IBC 2018: Canon Intros 4K Field Lens With Highest Zoom Range, Widest Angle, Longest Focal Length

UHD-DIGISUPER 122 is one of three new lenses the manufacturer is showing in Amsterdam

As the broadcast industry descends on Amsterdam for IBC 2018, which officially starts Friday, Canon is getting the party started early with today’s introduction of two 4K field zoom lenses, including the UHD-DIGISUPER 122, which features the highest zoom range, widest angle, and longest focal length of any broadcast lens.

“It is a very exciting and a monumental achievement,” said Canon U.S.A. President/CEO Kazuto Ogawa in a press release. “As a company, Canon is consistently pushing the boundaries of development and providing its customers with the latest lens technologies necessary to meet their needs.”

According to Canon, the UHD-DIGISUPER 122 has the ability to exceed 4K resolution and provide excellent color reproduction from wide end to telephoto end. It features a 122X zoom ratio and a focal-length range of 8.2mm on the wide end and 1,000mm at the telephoto end. The second 4K field zoom lens launching today, the UHD-DIGISUPER 111, also has the ability to exceed 4K resolution and offers a 111X zoom ratio and a focal-length range of 8.3 to 925mm.

Both lenses are designed for broadcast cameras with 2/3-in. sensors and are Canon’s first 4K field zoom lenses to feature its proprietary Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce flaring and ghosting and create an overall sharper image. In addition, ASC enhances the HDR and wide color gamut functionality of the lenses.

Canon expects the two new lenses to have an immediate impact in live coverage of sports like football or baseball: for example, providing the ability to capture a close-up shot of a player’s reaction after scoring a touchdown or home run and then zooming out to view the entire crowd. However, the lenses — especially the UHD-DIGISUPER 122 — could potentially have an even greater impact in sports like horseracing and motorsports, where the field itself is much larger and the action happening much farther away.

“The way the lenses are built, we’re covering all the bases,” says Rich Eilers, national accounts sales director, Canon U.S.A. “As we start to change the playing field of sports that are being covered — sports like Formula 1, NASCAR, NHRA, [which has] those really long, quarter-mile tracks — and you want to zoom in and show the guy that’s in the car at the starting line, that type of application is going to benefit from a lens like the UHD-DIGISUPER 122. It’s going to give you the biggest pop end-to-end, better than any lens could do before.”

Both lenses are equipped with Canon’s proprietary shift-type optical-image stabilization to handle high-frequency vibration and a new operational-control tool called the Bokeh Effect, which will allow camera operators the ability to defocus the lens and blur the image.

“The camera operators using these lenses are amazing technicians; these guys know how to make shots, frame shots, and do all sorts of things,” says Eilers. “Our effort here with something like the Bokeh Effect is to give these guys yet another tool in their toolbox to help them accent the coverage. When they go out there operating their lenses, they want to know they have some tools that can help them deliver the great image the director is looking for. We’re just trying to give more and more to the camera operators so they can make better pictures for us.”

Rounding out Canon’s lens launches for IBC 2018 is an addition to its UHDxs series of portable zoom lenses designed for 4K broadcast cameras with 2/3-in. sensors. The CJ25ex7.6B lens, which weighs approximately 4.4 lb., features a 25X zoom ratio, a focal-length range of 7.6 to 190mm, the ASC coating for reduced flaring and ghosting, and enhanced HDR and wide-color-gamut functionality.

“As 4K UHD becomes more prevalent for sporting events and newsgathering, Canon understands how important it is to develop and deliver lenses with our best imaging technologies to our customers,” said Ogawa in a press release. “The new CJ25ex7.6B lens provides Canon’s optical excellence, while maintaining a compact and lightweight form factor.”

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