How do NFL Films Get those incredible shots? It’s the Optex 33:1 lens

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NFL Films does an incredible job covering the game from the field. They used to shoot actual film, then switched to ARRI. But the camera tells only part of the story.

The Lens

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The Optex 33 to 1 is a Canon broadcast lens rehoused and engineered to work as a cinema lens. Only 15 of the original lenses were sold worldwide, and they own four. A 33:1 lens means it’s 33 times longer than the widest point of the lens.

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Steve Richer is the head camera tech for NFL Films, and it was his ingenious idea to use them. However, they had to be adapted for use as cinema lenses on ARRI cameras.

The Conversion

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At the time, the English company Optex was the only one that did this conversion, so they did the heavy lifting in converting and rehousing the Canon 33:1 Broadcast Lens for the ARRI camera.

That investment pays off as NFL Films gets amazing shots from the field, and the camera is usually a few inches from the ground. Incredible talent to follow the play, ball, and catch with a 33:1 zoom lens.

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