MUNICH, GERMANY — At the BSC Expo in London, Arri (www.arri.com) unveiled a new large-format camera system. Based on a large-format 4K version of the Alexa sensor, the system comprises the Alexa LF camera, Arri Signature Prime lenses, LPL lens mount, and PL-to-LPL adapter. It is also compatible with existing lenses, accessories and workflows.
Featuring a sensor slightly bigger than full frame, Alexa LF records native 4K with Arri’s best overall image quality. Filmmakers can explore a large-format aesthetic while retaining the sensor’s natural colorimetry, pleasing skin tones and proven suitability for HDR and WCG workflows. Versatile recording formats, including efficient ProRes and uncompressed, unencrypted ArriRaw up to 150fps, provide total flexibility.
“The larger Alexa LF sensor has the same optimal pixel size as other Alexas, resulting in a 4,448 x 3,096 image,” says Marc Shipman-Mueller, Arri product manager for camera systems. “This doesn’t just add definition, it creates a whole new look — one that is truly immersive, with a three-dimensional feel. The various recording formats and sensor modes make this look available to all productions and satisfy any possible deliverable requirement.”
Accompanying the Alexa LF camera are 16 large-format Arri Signature Prime lenses, ranging from 12mm to 280mm and fitted with the Arri LPL mount. While the Signature Primes exemplify state-of-the-art optical precision, they render organic, emotionally engaging images, gently softening and texturizing the large format. A fast T-stop of T1.8 facilitates shallow depth of field and the smooth focus fall-off gives subjects heightened presence in the frame.
Optimized for large-format sensors, the new LPL lens mount has a wider diameter and shorter flange focal depth, allowing the Signature Primes and all future large-format lenses to be small and lightweight, with a fast T-stop and pleasing bokeh—a combination of features that would not be possible with the PL lens mount. The LPL mount will also be available for other cameras and is being licensed to third-party lens and camera manufacturers.
Although the camera, lens mount, and lenses are new, full compatibility with existing PL mount lenses and Alexa accessories is a cornerstone of the system's design. A PL-to-LPL adapter offers backwards compatibility with all PL mount lenses, whether Super 35 or full frame.
The first Alexa LF cameras will be shipped at the end of March 2018. The initial set of four Signature Prime lenses (35mm, 47mm, 75mm, and 125mm) will be shipped in early June 2018. The remaining lenses will be available over the course of the year.