Xelmus Anamorphic adds new focal lengths to its APOLLO 2x series


I first reported on the Xelmus Anamorphic APOLLO lenses way back in March 2019. Originally there was a 40mm T2, 60mm T1.6, and 100mm T2.8, and then they added a 32mm T2, 50mm T1.7, 75mm T2, and 135mm T2.8. Now the company has announced new 24mm T2 and a 180mm T2.8 focal lengths.

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All the APOLLO lenses are compatible with Alexa LF Full Frame Open Gate, except the 24mm T2 and 32mm T2 which will only cover Super 35 sensors.

The Xelmus APOLLO 2x is a range of anamorphic lenses that have been designed to be a more affordable option than say a Hawk V-Lite. With a growing appetite for anamorphic shooting, cinematographers are looking for lenses with unique characteristics.

Above you can see footage captured on the 24mm T2 that Xelmus published just a few days ago.

The 24mm T2 covers an image circle of 30 x 25mm and it has a close focus ability of just 9″. It looks like a good match for cameras like the ARRI ALEXA 35.

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The 180mm T2.8 is the longest focal length in the series.

Xelmus’ mission (sorry I couldn’t help the Apollo pun) is to provide cinematographers with the very best anamorphic lens experience. Xelmus is a Ukrainian company that has been around for 12 years, but because of the on going war they have endured a lot of difficulties over the last few years. According to the company, they have tested out several anamorphic lenses over the years and come up with a lens that they believe is a good combination of optical performance and features.

Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

When Xelmus started working on a design for the APOLLO Series, their main goal was to create a lens that has a unique anamorphic look, that’s easy to use, and features a consistent design through all of the lenses. Xelmus researched and worked through known anamorphic optical system designs to come up with their penultimate product.

Focal lengths

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There were originally 3 lenses in the series, a 40mm T2, 60mm T1.6, and a 100mm T2.9, and then a 50mm T1.7 was added.

While the lenses all feature a 95cm front filter diameter the T stop and image coverage varies. The 32mm T2 will only cover S 35 sensors, while the rest of the local lengths will cover the 4:3 open gate 23.76 x 17.89mm mode on the ARRI Alexa, as well as the 6:5 anamorphic shooting modes on the RED HELIUM 8K, GEMINI 5K, and MONSTRO 7K +.


Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

The APOLLO series is claimed to be compact, sharp, and optimized for distortion correction. The biggest reason most cinematographers use anamorphic lenses is because of their unique characteristics, so Xelmus has been very careful to make sure that the lenses have interesting anamorphic flares. The company spent a lot of time testing different coatings to get the most desirable flares.

Anti-mump system

Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

One of the main features of the APOLLO lenses is the anti-mump system created in 1954 by Mr. Gottschalk from Panavision. The way the anti-mump system works is that when you are focusing from infinity to the closest focusing point, the image stretches only in a vertical direction (vertical breathing), while the horizontal axis stays locked. That’s how the focusing system works on the Apollo series.


Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

The optics used in the Apollo lenses are much smaller than those found in a front variable diopters design system.  This means the APOLLO lenses are lighter, have less chromatic aberration, and have better light transmission. Xelmus have managed to keep the length of the APOLLO lenses much shorter in comparison to most other anamorphic lenses on the market. This makes the APOLLO lenses perfect for use on Steadicams, gimbals, drones, and for handheld work.

Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

Xelmus found that another benefit of using the anti-mump system was that they were able to decrease the minimum focus distance to below 1 foot. This is very unusual for an anamorphic lens. All 3 focal length focus at a ridiculously close 25cm (9.85″).

Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

The Focus ring mechanics are a cam based design. They allow for a smooth focus rotation of 270°. The lenses feature a standard pitch module of 0.8 for both focus and aperture rings.


Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

The APOLLO lenses are white in homage to NASA and the space program.


Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

There are lots of 2x anamorphic lenses available, but when it comes to independent anamorphic lens manufacturers, Atlas Lens Co. and Laowa are probably the main competition.

Cost and availability

Xelmus Apollo 2x Anamorphic Lenses

Originally the cost of the individual focal lengths was $11,999 USD per lens, and a 3 lens set was $35,997 USD. Since that time the prices have gone up. the lenses now cost between $15,999 USD and $17,999 USD. A three lens set is $48,997 USD.

The APOLLO 180mm T2.8 costs $17,999 USD and a non refundable pre-order deposit of $8,999.00 USD is required to secure one.

The APOLLO 24mm T2 costs $17,999 USD and a non refundable pre-order deposit of $8,999.00 USD is also required to secure one.

The new focal lengths are scheduled to start shipping in December 2024.

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