Launched in 2015 and based on the highly successful HJ14 lens, the Canon CJ12ex4.3B was the world’s first 2/3” 4K portable lens, combining outstanding optical performance with wide-angle capability. Capable of up to 12x zoom, the lens can support 4K imaging all the way from the centre of the screen to the edges. The unit has a focal length that extends from 4.3mm at the wide end – great for interior close-ups – to 52mm with full zoom applied (104mm using the built-in 2x extender). Its 4.3mm capability produces a 96-degree horizontal angle of view within the 16:9 aspect ratio.
Wide-angle shooting has added great creative options to many genres of programme production, including sports, documentaries and drama. The very nature of 4K imagery makes it perfect for wide-angle shots, by enabling panoramic vistas containing large amounts of image detail.
“The CJ12 was developed with high-index optical glass materials, helping to minimise chromatic aberrations and geometric distortion – especially at the very wide angle settings”, says Steve Snook, Gravity Media’s UK Engineering Manager. “Even when using the 2x extender, the lens achieves high 4K performance thanks to the attention Canon has paid to the unit’s optical design. It’s this consistency and uniformity of resolution that our clients find most impressive.”
The CJ12 is also renowned for its ease of use. Its zoom ratio, focal length, servo speed and stability meet the needs of a wide range of shooting conditions, and provide the applicability and ease of operation ideally suited to 4K shooting. Shoulder mount lens-camera operation is facilitated by the low 2.1kg weight of the lens, meaning the portable Canon CJ12 truly is portable. This form factor means it’s as compact (at just 248mm long) and lightweight as comparable HD lenses, making it highly effective for ENG and similar live-broadcast situations.
“In fact, in live situations, this lens really comes into its own”, continues Steve. “No waiting to initialise, because the 16-bit encoding means immediate support for shooting with aberration correction on start-up, and giving highly detailed positional information on zoom, focus and iris from the off. With this lens, you can match virtual images and actual images with precision and ease.”