Canon Provides Quick Repair Following Broken Lens Fiasco at ALCS

When veteran cameraman Steve Angel settled in to shoot Game 4 of the 2010 American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium in New York on the evening of October 19, he had no idea that his Canon Digisuper 86xs long-field HD zoom lens was about to become the game’s big story. But when the score was tied 2-2, a broken bat flew through the air, shattering the protective filter on the front of the lens and scratching the front element.

TBS decided to run select replay shots for the rest of the inning from the damaged, but still operational, HD lens – which showed viewers a clear hole surrounded by blurry, multiple fracture lines

“This was something that people hadn’t seen before,” says Scott West, Corplex Mobile Television, the mobile production provider for the game. “It was a high-level production with a lot of eyes on it, and TBS made the most of the unusual circumstance by showing the replays through the damaged lens. People aren’t always aware of the dangers that are out there. This made the hazards of live sports coverage immediately apparent.”

West had grown accustomed to having Canon personnel onsite for Corplex’s many productions and New York Yankees-Texas Rangers ALCS game was no exception. While Corplex’s VP of Engineering Dave Greany oversaw the switch to a spare Canon Digisuper 86xs between innings, Canon’s team was already mobilizing for a fast-turnaround repair to the now-famous long-field HD zoom lens, which suffered damage to its hood and protective filter, as well as scratches on its front element.

“Canon had a loaner lens ready for us immediately, but they fixed the damaged lens so quickly that we didn’t need it,” West says. “Our clients expect tremendous service, and on the flipside we expect the same thing from our vendors. Canon really delivered on this, and they’ve been very proactive since we became a Canon house in 2008. Their technicians are constantly calling and checking in on our inventory, letting us know that they’re available for assistance. It’s definitely a step beyond what you would expect for good service.”

Officially designated the XJ86x9.3B IE II-D, Canon’s Digisuper 86xs HD lens features Canon’s exclusive Shift-IS, the second-generation built-in Optical Shift Image Stabilizer Technology. The Shift-IS technology enables television directors to capture high-impact telephoto shots and deliver this video shake-free to the viewing audience. This HD lens also features Canon’s XS technology for superior optical performance and lighter weight, as well as Canon’s second-generation Digital Servo System, which provides microcomputer compensation of lens focus breathing (the inadvertent alteration of field of view when operating the focus control) as well as a variety of other improved digital operational features for focus and zooming control, including Precision HD production performance and heightened long-range zoom capabilities.

With the repaired Digisuper 86xs HD lens on hand in plenty of time for the next remote venue production, the 2010 ALCS was the latest reminder of the durability and support commitment that Corplex has come to count on from Canon. “When we know a damaged lens will be back in short order, we can plan our business much more efficiently,” West says. “Canon’s service and support make the difference.”

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