Canon’s latest addition to its line of “affordable lens”—the KJ20x8.2B lens—provides budget conscious government agencies with a “low-cost” high-definition (HD) “work-horse” lens, says a company executive.
“Government budgets are always perilously fragile,” said Al Lewis, a marketing manager at Canon’s Broadcast & Communications Division, who added, Canon has “three platforms of lenses, high, medium and low cost.”
The KJ20x8.2B lens “is the first lens in the low cost category to have a built in, 2xs digital extender in addition to a 20x optical zoom, Lewis said. The 2xs digital extender provides the user with “the added flexibility of not only having a 20xs optical zoom, but if you need to go a little further, you have the 2xs digital extender.”
Canon introduced its “HDgc” series of HD portable lenses about five years ago to provide high optical performance at competitive prices for the then-emerging generation of lower-cost portable HD video cameras designed for ENG and other types of programming, the company says in a written statement. The HDgc product line has since grown into a broad range of portable HD lenses engineered to meet a wide range of production applications for lower-cost HD cameras and camcorders having a 2/3-inch, 1/2-inch, or 1/3-inch imager, the firm says.
The introduction of the KJ20x8.2B marks a price-performance breakthrough for the many production applications seeking cost-effective HD acquisition systems based upon a new generation of low-cost 2/3-inch camcorders, Canon says. In addition, the 8.2mm angle of view is also the widest angle in its class and provides the performance of the 8.2 wide angle, and of the 20xs zoom, which offers “fantastic performance” at a price of $7,900 list, the company says.
The KJ20x8.2B lens also has minimized axial and lateral chromatic aberrations, coma aberrations, and geometric distortion, Canon says. The new optical materials and multilayer optical coatings used for the KJ20x8.2B effectively attenuate optical artifacts such as ghosting, flare, and veiling glare that might be stimulated by strong light sources (sun as sun during the day and car headlights at night).
In addition, the KJ20x8.2B exhibits a high “modulation transfer function” (MTF) at picture center that is also well controlled out to picture extremities, Canon says. That high MTF is well sustained even with operational adjustments of focal length and object distance, the company says. The KJ20x8.2B’s optical performance is also “well-balanced for both near and distant subjects, and its rendering of distant subjects at wide angles—frequently required for landscape and cityscape shots—surpasses previously available lenses in this price range,” the company says.
The new lens features an enhanced macro function that effectively reduces the minimum object distance (from the front of the lens) to only 10mm. In addition to its optical sophistication, the new KJ20x8.2B portable HD zoom lens also features Canon’s latest improvements in “Advanced Drive Unit” technology. That technology is famous for the convenience and control it affords to camera operators using Canon portable HD lenses. On the new KJ20x8.2B, Advanced Drive Unit technology includes “Shuttle Shot,” a Canon-exclusive technology that enhances production capabilities.