Munich-based camera and accessory manufacturer ARRI has just announced a new line of full-spectrum ND front filters. These are of the same renowned quality as the internal ND filters on the ALEXA Mini and the Amira cameras.
Quality is a necessity when it comes to the use of front filters. All your shiny equipment is worthless if the first thing the light hits is a crappy filter that causes poor contrast or color shifts. Even focus problems can occur when using a telephoto lens. These new high-end ARRI ND front filters promise to solve all these problems. If you work with a matte box on a regular basis, these ND filters might be for you!
ARRI Full Spectrum ND Front Filters
ND (neutral density) filters are a must when it comes to controlling the incoming light of your lens and camera sensor. If you want to shoot wide open on a sunny day and achieve a shallow depth of field, you will need some kind of ND filtration. A lot of cinema cameras have built-in ND filters for convenience, but some higher-end cameras – such as the ARRI ALEXA or RED – lack these.
If you think all ND front filters are the same, think again! There are lots of mistakes to be made, but ARRI wouldn’t be ARRI if they had developed just another set of cheap filters. No, these ND front filters are neither cheap nor poor in quality. They are top-notch optical tools with a lot of attention to details such as:
- Perfect parallel surfaces on both sides, which eliminates focus shifts when using very long lenses wide open.
- Fully rounded edges which are painted black. This reduces light leakages from the edges.
- Multiple coatings of full-spectrum ND, plus anti-reflective coating for contrast and HDR deliverables.
- Layers of hydrophobic and oleophobic coating plus a final hard coating for easy cleaning and prolonged filter life.
- Engraved, unique barcode for fast inventory tracking and proof of ownership. No stickers needed.
These full-spectrum front ND filters are made of Schott B270i glass, which is a very high-quality optical glass. These filters are available in two standard sizes: 6.6”x 6.6” (16,8 x 16,8 cm) and 4”x 5.65” (10,2 x14,4 cm). They come in various strengths, from ND 0.3 (1 stop of light reduction) all the way up to ND 2.4 (8 stops of light reduction). Refer to the chart below for full specifications:
These front ND filters come with a dedicated Cordura pouch lined with an anti-static cleaning cloth.
Pricing and availability
The ARRI full spectrum ND filters are available and can be ordered via ARRI.com. There’s no info on pricing yet, but don’t expect these to be cheap. The engraved unique barcode for fast inventory tracking implies that these filters might be aimed at rental houses in the first place.
Do you use a matte box when shooting? Might this new line of filters be on your wish list? Let us know what you think in the comments below!