FSU Seminole Productions Taps Canon U.S.A.

Canon U.S.A. HJ18ex28B super telephoto portable HD zoom lenses are a playing a key role in educating the next generation of production professionals while delivering sharp images to fans in the stands at Florida State University.

Seminole Productions, an educational auxiliary within FSU’s College of Communication and Information, Seminole Productions trains media and communications students in sports television production by having them operate cameras and perform other hands-on tasks. Adhering to deadlines and supervised by full-time, award-winning producers, students shoot FSU baseball, basketball, and football games as well as studio productions telecast on a major statewide sports network.

“We have a reputation of providing compelling and exciting productions to our fans and Canon has played a big part in helping us achieve high-quality standards,” says Mark Rodin, executive director of Seminole Productions. “Our approach has always been to provide our students and clients with the best possible production gear while also being cost-effective. We use industry-standard equipment that is proven and used worldwide. We find that the Canon HJ18ex28B super telephoto HD lenses give us the right mix for sports as an excellent mid-range lens. Seminole Productions uses these lenses for our end-zone and mid-level stadium angles, and they have a perfect focal-length range for that purpose.”

Shooting in 720p/60 for sports applications, and occasionally in 1080i for corporate productions, Rodin and his students have come to rely on the superb optics and user-control of Canon HD lenses. “The image quality of the Canon HJ18ex28B is excellent,” he adds. “We have a giant video display board in Doak Campbell Stadium, and even though it isn’t technically an HD board, the game-day video we gather through our Canon lenses looks really beautiful, sharp, and crisp.”

The HJ18ex28B delivers a focal-length range of 28 to 500mm (1000mm with its built-in 2X extender), and has an optical speed of f 2.8 up to a focal length of 286mm. The HJ18ex28B offers the longest focal length of any lens in its class, according to Canon U.S.A., yet weighs less than 6 lbs. (less than half the weight of comparable lenses) and requires no mechanical support system to mount to an HD camera.

“The zoom capability of the Canon HJ18ex28B super telephoto HD lens allows our fans to see the action up-close,” Rodin adds. “In the stadium people can already see the action on the field so they look to the giant video display for the close-up shots that they cannot see from their seats. We have the ability to zoom in as tight as we need to from the mid-level camera platform and get a close shot for the video board. The HJ18’s controls are well placed and easy to use. The zoom speeds are adjustable and smooth and all the controls are easy to access.”

The HJ18ex28B includes Canon’s eDrive feature, which enables camera operators to pre-set focus, iris, and zoom position and speed settings, if desired.

“Canon has always been at the forefront of technology and advances in lens design,” Rodin notes. “We put these lenses through rigorous paces from a variety of factors. In September in Tallahassee a football game can be 100 degrees with high humidity, but these lenses have not failed us. We also can get very cold in November and, again, we have not had any problems. We use a combination of students and professionals at any given time, and students can tend to be a little hard on equipment. That said, we have not had any problems with the Canon lenses. In the event that it’s needed, Canon support has been great.”

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