Atlas Orion 21mm T2 2x Anamorphic Lens Introduced – How the Atlas Look Was Born

Atlas Lens Co. recently introduced a new wide-angle option to their popular Orion anamorphic series. The new Atlas Orion 21mm T2 2x Anamorphic prime is the widest family member. It comes in PL/EF mount options, offers a 124° horizontal FOV, and provides the same characteristic look this family of lenses is well-known for. The new 21mm is now available for pre-order for $15,000.

Co-founded by cinematographer Dan Kanes and designer Forrest Schultz in 2016, Californian company Atlas Lens Co. completely revolutionized the world of anamorphic lenses by enriching the market with a more affordable option that comes with a strong, recognizable character: the Orion series.

Although other companies are now offering anamorphic alternatives at an even more accessible price point (like SIRUI and more recently Great Joy), what sets the Altas Orion lenses apart is the philosophy behind these optical beauties. At NAB Show, we had an interesting talk with Dan Kanes about the key elements of the Atlas look. But let’s start by welcoming the new born Atlas Orion 21mm T2 2x wide-angle anamorphic lens.

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Atlas Orion 21mm T2 2x Anamorphic Prime

While challenging themselves to design their existing 25mm T2 2x anamorphic lens, the guys at Atlas Lens Co. realized they could go even wider! Indeed, according to the company, this new Atlas Orion 21mm T2 2x lens is the widest glass with a front anamorphic system design and a 2x squeeze factor in the world, offering an horizontal field of view of 124°.

With the addition of this new 21mm, the Atlas Orion series now consists of 8 focal lengths: 21/25/32/40/50/65/80/100mm. All family members share the same maximum aperture of T2, which is quite impressive considering how hard it is to manufacture wide-angle lenses of this kind.

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The lens is designed to work with sensors up to 24.89×18.66mm in size (Super35mm format) and comes with a standard PL mount. However, customers can also opt for an interchangeable EF mount option that supports shimming.

While models ranging from 32 to 100mm have unified focus and iris ring positions and a 114mm diameter, the new 21mm, just like the 25mm, has slightly different physical characteristics. Indeed, the T2 nature of these wide-angle lenses, designed to maintain a constant light transmission across the whole series, requires a larger front outer diameter of 136mm.

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This fact poses some issues when using ND and other types of filters. Nonetheless, if your camera is not equipped with internal NDs, two viable ways are either using rear filtration or relying on large 6×6” matte boxes and filters.

Technical specs

  • T2 – T16 aperture range
  • 124° horizontal FOV
  • 31mm image circle (24.89×18.66mm)
  • Front outer diameter: 136mm
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.45m/1.5ft
  • Weight: 3.1kg/6.9 lbs
  • Length: 18.7cm/7.4in

The Atlas look: far from aseptic optical perfection

Although most lens manufacturers these days advertise their products as optically perfect, the same doesn’t apply to Atlas Lens Co. Indeed, this company was born with a clear mission and their philosophy does not contemplate aseptic perfection.

According to Dan, their engineering team carefully calibrates the amount of geometric distortion and optical imperfections that gives character to these lenses. In other words, this process is the reason why the Orion series has something to say.

Image credit: CineD

From the very beginning, the company has always been fueled by the desire and dream of bringing something to the market that hadn’t been done before, Dan says. Something inspired by classic anamorphic glass, like Panavision C Series and Lomo anamorphic lenses, but with a modern touch and a price tag that makes this tool more democratic.

Price and availability

The official retail price of the new Atlas Orion 21mm T2 2x Anamorphic is $15,000 and the lens can be pre-ordered by depositing an amount of $5,000. However, only customers who already hold a pre-order for the 25mm can place an order for this new model. They can choose to add the 21mm to their kit or even switch their pre-order from the 25mm to the 21mm.

While this new model will only be available by the end of 2022 or early next year, the first batch of 25mm lenses should start shipping towards October 31st, 2022. Moreover, a set of 6 lenses, ranging from 32mm up to 100mm, is currently available for purchase in limited quantities for $54,000.

Finally, if you’re interested in this new wide-angle option, but you haven’t booked a 25mm, don’t worry. You can still wait in queue by signing up to Atlas’ waitlist on this page.

Disclaimer: This article and the video were made in cooperation with Atlas.

Have you ever shot on Atlas Orion anamorphic lenses? How do you like the look of this set? What do you think of this new 21mm T2 2x anamorphic glass? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!


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