At the 2018 BSC Expo in London, ARRI has unveiled a complete large-format system that meets and exceeds modern production requirements, delivering unprecedented creative freedom while also being backwards compatible with existing lenses, accessories and workflows.
Featuring a sensor slightly larger than full frame, ALEXA LF records native 4.5K with ARRI’s best overall image quality. This allows filmmakers to explore an immersive large-format aesthetic while retaining the sensor’s natural colorimetry, pleasing skin tones and stunning capability for HDR and WCG workflows. Versatile recording formats, including efficient ProRes and uncompressed, unencrypted ARRIRAW up to 150 fps, encompass all on-set workflow requirements.
Three sensor modes for limitless applications
ALEXA LF has the largest sensor of any full-frame cinema camera on the market. Maintaining the ALEXA family’s optimal pixel size for best overall image quality results in a 4448 x 3096 picture, which can be recorded in full, up to 90 fps, using the LF Open Gate mode. An LF 16:9 mode maximizes lens options while meeting 4K deliverable standards, and an LF 2.39:1 mode combines a cinematic widescreen image with high frame rates up to 150 fps for sensuous slow motion. All sensor modes offer true 800 ASA sensitivity as well as reduced noise, providing the perfect canvas for modern, subtle lighting techniques.
A larger mount for a larger format
A crucial element of this new system is the LPL lens mount, optimized for large-format sensors. A wider diameter and shorter flange focal depth allows the ARRI Signature Prime lenses and all future large-format optics to be small and lightweight, with a fast T-stop and pleasing bokeh—a combination of features that would not be possible within the confines of the PL lens mount. The LPL mount will also be available for other ARRI cameras such as the ALEXA Mini, and is being licensed to third-party lens and camera manufacturers.
Organic images filled with life and emotion
Accompanying the ALEXA LF camera are 16 large-format ARRI Signature Prime lenses, ranging from 12 mm to 280 mm and fitted with the ARRI LPL mount. While the Signature Primes exemplify state-of-the-art optical precision, they have been designed to render organic, emotionally engaging images, gently softening and texturizing the large format with natural skin tones and creamy bokeh. 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.
Total lens and accessory compatibility
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, be they Super 35 or full frame. The adapter attaches securely to the LPL lens mount without tools, allowing crews to rapidly switch between PL and LPL lenses on set. Cinematographers are therefore offered an unlimited lens choice, with complete lens metadata accessible from LDS-2, LDS-1 or /i lenses.
For even further cross-system compatibility, an LPL lens mount can be fitted to existing ALEXA, ALEXA Mini and AMIRA cameras. ALEXA LF is based on the proven, robust ALEXA camera design, so all existing accessories will work right out of the box.