How to Find the Right Lenses

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

What are the best vintage 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.
  • Must at the very least cover an image circle of 44.2 mm.
  • For a lens to be labelled vintage it must be designed to mimic older lenses (it can’t be accidental).
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Here’s a list of the best cine prime kits available for the Arri Alexa Mini LF and Alexa LF:

FeatureTokina Vista OneTribe7 Blackwing7Panavision Primo Artiste
Aperture Range^T1.5-T22T1.9-T22^^T1.8-T22
Front Diameter (mm)114114114
Blades in Iris914N/A
Image Circle (mm)46.748Covers Alexa 65
Close Focus (mm)^480407406
Weight (kg)^2.111.7N/A
Focal Lengths in KIt18-105mm27-137mm27-250mm
Consistent Length?*YesYesN/A
Largest Consistent Aperture**T1.5T1.9T1.8
Focus Rotation (degrees)300270N/A
Price for 50mm^N/A (Only as a set)$10,000-11,700^^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.

^^The Blackwing7 goes to T1.8, but with greater flare. They cost $12,700.

My favorite?

I’m not much of a vintage guy, though if I had to pick one to test I’m most interested in the Tokina Vista One vintage lenses.

Further reading: