SigZilla to be Used at the World Series on a Specially Modified Phantom Camera

You know that beastly Sigma 200-500mm that we’ve featured twice in the past two days? Turns out it’s headed to the World Series to be used for some pretty ground-breaking imagery. A post today by Jakob Schiller over at Wired fills in some interesting details on what the lens will be used for.

Schiller writes that FOX Sports is partnering with a company called Inertia Unlimited to capture footage with specially modified high-speed cameras,

[FOX Sports VP Mike Davies] says the camera is a Vision Research v642, which shoots high-def video and is regularly used to cover baseball games. But last night’s was specially modified by a company called Inertia Unlimited to shoot at an extra high frame rate and customized to use a Canon 200mm 2.0 lens that allowed for an extra stop or two of light […]

But they’re not stopping there. Davies says FOX plans to use more than one of these modified cameras in the upcoming games — to get both sides of the plate — and they also plan to roll out another Vision Research camera for the World Series that shoots up to 20,000 frames per second with a 500 mm lens.

It turns out that the 500mm lens that Davies is referring to is the same Sigma 200-500mm “SigZilla” lens that we’ve been gawking at.

LensRentals rented out the $26,000 lens for this project and had it rush shipped to St. Louis for the baseball series between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The lens will be used to capture uber-slow-motion footage that makes the baseball bats look like they’re made of rubber:

If you’re planning to watch the rest of the baseball games in the NLCS and in the World Series, keep your eyes peeled for a cameo by the big green monster lens. You’ll be able to tell your friends that you saw it here first before it appeared on national TV!

Super-Slo-Mo Cam at Playoff Game Puts Fresh Spin on Watching Baseball [Wired]

Image credits: Photographs by FOX Sports, Vision Research, LensRentals, and FOX Sports, respectively.

  • Steven Alan

    Hmmm…. I may need to start watching baseball.

    Or can you guys just show all the slow motion clips once they are out there? Thanks.

  • Jeremy Madore

    I second that! Can’t stand the boredom of watching sports, so the slow motion clips would be appreciated!

  • inertiaunlimited

    I’ll post pics when we get it set up. Won’t use it for the next two
    games. We are using a Canon 200mm F2 lens now with a camera that only
    goes as high as 5280 fps. The camera which will be used for the World Series is a Vision Research V1610.

  • Mark

    GO TIGERS………..Send the Yankees home..

  • Mansgame

    Just curious, how big is the sensor on the video cameras compared to full frame? Is there a magnification?

  • inertiaunlimited

    For the v642 (top speed of approx 5280fps at this resolution) the amount
    of the sensor we use is 12.8mm x 7.2mm. Actual total sensor size is
    25.6mm x 16mm.

    For the v1610 (top speed of about 18,000fps at
    this resolution) the amount of the sensor we use is 35.8mm x 20.2mm.
    Actual total sensor size is 35.8mm x 22.4mm.

    So both the Canon and the Sigma cover the sensors with no magnification.

  • inertiaunlimited

    Pic from St Louis.