NAB: Canon Introduces Its First 4K Lenses

Lighter, less costly high quality lenses for theatrical and TV production
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Complete NAB 2011 Coverage

Canon U.S.A. has introduced two new PL-mount lenses for 4K production, the Canon FK14.5-60 wide-angle cine zoom and the Canon FK30-300 telephoto cine zoom, that the company is pitching as offering a number of advances in optics and image quality while offering users a lighter and less costly 4K option.

The new products reflect the ongoing move away from film and the growing interest in high-end digital cameras and lenses capable of handling 4k production image format standards for theatrical motion pictures, TV movies, episodic dramas and commercials.

"The 2K and HD digital production formats are firmly established in the global marketplace today, while 4K resolution is poised to further propel the imaging quality of digital cine production," explained Larry Thorpe, national marketing executive, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A. in a statement. "Anticipating this exciting evolution in digital acquisition guided Canon's developments of a new optical platform in recent years to meet the current and future imaging needs of high-resolution camera sensors. Canon has extrapolated a new optical platform - first seen during NAB 2009 on a working prototype 8K lens - to bring to market these two new PL-mount lenses. Advanced glass materials, exotic new optical coatings, and new computer-design techniques were all employed to achieve significant overall optical performance in these two lenses."

The focal ranges offered by the wide-angle FK14.5-60 and the telephoto FK30-300 cine zoom lenses are designed to flexibly address both movie and HDTV episodic program production, with short depth of field, high sensitivity, superb contrast ratio, and excellent picture sharpness, the company believes.

Both lenses are engraved with large, highly visible focus scales and have a common 136 mm front diameter for use with industry-standard optical accessories. Canon also made the location, diameter, and rotation angle of the lens gears identical, which further facilitates convenience in exchanging lenses on-set.

The wide-angle FK14.5-60 maintains its T2.6 maximum aperture over the entire focal range, preserves a high MTF (modulation transfer function) at wide-open apertures, exhibits well-controlled light distribution across the image plane, and is designed to greatly curtails ghosting and veiling glare artifacts from strong light sources.

The telephoto FK30-300 complements the wide-angle FK14.5-60 in larger studios while being designed for outdoor shots.

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