September 16, 2011

Canon 95x8.6 lens widest in its field

Canon’s new Digisuper 95 (XJ95x8.6B) is claimed to be the world’s widest-angle long zoom HD field lens, and should be of great interest to outside broadcast companies.

“Normally when we make it wider, you get distortion, but here it is very minimal. It’s really fantastic,” said Ken Koyama, Canon’s European Broadcast Products Director (pictured).

It augments Canon’s 86x, which is the biggest selling OB box lens, but while it is wider and zooms longer, it is fractionally smaller at 61cm in length and weighs about the same, 23.2kg. The price is about 5% more than the 86x, and Canon has already taken more than 30 orders, all from Europe, for shipping next February.

Its Image Stabilization System has an improved optical shift-type stabiliser that incorporates a sensor inside the lens to detect vibration. Compensating optics are then engaged at high speed to cancel out any effect on the image. It appears to be able to sense the difference between wobble and deliberate movement, so that when you pan the camera and then stop to take the shot, the stabilisation system stops immediately – generally, these type of systems continue moving for a short time after the pan stops, which means your framing goes awry. Canon did do some work on this with Vinten a few years ago, but this required sensors in the tripod head, linked to the lens system.

The 95x also uses new technology to counteract breathing (which can occur when focusing causes a lens to change picture size/angle of view): the Constant Angle Focusing System uses a 32-bit CPU, to calculate and control the zoom to give an almost zero zooming effect when focusing.

By David Fox

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