LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y.– In response to the ever-evolving requirements of live sports and other popular mobile-location HD productions, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, has developed a series of long-zoom field lenses designed for some of the most demanding HDTV sports and outside-broadcast applications, including the popular XJ100x9.3B and XJ86x9.3B/13.5B lenses. Now, answering the need for an ever-diversifying range of creative HD production uses, Canon has developed a totally new-generation super-telephoto XJ95x8.6B lens, which provides an unprecedented combination of the widest angle of view of any HD field lens presently in the broadcasting industry with an augmented 95x focal range.
"Canon's XJ95x8.6B super-telephoto HD field lens is based upon a totally new design intended to deliver enhanced optical performance and extended operational flexibilities," noted Larry Thorpe, senior director of sales, Broadcast and Communications division of Canon U.S.A. "The lens has a 95x zoom ratio and the widest angle of view (58.3 degrees horizontal at 8.6 mm) of any field lens presently available. This combination offers an enormous range of imaging possibilities unachievable with conventional field lenses. Given its extensive image-framing latitude, the XJ95x8.6B can dramatically enable HD capture of every visual detail at a major sporting event, from wide shots of a roiling mass of fans in a crowded stadium to extreme close-ups of a single athlete's facial expression."
Optical Performance and Image Stabilization
The new Canon XJ95x8.6B super-telephoto HD lens provides optical performance that has been significantly elevated over previous models. The new lens is engineered with many of Canon's most advanced technologies, including powerful optical design tools, new glass materials, and new exotic optical coatings. Canon's proprietary large-diameter aspherical lens technology and new glass materials minimize lateral chromatic aberration, monochromatic aberrations, and geometric distortion that have always challenged large focal-length ranges. Significant reduction of these aberrations enhances the superb resolution and contrast in a manner that contributes to the capture of images with superb picture sharpness across the 16:9 HD image plane.
As with many of the other long-zoom HD field lenses in Canon's DIGISUPER product line, the new XJ95x8.6B super-telephoto HD lens includes Canon's exclusive built-in Shift-IS Image Stabilization system. The new lens, however, comes standard-equipped with an improved Canon optical Shift-Type Image Stabilizer. When the new Shift-IS system 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. In addition to providing rock-solid image capture from telephoto distances, and tighter control over picture stability at higher vibration frequencies (as encountered on towers), the system virtually eliminates image drift following cessation of an operational panning action.
Smooth Imaging and Virtual Studio Interface
Improved performance in the new XJ95x8.6B super-telephoto HD lens is also provided in the form of operational ease through features such as CAFS (Constant Angle Focusing System). CAFS employs built-in 32-bit microcomputer control to help counteract "breathing," the phenomena known to change picture size/angle of view during a focusing operation. The lens has improved digital servo systems using 16-bit miniature optical encoders for zoom, iris, and focus that significantly empower the camera operator in terms of ultra-slow to very high-speed zoom, high resolution control of both iris and focus, and highly precise repeatability of zoom and focus operations. Despite its augmented specifications, however, the new XJ95x8.6B remains similar in size and weight to Canon's XJ86x9.3B/13.5B, facilitating easy panning and tilting operations.
An added benefit of the sophisticated zoom, focus, and iris encoders built into the new XJ95x8.6B is the lens' multiple support for discrete digital encoder outputs, analog outputs, and serial digital outputs. This ability to share focus, iris, and zoom-position data makes the XJ95x8.6B compatible with many kinds of digital virtual studio systems; the lens easily adapts to these systems via Canon's standard 20-pin lens-interface connector.