03.16.2005 08:00 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Fujinon HD zoom lenses capture latest Star Wars film

Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith was captured with Fujinon lens. Shown (left to right) are producer Rick McCallum, director of photography David Tattersall, and director George Lucas. Photo courtesy Lucasfilm.

When Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith comes to theaters May 19, audiences will see the first Star Wars movie exclusively shot using Fujinon E Series digital cinema-style lenses.

The HAe3x5 (5mm-15mm) and HAe10x10 (10mm-100mm) E Series zooms were used to capture the final installment of the Star Wars saga, along with E Series prime lenses with nine fixed focal length lenses on the set and C Series HAc13x4.5B-10 (4.5mm-59mm) lenses.

Star Wars: Episode III marked the first time Fujinon lenses were used on the entire production of a film, including principal live-action photography. Previously, Fujinon’s “Cine Super C” series HA10x5B-10 (5mm-50mm) zooms were used for the visual effects cinematography on 2002’s Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, which was the first major live-action production shot entirely by digital methods. On that movie, Fujinon lenses were used for motion control, miniatures, green screen and pick-up shots.

The development of the HAe3x5 (5mm-15mm) and HA310x10 (10mm-100mm) zooms used for production of Revenge of the Sith incorporated feedback from customers, Lucasfilm’s engineers and producers.

Burbank-based rental house Plus8digital worked closely with Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic to provide exactly the right lenses for the shoot. Three Fujinon HAe3x5, three HAe10x10 zooms and three sets of Fujinon’s ESC control and metadata-capable system were leased to Lucasfilm for the movie’s principal photography.

The ESC System, co-developed by Lucasfilm and Fujinon, includes an automatic backfocus function, digital rehearsal set marks, focus confirmation with depth-of-field display, lens metadata communications, a laptop/PDA interface and compatibility with existing film-style accessories for production and post-production efficient operations. ILM and Lucasfilm purchased two HA13x4.5B lenses for the film’s special effects and Steadicam photography work. Additionally, ILM and Lucasfilm rented two HA13x4.5B lenses from Plus8 for potential production needs.

Both the HAe3x5 and HAe10x10 lenses have the same mechanical characteristics, ensuring that no repositioning of accessories is required between shots. Both zooms are scaled and color etched on both sides of the lens for zoom, focus and iris settings. Automated black focus calibration also adds to the features of the Fujinon lenses, increasing the speed of the often time-consuming focus-check process.

For more information, visit www.fujinon.com.

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