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NFL Films upgrades to Fujinon HD lenses

NFL Films is capturing all the gridiron action in its award-winning, signature style using an expanded complement of HD lenses from Fujinon. New lenses purchased includes several HA25X11.5 ENG-style telephoto lenses, HA22X7.8 telephoto lenses and HA13X4.5 super wide-angle lenses. NFL Films is upgrading its equipment with an eye toward shooting completely in HD within the next couple of years.

Hank McElwee, NFL Films’ director of photography, said putting HD lenses on film cameras has never been done on this scale before. The high-speed film cameras used by NFL Films help create the slow motion highlights that are a signature element of its productions.

NFL Films, based in Mount Laurel, NJ, is best known for producing highlight films of the National Football League, but the company also shoots a variety of other events such as rock concerts and commercials in the off-season. A crew stationed in Wisconsin with the Kansas City Chiefs recently filmed a show for HBO called “Hard Knocks.” The crews used Fujinon’s HA25X11.5 ENG-style telephoto lenses and HA22X7.8 telephoto lens mounted on Arriflex and Anton cameras to shoot the team’s practice sessions.

All of the lenses that NFL Films purchased have Fujinon’s Digi Power Zoom mechanism built in, which is used often during concert productions. However, McElwee said that all of NFL Films’ camera operators zoom by hand when shooting football games. When they shoot night games with the 22X lens using the 2X extender, operators can follow the ball through the air and still get enough light (exposure) stop to do what they need to.

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