San Francisco Opera employs Fujinon HD lenses for productions

When the San Francisco Opera created its Koret-Taube Media Suite, the first permanent HD video production facility of any opera house in America, nine Fujinon HD lenses were chosen as part of the configuration.

Among the lenses mounted on Sony HDC 1500L and Sony HDC X-310 cameras are:

  • three HA25X11.5 BERD lightweight ENG-style telephoto HD lenses with servo zoom and focus;
  • four HS18X5 BERM standard focal length, HD 1/2in XDCAM HD ENG/EFP with Digi Power servo and 2X extender;
  • a single HA25X16.5 BERD lightweight super telephoto HD ENG-style lens with servo zoom and focus; and
  • one HA42X13.5 BERD super telephoto ENG-style lens.

According to Frank Zamacona, of Zamacona Productions and resident director of the Koret-Taube Media Suite, the longer focal length of the lenses presented a key advantage. With the debut of OperaVision, a new program offered by the opera, tighter shots were necessary. OperaVision gives audience members seated in balcony seats an improved view of the stage through close-up and midrange HD ensemble shots projected onto two 5.5ft by 9.5ft retractable screens hung from the ceiling. OperaVision is also available on HD monitors in lounge areas of the theater’s lower lobby and box levels.

Tighter zooms let OperaVision convey the emotion of performers by capturing their facial expressions in HD clarity, which is particularly important given the fact that opera is sung in a foreign language, Zamacona said. He added that the Fujinon lenses perform without a hitch when zooming as directed from the Cambotic software in use.

The Fujinon lenses were in place in time for several outreach efforts by the San Francisco Opera designed to bring opera into the community and to wider audiences. Last fall’s free “Opera at the Ballpark” event, a free live simulcast of Saint-Saën’s “Samson and Delilah,” drew 15,000 to AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

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