It’s easy to forget that 2/3-inch cameras are still the best tool for many OB/Sports broadcast work where large sensors just don’t help.  So with this in mind, it’s interesting to read this press release from Fuji:

Compact and Lightweight Broadcast Zooms Capture 4K from Edge to Edge and Feature Latest Design Technology

Wayne, N.J., April 6, 2017 –The Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM will introduce two new FUJINON handheld zooms for live sports, entertainment and field production during the NAB 2017 convention. The company will exhibit in booth C7225 during NAB, which runs from April 22-27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The “UA14x4.5B” and “UA18x5.5B” are the latest handhelds in the company’s Premier UA Series of 4K 2/3” lenses. The new lenses deliver edge-to-edge 4K optical quality to 2/3-inch 4K portable cameras and camcorders. The UA14x and UA18x zooms can be seen along with the complete UA Series within the company’s NAB booth. These lenses join the “UA13x4.5B,” “UA22x8B,” “UA80x9B,” “UA107x8.4B,”and the new “UA27x6.5B” in this series. The UA Series is the world’s first designed specifically for UHDbroadcast applications.

“The demand for 4K-compatible broadcast equipment is spreading rapidly throughout the world for live sports and entertainment,” said Tom Fletcher, Director of Sales, Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM. “With the recent introduction of high-quality and lightweight 4K camcorders, our latest UA Series lenses will accommodate an increasing number of videographers who shoot 4K handheld.”

The “UA14x4.5B” has an ultra-wide focal length of 4.5 to 63mm at the telephoto end and a zoom ratioof 14x, while the “UA18x5.5B” has a focal length range from 5.5mm in wide angle to 100mm in telephoto, and a zoom ratio of 18x. The unique zoom range of the “UA18x5.5B” makes this a “2-in-1” lens, offering both wide-angle and telephoto capability. Both lenses are standard with 2x extenders.

With a weight of just 2.04kg, the “UA18x5.5B” is ideal for situations that require added mobility, such asnews reporting and on-location production.  The body of the “UA14x4.5B” measures just 238.5mm, enabling shooters to get up close and personal during live sports coverage or add increased depth on-location.

High resolution, high contrast, and high dynamic range are hallmarks of the UA Series. Aspherical elements have been treated with the latest High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating (HT-EBC) multi-layer coating for a high level of transmittance and color reproduction. Using HT-EBC in tandem with FUJIFILM’s exclusive Aspheric Technology, the lenses reduce ghosting and lens flares, while increasing the amount of light transmitted through the lens to the camera’s sensors. The latest optical simulation technology was used in the lenses’ optical design to prevent resolution degradation around the edges and control aberrations, thus achieving 4K image quality across the zoom range. An aperture shape close to that of a circle is achieved by adopting nine aperture blades, which provides a more natural bokeh.

“The superb wide angle ability of these new lenses is a result of our latest optical simulation software, which was used to model their large diameter aspherical elements,” added Fletcher. “Meanwhile, the lenses’ multi-group zoom system suppresses image distortion and maintains the 4K UHD image quality captured is consistent and accurate from center to corner – no matter how tight or wide the shot. All combined, these new handheld zooms produce clear, vibrant and optically accurate 4K images. The UA14x and UA18x are fully-featured 4K UHD lenses that shooters can use to produce 4K UHD now.”

The latest generation Servo Drive Unit has been built to support a wide range of remotely-controlled zoom, focus, and iris functions. It relies on 16-bit encoders to provide accurate two-way communications between the lens servo and the remote operator, using either RS-232 serial data or traditional analog communications. These features allow the lenses to be remotely-controlled for human- and robotically-controlled shooting, jib shots, tower cams, and videoconferencing; among other applications.

In addition to the UA families of 4K lenses, FUJIFILM will also exhibit its complete line of Premier, Cabrio, and new MK cine lenses.

The FUJINON UA18x and UA14x are available as of NAB 2017.

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