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NFL Films is capturing all the gridiron action this fall using an expanded complement of Fujinon HD lenses. Fujinon HD lenses, including HA25X11.5 ENG-Style telephoto lenses, HA22X7.8 telephoto lenses and HA13X4.5 super wide-angle lenses, have been added to the company's equipment roster. NFL Films plans to round out the remainder of their cameras with Fujinon glass.
According to Hank McElwee, NFL Films' Director of Photography, putting HD lenses on film cameras has never been done on this scale before. The high-speed film cameras used by NFL Films help create the slow-motion highlights that are a classic element of NFL Films productions. Putting Fujinon HD lenses on high-speed film cameras allows NFL Films to improve image quality while maintaining its signature style.
NFL Films, (Mount Laurel, N.J.) is best known for producing compelling highlight films of the National Football League, but the company also shoots a variety of other events including rock concerts and commercials, in the off-season. Recently, NFL Films had six crews stationed in Wisconsin and then in Kansas City following the Kansas City Chiefs during training camp. The show was produced for HBO and called "Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Kansas City Chiefs." The crews were using Fujinon's HA25X11.5 ENG-style telephoto lenses and HA22X7.8 telephoto lenses mounted on Arriflex, Aaton and Sony HD cameras to shoot the team at practice and at preseason games.
NFL Films is upgrading its equipment with an eye toward shooting completely in HD within the next couple of years. "Three years ago, we had all SD lenses on the ground, so we brought in a number of lenses for evaluation," explained McElwee. "The Fujinon lens offers more speed, and it's great when you want cutaways of the coach from across the field. The fact that it's HD and you're fully covering the 16x9 frame helped us decide to go again with Fujinon."