IMS Productions Relies on Canon Lenses For Live Event Coverage

In addition to operating a full post production house complete with HD studios and green-screen rooms, IMS Productions is best known for its fleet of four state-of-the-art remote HD production trucks, with a fifth currently being built. Integral to all of its production work is an extensive equipment inventory, a key component of which, according to IMS Productions President Robby Greene, are over 50 HDTV lenses from Canon U.S.A., Inc.

IMS Productions' fleet of state-of-the-art HD production trucks use Canon HDTV lenses exclusively.

IMS Productions’ fleet of state-of-the-art HD production trucks use Canon HDTV lenses exclusively.

“I like to do business with people that I consider to be partners,” Greene explains. “For me that word is defined as beginning on the day after the equipment order is processed and continues onward whether it’s one day or three years after the sale. When my team has a need and picks up the phone, Canon has proven time and time again that they are here and ready to help. Canon has a dedicated service technician in my area who – without our needing to do anything – annually visits, inspects, and takes care of our Canon lenses. If we ever have any issues with a lens, I never have to worry about what the outcome is going to be when I pick up the phone and speak to the service employees at Canon.”

Optical excellence
HD cameras deployed by IMS Productions’ mobile vehicles are exclusively outfitted with Canon HD lenses. The latest Canon HD lenses purchased by IMS Productions include four DIGISUPER 95 XJ95x8.6B and five DIGISUPER 80 XJ80x8.8B long-field HD zoom lenses and six HJ22ex7.6B portable HD zoom lenses. The new XJ95x8.6B and XJ80x8.8 lenses join IMS Productions’ existing inventory of long-field HD zooms, which also includes DIGISUPER 100AF XJ100x9.3B and DIGISUPER 86AF XJ86x9.3B models. Canon long-field HD zoom lenses are among the most widely used lenses in HD sports and entertainment production, and feature Canon’s Image Stabilizer technology for rock-solid shots at telephoto distances. All feature specialized multilayer coatings on each optical element, lightweight design, and precise long-range HD zoom capabilities that have helped make Canon a global leader in the field. These long-field HD zoom lenses also utilize Canon’s second-generation digital servo systems for improved ease-of-operation and superb tactile control of zoom, iris, and focus, precision repeatability of settings, and microcomputer compensation of lens-focus breathing (the inadvertent alteration of field-of-view when operating the focus control).

IMS Productions’ six new Canon HJ22ex7.6B portable HD zoom lenses will be used for electronic field production-style applications, as are the company’s existing stock of Canon HJ11ex4.7B portable HD lenses. The HJ22ex7.6B is Canon’s longest focal-range portable HD zoom lens offered (without built-in image stabilization). A flexible, multipurpose lens exhibiting high optical performance and ease of operation, the HJ22 is designed for long-distance shooting combined with wide-angle capture (7.6mm field of view) in a lightweight (4 lbs.) form factor.

Canon’s HJ11ex4.7B is known for its wide 91-degree horizontal angle-of-view performance, and features a focal length of 4.7mm to 52mm (9.4mm to 104mm with its built-in extender) and a weight of only 4.3 lbs. The HJ11ex4.7B lens is designed for producers and broadcasters seeking extremely wide-angle shooting with high sharpness and minimum chromatic aberrations or geometric distortion. The lens provides versatility while still delivering sharp, high-contrast HDTV images. (The HJ11ex4.7B was Canon’s widest portable HD lens until it was replaced in the product line by the HJ14ex4.3B lens.)

Canon’s portable HD lenses all feature high-quality optics combined with a sophisticated and rugged opto-mechanical design based upon a compact and lightweight magnesium housing. As with many Canon portable HD zooms, the HJ22ex7.6B and HJ11ex4.7B lenses also provide the advanced capabilities of Canon Digital Drive technology, which enables camera operators to precisely pre-set and repeatedly automate zoom position/speed, focus and iris settings, if desired. It also helps ensure very precise manual control over zoom and focus.

In addition to meeting the HD imaging/optical needs of IMS Productions’ many clients, Canon long-field zooms and portable lenses also deliver the operational ruggedness required for mobile TV production, which can encompass a diversity of temperature extremes, depending on production location.

“I define temperature extremes by what we encounter on any given weekend,” Greene began. “We’ll do four different shows, as an example – an auto auction, a college football game, a professional bull rider’s event, and an IndyCar race. The race was on the streets of Baltimore, where it was hot and humid from two days of rain during setup. We often get big storms at outdoor events. The bull rider’s event was in Thackerville, Oklahoma, where hot just doesn’t begin to paint the picture of those conditions. In nearly any climate, Canon lenses do their job. We love and depend on them.”

Camera consideration
Confident of the capabilities of their Canon HD lenses, Greene noted that IMS Productions is also looking into Canon HD cameras for specialized production tasks.

“As a direct result of our positive experience with Canon HD lenses, we are looking at some of Canon’s new compact HD cameras to accomplish things that we could do ENG- or studio-wise that we never would have considered previously,” Greene said. “We are looking at cameras such as the Canon XA25 professional HD camcorder for scoreboard, race control room POV shots, and other things. These cameras may be an economical way to provide viewers with something new, and we are impressed with what we have seen the cameras deliver thus far.”

Weighing only 2.6 lbs., the Canon XA25 professional HD camcorder features a Genuine Canon wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens, built-in real-time optical image stabilization, and a high-sensitivity 2.91-megapixel, 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS image sensor and Canon DIGIC DV 4 image processor. The XA25 camcorder also includes a BNC-type HD-SDI connector to feed live video into an IMS Productions truck.

“Another part of our business is our post house with two studios, complete with lighting grids, control rooms and green rooms where we do professional commercials for major automakers and national restaurant chains,” Greene continued. “We also produce 60-minute long-form programming to air on networks and institutional videos for clients to distribute on DVD at trade shows.”

For these assignments, Greene is considering Canon’s EOS C300 Cinema cameras, which are designed for producing commercials, movies, and other film-style content.

“We’re getting ready to play in that space to see what can be accomplished,” Greene confided. “We select the best possible equipment that’s out there and we believe Canon represents that. It’s fair to say that when IMS Productions makes a purchase for glass it is exclusively Canon. Canon is an outstanding product and we trust it implicitly on a technical and a deliverable basis. At the end of the day, it is again the partnership after we shake hands and the service received that keeps us as a Canon client.”

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