Cinematographer Puyol documents trek to Antarctica's tallest peak with Fujinon lens

It’s been four decades since 10 scientists and mountaineers completed the historic first climb of Antarctica’s highest peak, Vinson Massif. On the 40-year anniversary of that epic journey, four of the original 10 adventurers and two of their children returned to the stark, snowy terrain to relive their adventure.

Cinematographer and mountain climber Juan Antonio Puyol of Proudline Productions went along on the trip to document the journey in HD using Fujinon’s HTs18X4.2 ENG/EFP lens and JVC’s GY-HD250 camera. The working title for the documentary is “Epic Return.”

Now in post production, it tells the story of the scientific contributions of the first exploration and how the world’s coldest desert has changed in the last 40 years. “Epic Returns: Revisiting the Top of the Bottom of the World” is also a personal story, describing the connection those brave explorers have to that landscape and each other several generations after their historic trek.

An avid climber for the past 10 years, Puyol describes himself as being at home at mountainous heights. His crew spent three weeks on the ice of Antarctica where, even in summer, temperatures dipped to 30 degrees below zero. The harsh environment and remote location demanded high-quality equipment.

Capturing the stunning images without interfering with the climb itself was paramount to the success of the shoot. “This wasn’t the type of mountaineering coverage where we had the luxury of re-takes,” Puyol said. “We knew we couldn’t stop the climbers, some now in their 60s and 70s, because doing so could impact the climb’s outcome.”

Given the time constraints and amount of equipment needed to survive such harsh weather, Puyol knew his video gear had to be light and mobile. He chose JVC's new GY-HD250U to take with him on the shoot. The GY-HD250U is a full-resolution HD camcorder. Its compact form appealed to Puyol as did the bayonet mount for interchangeable lenses.

Fujinon’s HTs 18X4.2 lens has a focal length range of 4.2mm-76mm and an 18X zoom ratio. It includes Fujinon's DIGI POWER digital servo control system, digital Quick Zoom and the Digital FIND (Focused Intelligent Network Diagnosis) system for preventative maintenance and troubleshooting.

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