Let’s look at the best cine prime lenses for the Arri Alexa Mini LF and LF cameras.
First, here are some criteria for the lenses to qualify:
- True cine lenses, not rehoused still lenses.
- LPL and PL mounts.
- Must at the very least cover an image circle of 44.71mm.
We won’t be looking at specialty lenses or anamorphic lenses. We’ll cover those in a separate article.
Here’s a list of the best cine prime kits available for the Arri Alexa Mini LF and Alexa LF:
|Feature||ZEISS Supreme||Angenieux Optimo||Cooke S7/i||ARRI Signature||Panavision Primo 70|
|Front Diameter (mm)||95/114||95||110||114||114|
|Blades in Iris||16||9||9||11||N/A|
|Image Circle (mm)||46.3||46.3||46.31||44.7||Covers Alexa 65|
|Close Focus (mm)^||460||407||500||450||407|
|Focal Lengths in KIt||15-200mm||18-200mm||16-135mm||12-280mm||14-250mm|
|Largest Consistent Aperture**||T1.5||T1.8||T2||T1.8||T2.0|
|Focus Rotation (degrees)||300||300||270||300||N/A|
|Price for 50mm (B&H, USD)^||$20,625||Not Released ($23,000)||$23,400||$24,920||Rental Only|
*For about four lenses in the kit, typically 24 to 85mm.
**If three of the lenses (among the middle five) are T1.5 but the other two are T2.1, then the largest consistent aperture is T2.1.
^For the 50mm lens in the lineup. For the Arri Signature Primes, it’s a 47mm.
I’ve only shot with a few of these, but for what it’s worth, my two favorites are:
These are probably the best lenses as far as this comparison is concerned. Note the following:
- 12mm T1.8!! (Coming soon)
- 11-blade iris, which is probably enough (Master Primes have only 9)
- Goes all the way to 280mm, so Arri is fully committed to this line.
I had a chance to test them at Broadcast India (just the 40mm), and I’ve seen sample videos and to be honest the look is incredible:
- Smooth bokeh and great skin tone
- Warm organic look – matches Optimo zooms
- Angenieux are experimenting with removable aperture blades and an internal lens element!