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Arri Goes Large Format 

Arri Large Format — The brand new Alexa LF camera system, Arri Signature Prime lenses and LPL lens mount

David Alexander Willis

Introducing the Alexa LF camera system, Arri Signature Prime lenses and LPL lens mount with PL-to-LPL adapter.

Announced at BSC Expo in London, Arri unveiled a new large-format camera system. With sensor slightly larger than full frame, capable of recording native 4K, the Alexa LF can capture in several formats, including ProRes and uncompressed ArriRaw at up to 150 fps.

“The larger Alexa LF sensor has the same optimal pixel size as other Alexas, resulting in a 4448 x 3096 image,” says Arri’s Marc Shipman-Mueller, Product Manager for Camera Systems, via the press release. “This doesn’t just add definition, it creates a whole new look — one that is truly immersive, with a three-dimensional feel.” 

Arri’s Alexa LF sensor system is based on the 3.4K Arri Alexa. The chip has been expanded to slightly bigger than 35mm full frame, however, to full 4K, which the company says has resulted in better overall imaging quality. Full resolution can be recorded using Arri’s LF Open Gate mode. Arri LF 16:9 and LF 2.39:1 aspects are also available. For those familiar with the Arri Alexa SXT W, the features and interface offers the same functionality, including integrated wireless video transmitter. 

With a PL-to-LPL adapter, the Arri Alexa LF is compatible with existing PL-mount lenses as well as Arri accessories and workflows. Arri also released an Alexa LF lens mount and a new line of glass to accommodate. An initial set of four Signature Prime lenses with matching T1.8 iris are slated for delivery in early June: 35mm, 47mm, 75mm and 125mm.

Arri says the Signature Primes were designed to be small and lightweight, thanks to the wider diameter and shorter flange depth of the Arri LPL lens mount over standard PL. The lenses also have magnesium barrels and are compatible with Arri’s LDS-2 Lens Data System. An Arri PL-to-LPL adapter for the Arri Alexa, Arri Amira and the Arri Alexa Mini offers toolless and backwards compatibility with PL mount lenses for Super 35 or for full frame. The LPL mount is planned for license to other manufacturers.

Ranging from 12mm to 280mm as a total set of 16 models, the rest of the Arri Signature Prime line has been promised for delivery by end of the remaining year. The first Arri Alexa LF cameras will ship near the end of March. 

Cinematographer Dan Laustsen ASC, DFF, was one of several DPs to test the camera:

"We were trying to tell a story about wideness and freedom; the Alexa LF worked really well. The depth of field is so small, creating its own world. It's fantastic,” Laustsen comments say on the Arri site, also noting of the new Signature Primes, “the lenses are lightweight and are not too sharp, but with a certain softness and very specific. With the 25mm lens, you feel like you are there in the scene with the actors.”

Founded in Munich, Germany, Arri celebrated the company’s 100th birthday this past year

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