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HD Lenses Aplenty

Lens-makers weren't waiting for the dust to settle on the new hd cameras before offering lenses to complement them. Canon Broadcast unveiled several hd lenses for sony's xdcam hd camcorders, the first with half-inch ccds. This included two new all-purpose hd lenses with impressive zoom ratios at disparate price points. The KH21ex5.7 lens with built-in 2x retails for us$26,000, while their KH20x6.4 lens (without 2x) was a steal at just under $10,000. Canon also broke new ground for smaller budget producers with an $8,000 hd lens: the KH19x6.7 (no extender). But you still have to pay top dollar for an hd wide-angle lens with extender like their KH10ex3.6 - $25,000.
June 1, 2006

Lens-makers weren’t waiting for the dust to settle on the new HD cameras before offering lenses to complement them. Canon Broadcast unveiled several HD lenses for sony’s XDCAM HD camcorders, the first with half-inch CCDs. This included two new all-purpose HD lenses with impressive zoom ratios at disparate price points. The KH21ex5.7 lens with built-in 2x retails for US$26,000, while their KH20x6.4 lens (without 2x) was a steal at just under $10,000. Canon also broke new ground for smaller budget producers with an $8,000 HD lens: the KH19x6.7 (no extender). But you still have to pay top dollar for an HD wide-angle lens with extender like their KH10ex3.6 – $25,000.

Fujinon also had new half-inch HD lenses ready for XDCAM HD cameras at relatively affordable prices. The HSs8x5.5B and the HS13x3.3 both list around $15,000. For tighter wallets, the HSs17x5.5 (without 2x) is a mere $9,000. However, Fujinon’s new wide angle HS16x4.6 will set you back $25,000. They also had new 1/3′ CCD HD lenses – a 17x and 18x – both for JVC’s HD100 or HD200 HDV camcorders.

There were also new options for HDV camcorders with non-interchangeable lenses. Sony offered wide angle and telephoto adaptors for its new quarter-inch HVR-A1 HDV camcorder, while Panasonic did the same for its HVX-200 (though via a third party). Century Optics demonstrated a .6x wide angle and 1.6x telephoto adaptors for the HVX-200, both with partial zooming. A .7x with full zoom-thru is available for the sony HVR-Z1 and FX1 HDV camcorders, Canon’s XL-H1, and the HVX-200; and .4x fisheyes and even .3x ultra-fisheyes for $500 to $1,000 are available for some models. 16 X 9 Inc. also had .7x wide-angle adaptors for Canon and Sony HDV models.

There were new HD specialty lenses too. Innovision Optics’ tubular probe lens system now interfaces with Sony’s Z1/FX1 and Panasonic’s HVX-200. The probe’s straight view is interchangeable with a 90-degree periscope lens for ultra low-angle POV shots. Also, P + S Technik demonstrated Skater, its new probe system with +/-105-degree tilt adjustment and 360-degree pivoting of the lens block with unlimited optical image rotation. Skater and their Mini 35 Image converter (35mm cine lens adaptor) are now available for Canon, JVC and Sony HDV camcorders and with Panasonic’s HVX-200. Overall, there was fresh and sometimes even affordable glass for every new HD camera at NAB 2006.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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