DZOFilm’s Affordable New ‘Arles’ Cine Primes Promise Extreme Performance

A set of five black camera lenses with different focal lengths (3.5 mm, 5.0 mm, 7.5 mm, 10.0 mm, and 25 mm) are arranged on a black surface. Each lens has white and yellow text inscribed on the body, indicating their specifications and focal lengths.

DZOFilm has announced Arles, a brand-new line of fast, high-quality cinema prime lenses for full-frame cameras.

The five Arles lenses have focal lengths of 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm. They all offer a bright T1.4 maximum aperture. Each has 16-bladed irises, promising smooth bokeh.

Like many sets of cinema lenses, each of the new Arles lenses offers consistent iris and focus gear positions, ensuring that videographers can easily swap lenses without needing to tweak their setup and rig. All lenses have 270 degrees of focus throw.

DZOFilm named its new lens series after Arles, a picturesque town in southern France that frequently inspired the famed artist Vincent van Gogh. Interestingly, while van Gogh is best known for his paintings that veer far from photorealism, DZOFilm’s Arles primes promise extreme fidelity and accurate visual representation.

As CineD describes, the Arles line “opts for a clinical look, emphasizing the highest technical qualities.” This contrasts some cinema lenses that trade a bit of sharpness for a more distinct, “cinematic” look.

An illustration comparing different camera sensor sizes. Concentric circles denote various formats: Arri 65 (50mm actual image circle), Vista Vision (46.5mm), and Full Frame (43.5mm). Rectangles inside represent Alexa 65 and 44x35 mm sensor sizes, all on a dark background.

“The internal lens structure utilizes sandblasting and anodizing techniques to create a micro-level anti-reflective coating with ultra-low reflectivity, reducing diffuse reflections. Even when shooting directly against the light, the lenses deliver clean and sharp images,” promises DZOFilm, adding that each lens promises consistent color rendering.

By prioritizing image quality, DZOFilm’s engineers have had to put a lot of large glass inside the new prime lenses, which increases their size and weight. The 25mm and 35mm primes have 14 elements in 12 groups, while the 50mm and 75mm have 13 elements in nine groups. Rounding out the set, the 100mm prime has 13 elements in nine groups.

Although precise weight varies by focal length, the series ranges from 1.4 to 1.9 kilograms (3.1 to 4.2 pounds). Each lens has a 95mm front diameter and accepts 86mm screw-on filters.

A close-up photograph of a camera lens displaying both imperial and metric focusing scales. The scales are marked in yellow text against the black and clear lens surface. The imperial scale is on the left, and the metric scale is on the right.

The DZOFilm Arles lenses don’t come cheaply, but their prices are very competitive. Each lens is available in PL or EF mount for $2,149, although the Arles set can also be bought in a complete bundle for $9,699. The mount can be changed, by the way. Precise, technical cinema lenses are expensive, but DZOFilm seems keen to corner the “affordable full-frame cine prime” market with its new Arles lenses.

Close-up of a camera lens with the words "Aries Prime" and "Vista Vision" written on it. The outer ring of the lens appears black, and there are reflections of faint blue and red light on the lens surface against a dark background.

Compared to something like the Zeiss Nano Prime series, which offers very similar focal length and aperture combos, albeit with a sixth 18mm T1.5 lens, DZOFilm’s Arles series is a relative bargain. The Nano Primes are $25,950 for the set, or nearly $5,000 individually.

Of course, in terms of new full-frame cinema lenses that offer the most affordability, DZOFilm can’t quite match NiSi’s Athena series of lenses, which were announced in April and cost just under $5,800, albeit with a slower T1.9 maximum aperture.

Image credits: DZOFilm