Shopping for lenses and more...


Andy Attwell TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

When it came to updating the studio at the University of Surrey, Andy Attwell was looking for manufacturers that would offer more than just a great product.

It sounds like a dream job. With the funding secured to update the studio in the Department of Music and Media at the University of Surrey, Guildford, it was time for Television Studio Manager, Andy Attwell to go shopping. “The Department’s new Film and Video Production Technology degree started in 2016 and as part of that we took the opportunity to give the studio a revamp, bringing it up to date in terms of technology,” he tells us. “It was an HD studio at the corporate video level, but one thing that the Department has always done, particularly in its Tonmeister sound recording programme, is ensure that students have access to professional quality equipment, so when they go out into the world to start their careers they’re familiar with pro level kit.”

To bring the facility up to scratch, Andy embarked on an 18-month process of engaging with different manufacturers and suppliers to find out what the options and costs were. He chose Panasonic UC3000 broadcast cameras, but then came the tricky decision of deciding which lenses to attach to them. “I knew we were going to need some lenses to match the cameras’ high quality output,” Andy explains. “Originally, I was looking at the entry level lenses from Fujinon, but I wasn’t sure whether they would be suitable, which is when the guys at ProAv suggested I got in touch with Chris Williams, Fujifilm’s Broadcast Accounts Manager.”

That proved to be very sound advice.

“Chris came in with a wide choice of lenses and spent a day in the studio with the camera and the guys from Panasonic. It was incredibly valuable; to have the ability to test lenses back to back was quite an eye opener,” Andy enthuses. “We were looking to see what the chromatic aberrations were like, any distortions - the hardest test was putting them on a black & white star chart and seeing what colours we were getting at the transitions from black into white. After the day of testing, we chose to invest in three ZA17x7.6BRD lenses.”

Naturally, the quality of the lenses impressed Andy, but just as important was being able to forge a relationship with a manufacturer. He wasn’t just buying boxes, he was looking for a complete service, which is where Fujifilm stood out against its key rival. “As a result of the service I have every intention to continue to work with Fujifilm in the years ahead,” says Andy. “I’m likely to invest in additional lenses. It was all about building a relationship that then continues.”

Often the hallmark of great service isn’t just about the pre-sale process, it’s equally important to make sure that post-sales support is up to scratch and Andy has nothing but praise for the Fujifilm team on that basis, with one particular example really standing out for him. “Supply chains being what they are there meant that I didn’t get all three lenses we ordered at once and I found myself with a university open day coming up and a camera without a lens,” Andy reveals. “I could have put an older lens on it, but that wasn’t really ideal as I wanted to give prospective students a taste of the kit that was on offer. But after a quick email to Chris he offered to lend me a lens. He sent it by courier and let me hang on to it until the last lens turned up!”

It’s a similar story if Andy ever has any issues or questions about the lenses he bought for the university; Chris Williams and the Fujifilm team have definitely got his back.

“Working on a consultative basis is how we differentiate ourselves from the opposition,” confirms Chris. “I like to find out exactly what the client wants and then get the right piece of kit for them. From the initial stages it’s about finding out the size of the studio, what the client wants to achieve and then giving them options. We don’t want to just sit there and take orders, we want to work with people.

“Going into the studio for a day is great for the client as they get to try the kit, but it’s also great for us as we get to know the customer,” Chris continues. “I take lenses from entry level all the way through to top end. We’d love the opportunity for other educational establishments to work with us in the same way as the University of Surrey.”

Naturally, with a host of new kit to play with there was a buzz around the students on the course when they got their hands on the Fujinon lenses. “They noticed the quality straight away and were full of enthusiasm to get hands on the servo controls. The fact that they can preset zoom positions and then hit a button to select them, made them like children with a new toy,” jokes Andy.

In this day and age where products from different manufacturers offer very similar levels of performance, brands need to find other ways to set themselves apart from competitors. By offering an unbeatable pre- and post-sales service in addition to a fantastic product, the Fujifilm team has introduced a key point of difference that’s sure to appeal to many in this growing and competitive sector of the market. “If I’ve ever had any questions, I was able to talk directly to the manufacturer,’ concludes Andy. “That is priceless.”


Tags: iss135 | fuji | lenses | university of surrey | ZA17x7.6BRD | Andy Attwell
Contributing Author Andy Attwell

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Fujinon 18-55 Lens at BVE 2017

    Fujinon 18-55 Lens at BVE 2017

  • Polecam Toshiba Minicams at BVE 2014

    Polecam Toshiba Minicams at BVE 2014

  • Stordis at IBC2011

    Stordis at IBC2011

  • New Filters from Schneider Optics at NAB 2018

    New Filters from Schneider Optics at NAB 2018

  • BeyondHD - Drones at BVE 2015

    BeyondHD - Drones at BVE 2015

  • Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

  • Cooke Optics talk anamorphic at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics talk anamorphic at IBC 2014

  • Canon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Canon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cooke Optics on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cooke Optics on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cooke Optics at BVE 2012

    Cooke Optics at BVE 2012

  • Cooke at IBC2011

    Cooke at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Bubble and Squeak: Live and Loud from Monday at IBC 2013

    Bubble and Squeak: Live and Loud from Monday at IBC 2013


Articles
Switching to Internet Based Distribution
Chris Clark

"An IP status check for the broadcast industry", "Resistance is futile", "IP points the way forward for the broadcast industry"...

Yes, we've read the headlines too. But rather than force you into submission, scare you, or leave you feeling like you have no other choice, we want to give you the information that helps you to make a sensible decision about Internet-based distribution.

So what’s stopping you from making the switch right now?

Tags: iss135 | ip | internet | distribution | cerberus | Chris Clark
Contributing Author Chris Clark Click to read or download PDF
Grading BBC Sounds
Simone Grattarola

The BBC has launched its new personalised music, radio and podcast app with a campaign that follows one listener’s journey from meeting Kylie Minogue in a lift to Idris Elba on a bus. 

BBC Sounds offers a single home for the BBC’s thousands of hours of audio content, including live and on-demand shows and special music mixes curated by artists.

BBC Creative, the broadcaster’s in-house creative division, took the brief to agency Riff Raff Films and Megaforce directing duo of Charles Brisgand and Raphaël Rodriguez who in turn brought on board regular collaborators Time Based Arts.

Tags: iss135 | bbc | grading | bbc sounds | davinici | resolve | blackmagic | editing | Simone Grattarola
Contributing Author Simone Grattarola Click to read or download PDF
Your two week editing future
Alex Macleod

So here we are - January again! Usually a good time to reflect on the year just gone by, and a good time to look forward to the coming months as the new year begins.

When I was reflecting on my 2018, and when thinking about what to write for my first article for Kit Plus - I kept coming back to one theme - organisation.

Tags: iss135 | editing | mediacity training | premiere pro | dit | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF
Future proofing post production storage
Josh Goldenhar Advancements in NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), the storage protocol designed for flash, are revolutionising data storage. According to G2M Research, the NVMe market will grow to $60 billion by 2021, with 70 percent of all-flash arrays being based on the protocol by 2020. NVMe, acting like steroids for flash-based storage infrastructures, dynamically and dramatically accelerates data delivery.
Tags: iss135 | nvme | sas | sata | it | storage | post production | Josh Goldenhar
Contributing Author Josh Goldenhar Click to read or download PDF
Test, Measurement and Standards
Alan Wheable The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), is a non-profit trade alliance that fosters the adoption of one set of common, ubiquitous, standards-based protocols for interoperability over IP in the media and entertainment, and professional audio/video industries.
Tags: iss135 | omnitek | aims | SNMP | hdr | ai | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF