ARRI announces Software Update Package 2.0 for cforce mini and cforce plus lens motors


  • Latest SUP doubles the responsiveness of cforce motors
  • New Encoder Mode for cforce mini allows electronically logged manual adjustments without removing lens motors
  • Works with ARRI Hi‑5, ZMU‑4, SXU-1, and WCU‑4 hand units
  • Free software update downloadable from the ARRI website

August 3, 2023; Munich – ARRI’s most recent SUP 2.0 dramatically improves the time it takes for cforce motors to respond to user inputs, making the lens motors twice as responsive. All cforce mini and cforce plus lens motors in the market are able to benefit from this free software update and the performance increase is not affected by the choice of hand unit. Any ARRI ECS configuration using the Hi‑5, ZMU‑4, SXU-1, or the legacy WCU‑4 can take advantage from the motor’s halved latency and a pronounced enhancement of the 1st AC’s direct connection to the lens axis. Market feedback has already been positive: “Wow, that’s snappy! This feels like a completely new motor,” comments Jim McLean, 1st AC­ out of the United Kingdom.

The small and lightweight cforce mini motor, first introduced in 2014, has been considered the default motor for most productions, except for when exceptional torque or speed is required. Now, a cforce mini motor invigorated by the new SUP 2.0 firmware is able to cover even more use cases with ease. When working with a low-friction lens, the new motor firmware delivers a particularly improved performance when coupled with the larger 50t CLM-4 gear (K2.72108.0). This combination offers speeds 25% faster than with the default 40t gear but with a slight reduction in maximum torque.

The cforce plus motor, the lens motor of choice for high-torque applications, is now the fastest-accelerating motor in ARRI’s product lineup. In focus pulling situations where reaction time is critical, the cforce plus will help ensure marks are hit consistently.

The Software Update Package 2.0 also offers a new Encoder Mode for the cforce mini motor. This mode permits the lens axis held by a lens motor to be rotated manually while still allowing data from custom lens files to be recorded and displayed. Encoder Mode enables a cinematographer to adjust the iris value directly on any lens without removing the motor. The T‑stop position can then be displayed in the status overlay on all monitors and hand units and streamed to virtual production systems. Encoder Mode is limited to the cforce mini motor, as the cforce plus has a higher internal resistance due to its greater torque capabilities. 

Encoder Mode can also simplify virtual production workflows by offering an integrated solution for lens tracking. Focus pullers and virtual production technicians can utilize one set of cforce motors as both lens motors and encoders simultaneously, instead of needing to run parallel systems. The number of cables tethering cameras to virtual production hardware is also minimized; the Encoder Mode allows lens data to be streamed directly from cameras, such as the ALEXA 35, along with camera metadata and control parameters.

SUP 2.0 for cforce mini and cforce plus is available now as a free download from the ARRI website: arri.com/sups

About ARRI:

“Inspiring images. Since 1917.” ARRI is a global player within the motion picture industry, employing around 1,600 staff worldwide. Named after its founders August Arnold and Robert Richter, ARRI was established in Munich, Germany, where the headquarters is still located today. Other subsidiaries are in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia.

The ARRI Group consists of the business units Camera Systems, Lighting, Rental, and Solutions, as well as the subsidiary Claypaky, all dedicated to connecting creativity and future technologies for moving images and live entertainment. ARRI is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems for the film, broadcast, media, and entertainment industries, with a worldwide distribution and service network. The portfolio includes digital cameras, lenses, camera accessories, archive technologies, lamp heads, and lighting accessories. Along with offering exclusive technologies, ARRI Rental’s first-class services and equipment provide camera, lighting, and grip packages to professional productions around the world. ARRI Solutions offers high-quality virtual and traditional production infrastructure solutions and efficient, integrated workflows to a broad range of studio operators, producers, and enterprises. Claypaky fascinates audiences worldwide with cutting-edge live entertainment and stage lighting.

In recognition of its innovative contributions to the film and television industries, ARRI has been honored with 19 scientific and technical awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and six Engineering Emmys from the Television Academy and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

For locations and more information, please visit www.arri.com.