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ARRI’s Ultra Wide Zoom Lens Goes Into the Field

The ARRI Ultra Wide Zoom (UWZ) is of really stunning quality, with none of the distortion you would expect from such wide focal lengths. The image stays rock solid. I immediately realized that this lens would be great for shooting architecture or any other situation where you need to maintain straight lines in the frame.

I noticed very quickly that this was a different sort of lens. Although you normally have a brighter, hot spot in the middle of a lens and towards the edges it becomes darker, you don’t see that in the UWZ. We did a few shots with a car, and I can imagine that on a car commercial it would be great to have this lens on a Russian arm. You could capture driving shots with extreme wide angles, using the zoom to adjust the composition when you need to, and getting images that are distortion-free and of consistent quality, corner-to-corner.

To test the degree to which the lens “breathes” with focus pulls, I shot through a broken window, with the shards of glass creating a frame within my viewfinder. I focused on the broken glass and then pulled focus to infinity through the hole in the window. You would expect to see the shards of glass moving within the composition when you pull focus like that, but there was almost nothing. It was fantastic.

Cinematographer Tom Faehrmann has shot numerous commercials and features including Death of a Superhero, Pope Joan and Die Frau, die sich traut.