Canon announced four new 4K broadcast lenses on the eve of NAB 2018, including one box lens and three new portable lenses.

CJ24ex7.5B lens product shot

Canon CJ24ex7.5B 4K UHD telephoto lens

The three portable 2/3-inch ENG lenses inaugurate a new line Canon is calling UHDgc, a tier below its existing UHDxs line with relaxed specifications and lower costs. The new UHGgc lenses include the CJ24ex7.5B (7.5 – 180mm), the CJ18ex7.6B (7.6 – 137 mm) and the CJ14ex4.3B (4.3 – 60 mm); the three lenses have minimum object distances of 0.8m, 0.6m, and 0.3m respectively.

At a press briefing introducing the new lenses, Larry Thorpe, Canon U.S.A. senior fellow, imaging technologies & communications group, professional engineering & solutions division, acknowledged that Canon has “scrambled” to respond to the quickly expanding availability of 2/3-inch camcorders recording 4K images, in the face of misgivings from the broadcast community over any 4K transition. The new, less-expensive UHDgc line is meant to take some of the sting out of UHD investments.

“We’re very cautious about 4K,” said Thorpe. “Broadcasters, especially, are almost unanimous that they’re not ready to take the plunge yet. They think the investment is too great on infrastructure, and they are concerned about premium prices on cameras and lenses.”

The CJ24ex7.5B and CJ14ex4.3B are scheduled to ship this summer, with the CJ18ex7.6B following in the fall, Canon said.

Digisuper 66 product shot

Canon UHD-Digisuper 66 4K medium telephoto broadcast lens

For applications including college sports, houses of worship, home shopping and other field and studio productions, Canon introduced the UJ66x9B, aka the UHD-Digisuper 66, boasting a 66x zoom ratio for sports and live-event production. The focal length ranges from 9mm on the wide end to 600mm telephoto, with a built-in 2x extender.

Thorpe noted that the lens is similar to an existing 60x HD box lens, but is slightly longer and heavier and is specifically designed to resolve 4.K images on a 2/3-inch sensor. It maintains a wide-open speed of f1.7 from 9mm all the way out to 320mm, Thorpe said, then ramps down to f4 at the 60mm end.

Another difference from the HD lenses is that the UHD model has Canon’s Shift-IS optical shift image stabilization, which is not generally built in to Canon box lenses in this range. “We had heard that with 4K, image stabilization is important with a tiny image format like 2/3-inch,” explained Thorpe.

The UHD-Digisuper 66 is scheduled to ship this fall, Canon said.

All of the new lenses will make their public debut in Canon’s booth #C4325 at NAB 2018.

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