ARRI is launching its new line of Impression Filters with eight Impression V Filters that give a vintage feel to Signature Prime and Zoom lenses. The four negative and four positive diopter filters incrementally shift the focus characteristics of the image, allowing a range of detuned looks to be created for Super 35 or large format with one set of Signature lenses.
Diopters are traditionally positioned in front of a lens to reduce its close focus distance, but ARRI’s new Impression V Filters are completely different. Attaching to the back of Signature lenses via the built-in rear magnetic filter adapter, they alter the appearance of out-of-focus image elements. Known as bokeh, these elements play a significant role in the emotional impact of images. All bokeh is affected by the Impression V Filters, but it is particularly noticeable in background highlights, which get more of a ‘donut’ effect (bright around the edges) with negative filters, and more of a ‘bauble’ effect (brighter in the middle) with positive filters. In general, the positive filters have a nostalgic, glamorous feel, with swirly bokeh, glowing skin tones, and softer backgrounds; while negative filters have a grittier look, with inward-pulling bokeh and intense, vibrant backgrounds.
The four positive Impression V Filters are named IV 070P, IV 140P, IV 230P, and IV 330P, while the four negative filters are IV 050N, IV 100N, IV 200N, and IV 290N. In both cases, the increasing numbers signify a stronger diopter effect. Impression V Filters are designed to be used at T1.8, where the effect is strongest and lens scales remain accurate. Positive filters attach directly to the rear of each Signature lens, whereas the negative filters require a shim to be added to the back of the lens first. There is a 2 mm shim for shooting at T1.8, and a 1.85 mm shim to act as a base for the additional shimming required to shoot with Signature Zooms, or at higher stops with Signature Primes.
ARRI states that Impression V Filters work with its latest cameras: the ALEXA 35, ALEXA Mini LF, ALEXA LF, and ALEXA 65. The filters are sold in a kit that contains all eight positive and negative diopters, as well as a shim set, an adjustable torque screwdriver for adding shims, and inscribable Velcro tabs for labelling filtered lenses on set, all packaged in a specially designed aluminium flight case. For customers who don’t need a full kit, or perhaps are replenishing one, each of the eight filter types can be purchased in a separate three-filter set that includes foam inlays, Velcro tabs and – in the case of the negative filters – a shim set. Velcro sets and shim sets can also be purchased separately.
Impression V Filters provide a cost-effective way to deconstruct the digital image and achieve multiple creative looks with just one set of Signatures. In this sense they are much more than filters – they are additional optical elements that detune the lenses in a controllable way, whether the goal is to make skin tones even more gentle and forgiving, or to create a particular mood with unusual focus characteristics. For a fraction of the price of even a single lens, they make an entire lens set more versatile and creatively expressive. Productions can craft a detuned look without needing extensive prep time, or they can add a secondary look without hiring a second set of lenses. And rental houses that are not set up for customised internal lens tuning can now offer detuned looks, knowing that they can return the Signature lenses to their original state in minutes.
While the Impression V Filters and shims can be mounted to lenses without requiring a qualified lens technician, ARRI recommends that decisions about which type of filter to use should be made prior to shooting whenever possible. At a stop of T1.8, productions that like the positive look can interchange all four positive filters quickly and easily, and productions that choose the negative look can attach shims in advance and swap between the four negative filters on set. It may also be possible to add or remove shims on set, depending on the crew, the location, and the specific conditions.
As with all ARRI products, Impression V Filters and shims are made to exacting tolerances and the highest standards of precision and quality. Once installed, the lenses will perform as reliably as if they had been built that way in the factory.
ARRI Impression V Filters are available to order now.