ARRI Launches Impression V Filters

ARRI Impression V filter on lens
(Image credit: ARRI)

MUNICH—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.

The Impression V Filters are first in a new line of ARRI Impression Filters. Providing a cost-effective way to achieve multiple looks with a single lens set, they are designed to be a new creative option to selectively detune Signature Prime and Signature Zoom lenses. They are easy to exchange using the rear magnetic filter holder, with lens scales maintaining accuracy, the company said. 

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, the company explained. 

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 company reported. 

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, the company explained. 

ARRI reported 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 labeling filtered lenses on set, all packaged in a specially designed aluminum 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.

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.

For more information, including educational videos, about the ARRI Impression V Filters, which are available to order now, visit here (opens in new tab).  

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.