Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
MegaFilms shoots 12-hour miniseries with Canon Electronic Cinematography lenses
The creation of HDTV programming requires top talent and the best production technology available to achieve the director’s creative vision.
For Spanish Broadcasting System’s filmed entertainment division, MegaFilms, this meant shooting its 12-hour miniseries “Gabriel” with a full set of six High-Definition Electronic Cinematography (HD-EC) prime lenses and an HJ8x5.5B KLL-SC cine zoom lens from Canon.
Engineered to address the growing trend toward digital cinematography for episodic television and motion picture production, Canon’s range of 2/3in cine prime and zoom lenses are designed with the tactile feel and industry-standard markings familiar to film-oriented directors of photography.
Canon’s six cine prime lenses feature a 280-degree rotation angle. The three cine zoom lenses — Canon HJ8x5.5B KLL-SC, HJ11x4.7B KLL-SC and HJ21x7.5B KLL-SC lenses — provide a 270-degree range. Focus and iris indications on all of these lenses are engraved with large and luminous scales, with focus distances marked in feet. Gear rings are compatible with studio focus rigs, manual fluid zoom drives and motorized control systems that have long been standardized for film lenses.
“Since ‘Gabriel’ is meant to be different from any other Hispanic programming, my crew is all from the film world,” said MegaFilms VP of production Armando Castro. The Canon film-style lenses in the HD-EC line minimized the crew’s learning curve and made “our experience pretty much dead-on, as compared to film,” he said.
Canon’s cine prime lens feature optimization of modulation transfer function, especially at wider aperture settings. They have a short minimum object distance, or the minimum distance between the front of a lens and the object it’s focusing on. In addition, Canon’s Internal Focus technology employs a two-group floating optical system that minimizes optical aberrations.
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