B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

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Linden deCarmo

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B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Mar 09, 2018 12:41 pm

Our church plans on upgrading our cameras in 2018 and we've strongly considering the URSA Broadcast (we currently record our services in 720p but plan to record in 1080p within the next year or so). I have a couple of questions about B4 lenses:

  • What are the advantages of B4 over EF especially as it relates to the URSA Broadcast? Are there any significant differences if you're not doing 4k and probably won't do 4k for years?
  • We probably can afford lenses in the $3-6K range and we'd like auto & manual controls for the lens. Would be very grateful for suggestions for B4 lenses in this price range (new and not used)

Thanks.
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Denny Smith

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Mar 09, 2018 6:42 pm

The differences between EF still camera lenses and B4 lenses is night and day. Still camera zooms do not hold their focus when changing (zooming) focal lengths, so need to be refocused after each zoom change.
B4 Broadcast Zoom lenses are parfocal, and hold the focus when zoomed, so you can zoom in get a good focus and when you pull back, the image is still in focus.

Still camera zoom ranges are very limited, are slow f/stop wise and are not designed for video work. The new Canon Servo Video Zooms are parfocal, but have a limited zoom res ge and cost $6-12K.
A B4 Zoom is 10 to 12x Zoom range, has a nice reach on the long end, and is designed for live event videography, zooms are Servo controlled (only found on $10k plus cine zoom lenses), and used HD B4 zooms can be had for $3-6K. Once you use a B4 camera with a good Servo Zoom lens for live events, you will not want to use anything else.

The HD B4 zooms and the Ursa Broadcast camera will give excellent results in HD/1080p and can be used later for 4K streaming /recording, especially if you get the better Fujinon B4 HD zooms, XA/HA types.
The bottom line, is B4 lenses are the right tool for when you need long reach camera coverage, and are changing from wide to closeup shots quickly.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Xtreemtec

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSat Mar 10, 2018 2:40 pm

Also you will get a very nice clean picture with the Better SD lenses.
I have tested the Ursa broadcast last week with a Canon lens yj12x6.5 krs. Which i think comes from the SD era.. But looks very good in 4K.

Parafocal, no light loss when zooming in, propper hand controllers for zoom / focus is what you want from a propper lens..

And these higher end SD B4 lenses can be picked up in reasonable state on Ebay for $250 :)
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Knut Bussian

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 10:26 am

The only problems with SD lenses are:

1. you don‘t know if it is supported (lens control) by the URSA
2. chromatc abberation can occur if it is not one of the „higher-end“ lenses.

So be sure to try before you buy.

Btw: is there a list of supported lenses somewhere and why is it so difficult to make them work? I always thought, that it simply depends on the Voltage for iris control? Shouldn‘t that be the same for all lenses? My old FujiA22x8.5BERM lenses unfortunately did not work with the Mini Ursa Pro. Neither did a Canon J17x.
Next week I will get an URSA Broadcast and check if they will work there.

Knut
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Wilson Luniz

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 11:15 am

Xtreemtec wrote:Also you will get a very nice clean picture with the Better SD lenses.
I have tested the Ursa broadcast last week with a Canon lens yj12x6.5 krs. Which i think comes from the SD era.. But looks very good in 4K.

Parafocal, no light loss when zooming in, propper hand controllers for zoom / focus is what you want from a propper lens..

And these higher end SD B4 lenses can be picked up in reasonable state on Ebay for $250 :)

Anymore similar lens suggestion please? ;)
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Xtreemtec

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 2:19 pm

Knut Bussian wrote:1. you don‘t know if it is supported (lens control) by the URSA

Analog controlled lenses (like all SD lenses are supported these days by the ursa.. They added analog voltage control for iris a long time ago in the firmware of the ursa.. ;)

Knut Bussian wrote:2. chromatc abberation can occur if it is not one of the „higher-end“ lenses.
True.. Not all lenses are that good.. But again most lenses beat photolenses due too parafocal and faster lenses.. Almost all B4 broadcast lenses are F1.8 or better.. While getting a F1.8 photolens is considered expesnive.. While a lot of them start at F4 F5.6 etc etc.. ;)

Knut Bussian wrote:So be sure to try before you buy.
Always!! Lenses can get stuck also.. Bit harder to do when you buy off ebay.. But i do hope that we can build a community list with lenses people have worked with on the Ursa Broadcast..
Daniel Wittenaar .:: Xtreemtec Media Productions ::. -= www.xtreemtec.nl =-
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Wilson Luniz

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 2:35 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:But i do hope that we can build a community list with lenses people have worked with on the Ursa Broadcast..

Me tooooooooo!!
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Denny Smith

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 6:56 pm

Grand idea!
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Xtreemtec

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 7:47 pm

Ideal we could do it in this topic. :) And update the list.. I can and will put the list in the FAQ or at least link to this topic for that.. I think this topic title is perfect for this.

Canon
  • YJ12x6.5 krs -

Fujinon

Not entirely sure what to put in there as extra data. But this will comes as we go along i guess.. (Did so with that USB3 for laptop topic also..)
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Linden deCarmo

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 9:59 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:Ideal we could do it in this topic. :) And update the list..


I would be happy to update the first post with the list of known working lenses. Definitely appreciate this info.
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Linden deCarmo

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 10:11 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:Not entirely sure what to put in there as extra data.


Things I'd find useful for comparison purposes:

  • SD or HD
  • f/stop
  • Zoom range
  • Retail Cost (new)
  • Cost (used)
  • Manual focus option
  • Servo zoom option
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Linden deCarmo

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 10:14 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:Also you will get a very nice clean picture with the Better SD lenses.
I have tested the Ursa broadcast last week with a Canon lens yj12x6.5 krs. Which i think comes from the SD era.. But looks very good in 4K.

And these higher end SD B4 lenses can be picked up in reasonable state on Ebay for $250 :)


We have multiple cameras to configure and we need to ensure that all have identical lenses for training and familiarity purposes. I've been burned badly by used/eBay so would prefer to go the new lens route. Is this lens still for sale in the retail market? Can't find it on Adorama, BH Photo etc.
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Wilson Luniz

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 11:10 pm

I found these two seems quite well:
Canon J11ax4.5b4 wrsd sx12
Fujinon AH66 x 9.5
Ref:

I don’t see any major issue(sharpness, contrast, dispersion). Since some says 3 colours of flange distance(between lens to sensors) in 3-Chip system may have different configuration in HD or SD(no sure if UHD do so), chromatic dispersion become a very important point that we need to worry about.
I own a second hand Canon J15ax8b4 IRS and a Fujinon a15x8BEVM. But I don’t currently own any b4 adapter with chromatic dispersion correction. However I will get a URSA Broadcast hands on in the following week. So I will do some test and update all you guys.

p.s. I bought the Canon j15 because of this video:

It’s sharp in the video. But I can’t find information of it’s adapter. So I can’t consider it as a good reference.
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Wilson Luniz

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 11:17 pm

Linden deCarmo wrote:
Xtreemtec wrote:Also you will get a very nice clean picture with the Better SD lenses.
I have tested the Ursa broadcast last week with a Canon lens yj12x6.5 krs. Which i think comes from the SD era.. But looks very good in 4K.

And these higher end SD B4 lenses can be picked up in reasonable state on Ebay for $250 :)


We have multiple cameras to configure and we need to ensure that all have identical lenses for training and familiarity purposes. I've been burned badly by used/eBay so would prefer to go the new lens route. Is this lens still for sale in the retail market? Can't find it on Adorama, BH Photo etc.

Broadcast market is not consume market. Vendor always rely on sales department. So they don’t use to release product information publicly(but now seems changing). That’s why it’s hard to find information of those kind of stuffs. And also that’s why we need community.

Actually I really have no idea about box lens’ control handle. Is it same as (swap-able) ENG lens?(for Canon and Fujinon)
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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 11:18 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:Ideal we could do it in this topic. :) And update the list.. I can and will put the list in the FAQ or at least link to this topic for that.. I think this topic title is perfect for this.

Canon
  • YJ12x6.5 krs -

Fujinon

Not entirely sure what to put in there as extra data. But this will comes as we go along i guess.. (Did so with that USB3 for laptop topic also..)

Maybe some video/still for reference (with different f-stop, if possible) would be much better.
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Wilson Luniz

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Mar 11, 2018 11:40 pm

Oh yeah! Just found one more reference:

Canon J17ex7.7 WRSE SX12
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Linden deCarmo

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 12:07 am

Wilson Luniz wrote:That’s why it’s hard to find information of those kind of stuffs. And also that’s why we need community.


Thanks for the insight on the broadcast camera market. BlackMagic just dropped the URSA Broadcast on us and assumed that we all knew what B4 lenses we either should use or purchase. That might be sufficient for professionals in this market, but the URSA Broadcast is going to attract people to this feature set with little to no background on B4 lenses (like us) so this thread is a life saver.
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Wilson Luniz

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 1:08 am

Linden deCarmo wrote:
Wilson Luniz wrote:That’s why it’s hard to find information of those kind of stuffs. And also that’s why we need community.


Thanks for the insight on the broadcast camera market. BlackMagic just dropped the URSA Broadcast on us and assumed that we all knew what B4 lenses we either should use or purchase. That might be sufficient for professionals in this market, but the URSA Broadcast is going to attract people to this feature set with little to no background on B4 lenses (like us) so this thread is a life saver.

You need to clarify the character and position of BM. BM wont do that, at least wont do that under the sun. They can't officially hit lenses vendors' vested interest.(They still need to cooperate with them to make the camera perfect) But they might help(if you ask for, then they have to at least provide you some info, but individually). Again, thats why we need a community.
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Denny Smith

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 3:00 am

Not all B4 lenses are going to work, especially the B4 ENG zooms, which came tailored made for specific cameras. Many were made, as well as, for general applications and should work fine. The BM Broadcast and Ursa Mini, need Zooms with the external cable connection, not B4 hot shoe contacts. Also, B4 lenses were made for 1/2-inch ENG cameras as well as 2/3rds. So you need to look up the lens to be sure it is a 2/3rds, has the Sony cable to connect to the UM, anto d Broadcast Camera.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Linden deCarmo

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 3:12 am

Looking through eBay listings, one seller said they tested the Fuji XA16X8A-XB8 on the URSA Broadcast and this was their comment

Also tested on a newest Blackmagic URSA Broadcast camera. It works well and even without back focus ring it keeps focus very well.


Any idea what tested without the back focus ring means? Anyone have any experience with this lens? Does it mean its not necessary or non-functional?

Edit: seller indicates lens has no back focus ring.
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Denny Smith

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 5:08 am

I also saw this ad, It means, the lens does not have a back focus ring, which is a common feature on ENG zooms to set the focusmto get a parfocal Zoom. This Zoom was made for a specific brand of camera, so the back focus ring was not required. B4 ENG zooms that are designed to work on several models of cameras, have the back focus ring to correct the lens the lens FFD on the different cameras.
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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 9:25 pm

Well since today i own 4 different B4 lenses And a Fujinon Box lens i have laying around for a year now..
My UB is coming in next week. :D A friend of mine is bring his AX66 lens.

Wilson Luniz wrote:Fujinon AH66 x 9.5
Ref:


I saw this video also yesterday. Good quility in my eyes.. Had to pause for quite some shots to really look and see.. But Youtube encoding is trowing image quility down.. So bit hard to judge the real image plane.. Anyway the video looked good.. Only they mention a different lens in the Subtitle then the box lens displayed on the picture at the beginning of the video.. So not really sure if it was a SD or HD lens..
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Denny Smith

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostMon Mar 12, 2018 10:29 pm

Interesting footage, reminds me of a Philippine TV Station for their version of American Bandstand, Disco style, the set in the late 60’s, that was painted all mid to light grey, and they used lights to add the color, same flashing lights etc effect.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kevin Norris

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostTue Mar 13, 2018 5:18 am

Hey guys I havent put my lens on the URSA broadcast body yet but have used it several times on my UMP 4.6k in 1080p. Looks great except when in extender. Extender wide is fine but when you get to the end of the lens the ramp off factor is extreme and chromatic aberration shines through.

My b4 Lens Fujinon HA18X7.6BERM
Broadcast Engineering
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rogersuski

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostTue Mar 13, 2018 3:41 pm

This is interesting on the green dancing video....fairly decent results with both HD and SD glass - however the telephoto shot *was* a box lens, so I would expect there would be less CA and better light performance from this one. The SD ENG lens was jib operated and always wide, looked pretty OK.

The B4 lens on the DSLR - yeah, the CA was pretty pronounced on that. Recognized it immediately.

The good bit in all of this is that there are options at many levels to get pretty OK results. Only us picky people in the biz would be able to tell.
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Linden deCarmo

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Mar 23, 2018 11:19 pm

Xtreemtec wrote:My UB is coming in next week. :D A friend of mine is bring his AX66 lens.


Did it arrive? If so, could you give us a review?

Thanks.
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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSat Mar 24, 2018 8:46 am

If you didn't read that already, we did a quite extensive review of the Ursa Broadcast here:

https://mindandvision.tv/experten-blog- ... atest.html

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Xtreemtec

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSat Mar 24, 2018 10:33 am

It did arive.. But tied up into work and deadlines.. ( some development that goes to NAB ) So i'm a bit on the clock and had no time to really play with it yet.. Also dont have the recording cards ordered yet.. As i'm mainly am a multicam company doing ISO recordings.. But my workflow is not yet ready for 12G iso's.. But i could stick a Atomos to it for some 12g recording.. But that isn't raw ;)
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Denny Smith

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSat Mar 24, 2018 5:42 pm

While it can record Raw, I do not see that as being its main use. I Would be interested in how the Extended Video records to the Atomos recorder Daniel, nice idea.
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Knut Bussian

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostTue Jun 12, 2018 7:02 am

Any news on working B4 lenses?

I'll add two more (working):

Fujinon

A22x7.8 BERM-M48B
A22x7.8 BERM-M28

The one which still doesn't work (but is very well controlable by a Sony PXW-X320):

Fujinon
HA22x7.8BERM-M48

(Iris f-stop is shown correctly in the viewfinder when turning iris ring by hand, but when trying to set the iris via Atem software, nothing happens. Yes, I turned on "auto" mode on the lense).

Knut
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Tim Schumann

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostWed Jun 13, 2018 4:55 am

First take the ATEM out of the equation and see if the slider works when it is in 'A' on the lens handgrip?

If not then check your iris gain settings and dip switch settings in the front of the handgrip and try again.
That lens should work okay on URSA Broadcast and other URSA Mini's.

Once you can control it from the camera, then plug into the ATEM and try controlling it from there.
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Knut Bussian

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Jun 15, 2018 8:03 am

Hm, did everything you said. No change: still no iris control.

Weird: iris f-stop value is only shown when powered from the Camera Fiber Converter. When powered by the Ursa power supply no iris value shows up (and can't be controlled neither).

But as I said: the exact same lense can be controlled by Sony cameras - no matter what settings I change in the handgrip (except for the dip switch "auto - manual change" setting of course).
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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Jun 15, 2018 4:51 pm

Like I previously said, looks like you have a kens that was specifically made for Sony ENG camera, Canin and Fuji made several, yiu can check the manufacturer’s code to see what the specific camera application was. I had a B4 lens that would work on Sony ENG camera, but not on a similar Panasonic ENG camera.

ENG zoom/focus Remote controllers fell into two categories also, those for Sony Camera protocols and a different one for Panasonic cameras, and the two were not interchangeable.
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Knut Bussian

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Jun 15, 2018 5:16 pm

Denny,

What „manufacturer‘s code“ are you referring to?

I have never heard of anything like that. This would mean, that there are different protocols for changing the iris? Why should a manufacturer do this? Are Lenses with an original price tag of $20k+ being sold that often that it would make sense to build different versions without noting on the outside or even in the product catalogue?
Sure, with the cheaper kit lenses I wouldn‘t count on it either. But besides the mount size, there is no hint on Fujinons homepage, that would justify your assumption.

I don‘t say, that it‘s not possible, but I highly doubt that there are different protocols. Besides: why does the camea fiber converter recohnize the iris value, whilst the Ursa itself does not? If the iris value can be read it should be possible to set the value?

I think there must be some other explanation.
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Denny Smith

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Jun 15, 2018 7:17 pm

OK, I stand partially corrected, the camera code in Fujinon lens follows the zoom range and WA focal length “10x7.5”, which sets the camera the lens was built so normally work with, but it is more of a FFD code (some B4 lenses do not have a back focus adjustment). Iris control is indicated at the end part of the code, some zooms have full iris Servo, some partial, some none. So compatibility is going to be based on which Servo system is being used. Canon, Panasonic and Sony all use different remote protocol codes to control iris and zoom functions on their cameras.

Some B4 lenses have a hot shoe contact and well as the cable connection. Look to see if the mount has any contacts on it, if yes, that the lens is getting its Iris control on the Sony camera via these contacts and not the power/remote zoom cable. Not every ENG B4 Zoom is going to fit every B4 Mount Camera. This is why BM has a list of B4 lenses it knows will work. Just because the mount is correct, does not mean it will work correctly, FFD could be off, electronic control may not work, etc.
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Knut Bussian

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Jun 15, 2018 9:07 pm

Denny,

I own hot shoe lenses, which are built for 1/2“ sensor cameras (like Sony PMW320 or PXW-X320 which I own as well). I have never heard of B4 mount lenses with a hot shoe?

I am also aware of the code in the lense name. http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?282982-B4-ENG-Lens-model-decoder-charts!-(Canon-Fujinon)

But this only defines whether the lense has a built in servo motor for zoom and / or focus.

I don‘t understand what you‘re driving at since all of this has nothing to do with my problem? Or am I completely missing the point?
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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostFri Jun 15, 2018 10:52 pm

Knut, I was just looking at the various possible explosion or issue, since the lens works with a Sony camera, it is working correctly. The only remaning issue is either the camera or the camera compatibility with that lens. Yes, hot shoe was more of a 1/2-inch camera feature, was not sue if Sony ever used this on the larger cameras. I do know that not all B4 lenses will work on the Ursa Mini/Broadcast cameras. Have you tried a different B4 lens to see if that works, to eliminate a camera issue?
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Andy Coulthurst

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSat Jun 16, 2018 6:27 am

Linden deCarmo wrote:Looking through eBay listings, one seller said they tested the Fuji XA16X8A-XB8 on the URSA Broadcast and this was their comment

Also tested on a newest Blackmagic URSA Broadcast camera. It works well and even without back focus ring it keeps focus very well.


Any idea what tested without the back focus ring means? Anyone have any experience with this lens? Does it mean its not necessary or non-functional?

Edit: seller indicates lens has no back focus ring.


This lens has backfocus adjust - but it is electronic , so if you are unlucky and get a lens which has it set incorrectly - then you will have problems. It would be great ( but unlikely ) if BM could support electronic control of backfocus.
I have several of these lens which are thankfully correctly set - but I also have a B4 to M43 adapter which has adjustable FFD so I can use the lens on BMMCC.

I also have tested this lens on UMP with the BM B4 adapter - although I don’t see enough of an improvement in quality to make me use the BM adapter rather than a simple EF to B4 adapter.
Also the lens elements in this lens are electronically adjusted during use - so this lens CANNOT be used without power supplied as the parfocal function needs power.
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twitchproductions

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSat Jun 16, 2018 12:38 pm

I have the broadcast and have SD fujinon 15x8 lenses. They work flawlessly with the ursa.
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Chris Murch

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSat Jun 16, 2018 7:44 pm

Adding 2 more lenses to the list.

I have tested these via an UMP 4.6k.

Fujinon ZA17x7.6BERM-M58H
Iris Control, Zoom Control, No focus control - Lens didn't have the zoom motor so I can't confirm if they work.

Fujinon XA16x8A-XB8
Iris Control, Zoom Control, Focus Control all working. I use this lens with my UMP on a jib and it works flawlessly.
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Denny Smith

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSat Jun 16, 2018 9:48 pm

Yes, all BERM lenses are going to be manual focus only, as they do dot have a Focus Servo. The M in the code indicates Manual Focus.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Chris Murch

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Re: B4 Lenses and the URSA Broadcast Camera

PostSun Jun 17, 2018 6:55 pm

Thank you for the info!

Only new to the b4 series of lenses :)

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