Canon lenses star for NEP, NBC and “Sunday Night Football”

NEP Supershooters has outfitted NBC s newest HD mobile production unit, ND3, exclusively with Canon lenses. Designed for production tasks that include everything from golf to NBC s new premier NFL program “Sunday Night Football,” the 1080i-format ND3 will depend on the flexibility and dependability of 21 Canon HD field and portable lenses to carry out its multipurpose assignment.

The big challenge for mobile vendors like NEP Supershooters is that each component on the truck has to be reliable everything is mission-critical, says George Hoover, senior vice president of engineering for NEP Broadcasting. What stands out again and again is the level of confidence and support you get when you use Canon lenses. The expectation of the client is that everything is going to work, and in terms of coming through on that promise, Canon assures flawless performance.

Outfitted with three Canon XJ100x9.3B IE-D (DIGISUPER 100xs) HD long field lenses, nine XJ86x9.3B IE-D (DIGISUPER 86xs) HD long field lenses, seven HJ22ex7.6B IRSE portable HD zoom lenses, and two HJ11ex4.7B IRSE portable HD wide-angle lenses, the ND3 truck s cameras have the capability to cover any major event in stunning HDTV.

Canon is a lens that NBC has been extremely comfortable with for some time, and it is also what we consider to be our standard lens, Hoover adds. We both like to use Canon, and that offers everyone a huge advantage for interchangeability and familiarity when NBC needs to add camera/lens packages for larger-scale golf and football events.

As the world s first broadcast lens with triple-digit zoom capability, the Canon DIGISUPER 100xs is engineered to capture major sports and other events at telephoto distances with rock-solid stability for the viewing audience. Canon s DIGISUPER 100xs and DIGISUPER 86xs (as well as the DIGISUPER 86 TELExs and DIGISUPER 75xs) all feature Canon s second-generation built-in optical Image Stabilizer (Shift-IS) technology, which is engineered to overcome the challenge of image-shaking at telephoto focal lengths.

Delivering world-class optics from any perspective, Canon s DIGISUPER lenses also feature the company s unique XS technology (exclusive X-element and Power Optical System) for superior specs and light weight. These technologies encompass advanced computer-aided design techniques, special optical materials, and specialized multilayer coatings on each optical element. All Canon DIGISUPER lenses also incorporate the company s second-generation Digital Servo System, which delivers improved ease of operation through many features, including CAFS (Constant Angle Focusing System), which employs built-in microcomputer control to eliminate angle of view changes when operating the lens focus control.

The DIGISUPER 100xs is the best big lens that Canon has ever built, notes Hoover. It s rock solid, it works like a champ both optically and electronically, and the Shift-IS system really helps. This lens has become a mainstay for football stadiums, race tracks, and golf courses when you really need extreme reach, but the broadcast community is also now using it for creative applications we hadn t expected. They ll put it on the football sidelines so they can get eyeball-to-eyeball with the quarterback, or put it 50 feet away from the stage at the Academy Awards so they can get a different depth of field without the light-loss characteristics of zooming in tight. So it s proving its value for adding drama, not just shooting from far and away.

Powerful zoom capabilities are also present in the seven portable HJ22ex7.6B IRSE HD EFP lenses deployed from NEP Supershooters new ND3 truck. In addition to being the highest-quality tele portable lens from Canon, the HJ22ex7.6B IRSE also features Canon’s Enhanced Digital eDrive technology, which enables users to automate select functions, depending on their personal preferences. A standard feature of Canon s full line of eHDxs portable HD lenses (including ND3 s HJ11ex4.7B IRSE HD EFP wide-angle HD zoom lenses), eDrive utilizes three Canon ultra-high-precision, microprocessor-driven digital servos with 16-bit optical encoders, which enable users to easily program such functions as zoom and focus settings for precise, automated repeatability via an easy-to-use LCD menu, assignable soft function buttons, and a rocker switch built into the lens grip. Users can program multiple settings or none at all, depending on their personal needs and preferences.

The use of wide-angle lenses has skyrocketed, Hoover adds. They re the lens of choice for handhelds, Steadicams, jib cameras, and more. They re everywhere, and productions never seem to have enough of them. ND3 s two eDrive-equipped HJ11ex4.7B IRSE HD EFP wide-angle HD zoom lenses are Canon s widest-angle HD portable lenses. As with the truck s HJ22ex7.6B portable HD zoom lenses, the HJ11ex4.7B s utilize Canon s Power Optical System (featuring X-Element optical technology) to achieve the highest quality performance in a compact and lightweight housing. A product of Canon s many years of optical research and development, these technologies contribute to the outstanding overall optical performance of both lens models. This research also includes incorporating user experiences into lens designs.

Canon shows its commitment to understanding the end-user by coming out and getting invaluable feedback from the guys who are on the sidelines, comments Hoover. You have to talk to the operators that are actually doing the job, and I see Canon personnel constantly out in the field, getting the nuances of what these lenses need to do. Gaining that perspective has gone a long way for them.

Mobile production units are big investments, and so are the lenses that they travel with, Hoover concludes. When it comes to protecting that investment, the support and dependability of Canon is beyond compare.

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