The crowded market of cine lenses is about to get a new brand, the Athena Prime, from NiSi, a set of five lenses designed to cover full frame sensors, which will debut at the 2023 NAB Show.
A division of NiSi Optics, NiSi Lens entered the market in 2021 with its first lens, the super wide angle 15mm f/4 claiming that its 10 straight aperture blades allowed sunstars from F4-F22. It was a clear sign that the company was serious about having a slice of the market. The second lens announced was the 2.8/9mm ASPH. a super wide angle lens for APS-C, which confirmed a trend: it offered 10 bladed design for clean sunstars from F2.8-F16.
NiSI already has a set of cine lenses, introduced even before the NiSi Lens division was created; the NiSi F3 prime lenses, a family of five lenses – 25, 35, 50, 75 and 100mm – announced as “future-oriented full frame lenses”, which cover 46.5mm format sensors. The lens where first announced and displayed at the 2018 NAB Show. F3 lenses are designed for maximum user serviceability. They come with PL, Canon EF and Sony E mounts.
The company claims that “the F3 lenses offer advanced resolution and perfect dispersion control. Image contrast and flare are also optimised by their retro design elements. ‘Sensed presence’ technology allows filming with a soft and beautiful bokeh. The entire F3 series of lenses have the same physical attributes, allowing simple and time efficient fitting of lens accessories.”
Are the Athena an evolution of the F3 cine lenses?
The NiSi F3 lenses cover full frame format, which is compatible with ARRI Alexia LF, Red Monstro VV, Panavision DXL2, SONY Venice, Canon C700FF and other film cameras to come in the future. The company promised, back in 2018, to add an 18mm prime and a 135mm to the F3 series to allow more options in terms of coverage, but the lenses do not appear on their website.
Now, as we’re on the verge of a return to Las Vegas, for the 2023 NAB Show, NiSi Lens reveals what the company has been preparing in secret: its own new series of cine lenses, branded Athena Prime… or prime lenses named Athena. With focal lengths of 14, 25, 35, 50 and 85mm all the lenses but the 14 (which is T2.4) feature an aperture of T1.9. NiSi claims they have little focus breathing, but has shared little else about the lenses, including availability and price. The lenses will debut at the 2023 NAB Show and can be seen at NiSi’s booth (C3335).
Filmmakers go-to destination for pre-production, production & post production equipment!Shop Now