What lenses fit ARRI’s next S35 4K camera?

Will standard 35mm lenses (before Open Gate era) cover ARRI’s next, new Super35 camera? ARRI Camera Systems Product Manager Marc Shipman-Mueller was kind enough to explain.

Jon Fauer: FDT: There has been a lot of speculation about the actual size of the sensor in your announced new camera. Can you please give us some more details?

Marc Shipman-Mueller: Yes, the sensor has almost the same dimensions as the ALEXA Mini Sensor.

FDT: And will it provide recording formats for all Super35 lenses that fulfill the 4K mandate?

MSM: Yes, I think that is an important feature of this camera. We want to make sure that our customers’ extensive investment in Super35 glass is protected. Without giving away too much, we have a 4K (4096) 16:9 recording mode for spherical lenses that has a diagonal of 28.55 mm and a 6:5 recording mode for 2x anamorphic lenses that has a diagonal of 27.39 mm. Both fulfill the 4K mandate. Almost all existing spherical S35 lenses will cover the 4K 16:9 format and almost all existing anamorphic S35 lenses will cover the 6:5 recording format. Of course, many cinematographers have fallen in love with the look of the Signature Primes and Signature Zooms, and for those I would recommend going Open Gate on the new camera, with its Open Gate diagonal of 33.96 mm. [Jon’s Note: Angenieux calls this “Ultra 35” size.] In addition, there are a lot more recording formats in the camera that allow productions to maximize data rate, resolution, lens compatibility or maximum fps as needed.

FDT: Does this mean the camera will ship with an LPL mount?

MSM: Indeed, the camera will ship with an LPL lens mount and the same LPL-to-PL adapter that has been successfully used with the ALEXA Mini LF for years now. But there will also be dedicated Super35 PL lens mounts available. I personally think the LPL mount with LPL -to-PL adapter combo provides the greatest flexibility. That way the customer can use Large Format lenses and Super35 lenses and quickly switch between the two, even on set, without having to remove the lens mount.


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4 Responses:

  1. Michiel Ruijtenbeek says:

    Hey Jon, Just a back of a napkin calculation for fun: If 28.55mm is 4096 pixels, that would make 33.96mm approx. 4872 pixels and if ARRI would remain the same Open Gate aspect ratio as before (again: this is guessing nothing serious) that would mean that the height would be 3136 pixels what would make a total of approx. 15.27MP. That would make the total megapixel count a bit higher then the LF Open Gate which is 13.77MP. So that would suggest that the new sensor would have more pixels at what Angenieux calls “Ultra 35” Open Gate then the LF sensor at Open Gate. I will say this one more time just to be clear: this is just a back of a napkin calculation for fun. I have no knowledge other then the article above and what ARRI have done with sensor design in the past.

    • Jon Fauer says:

      Hi Michiel, Please save your napkin for the day we learn all the specifications :) By the way, do you like the term “Ultra 35” and should FDTimes embrace it as the next size up from S35?

  2. @Jon Fauer A standardised naming convention for various sensor formats would be nice. Open Gate Super35 = Ultra35. Open Gate Full Frame/Large Format = Ultra VV. Whatever. Just something standardises it all.

  3. Jay Mohan says:

    Hey Jon, Were you able to get any sort of update from them regarding a tentative release date for the new camera? The first note in 2019 was late 2020 and then pushed to early 2021. However, it doesn’t appear it is going to happen anytime in 2021 especially with the semiconductor shortage.

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