Impression V Filter IV-230P with the Signature Prime 40mm. Positive Impression V Filters produce bokeh that are bright in the middle and blurry at the edges. Bokeh at the edges of the image becomes stretched and pointed.
The new line of ARRI Impression Filters is made up of 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 take a different approach. 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, usually called bokeh, and play a significant role in the emotional impact of images. Detuning means deliberately degrading the performance of a lens by adding optics or altering certain settings.
All bokeh is affected by the Impression V Filters, but it is particularly noticeable in background highlights, which display a ‘donut’ effect with negative filters that looks bright around the edges, and a ‘bauble’ effect with positive filters that appears brighter in the middle.
Positive and Negative Filters
In general, the positive filters produce a nostalgic, glamorous feel, with swirly bokeh, glowing skin tones and softer backgrounds. Meanwhile, negative filters create a grittier look with inward-pulling bokeh and intense, vibrant backgrounds. Instead of blending together, the highlights remain distinct and overlap one another, creating eye-catching patterns. Either way, the highlights can be combined with colour grades in post for unique results
The four positive Impression V Filters are named IV 070P, IV 140P, IV 230P and IV 330P. 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. A 2 mm shim is used to shoot at T1.8, and a 1.85 mm shim acts as a base for the additional shimming needed to shoot with Signature Zooms, or at higher stops with Signature Primes.
Cameras and Kits
Impression V Filters work with ARRI’s 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 Velcro tabs that users can mark up and use to label filtered lenses on set.
All items are packed in an aluminum flight case. Customers who don’t need a full kit can buy each filter type 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 captured with an ALEXA Mini LF and 47 mm Signature Prime at T1.8. In the background, the negative V Filter IV 290N creates 'donut' bokeh effects giving out-of-focus highlights a bright ring around the edges, and making them appear sharper.
The Signature Primes are costly, but Impression V Filters are an affordable way to deconstruct digital images and achieve multiple creative looks with just one set of Signatures. In this sense they are not only filters but are extra optical elements that detune the lenses in a controllable way, whether to make skin tones gentler, or to create a particular mood with unusual focus characteristics.
For much less than the price of a single lens, they make an entire lens set more versatile and expressive. Productions can design a detuned look without extensive prep time, or they can add a secondary look without hiring a second set of lenses. Furthermore, rental houses that are not equipped for customised internal lens tuning can now offer detuned looks, and later return the Signature lenses to their original state very quickly.
Although the Impression V Filters and shims can be mounted to lenses without a qualified lens technician, ARRI recommends users to decide which type of filter to use before shooting whenever possible. At a stop of T1.8, productions that like the positive look can interchange all four positive filters quickly, 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.
Like all ARRI products, Impression V Filters and shims are made to exacting tolerances and high standards of precision. Once correctly installed, the lenses will perform as if they had been built that way in the factory.
ARRI Impression V Filters are available to order now. www.arri.com