Although the oldest privately held mobile production facility provider in the U.S., F&F Productions strives to keep all of the equipment on its HD mobile units as current as possible. Every truck in its fleet is equipped with FUJINON lenses, for a total of 90 lenses from the manufacturer.
The companys newest HD truck, the GTX-16, carries an array of FUJINON 2/3-inch HDTV field lenses including: the XA88x8.8BESM telephoto lens and the XA101x8.9BESM. It also carries four HA23x7.6 lenses for hand-held cameras as well as two HA14x4.5 super wide angle lenses, which are particularly well suited for entertainment shows. Many of F&Fs FUJINON lenses have image stabilization, which is critical for HDTV, as well as two-times extenders, and digital servo focus and zoom.
Compared to other lenses on the market, FUJINON optics technology offers exceptional resolution and colorimetry, with minimal distortion and color aberrations, explained Bill McKechney, vice president of engineering, F&F Productions, LLC. When we make new equipment purchases, we consider many factors, including the reputation of the brand and the quality of the technical and customer service. If we have a piece of equipment thats not working right, it can really hamper a high-stakes live production, which would cast a bad reflection on us.
For this reason, weve always bought FUJINON lenses for our trucks, McKechney continued. In our over 30 years of business, weve evaluated virtually every lens Fujinon has brought to market. We believe that FUJINON has grown and evolved right along with our business. Weve also experienced their technical support first-hand and found the company to be extremely responsive to our needs. As our trucks have crisscrossed the country traveling to different events, our FUJINON lenses have proven they can handle the challenges posed by different locations as well as the wear and tear of repeated setups and handling by different cameras operators.
All the trucks in F&Fs HD mobile fleet, including the GTX-16, GTX-15, GTX-14, GTX-12 and GTX-11, are outfitted with the same or comparable equipment to allow for maximum flexibility and compatibility. Besides key centerpieces like the Grass Valley Kalypso HD 4-M/E production switchers, Calrec digital audio consoles, and Chyron HyperX3 graphics, the trucks carry 12 Ikegami 79EC HD native multi-format CMOS cameras with a variety of Vinten pan heads, tripods, and dolly wheels.
Recently, the GTX-16 and GTX-15 were used to produce the 2011 NCAA Final Four March Madness basketball games for CBS, and the GTX-16 was the main truck that CBS/ESPN used for the 2011 U.S. Open Tennis at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, N.Y. The GTX-15 was also used for the NHL Finals in Vancouver, Canada for NBC.