June 19, 2018, 10:20:04 PM

Author Topic: Canon Broadcast Lenses at the Olympics, and Why They Can Cost Upwards of $200,000  (Read 5348 times)

Canon Rumors

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It’s sometimes hard to fathom spending $12,000 on a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II or $45,000 on a Canon CN-E  Canon CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7, but Canon’s broadcast lenses are a whole different animal. Take the $222,000 Canon UHD Digisuper 86 for example (please buy one from my link, because that would be cool).

Popular Science has posted a great article about some of these lenses that can cost well over $200,000. To be fair, there’s not for the general consumer, but NBC apparently have 70 of them in use at the 2018 winter Olympics.

These lenses are manufactured to the strictest tolerances for obvious reasons.

Lens elements are typically ground down from rough glass blanks, and then polished—sometimes by hand—to get rid of imperfections. “We spend a lot more time polishing 4K lenses because imperfections that measure just a nanometer can affect performance,” Read the full article at Popular Science

Canon really does have the full spectrum of lenses available for whatever is required.

« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 06:19:03 PM by Canon Rumors »
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Busted Knuckles

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Pixel size and the diffraction f-stop would put a premium on wide open shooting or relatively close to it.

Lots of glass for an image circle that represents basically a 4x crop factor to a FF.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Support for the users is a big part of the cost.  They are low production, so the cost per lens to train tecnicians, maintain spare parts, and loan them out for big events like the Olympics really adds to the cost.

snappy604

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now I want a bagel.

ethanz

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now I want a bagel.

That is one expensive bagel toaster. The 'toaster' better apply cream cheese and extra crispy bacon on top too!

How much of a cut would you get if someone bought that lens via your link, Craig?

Amazing lenses. They should publish a cutaway image to show the inside of the lens like they do here: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/497/32054284161_9ba2d2d332.jpg
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mikekx102

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Why is it so important for the lens to be optically perfect for 4K recording? Wouldn't a 30-50MPx image require higher lens standards than an 8MPx video?

hne

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Why is it so important for the lens to be optically perfect for 4K recording? Wouldn't a 30-50MPx image require higher lens standards than an 8MPx video?

Well, it's not the resolution but more the zoom that raises the price. An equivalent lens for a DSLR would be an EF 35-3000mm  f/6.3-16L USM Extender 2x. That would definitely be priced even higher, while keeping the same FOV, DoF and number of photons per sensor area. I bet they can't cram that into something as featherweight as 15 kg! Lucky thing broadcast cameras have tiny sensors.
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Sharlin

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Why is it so important for the lens to be optically perfect for 4K recording? Wouldn't a 30-50MPx image require higher lens standards than an 8MPx video?

Pixel pitch (density) is important, not the number of pixels per se. These are 2/3"-type sensors, with a 4x crop factor compared to a 35mm sensor. So a 4K broadcast sensor has pixels the size of a hypothetical 16000x8600=137 megapixel full-frame sensor!

AlanF

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According to the article in Popular Science: "Fluorine is a naturally-occurring element but grows in tiny crystals, so Canon produces its own fluorine in large quantities".

Fluorine (sic) can't be a simple typo for fluorite as fluorite is not an element. Fluorine does freeze at -219.67 oC to give crystals, but that is even colder than the Canadian winter.
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hendrik-sg

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The superzoom compacts (with comparable zoom range) have a crop factor around 6.5 if i remember correctly.

But they have slower aperture and even slower aequivalent aperture far beyond the diffraction limit. At a effective aperture of 16 (32 with extender) the broadcast lenses are at (obove) the diffraction limit even for 8MP. They give the absolute maximum (with oversampling) that is possible with this size of entrance diameter.

So, in my opinion the costs are driven by the large aperture which is needed to achive the 4k Resolution and the huge zuum range which makes them so complicated.

Sharlin

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According to the article in Popular Science: "Fluorine is a naturally-occurring element but grows in tiny crystals, so Canon produces its own fluorine in large quantities".

Fluorine (sic) can't be a simple typo for fluorite as fluorite is not an element. Fluorine does freeze at -219.67 oC to give crystals, but that is even colder than the Canadian winter.

Well, it's PopSci  ::) To be fair, it's a bit confusing because both fluorine and fluorite are used in high-end lenses; the former in anti-smudge coatings and the latter to create extremely-low-dispersion lens elements.

Azathoth

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Looks good for shooting videos of my cat and post on youtube in 4K! Finally i have what i needed!

Aaron D

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OK I saw 59 lbs. but did the article ever say HOW big these are?

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ethanz

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OK I saw 59 lbs. but did the article ever say HOW big these are?

"It weighs 59.5 pounds, and is 10 inches wide and tall and 24 inches long."
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Sharlin

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OK I saw 59 lbs. but did the article ever say HOW big these are?

"It weighs 59.5 pounds, and is 10 inches wide and tall and 24 inches long."

At 800mm and f/4, the front element needs to be at least 20cm in diameter, put that into a box and you get that 10" figure.

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