New Atlas Mercury Series Announced
Meet the brand-new series of 1.5x front anamorphic lenses called Atlas Mercury Series. The new Mercury Series offers full-frame coverage, a 1.5x squeeze ratio with improved bokeh, and a significant reduction in weight and size.
If you haven’t yet, you should watch the new Mercury Series launch teaser here. You’ll notice a rich, warm tone in the footage provided, and Atlas Lens Co. indeed specifies warmer vintage tones than the Atlas Orion series.
If this teaser isn’t enough for you, there’s another one that shows the planet Mercury in a more close-up view, but still features the same strange device from the first teaser:
Atlas Mercury Series
Since we’re talking about a whole series of new front anamorphic lenses, we need more than just one single prime lens here: Atlas Lens Co. has three lenses ready for the launch event, and two more will join the series in 2023, plus one more (telephoto) focal length which is still TBA.
For this launch, we are getting 36mm T2.2, 42mm T2.2, and 72mm T2.3. Next year, 54mm and 95mm versions plus one more focal length will follow suit.
All six lenses feature a 1.5x anamorphic squeeze ratio and all lenses cover full-frame sensors (up to 36.7mm x 25.54mm) as well as, according to Atlas Lens Co., 16:9 / 3:2 / 4:3 sensors, with easy delivery to 2:1 / 2.25:1 / 2.66:1 / 2.4:1 aspect ratios. A PL mount is the connection point for all Mercury Series lenses.
Here’s what Forrest Schultz, President of Atlas Lens Co. has to say on the new Mercury Series:
The image Mercury produces provides classic anamorphic barrel distortion, smooth bokeh transitions, and a pleasant separation of foreground and background objects – all while being about half the size and weight of most pro anamorphic lenses. We designed these lenses to support every cinematographer in their lifelong pursuit of expressing their image-craft.
The main idea behind this new series was to strike a balance between compact size, weight, optical performance, and a strong anamorphic look and feel filmmakers are seeking. According to Atlas, the 1.5x squeeze factor seems to hit that sweet spot. The Orion Series uses a 2x squeeze factor.
The lenses of the Mercury Series are quite a bit smaller and more lightweight than most pro-grade anamorphic lenses: the Mercury 42mm T2.2 is 2.3 lbs / 1.1 kg in weight and 4.4 in / 11.2cm in length.
Of course, the focus and iris rings of all lenses in the series are positioned uniformly, and the standardized 95-mm outer diameter allows native use with various matte boxes and filters.
Here’s the full list of specifications for the new series. For more information, head over to the Atlas Lens Co. website.
- Full-frame sensor coverage with 1.5x anamorphic coefficient
- Aperture of T2.2 – T2.3 for Mercury Series
- 88° (36mm) / 78° (42mm) / 44° (72mm) horizontal field-of-view
- Close focus: 0.46m (1.5ft) for 36mm / 0.56m (2ft) for 42mm / 0.91m (3ft) for 72mm
- 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
- Arri PL mount for use on professional cinema cameras and mirrorless cameras via PL adapter
- Standardized gears and diameters with 95mm front diameter
- Focal lengths: initially offering 36mm, 42mm, and 72mm. 54mm, 95mm, and one additional telephoto focal length to be announced in 2023.
Each of the first three focal lengths of the Mercury Series anamorphic prime lenses will sell for $5,995. If you want to get the whole shebang at once, the 3-lens set will set you back $17,985.
Discounted preorder pricing will be available for early adopters at $4,995 for one lens and $14,595 for a 3-lens set. Preorder deposits open at $995 for a single lens and $2,495 for a 3-lens set through December 31, 2022 – with incremental preorder deposit increases through September 2, 2023, the end of the Mercury preorder window.
Compared to other offerings, these Mercury series lenses seem to be quite affordable and yet cater to the higher end of the market. Of course, there are cheaper lenses out there, but “cinema-grade” anamorphic lenses are not cheap and are also usually quite big and clunky – another attribute that does not seem to apply to the Mercury series.
Link: Atlas Lens Co. website
What do you think? Have you ever worked with Atlas Orion lenses? Would the new Mercury series be appealing to you? Share your experiences in the comments below!
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