Seattle Mariners enhance HD game-day, special event production

The Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team is acquiring new FUJINON XA77x9.5 HD telephoto field lenses and one FUJINON HA14x4.5 super wide angle HD ENG/EFP lens for game-day entertainment and special events at its home field, Safeco Field.

The XA77x9.5 box lenses will be used on two new Grass Valley LDX 80 Premiere multiformat studio/field cameras. The HA14x4.5 HD ENG/EFP lens will be used on a new Sony PMW500-HD02 XDCAM camcorder. According to Yezmin Blue, manager of broadcast engineering for the team, the new equipment was scheduled to become operational late last month.

“The new HD cameras and lenses are part of an ongoing capital upgrade to transition our in-house video production facilities from SD to HD,” said Blue. “This camera equipment, along with a new Panasonic Lighthouse HD LED video display, will enhance the game-day experience at our 81 home games per season as well as the 450 private events held at Safeco Field every year.”

The Mariners’ in-house video facilities include a production control room located behind home plate that is used to produce the live in-park game program on the HD video board during home games. When installed, the 11,425sq-ft Panasonic Lighthouse HD video board — controlled by ANC software — will be one of the largest such displays at any Major League Baseball stadium. The facilities also meet video production needs for private and community events.

“We chose FUJINON HD lenses based on our experience with this brand of SD lenses over the years. Balls hit very hard during games often damage our cameras, but our FUJINON lenses have rarely had to go out for repair,” said Blue.

The FUJINON XA77x9.5BESM telephoto field lens offers optical stabilization, anti-fogging to reduce downtime due to moisture, EBC coating to reduce ghosts and flare and increase light transmission, as well as built-in system diagnostics. Designed for the 2/3in camera format, the lens has a 77X zoom range, 2X extender and maximum relative aperture of 1:17 (9.5mm-335mm) and 1:34 (732mm), as well as a digital servo control system and Digital Quick Zoom to enhance the performance and ease of use of the zoom feature.

The FUJINON HA14x4.5BERD super wide-angle HD ENG/EFP lens for 2/3in cameras has a 2.2X extender, digital power servo, and 14X zoom range. It offers a focal length of 1X (4.5mm-63mm) and 2X (9.9mm-138mm), and a maximum relative aperture of 1:1.8 (4.5mm-41mm) and 1:2.8 (63mm).