Waterproofed Lens Adapter helps BBC Record Wildlife

Case Study 5

Resolve Optics Ltd. reports that it has supplied a number of its Model 287 wide angle lens adapters to enable high quality, external broadcasts by the BBC Springwatch group based in Bristol, UK.

Springwatch and Autumnwatch are paired annual BBC television series which chart the fortunes of British wildlife during the changing of the seasons in the United Kingdom. The programmes are broadcast live from locations around the country in a primetime evening slot on BBC Two and BBC HD. They require a crew of 100 and over 50 cameras, making them the BBC’s largest British outside broadcast events. Many of the cameras are hidden and operated remotely to record natural behaviour, for example, of birds in their nests and badgers outside their set.

Mark Pontin, Managing Director of Resolve Optics said “Traditionally lens adapters for zoom lens cameras have offered a compromise between field of view, image distortion and achievable resolution. Our Model 287 wide angle lens adapter is unique in that it is able to provide a true 0.5x field of view (FOV) whilst maintaining minimal distortion and high resolution throughout the zoom range of your camera”.

He added “The BBC Springwatch team required that the Model 287 lens be capable of being used outdoors for often days on end without any deterioration in image quality. To stop the incursion of condensation into the Model 287 we mounted all lens elements under dry nitrogen and introduced a new lens bonding technique into the production method. To prove that the lens would withstand the rigours of extended length outdoors broadcasts we immersed the lens in water for several days, dried the lens and still got perfect high-resolution images”.

The compromise-free performance of the Model 287 is achieved by designing the adapter to work with the moving pupils of zoom lenses. Its unique design combined with the use of special high index glasses carefully balances the provision of a low distortion wide angle view with the higher level of correction needed at the narrow angles of view. The result is a high-quality lens that has an unprecedented full ‘zoom through’ capability resulting in high contrast images regardless of zoom position whilst still maintaining both resolution and focus to the very edges of the image.