(TENAFLY, NJ, January 10, 2007) Based on his successful experience with a Fujinon HAc13x4.5B Cine-Style compact wide angle zoom lens he bought in 2005, Barry Russo recently purchased a second Fujinon Cine-Style zoom lens, the HAc15x7.3B.
As owner of Barry Russo Video Productions, Inc., a full-service HD camera and production service provider to the NY Metro Area, Russo includes the Fujinon lenses with his Panasonic VariCam HD camera package for high-end, commercial television producers.
"At first, many of my film-based clientele requested on having a Pro 35mm adapter on my VariCam so that they could continue to use the film lenses they've always used. But once they worked with my Fujinon Cine-Style lenses, the request for a film lens adapter rarely comes up anymore," said Russo, who often serves as a digital imaging technician (DIT) on set.
While Russo said that many clients are moving from film to HD production due to the significant savings on film stock and processing costs, they still want to shoot "film-style" and strive for a filmic look when shooting commercials for television. For this reason, Russo configures his VariCam with the Fujinon Cine-Style lenses, which are outfitted with a 4x5 matte box, double follow-focus and Micro-force zoom control.
Russo chose his two Fujinon Cine-Style lenses largely because of the cinematic look they produce, such as shallow depth of field. "When the cameraman zooms in on someone's face, everything in the background is softly and beautifully out of focus, casting a romantic look onto the imagery," said Russo.
"And there's very little 'breathing' on these Cine-Style lenses," said Russo. "This is absolutely critical should you need to pull a rack-focus - for example - shifting the focus from the background to the foreground subject. If the lens has a lot of 'breathing,' as you shift the focus from the background to the foreground subject, the foreground object will appear to shrink dramatically. This noticeable change in image size can drive the post team crazy." Russo also noted the full 280-degree focus rotation on the Fujinon Cine-Style lenses as a critical feature in his work, along with the precise, repeatable focus mechanism.
Both lenses are fast at a T2 and offer a wide dynamic range of optical image focal lengths--from 4.5 to 59mm on the HAc13x4.5B super wide angle zoom (11mm to 146mm equivalent to 35mm Film Lens); and from 7.3 to 110mm on the HAc15x7.3B compact zoom (18mm to 272mm equivalent to 35mm film lens). "With the HAc13x4.5B, at maximum focal length, I can hold focus on the keypad of a cell phone that is less than one foot away from the camera," said Russo.
Another critical issue with respect to commercial shoots is the common use of a green-screen behind the subject to enable the editor to chroma-key visual effects into the background. "Capturing colors faithfully is critical to chroma-keys and commercial production in general. When I calibrate my camera according to a DSC Labs 28 color chip chart, the camera and lens can capture imagery that has essentially a 'one to one' relationship between what I see on the set and what I see on the HD monitor," said Russo.
"These lenses are great for the commercial world as it transitions from film to HD. I treat my VariCam like a movie camera so my clients will have a film production experience they're used to," said Russo. "For this clientele, you cannot go cheap on a lens. You never want them to ask about flaws, like why the edges of the picture are distorting, or why the colors are fringing on the edges. You have to have a great piece of glass on the camera, and these lenses are absolutely spectacular."
Russo's Fujinon Cine-Style lenses have been used on tripods, jibs, dollies, bungee, steady cam, hand held, cranes, and motion control rigs. And they've been subjected to extreme cold and heat without any performance issues. His camera gear has been used to shoot hundreds of TV commercials in the New York Metro, all with rock-solid performance.
Fujinon is a major manufacturer and distributor of optics and lens assemblies for the broadcast, digital cinema and industrial markets. The company's line of television zoom lenses are used in virtually every segment of the broadcast industry, including electronic newsgathering, studio and field production, and high definition television. For more information about Fujinon broadcast and communications products, call (973) 633-5600 or visit our web site at http://www.fujinonbroadcast.com