A fairly new company in the cinema lens landscape, Atlas Lens Co. was started to create glass that the founders could use on their own projects, as well as sell to other creatives. This started with the 2x Atlas Orion Series, a pretty killer set of anamorphic lenses, and recently features the world’s widest front anamorphic cinema lens in production, the Orion 21mm. Netflix's Don't Look Up was shot on a set of Orions, in case you were wondering.
The Mercury Series 1.5x AnamorphicCredit: Atlas Lens Co.
Now the Glendale, California-based company has announced a new set of anamorphics with the 1.5x Atlas Mercury Series, which they claim will make “cinematography more interesting, more personal, and more rewarding for creative image-makers everywhere.”
But in a world with affordable anamorphic lenses and adapters coming from every corner of the globe, will the new Atlas Mercury lenses stand a chance? Let’s dig a bit deeper.
A Roman God from Titans
Named after the Roman god of commerce and merchants, it seems a bit ironic that the Atlas Mercury Series would be the more affordable set (given how “generous” Roman merchants are perceived). However, the new anamorphics are just that, perhaps owing to their smaller size and smaller 1.5x squeeze factor.
Atlas Lens Co. will initially offer five focal lengths. This will include a 36mm, 42mm, 72mm, 54mm, and 95mm, with a sixth telephoto focal length to be announced in 2023.
Atlas Mercury 42mm 1.5x AnamorphicCredit: Atlas Lens Co.The set will have an imaging area of 36.7mm x 25.54mm and will cover most full-frame sensors on the market. This will include aspect ratios in 16:9, 3:2, and 4:3, thanks to the versatile 1.5x squeeze factor.
You won’t get the strong anamorphic characteristics that creatives would find in a 2x, but they’ll still be pleasant enough to create gorgeous compositions.
With this series, Atlas wanted to find an “ideal balance of compact size, weight, optical performance, and professional-focused usability across a variety of productions.” If the Orion series is anything to go by, they may just succeed.
Still from 'Agua Miel'Credit: Atlas Lens Co
Features and Specs
- Full-frame sensor coverage
- 1.5x anamorphic coefficient
- Aperture of T2.2 - T2.3
- 95mm outer diameter
- Exceptional optical performance with vintage geometric personality
- Golden streak flares, pleasing barrel distortion, near-zero chromatic aberration
- Lightweight and compact: Half the size and weight of most pro anamorphic lenses
- The Mercury 42mm is 2.3 lbs / 1.1 kg in weight and 4.4 in / 11.2cm in length.
- Available only in Arri PL mount
- Standardized gears and diameters with 95mm front diameter
The Mercury series will also feature a robust and reliable mechanical design that emphasizes professional usability. This includes unified focus and iris positions with standardized gears, which will make switching lenses on set super quick and easy.
Save Your Coin
The new Atlas Mercury Series is currently available for pre-order at an MSRP of $5,995 each for the 36mm, 42mm, and 72mm.
While it’s not the cheapest lens on the market and not even the cheapest anamorphic, it’s a steal for the quality. (At least if we look to the Orion Series for any indication.) If you start looking at lower price points, you will start to see glaring issues where sacrifices had to be made. The Sirui anamorphics, for example, had issues with matching lenses in its set. But they were dirt cheap.
Atlas Mercury 42mm on RED GeminiCredit: Atlas Lens Co.
A three-lens Mercury set will run you $17,985, which is just a bit over what a single 2x Orion 21mm would cost you. However, early adopters will get discounted pre-order pricing at $4,995 per lens or $14,595 for a three-lens set. So, you know, the early bird gets the worm. If you want to get your hands on these new lenses, you can find more information about pre-orders, pricing, deposits, and order windows right here. Or just send them a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you think about this sophomore release from Atlas Lens Co.? Will these lenses find their way into your toolkit? Let us know in the comments!