Lenses are an artist’s paint brushes which means every rental house needs a unique set of brushes to offer their artist clients. ARRI Rental has taken a page out of Panavision’s book by offering something you can’t get elsewhere. They’ve announced two different lines of lenses; the ALFA Anamorphic Primes and a revived set of vintage Moviecam Primes. Let’s take a look at the two new sets and see what ARRI Rental has to offer.
First, I want to take a moment to acknowledge and applaud how honest ARRI Rental is being with the Moviecam Primes as well as the ALFA Primes. They could easily have tried to take the route we see so often today and claim that they created something new. Instead, they’re sharing details behind the inspiration, the research, and the heritage of these new offerings. ARRI Rental is setting the example that other companies should be following instead of trying to hide a rehoused lens with some flashy modifications. Bravo ARRI Rental!
Let’s start with the ALFA Anamorphic Primes. The most important feature of them is their coverage. They will accommodate a 35mm Full Frame sensor including Alexa LF Open Gate and RED Monstro. They offered in ARRI LPL Mount with a 2x squeeze and have a maximum aperture of T2.5, except for the 190mm which is a T3. This brings me to the focal lengths. The ALFA Primes will be available in 40mm, 47mm, 60mm, 72mm, 90mm, 108mm, 145mm, and 190mm.
ARRI Rental briefly mentions that these are based on the stunningly engineered Master Anamorphic Primes but with a modified image circle and some clever detuning. ARRI Rental does also mention that while the ALFA lenses do still retain some of the original Master Anamorphic glass, they also incorporated unique glass of their own. For those of you that recall the Zeiss Master Anamorphics, you may also remember how sharp and accurate they were. With a bit of detuning, I think ARRI Rental may be on to something here. Check out the showreel that ARRI Rental produced below.
I’m pretty excited to see what kind of content ARRI Rental’s customers can achieve with this fresh spin on large format anamorphic content. If you’re interested in trying these out, you’ll definitely want to get in touch with ARRI Rental.
Next up, let’s take a look at the new(ish) Moviecam Primes from ARRI Rental. ARRI acquired Moviecam back in the mid 90’s giving them access to the work that Moviecam had done with their own lens rehousing project. The original Moviecam Primes themselves weren’t original. They were still photo lenses rehoused with cinema bodies. ARRI Rental has gone a step further and repurposed those optics once again in an even better housing with all the features a modern production would want.
For the Movicam Primes, we’re looking at a 16mm, 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 135mm. The whole set will cover 35mm Full Frame (Alexa Open Gate). The housings are all-new and should make production life easy with common sized and placed gears and fronts. The lenses will also feature LDS-2 for lens data.
Moviecam lenses were first produced in the 1980s, using donor glass dating from the 1970s. ARRI Rental saw the demand for legitimate vintage glass and put their expertise to good use. Check out the show reel for the Moviecam Primes below. Pay close attention to the reduced contrast and unique flares as well as the close focus ability made possible with the new mechanical housing.
Both of these new offerings will be available exclusively from ARRI Rental at their locations around the world.