ARRI Rental is proud to present two new series of large format lenses: the ALFA anamorphic lenses and the Moviecam spherical lenses. Both series were conceived and built by ARRI Rental’s global lens development team, which was also responsible for the company’s highly successful DNA lenses for full-frame, 65mm cinematography.
The ARRI Rental ALFA lens set includes eight lenses with a focal length of 40 mm to 190 mm. Like DNA lenses, they evolved from artistic collaborations with filmmakers looking for new ways to tell stories and convey emotions. Available at ARRI rental facilities around the world, they are fast at T2.5 for most focal lengths, solid construction and offer a unique anamorphic look for large formats.
The original idea behind the ALFA lenses arose from ARRI Rental’s long relationship with the director of photography Greig Fraser ACS, ASC, who was also a key contributor to the DNA lens program. In response to Fraser’s request for large format anamorphic options, ARRI Rental and ARRI worked together to modify Master Anamorphic lens sets. In addition to adapting them to cover the larger format, ARRI Rental technicians customized the lenses internally in search of specifically requested image attributes.
“The modifications we incorporated into the ALPHAs resulted in a whole new dimension to the Master Anamorphics, with a nice smooth vignette around the edges, but with a super sharp center that we could degrade if necessary,” he says. Fraser. “What we enjoyed working with ARRI Rental was the focus and attention they gave us to achieve our goals. These lenses are incredibly different from, say, the DNA we worked on for “Mary Magdalene.” ARRI Rental has been able to pivot and alternate their approach in the same way that I alternate my approach when I’m doing different projects. ”
New prototypes of ALFA lenses were produced with the entry of the German filmmaker Nikolaus Summerer, another old friend of ARRI Rental. From these collaborations and extensive research and development at ARRI Rental, the specifications for a series of ALFA lenses were defined. The robust and specifically designed lens housings still contain Master Anamorphic glass, but accompanied by other bespoke optical elements and modifications that combine to create a completely new look.
ARRI Rental Moviecam lenses combine vintage glass and a film background with modern, high-performance housings. Impressively compact and lightweight given their full frame coverage, they feature 11 focal lengths from 16mm to 135mm and have a T2 stop in most of this range.
Moviecam lenses were first produced in the 1980s, with high-quality donor glass dating back to the 1970s. In the 1990s, ARRI acquired the company Moviecam and incorporated some of its camera technologies into ARRICAM ST and LT, which were – and still are – the most advanced 35mm film film cameras available. have never produced.
Although cameras were the focus of ARRI’s Moviecam takeover in the 1990s, during the 2020s ARRI Rental made a very different benefit: Moviecam lenses. Recognizing its growing appeal to digital filmmakers looking for a vintage look, ARRI Rental has created a large number of consistent Moviecam sets, which are offered in all of its global territories. Following the original design of Moviecam, ARRI Rental lens engineers have built the same 70s optics into new lens housings.
In general, Moviecams are characterized by the combination of a vintage look with a very practical ease of use. Aside from the 100mm and 135mm T2.8, all lenses are T2, although the 60mm makes a stop beyond T1.5, offering an additional option for low light situations and bokeh-enriched portraits. . Optical performance is constant across the range, making it a great choice for cinematographers who want a vintage aesthetic, but also have complete freedom to explore all focal lengths without creating work for themselves in the publication. .
German cinematographer Christian Rein has used prototypes of Moviecam lenses in a series for Netflix and in an upcoming film, commenting: “I like the quality of vintage Moviecam glass, which looks very organic and soft, but without losing detail or getting attention about himself. Moviecams are very forgiving on the skin. The roundness of the lenses is excellent, the bokeh has a very naturalistic look and, if they smell, it doesn’t look as technical as with other lenses. “
Both the ALFA series and the Moviecam are LPL-mounted and incorporate LDA chips for efficient lens data workflows, making them suitable even for heavy VFX productions. The lens housings are manufactured at ARRI Rental, incorporating all the experience of the lens development team by creating and customizing various optics for customers. Very uniform in lens ring size and placement, Moviecams and ALPHAs are as fast and easy to work with as any other series of modern film lenses.