July 20, 2010

Polecam enters compact lens market

The lightweight jib maker, Polecam, has announced the first in a range of ultra-compact lenses designed for use with miniature 3CCD HD cameras. The new HRO 69 (High Resolution Optics) is a 3.5 mm lens compatible with prism cameras such as the Toshiba IK-HD1, Iconix RH1, Panasonic GP-US932, and Ikegami MKC300.

It is available at an introductory price of £2,000, compared to about £8,000 for similar existing lenses.

"Miniature split head cameras have become standard tools for HD video production in recent years, but traditional lens manufacturers have not responded to demand for matching high-quality optics. The Polecam HRO 69 is a C-mount lens designed specifically for 1/3-inch 3CCD HD cameras. It produces far higher resolution images than any comparable model and represents a tremendous advance both for Polecam operators and other programme makers wanting to benefit fully from the compactness of modern HD cameras and recorders," said Polecam founder and Managing Director Steffan Hewitt.

Such cameras are typically used with a Fujinon 4mm lens, an SD lens that was over specified, so still works in HD. "We've gone slightly wider, reduced the distortion and increased the quality," said Hewitt.

"Polecam has invested a significant amount of money and time in developing this new and unique lens [which is being built by a lens manufacturer to its specifications]. This is the first in a range of 3CCD HD lenses which goes a significant way to filling a requirement that the HD broadcast and film markets have been requesting," added its Camera Systems Sales Manager, Nigel Paine.

Hewitt is looking at possibly two narrower lenses (probably a 32º lens initially) suitable for 3D work, and probably one wider one. "If the prime lenses work well, we will look at doing a zoom lens." It will also make an adapter for single chip CMOS cameras.

The HRO 69 offers a 69º horizontal angle of view, F2.2 to F16 aperture range, back focus, and a special bump cover to protect the lens front. It has stainless steel locking screws for aperture and focus adjustment. It weighs just 159g, is 50mm long, with a diameter of 37mm (there is also a 40.5mm filter thread adapter option).

By David Fox

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