Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Latest Hasselblad lenses set to star in future Hollywood blockbusters

Some of the world's leading cinematographers mingled with key Hollywood figures at a packed Los Angeles theatre venue last night (Dec 9) for the launch of latest cutting edge camera technology that will be used to make future big screen blockbusters.

Film-makers were invited to 'test drive' the new ARRI Rental ALEXA 65 camera system, which comes complete with specially adapted Hasselblad HC lenses.

ARRI says the new system (available from January) comprises camera, lenses and a complete image workflow, and has been developed to capture images of 'staggering intensity and definition'.

Said ARRI Managing Director Franz Kraus, "Our goal was simple - to meet and surpass the image quality of 65 mm film. Harking back to the golden age of 65 mm widescreen film-making, the ALEXA 65 camera is a scaled-up version of our ALEXA XT, equipped with a sensor slightly larger than a 5-perf 65 mm film frame that is able to capture an uncompressed and quite astonishing ARRIRAW 65 mm image.

We wanted to build a camera for the most demanding applications in film-making and envisioned a true 65 mm format camera, sharing as many of the technology and imaging attributes of ALEXA as possible. The dynamic range and colorimetry are retained, but to these is added a far greater capacity for capturing fine detail."

He added: "The depth of knowledge within our group, as well as close collaboration with our partners, has enabled us to develop new technologies that will help realize some very special future productions."

Ove Bengtson, Hasselblad Product Manager said: "The Linwood Dunn Theatre - the newest state of the art screening facility for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (founder of The Oscars Awards) was the obvious venue for the launch of this superb piece of cinematographic technology."

"Hasselblad is delighted to partner with ARRI Rental on the evolution of the ALEXA 65 - a pivotal industry product that showcases the outstanding engineering skills of both companies."

Neil Fanthom, ARRI Rental Global Technical Marketing Executive said: "The 50-110 mm Zoom 65 and the eight Prime 65 lenses, ranging from 24 to 300 mm, utilize high-performance optics from Hasselblad HC lenses, re-housed in robust, cine-performance lens barrels co-developed with IB/E Optics. Equipped with ARRI's Lens Data System (LDS), the lenses permit frame-accurate metadata about focus, iris and zoom settings to be recorded with the image stream, aiding both on-set shot-making and visual effects tasks in post. In addition, a Vintage 765 lens range - originally developed to partner the ARRIFLEX 765 65 mm film camera - has been adapted for use with the ALEXA 65."

"These lenses also utilize original Hasselblad lens elements and provide a classic filmic look with a gradual, soft roll-off across the frame. In the ALEXA 65 we have the best of Hasselblad optics, new and the old being utilised on what we hope will become recognised as the best large format digital cinema camera in the world."

Hasselblad Optical Design expert Per Nordlund said: "Our HC lens range - now adapted for ALEXA 65 as the Prime65 range - is designed for use on what we like to think of as the best digital still image cameras in the world. Cameras available with large format sensors up to 60 MP, and also available in special versions producing image files with up to 200 MP resolution. In the HC range we have been able to achieve a very high level of resolution, while keeping distortion and light fall-off under good control.

The opportunity to use the old lenses for ARRI 765 on the new ALEXA 65 adds another dimension to this camera. Now cinematographers can use those old lenses they know from the past side by side with a very modern and high-performing set of lenses. I think it very neatly ties together past and present."

Recent films serviced by the ARRI Group include: 'Noah', 'Gravity', '12 Years a Slave', 'The Monuments Men', and 'The Wolf of Wall Street'.

* Significant interest in the new camera had already been shown pre-official launch by cinematographers attached to high-profile feature films.

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