Tiffen Rear Mount Magnetic Filters for the ARRI Signature Primes & Zooms


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Aug 12, 2023

Tiffen Rear Mount Magnetic Filters for the ARRI Signature Primes & Zooms

At Cinegear 2023, Tiffen was showing off its new Rear Mount Magnetic Filters for

At Cinegear 2023, Tiffen was showing off its new Rear Mount Magnetic Filters for the ARRI Signature Primes and Zooms. This is the first time to our knowledge that a third-party company has made rear filters for ARRI's flagship lenses.

The filters will be available in a wide array of styles and strengths. It is good to see more options becoming available for these lenses.

The detachable ARRI Magnetic Rear Filter Holder for Signature lenses opens up all kinds of customized looks, without having to disassemble the lens. No other manufacturer offers this degree of creative customization across a range of matched primes and zooms.

The filter holder accommodates a wide variety of materials, allowing filmmakers to experiment as much as they want. Glass elements can be used to simulate vintage lenses, or anything from fishing line to stockings and vintage fabrics can be tried—each of them affecting bokeh, flaring, and diffusion in different ways.

ARRI also recently announced a new series of Impression V Filters for its Signature zooms and primes. These filters were designed to slightly detune Signature Prime and Zoom lenses and give them a slightly vintage look and feel.

The whole concept behind the Impression V Filters was to offer Signature Prime and Zoom users a way of altering the look of their 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.

Having rear filters that do this in a lot of ways makes more sense than completely detuning a lens by removing coatings, etc.

The filters are easy to use as they attach via the rear magnetic filter holder and essentially they alter the appearance of out-of-focus image elements. The bokeh is affected by the Impression V Filters, and it is especially 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 Impression V Filters provide a cost-effective way to deconstruct the digital image and achieve multiple creative looks with just one set of Signatures. They should probably be called Optical Elements rather than filters because they are additional optical elements that detune the lenses in a controllable way. 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 customized internal lens tuning can now offer detuned looks, knowing that they can return the Signature lenses to their original state in minutes.

The four positive Impression V Filters don't have catchy names. Instead, they feature the typical ARRI naming conventions. The positive 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. The higher the number, the stronger the diopter effect.

The 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 Impression V Filters work with 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.

They are 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 filter, 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.

Matthew Allard is a multi-award-winning, ACS accredited freelance Director of Photography with over 30 years' of experience working in more than 50 countries around the world.He is the Editor of Newsshooter.com and has been writing on the site since 2010.Matthew has won 48 ACS Awards, including five prestigious Golden Tripods. In 2016 he won the Award for Best Cinematography at the 21st Asian Television Awards.Matthew is available to hire as a DP in Japan or for work anywhere else in the world.