Cinema lenses: Fujinon – Premista zooms, the evolution of lens metadata and the Crazy SK35-700 mm – YMCinema

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Here are the key points and highlights from the Fujinon platform, as part of the DCS (Digital Cinema Society) discussion, on the “Focus On Cine Lenses From the Buyer’s POV”. The presentation shows the Premista zooms which are Fujinon’s flagship products, what has changed in the lens metadata, and a bit about the crazy glass – SK35-700mm for cinema broadcast.

The Fujinon Premista: Digital Cinema Society Lens 2021 event slide.

The DCS (Digital Cinema Society) has once again hosted one of the most exciting discussions about cinema lenses. As DCS stated, “As is our tradition, the primary focus of the event is to explore the market of available cine lenses from a buyer’s perspective.” We at YMCinema Magazine have meticulously watched the presentations in order to serve you the key points and highlights which you can find below. However, all credit belongs to DCS. Read our first chapter (ZEISS) here, the second chapter (Angenieux) here, the third chapter (ARRI) here, and the fourth chapter (Cooke) here.

About DEC: the Digital Cinema Societyfounded by cinematographer Jim Mathers, is a non-profit educational cooperative dedicated to the enlightened integration of new technologies by industry. The Oscar winners to aspiring filmmakers, educators and students are joined by artists from all production and post-production disciplines, including dozens of ASC filmmakers, ACE editors, leading technologists and senior executives from manufacturers, studios, exhibitors and networks. The Company’s goal is not to champion digital technology, but to objectively examine all media, solutions, services and technologies without favoring one brand, service or format over another.

The DCS (Digital Cinema Society)
The DCS (Digital Cinema Society)

In this presentation, Stosh Durbacz of Fujifilm Optical Devices (the cinema lens brand of Fujinon), gives us a look at their lenses at the Digital Cinema Society’s Lens 2021 event. Check out the presentation below:

Stosh begins the presentation by talking about the Premista brand. Indeed, Premista glass is the flagship of Fujinon’s optical cine. The main characteristic of the three Premista zoom lenses is the consistency of their structure, weight and balance. For example, the sizes of 28-100mm and 80-250mm are the same. The wider 19-45mm is a bit smaller. Additionally, these lenses have been developed to cover large sensors, to deliver a solid zoom range and without compromising cinematic image quality. The goal was to allow the privilege of zooms with premium quality. According to Stosh, these zooms cut very well with other high-end cinema primes from other manufacturers. In fact, we wrote about the first movie shot on the Premista. (Be sure to read the article: The first film shot on Fujinon Premista will premiere at Cine Gear).

Fujinon Premista: Flagship zooms.  Slide from the Digital Cinema Society's Lens 2021 event.
Fujinon Premista: Flagship zooms. Slide from the Digital Cinema Society’s Lens 2021 event.

Stosh elaborates on the development of lens metadata technologies. A very intriguing example is demonstrated in-game, showing how lens metadata was removed in 2002. Explore the slide below which shows the Fujinon lens metadata box from 2002 that was used in Star Wars – Revenge of the Sith. Fortunately, this has been upgraded to an advanced device that communicates via camera support, using Cooke/i and Zeiss eXtended Data recording technologies. The methodology has been amplified lately on virtual productions which have been enriched in the era of COVID.

Lens metadata system in 2002. Slide from the Digital Cinema Society's Lens 2021 event.
Lens metadata system in 2002. Slide from the Digital Cinema Society’s Lens 2021 event.
FUJINON Premista 28-100mm Receives eXtended Data Update
FUJINON Premista 28-100mm Receives eXtended Data Update

Premista lenses can also be operated via a dedicated servo unit developed by Chrosziel. the servo unit can fit all Premista lenses, and it is dedicated to multicam, distance and ENG cinematographic applications. The system makes it easier to operate the Premista when shooting handheld, which seems to be very common in modern film productions, and not just for broadcast purposes.

Servo unit for the Premista, by Chrosziel.  Slide from the Digital Cinema Society's Lens 2021 event.
Servo unit for the Premista, by Chrosziel. Slide from the Digital Cinema Society’s Lens 2021 event.

Stosh also talks about a very fascinating lens, which is the Fujinon SK35-700mm F2.8-4.8. This lens is a PL mount native cinematic broadcast zoom that was invented to bring the ‘Kinematics-Look’ to sports and live entertainment productions. We talked about the launch of this lens at a special event hosted by Dynamic Rentals and Fujinon (Read: Meet the Fujinon SK35-700mm PL: A 27kg lens for cinematic broadcasting). The image circle was designed for Super 35 sensors, but it can also cover large formats. It has a huge 220mm front element.

Fujinon SK35-700mm.  Slide from the Digital Cinema Society's Lens 2021 event.
Fujinon SK35-700mm. Slide from the Digital Cinema Society’s Lens 2021 event.

According to Stosh, this lens has been pretty busy recently, used by many sporting, entertainment and live events, when directors were eager to get that cinematic look combined with broadcast capabilities. It seems that the SK35-700mm was mostly associated with the Sony VENICE (and the ARRI AMIRA – of course). Here are some examples of current implementations:

Fujinon SK35-700mm app.  Slide from the Digital Cinema Society's Lens 2021 event.
Applications Fujinon SK35-700mm. Slide from the Digital Cinema Society’s Lens 2021 event.

Product list

Here are the products mentioned in the article and the links to buy them from authorized retailers.

  • Fujinon Premista 28-100mm T2.9 Large Format Cinema Lens
  • Fujinon Premista80-250mm T2.9-3.5 large format zoom lens
  • Fujinon Premista 19-45mm T2.9 Large Format Cinema Lens

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