The Science Channel, CNN turn to Fujinon lenses for breakthrough flight

Sean Fairburn, director of photography for The Science Channel's X-PRIZE event, uses a Fujinon XA101x8.9BESM HD zoom lens to capture the record breaking flight.

When coverage of the first launch of a privately funded craft to reach space, SpaceShipOne, aired live on The Science Channel and on CNN, both crews were shooting with Fujinon's telephoto zoom lenses.

The Science Channel used Fujinon's XA101x8.9BESM, and CNN captured the event with an XA87x13.2BESM lens.

After an hour climb beneath the belly of the turbo jet, White Knight, spacecraft pilot Brian Binnie rocketed straight up into the clear blue skies over the Mojave Desert, winning not only the Ansari X-PRIZE but also shattering a 42-year-old altitude record.

There to capture it all live using a Sony 900 24P high-definition camera with Fujinon's 101x zoom, was Evergreen Films' Pierre de Lespinois. Precise focus is critical when shooting in HD. Smaller viewfinders on HD cameras are harder to resolve, and operators sometimes believe they've achieved focus when they haven't. Slightly out-of-focus shots are much more noticeable in higher resolution HD. The Fujinon lens’ 101x magnification allowed de Lespinois to maintain focus even as SpaceShipOne began to accelerate away at a height of 60,000ft.

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