighing 50 pounds, the XA101x8.9BESM zoom fits a range of applications, including film and episodic TV production, live sports and news.
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, call 1-973-633-5600 or visit our web site at www.fujinonbroadcast.com.
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