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Fujinon HD Optics Sparkle at WETA-TV

One of the Fujinon lens-equipped Sony HDC-1000 cameras at WETA-TVWASHINGTON
WETA-TV is the flagship PBS station in the nation's capital and the third-largest producing station in the public television system serving Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. We recently purchased several new Fujinon HD lenses in connection with the production of "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," the PBS signature nightly news program.

To make the HD broadcast of "NewsHour" possible, we worked with Newington, Va.-based system integrator, Communications Engineering, Inc. (CEI) to create a state-of-the-art control room and HD-optimized set.


It's obvious that when you're shooting in high definition, significantly more detail shows up in the picture. Also, the color imagery is much greater than that found in standard-definition images. We wanted to capitalize on these elements and choose lenses that would produce a great new picture while preserving the show's traditional, stately look.

The steady advancement of lens design and manufacturing has created some excellent products, so we knew we had to research our choices well. Before we made a purchase, our engineers compared all top HD lenses available. As a long-time Fujinon customer, we weren't surprised to see that Fujinon lenses provided amazing picture quality. Our current relationship and the outstanding customer service we've received over the years were deciding factors in purchasing Fujinon HD lenses.

Our Fujinon HD lenses include six HA27x6.5ESM studio lenses. These are used on Sony HDC-1000 multiformat HD studio pedestal cameras. I really appreciate the fact that the 27x6.5s go wider, are shorter and are lighter in weight than comparable lenses. Another attractive feature is the Advanced Back Focus. On a wide shot, you can quickly and easily defocus live action and bring in a key over it, among other effects. We've found it works wonderfully when we want to add text with several bullet points. You want the shot under the text to go softly out of focus in order to draw viewer attention to the graphic.

Another appealing feature is the Digi Power digital servo control system. This provides precise, repeatable moves and zooms. The servo focus was not a feature we originally intended to purchase, but after we saw it demonstrated we were so impressed that we added it to our order.

I consider Fujinon to be the most fiscally responsible choice for HD lenses, as they provide the utmost in quality imaging. They really help bring the viewer right into whatever we happen to be televising; which, after all, is the real reason we broadcast in HD.

Response to the show's "look" since the HD upgrade has been overwhelmingly positive. Soon after we launched HD, I had the opportunity to speak to my counterparts at other PBS stations receiving the "NewsHour" feed. All were impressed with how pristine the images appear.

Overall, our experience with Fujinon has been exemplary. Fujinon has demonstrated that they are truly partners with us.

Christopher J. Lane is vice president of engineering and technology at WETA-TV and has been with that operation since 1997. He has worked in broadcasting for more than 25 years. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Fujinon at 973-633-5600 or