ARRI Rental has launched two new large-format lens series—ALFA anamorphic lenses and Moviecam spherical lenses.

Both series were conceived and constructed by ARRI Rental’s global lens development team.

The original idea behind ALFA lenses emerged from ARRI Rental’s relationship with cinematographer Greig Fraser, who was also a key collaborator on the previous DNA lens program. In response to Fraser’s request for fresh large-format anamorphic options, ARRI Rental and ARRI worked together to modify sets of Master Anamorphic lenses. As well as adapting them to cover the larger format, ARRI Rental technicians customised the lenses internally in pursuit of specifically requested image attributes.

Greig Fraser ACS, ASC comments, “The modifications we built into the ALFAs brought out an entirely new dimension in the Master Anamorphics, with a nice vignette of softness around the edges but a super-sharp center that we could degrade if required. What was nice about working with ARRI Rental was the focus and attention they gave us to achieve our goals. These lenses are incredibly different from, for example, the DNAs we worked on for ‘Mary Magdalene.’ ARRI Rental has been able to pivot and alternate their focus in the same way that I alternate my focus when I’m doing different projects.”

Further prototyping of the ALFA lenses took place with the input of German cinematographer Nikolaus Summerer.

The ARRI Rental Moviecam lenses combine vintage glass with modern, high-performance lens housings. They come in 11 focal lengths from 16 mm to 135 mm and boast a T2 stop across most of that range.

Moviecam lenses were first produced in the 1980s, using high-quality donor glass dating from the 1970s. In the 1990s, ARRI acquired the Moviecam company and incorporated some of its camera technologies into the ARRICAM ST and LT.

ARRI says the Moviecams are characterised by their combination of a “vintage look with highly practical ease of use.” Aside from the 100 mm and 135 mm at T2.8, all of the lenses are T2, though the 60 mm goes a stop further to T1.5, offering an additional option for low-light situations and bokeh-enriched portraits.

German cinematographer Christian Rein has used prototype Moviecam lenses on a series for Netflix and an upcoming movie, commenting: “I like the quality of the vintage Moviecam glass, which looks very organic and soft, but without losing detail or drawing attention to itself. The Moviecams are very forgiving on the skin. The roundness of the lenses is outstanding, the bokeh looks very naturalistic, and if they flare, it doesn’t look as technical as with other lenses.”

Both the ALFA and Moviecam series are LPL-mounted and incorporate LDA chips for efficient lens data workflows. The lens housings are manufactured in-house at ARRI Rental.

ALFA and Moviecam lenses are available exclusively through ARRI Rental facilities worldwide.


Jon Creamer

Share this story

Share Televisual stories within your social media posts.
Be inclusive: is open access without the need to register.
Anyone and everyone can access this post with minimum fuss.