How to Find the Right Lenses

Best Cine Prime Lenses for the Arri Alexa Mini LF and Alexa LF

What are the best cine prime lenses for the Arri Alexa LF Mini and Alexa LF?

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.

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Here’s a list of the best cine prime kits available for the Arri Alexa Mini LF and Alexa LF:

FeatureZEISS Supreme Angenieux OptimoCooke S7/iARRI SignaturePanavision Primo 70
Aperture Range^T1.5-T22T1.8-T22T2.0-T22 T1.8-T22 T2.0-T22
Front Diameter (mm)95/11495110114114
Blades in Iris169911N/A
Image Circle (mm)46.346.346.3144.7Covers Alexa 65
Close Focus (mm)^460407500450407
Weight (kg)^
Focal Lengths in KIt15-200mm18-200mm16-135mm12-280mm14-250mm
Consistent Length?*NoYesYesYesNo
Largest Consistent Aperture**T1.5T1.8T2T1.8T2.0
Focus Rotation (degrees)300300270300N/A
Price for 50mm (B&H, USD)^$20,625Not Released ($23,000)$23,400$24,920Rental 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.

My favorites?

I’ve only shot with a few of these, but for what it’s worth, my two favorites are:

ARRI Signature Primes

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.

Angenieux Optimo Primes

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!

Further reading:

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