Atlas Lens Co. Back to the Future

We caught up with Dan Kanes the CEO of Atlas Lens Co. at the company’s HQ in Glendale California. In this in-depth 25 min long interview we find out about the origins of Atlas Lens Co., Dan’s passion for anamorphic lenses which dates well back to his childhood, and what the company’s plans are moving forward.

Atlas Lens Co. was with two goals in mind: To create the lenses that we wanted to use for their films while making them accessible to more cinematographers and image-makers everywhere.

Headquartered in Glendale, CA, Atlas Lens Co. design and manufacture affordable, and high-performance cinema tools. Their lenses are designed to empower innovative image-makers to bring their visions to life. The company’s slogan is ‘ANAMORPHIC FOR ALL`.

Atlas Lens Co. was 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. first announced its Orion series way back in 2017. Above you can see our interview from NAB at the time.

Since that time they have released numerous focal lengths in the Orion series and in September 2022 they unveiled their Mercury Full Frame 1.5x Anamorphic Lenses. Above you can listen to a 20-minute-long interview with Atlas Lens Co. founders Dan Kanes, CEO, and Forrest Schultz, President and lead designer about their new Mercury series. This interview provides some fascinating insight into why they chose to go with 1.5x instead of 1.8x or 2x, and the complexities of lens design.

If you are ever in Southern California it is well worth a visit to go out to their Glendale HQ. Dan has built up quite a collection of very rare and unique vintage anamorphic lenses that they have in a pseudo-museum. Every Wednesday is Lens Day, where you can come in at a specific time to get hands-on experience with their lenses. You can get in touch with Atlas Lens Co. to find out more.

It is great to see a company born out of a passion and run by people who just love anamorphic lenses. Dan Kanes is a wealth of knowledge on anamorphic lenses and a real movie history buff.

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