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Griffin Communications Purchases Fujinon ENG/EFP SD Zoom Lenses

Fujinon is announcing that Griffin Communications station KWTV NEWS 9, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City, OK and its sister station KOTV, the CBS affiliate in Tulsa, OK have purchased 29 A18X7.6BERM SD Zoom lenses for use in its daily electronic news gathering (ENG), as well as one A13X4.5BERM SD Zoom lens for electronic field production (EFP).

"We chose Fujinon lenses because they allow our photojournalists to cover news events with confidence," says Rich Kriegel, chief photojournalist for KWTV. "These lenses offer a long ENG focal length and a wide focal end for shooting in tight spots. When our photojournalists covered Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, they were amazed that they could frame close-ups of homeowners on their rooftops and wide shots of rescuers in boats next to the camera. These would have been very challenging shots to get without that capability."

An important feature for the Griffin stations is the lens' wide converter, which enables the station's photojournalists to maintain the wide angle while shooting in 4:3 and to continue using the lenses after they've completed the transition from 4:3 NTSC to 16:9 DTV broadcasting in the near future. "Many stations that bought competing manufacturers' lenses are just discovering that they have no remedy for this problem," explained Kriegel. "Our Fujinon rep, Dave Waddell, suggested the wide converter solution immediately, and we're thrilled with the results. The quality of the zoom-thru converter is very sharp, and it doesn't look different from the rest of the lens."

Another noteworthy feature is the maintenance serial interface connector that attaches each lens to a PC so that the maintenance department can do a complete check of the lens. "Innovative features like the wide converter and lens maintenance utility complement an extensive array of standard features which have made our transition to these new lenses a great experience," Kriegel says. Among other noteworthy standard features Kriegel cites are: Quick Zoom which provides zooming in 0.6 seconds from wide-end to telephoto; Cruise Zoom operation to maintain an automatic zooming speed; and an Iris A-M position change switch that helped KWTV's staff transition from a different auto-manual switch setting and ten position zoom speed control.

"Before we bought the Fujinon lenses, if we inadvertently shook the cameras while shooting photographs or documents, we had to resort to using a freeze frame of the video to make the picture stable, or adjust the composition in editing," says Kriegel. "But now, with our new Fujinon lenses, we just set the cruising speed and predetermined focal start and stop points. This creates a smooth shot with the push of a button."

KWTV NEWS 9 uses its new Fujinon lenses paired with Panasonic 800 P2 cameras.

The Fujinon A18x7.6BERM SD zoom lens features the highest magnification of 18X and the widest angle 7.6mm capability. The focal length ranges from 7.6 to 137mm for a wider range of shooting, making it ideal for ENG and EFP applications. The Fujinon A13x4.5BERM lens features magnification of up to 13x, and the widest focal length (4.5mm), with an 88.7-degree horizontal field of view. Both lens models feature an inner focus mechanism that makes the lenses compact and lightweight.

"With these lenses, Fujinon provides a high-end production lens with unparalleled functionality to the broadcast market," said Dave Waddell, Marketing Manager for Fujinon's Broadcast and Communications Products Division.