Canon expands the art of High Definition Electronic Cinematography (HD-EC) with six new prime lenses, a new HJ8x5.5B KLL-SC cine zoom lens, and a significant innovation to support wide screen moviemaking; an anamorphic lens converter for the 2/3" HD image size format.
"There are now even more ways to apply the excellence of Canon optics to HD-EC productions," said Gordon Tubbs, assistant director, broadcast and communications division at Canon USA. "The range of choices in both prime and zoom lenses has been increased, and the new ACV-235 converter promises to greatly streamline the HD cinematographers' approach to wide screen movie production."
Canon's new ACV-235 Anamorphic Converter provides HD-EC cinematographers with an extremely efficient path to the big screen. The anamorphic lens converter fits easily between any electronic cinematography prime or zoom lens and camera, making it possible to easily record a CinemaScope size (aspect ratio 2.35:1) image with an HD cinematography camera. This approach has the special advantage of preserving the full vertical resolution of the HD camera.
Canon's anamorphic converter works by optically compressing the CinemaScope image to a standard HD aspect ratio of 16:9 (1.78:1), for a significant improvement over previous methods of adapting HD cinematography to CinemaScope size. Other solutions have typically involved digital cropping of the base image's upper and lower sides - decreasing vertical resolution in the process. By providing HD productions with this highly efficient path to full, theater-sized projection, cinematographers using the ACV-235 converter can expect significant time and cost savings in production, and portray the full brilliance of their work on movie theater screens.
The new FJs series of HD-EC prime lenses from Canon has been upgraded and expanded from five to six lenses, providing cinematographers with increased flexibility during shooting. The latest addition is the FJs55 lens, with a fast T1.6 capability and 2.4 lb. weight. It joins the FJs5, FJs9, FJs14, FJs24, and FJs35 lenses in Canon's FJs line to meet the specialized needs of HD-EC shooting. All six FJs prime lenses feature a dramatically enhanced focus rotation angle of 280 degrees (up from 180 degrees on the previous generation), and improved optical and mechanical performance. These stunning primes exhibit high MTF, high resolution, and high contrast from the center of the image.
Other new features of the FJs prime lens series includes a new design with standardized front-of-lens diameter of 95mm, enabling the same matte boxes or filters to be used with all lenses. The highest optical performance is achieved with consistent color balance across the series, and chromatic flares are brought to a zero level.
Canon broadened its line of HD-EC zoom lenses, opening up even more creative options to cinematographers with the new HJ8x5.5B KLL-SC lens. It represents an affordable wide angle companion to the HJ21x7.5B KLL-SC and HJ21x4.7B KLL-SC lenses, with a focal length of 5.5-44mm, and T2.1 capability. It uses Canon's Power Optical System featuring the "X-Element" to bring optical excellence to episodic TV, commercial and motion picture production. As with all Canon HD-EC lenses, it incorporates Hi-UD (Hi-Index, Ultra Low Dispersion) glass and Fluorite for lower aberrations, and very high MTF.
All Canon HD-EC lenses have traditional film style feel and operation. Focus and iris indications are engraved with large luminous scales, focus distance is marked in feet, while gear rings are compatible with studio focus rigs, manual fluid zoom drives and motorized control systems used for film lenses.
"At NAB2004, Canon's HD-EC leadership is on display," added Gordon Tubbs. "With the introduction of the new FJs prime lenses, ACV-235 anamorphic converter, and HJ8x5.5B zoom lens, HD production of episodic TV, commercials and motion pictures has truly arrived."