ARRI has announced its rumored Signature Zooms and they look awesome.
It didn't take long to put two and two together when ARRI rolled out its Signature Prime lenses that zoom options would soon follow. Today, ARRI has announced 4 new Signature Zoom lenses alongside a 1.7x extender. Tasty. As one might imagine, the Signature Zooms have been designed to match the image characteristics and quality of the Signature Primes. Let's focus on what these lenses offer.
- 16-32mm T2.8
- 24-75mm T2.8
- 45-135mm T2.8
- 65-300mm T2.8
- 1.7x extender
The ARRI Signature Zoom lenses have a 46mm image circle just like their prime counterparts and are capable of covering the ARRI LF sensor, RED VistaVision, Sony VENICE, or any Super 35 camera. What's nice is the fast T2.8 aperture is consistent across each zoom and they've been designed to reconcile 8K resolution and HDR workflows.
ARRI says the image consistency is "unsurpassed" ensuring a "stable exposure and quality" through each focal length and iris setting. Shooters will recognize the same warm image and natural colors found on the Signature Primes as well as similar out-of-focus highlights. ARRI also mentions flares have been shaped through different lens coatings and each lens comes equipped with LDS-2 Lens Data, which is ARRI's version of Cooke's i/Technology.
A little bit more on the subject. LDS-2 followed LDS-1 and is much faster than the first generation as it eliminates the need to initially calibrate through encoders when changing lenses. The system also has an improved interface that enables more data to be sent through the camera. Typical data, like focus distance, iris, focal length, camera tilt, ND filters, and much more is all sent through the metadata.
Each lens is equipped with an LPL mount, but if you need to adapt it to PL, ARRI makes a PL-to-LPL adapter. Wooden Camera also offers LPL mount adapters for RED DSMC2, Sony Venice, Sony Alpha, and Canon R as well as Fujifilm G-mount for its GFX series.
With ARRI, being invested in the Super 35 format (new camera coming out next year), the company designed the Signature Zooms so they can be used with any large format sensor or Super 35 camera with a consistent look. This will not only help in the grade but when switching from Signature Primes to the new zooms, the image will have uniformity.
There are plenty of prime lenses for large format photography, but not many zoom options with an image circle of at least 46mm. Off the top of our head, Leitz has their 25-75mm T2.8 and 55-125mm T2.8 lenses, Fujinon has the Premista series with focal lengths of 19-45mm T2.9, 28-100 T2.9, and 80-250mm T2.9, and Sigma has its FF Zoom lenses with a 43.3mm image circle. So ARRI's Signature Zoom lenses are a welcomed edition.
The weights of the Signature Zooms are comparable to others on the market ranging from 8.4 lbs to 19.9 lbs for the 65-300mm T2.8. ARRI also matched the 114mm front diameter of the Signature Primes on the 24-75mm and 45-135mm, so changing out the lenses should be effortless when it comes to accessories. However, the 16-32mm and 65-300mm T2.8 do jump to 156mm, so you'll need a different setup for those two lenses only. Another nice feature ARRI added was the top handle for the 65-300mm T2.8. There's nothing more awkward than trying to mount a long, heavy lens without the correct number of hands. The handle should help alleviate some of the hassle.
The 1.7x extender currently only works with two lenses: the 65-300mm T2.8 and the Signature Prime 280mm T2.8. It turns the 65-300mm T2.8 into a 110-510mm T4.9 and the 280mm T2.8 into a 480mm T4.9. While you're losing about 2 stops, ARRI says it will have minimal effect on the image. Having a 510mm T4.9 available is quite astonishing.
With the Signature Primes and Signature Zooms, ARRI now has 20 different lenses to consider for large format photography. As with the Signature Primes, the Signature Zooms do come with a cost and may be a renal item for most. The 45-135mm, 65-300mm, and 1.7x extender will be released early in 2021. The 16-32mm T2.8 and 24-75mm T2.8 will be released later in the same year.
- 16-32mm T2.8: $69,965
- 24-75mm T2.8: $49,940
- 45-135mm T2.8: $49,940
- 65-300mm T2.8: $74,975
- 1.7x extender: $6,135
What do you think of ARRI's new glass? Let us know in the comments below.