Clemson Athletics Adds Canon HJ40x14B Telephoto HD Lens
To complement the high stature of its athletic programs, Clemson University’s Athletic Video Services Department is one of the elite operations in the country. The team behind the cameras for the Tigers put together high-quality HD productions on a daily basis for all of its sports teams. To help improve those broadcasts, the department has recently added the Canon HJ40x14B portable HD Image Stabilizer lens.
“Everything at Clemson has a dual purpose,” says Rick Bagby, director of Athletic Video Services at Clemson University Athletics Department and an Advisory Committee member for Sports Video Group’s College Sports Video Summit. “Lenses need to work in the studio and for ENG assignments, and they need to be flexible enough to handle game coverage and production highlights, coaches’ videos, and in-game live production. We are a multi-use facility, and the Canon HJ40 lens fits right into that philosophy.”
Capable of extending to 1120mm, the HJ40x14B is a telephoto portable EFP lens designed for capturing HD images over long distances. Leveraging Canon’s optical and mechanical technologies, the HJ40 incorporates Canon’s proprietary Optical Shift Image Stabilizer (“Shift-IS”) system that makes steady HD video under adverse field conditions.
“Our football stadium seats 80,000 people,” Bagby noted. “Part of the fan experience today is when spectators see themselves on the jumbo-size stadium display. With the telephoto range of the HJ40, we can see parts of the stadium that we could never reach before, or get great tights shot on the field that used to be impossible. When you couple the HJ40’s zoom capability with its Shift-IS feature, it’s phenomenal. The Shift-IS feature is a must-have, and my testing showed that it makes a huge difference. With the extender on, I can read an 8 ½-by-11-inch piece of paper on a door a block away. All of this helps to improve the game-day experience of those 80,000 people in the seats.”
In addition to its telephoto and image-stabilization capabilities, the design-optimization strategies Canon employed on the HJ40 provide the lens with high optical specifications and strong HD image performance. High contrast is ensured by control of black reproduction, with optical and mechanical design innovations that reduce flare, veiling glare, and any internal reflections. Similar attention to the minimization of ghost images and other highlight-related chromatic distortions caused by strong light sources on-axis and off-axis further extend the operational contrast range of the lens.
“The crispness of what you shoot is essential, because coaches take this video and blow it up on a large projection screen,” says Bagby. “Coaches want to be able to see certain things in their video, and if you record something substandard, you’re just blowing-up grainy images. That’s why the integrity of the imagery that the HJ40 captures is paramount in coaches’ videos.”
The Clemson Athletic Video Services Department’s acquisition of its new HJ40 lens brings the total number of Canon HD lenses in its inventory to ten. These include both portable zoom lenses and “box-style” long-field zooms.
“I’m as competitive as any coach or player in my job,” Bagby added. “I love to win. Being able to do great things with our productions, equipped with tools like Canon HD lenses, is how we do that.”