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Canon widens OB and portable lenses

Canon introduced two new HD field lenses and a portable lens at NAB. The new 80x and 76x OB lenses and the 17x ENG lens all combine long focal lengths with wider angles of view, writes David Fox. The lenses are third-generation additions to Canon’s Digisuper range.

Canon introduced two new HD field lenses and a portable lens at NAB. The new 80x and 76x OB lenses and the 17x ENG lens all combine long focal lengths with wider angles of view, writes David Fox. The XJ80x8.8B and the XJ76x9B lenses are third-generation additions to Canon’s Digisuper range, which is widely used by outside broadcast companies. “Canon’s extensive R&D and new computer-based optical design tools continue to advance the Digisuper product line,” said Larry Thorpe, senior fellow, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon USA. “The new XJ80x8.8B and XJ76x9B HD field lenses deliver optical performance that has been significantly elevated over previous models. Canon’s proprietary large-diameter aspherical lens technology, new glass materials, and sophisticated lens coatings minimize the aberrations and distortion that have always challenged large focal-length ranges. Significant reduction of these factors enhances the excellent resolution and contrast of these lenses in a manner that contributes to superb picture sharpness across the entire 16:9 HD image plane. The new XJ80x8.8B and XJ76x9B lenses deliver the image performance that creative camera operators have asked for, together with the operational enhancements that the HD production industry demands.” The premium XJ80x8.8B lens delivers an 80x zoom with a maximum wide angle of 8.8mm (a horizontal angle-of-view of 57.2 degrees) – approximately 5% wider than previous long-zoom lenses. This means it should be able to capture everything from a stadium-wide shot to a telephoto close-up of an individual player’s face. It includes a new built-in Optical Shift Image Stabilizer (Shift-IS) as standard. This uses a new motion sensor, a faster control circuit and a new correction algorithm to significantly curb vibrations, particularly in the high-frequency range. When the new Shift-IS sensor detects vibration, a correction drive signal is created that shifts compensating optics at high-speed to instantly deflect the incoming light rays in a direction that cancels out the vibration’s effect on the image. It also improves image tracking by virtually eliminating the image drift that can be caused by the sudden cessation of panning or tilting. The XJ76x9B combines a 76x telephoto with a maximum wide angle of 9mm (a horizontal angle-of-view of 56.1 degrees) – about 3% wider than previous long-zoom lenses. Both lenses include Canon’s CAFS (Constant Angle Focusing System), which employs a 32-bit processor to help counteract breathing (where the picture size/angle of view changes during focusing). Both also feature improved digital servo systems using 16-bit miniature optical encoders and improved algorithms for zoom, iris, and focus to deliver increased responsiveness in terms of ultra-slow to very high-speed zooms, high-resolution control of both iris and focus, and precise repeatability of zoom and focus operations. The lenses are also compatible with many digital virtual studio systems, with output of zoom, focus, and iris data. HJ17ex6.2B HD lens  Also making its NAB debut was Canon’s new HJ17ex6.2B portable HD lens, weighing about 2kg, for 2/3-inch camcorder use. It is part of Canon’s HDxs series and offers a broad focal length range from 6.2mm to 106mm (212mm with built-in 2x extender) and a Minimum Object Distance of 40cm (shortened by about 30% compared to previous models) for close shooting in news situations. It can focus as close as 10mm in macro mode. “On-location news coverage can frequently involve rapid changes in subject distance and associated focal length,” said Thorpe. “The new HJ17ex6.2B is capable of adapting flexibly to all manner of filming situations, whether in close proximity to a subject or in shooting close-ups of a subject from far away.” The HJ17ex6.2B is claimed to minimize optical aberration across the entire screen and exhibit superb optical performance throughout the field. It also features Canon’s Enhanced Digital eDrive technology, which utilizes high-precision digital servos with 16-bit optical encoders, to make it easier to program focus, iris, and zoom position and speed settings for precise, automated repeatability via an easy-to-use LCD menu, assignable function buttons, and a rocker switch built into the lens grip.