ARRI introduces four new Signature Zooms lenses

Responding to market requests for high-quality zoom lenses to match and accompany the Signature Primes, ARRI has announced four new Signature Zooms designed for universal usage with any large-format or Super 35 camera.

They offer a fast stop of T2.8 across all four lenses, what’s billed as unrivaled focal length range, absolute image consistency, HDR compatibility, and 8K resolving power.

The four Signature Zooms, with an extender for the longest of them, cover a focal length range of 16 mm to 510 mm, which is the largest in the industry. Features include a fast stop of T2.8 shared by all four lenses, as well as stable exposure and quality through all focal lengths and iris settings. 

The Signature Zooms carefully balance the requirements of a very high optical performance, pleasing look, and lightweight mechanical design. Like the Signature Primes, they render a beautifully warm image, with smooth, flattering skin tones, natural colors, and elegant out-of-focus highlights. The Signature look is unique because it is characterful, and yet is not based on visible aberrations or imperfections.

Audiences are enveloped in the images and connected to the storytelling without interference.

There will always be instances where prime lenses are the first choice on set, but as a logical extension of the Signature family, the Signature Zooms increase the number of situations where the timesaving and practical benefits of zooms can be taken advantage of without appreciable compromises. They also share the detachable magnetic rear filter holder of the Signature Primes, allowing filmmakers to change and personalize the look of the entire Signature lens system.

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In addition to the inherently faster on-set workflows that zoom lenses bring, specific features of the Signature Zooms speed things up still further. Flares are shaped and honed through the best available lens coatings, reducing delays; setups are made easier and quicker by the lightweight magnesium design; and the in-built ARRI LDS-2 Lens Data System simplifies complex tasks on set and in post.

Truly exceptional close-focus distances increase creative flexibility, but also save time by reducing lens changes and save money by allowing crews to carry fewer lenses.

Fundamental to the design of the Signature Zooms is their suitability for shooting not just in large format (also known as full frame or VistaVision), but also in Super 35. While the high image quality and beautiful background separation enhance the almost three-dimensional feel of large-format cinematography, the 8K resolving power and stunning bokeh also ensure pristine, immersive images in the smaller Super 35 format.

Equipped with an LPL lens mount, which is an open, universal standard for cross-format shooting, the Signature Zooms can be used with any large-format or Super 35 camera, from any manufacturer.

Recognizing that high-end zoom lenses are a significant investment, ARRI has drawn on all of its experience and expertise to future-proof the Signature Zooms. Aside from the fact that they can be used for all formats up to full frame, other attributes safeguard them for a future in which a lot of current zooms won’t make the grade.

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The fact that the look is not based on aberrations of any sort means easier HDR and UHD workflows, which tend to exaggerate the aberrations of other lenses and create problems in post. The 8K resolution and deep shadow detail also lend themselves to future display requirements, while ARRI’s build quality and support structure assure a long product life.

ARRI Signature Zooms will be especially useful to productions that want a high-end look but rely on the versatility and time-efficiency of zooms, such as TV series, commercials, music videos, and remote applications.

Feature films now also have a high-quality zoom series to accompany and complement the Signature Primes, and productions that carry both will find that they are covered for every possible shooting situation.

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The 45-135 mm T2.8 and 65-300 mm T2.8 Signature Zooms will be released during Q1 2021, along with a dedicated 1.7x extender for the 65-300 mm that makes it a 110-510 mm T4.9. The 16-32 mm T2.8 and 24-75 mm T2.8 will be released later in the same year.