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Atlas Lens Co. launch Orion range of newly-designed anamorphic lenses

The Atlas Lens Co. is the brainchild of Paralinx founder Dan Kanes, and designer/cinematographer Forrest Schultz. They’re both fans of Cinemascope shooting, but wanted to develop a range of lenses with modern operation and convenience as well as a vintage-inspired look.

Atlas Lens Co. Orion 65mm T2 anamorphic

Atlas Lens Co. Orion 65mm T2 2x anamorphic
The Orion series of anamorphic lenses is designed to offer a vintage look with modern convenience.

The first lens they’re showing is the Orion 65mm T2 2x anamorphic that covers up to an Alexa open gate-sized sensor. The 65mm the first in an initial range of three focal lengths, with 40mm and 100m also planned for the initial release.

The Orion series feature common front diameters and gears spaced with an eye for compatibility with modern drive motors and follow focus units.

Mounts and optics

Lens mounts are interchangeable and user serviceable, so you’ll be able to switch between PL and EF mounts for use on different cameras, from REDs, through Blackmagic Ursas all the way down to the humble 5D. Shims will allow you to adjust backfocus after swapping the mounts out.

Atlas Lens Co. Orion anamorphics
Lens mounts are user serviceable and interchangeable between PL and EF mounts.

The optics are all new and have been designed in-house by Schultz. The intention is to give users the option of flare when they want it, but not when they don’t, and to avoid distracting pops from practical lights that might be in the scene, for example.

Atlas Lens Co. Orion pricing and availability

The initial set of three lenses is scheduled for release early next year and will sell for $20,000 US. As expensive as that sounds, it’s actually pretty reasonable for a set of three 2x anamorphics. And if you put down $7,000 US for a pre-order you’ll get a $3,000 US discount, so the balancing payment when they ship will be $10,000 US.

Atlas Lens Co. Orion 65mm T2 mounted on a RED camera
Full frame coverage makes the Orion series a natural partner for RED cameras.

So this isn’t quite anamorphic shooting for all (I doubt for example, that many Orion lenses will ever be mounted on a 5D), but with a little luck the Atlas Lens Co. Orion will make a Cinemascope look just a little more attainable for filmmakers working on a budget.

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