NAB 2018: Canon Intros Four Lenses for UHD Production
Canon took the wraps off its lens introductions for NAB 2018, including a UHD-DIGISUPER 66X box lens, a second tier of UHD portable zoom lenses, and the UHDgc line, designed to be a solid fit for 2/3-in. UHD lower-cost cameras that increasingly deliver UHD images.
“With 4K cameras at a remarkably low cost, we wanted a second tier in 2/3-in. UHD portable lenses and similar to what we did when we launched the HDgc line of HD lenses [during that transition],” explains Larry Thorpe, senior fellow, ITCG Professional Engineering and Solutions Business Planning Division, Canon U.S.A.
The new portable zoom broadcast lenses — the CJ24ex7.5B, CJ18ex7.6B, and CJ14ex4.3B — provide 4K/UHD imaging quality at a price point that Canon says is more accessible by the majority of the broadcast market. In addition, compact and lightweight design is intended to meet a wide range of needs for video productions, including documentaries, sports, and news coverage.
“There is still a lot of discussion within the broadcast industry and a lot of head-scratching about the march to UHD and when UHD will start,” says Thorpe. “And, [given] the uncertainty of the transition, the concern is costs.”
The CJ24ex7.5B, CJ18ex7.6B, and CJ14ex4.3B are based on Canon’s proprietary optical technology, deploying such materials as fluorite and ultra-low-dispersion (UD) glass to achieve high 4K/UHD performance across the entire zoom range. The lenses also support the wide color gamut approved by the ITU-R BT.2020 UHD broadcasting standard, an essential feature for capturing images in HDR. The lens ergonomics and digital servo operational controls are similar to previously announced Canon portable zoom lenses, providing users with maximum mobility in a variety of shooting situations. The CJ24ex7.5B and CJ14ex4.3B 4K lenses are scheduled to be available this summer; the CJ18ex7.6B lens, in the fall.
“As 4K/UHD origination becomes more popular in television news, the need for affordable lenses that can deliver the necessary imaging performance has grown,” notes Yuichi Ishizuka, president/COO, Canon U.S.A. “The new UHDgc series of lenses provides the optical brilliance that makes Canon a leader in broadcast lenses, while at a budgetary level that will make them attainable to a large swath of the industry.”
NAB attendees will also want to check out the new UHD-DIGISUPER 66 (UJ66x9B), a mid-range telephoto zoom lens for 4K/UHD broadcast cameras. Providing 4K optical performance for cameras with 2/3-in. sensors, the UHD-DIGISUPER 66 features a 66X zoom ratio, suiting it to sports and event productions. Leveraging Canon’s Optical Shift Image Stabilizer (Shift-IS), this new lens provides both handling and operational controls similar to existing field zoom lenses for HDTV broadcast cameras, offering stable imaging and comfortable maneuverability during indoor and outdoor sports broadcasting, medium-size broadcasting vans, and more.
“As Canon continues to put the time and thought into the R&D of field lenses, we are very pleased with how the new UHD-DIGISUPER 66 advances the DIGISUPER product line,” says Ishizuka. “The new lens delivers improved optical performance and operational enhancements that together meet the needs of 4K/UHD production.”
The UHD-DIGISUPER 66 provides outstanding optical performance, producing beautiful images with no loss of sharpness or color from the center to the peripheral areas of image field. It offers a focal-length range of 9mm to 600mm and features a built-in 2X extender, doubling its zoom-range capabilities (up to 1200mm on the telephoto end). Additionally, Canon’s Shift-IS technology delivers smooth imaging with minimal blur during 4K shooting: a scenario in which even the most minor vibrations can severely impact the image. The lens is also compatible with standard broadcast zoom and focus demands, allowing easy integration into a production setup.
“It has built-in corrections for focus breathing that are electronically controlled, making it really top of the line,” adds Thorpe. “It also has very respectable ramping characteristics.”
The UHD-DIGISUPER66 will be available in the fall.