Rent Cooke lenses
Cooke optics have been at the center of the film business for over 100 years. Their optics are manufactured by hand, so their manufacturing processes are slow. For more than 30 years, the British manufacturer Cooke Lenses had limited its contribution to the world of film optics to the manufacture of some zoom lenses, very successful though, such as its Varotal 20-100mm (T / 3.1) or 18-100mm (T / 3), Varopanchro 20-60 (T / 3.1) or Super Cinetal 25-250mm (T / 3.7), but had abandoned the manufacture of fixed optics until its new S4 series appeared in 1998.
Its design, mechanisms and image quality reflect the 40 years since the previous S3 series, as well as its size and weight, increased to an approximate average of 1800g per focal length in the main series (18-100mm). They are optical of reasonable luminosity, very resistant to the flashes, that produce a very clean image, with an unmistakable octagonal iris that, in contrast to its direct rival in Zeiss – the Ultra Prime – offer a softer image in all aspects: edges do not appear so sharp, the contrast is not so high and the transition between the focused and unfocused areas is not so abrupt. However, where they stand out the most is in their color reproduction, generally warmer than in Zeiss, as well as with the skin tones, which benefit greatly from their chromatic characteristics and greater softness.
The 5 / i Lenses
The 5 / i, the last series of the British manufacturer Cooke, was announced in 2009 and would be his response to the Master Prime series of his German competition Arri / Zeiss.
Its maximum aperture is practically equivalent, although its weight is slightly higher, with around 500g more on average per focal length, up to about 3000g. As a curious note, it should be noted that its focus scale can be illuminated in the dark, which will surely delight more than one camera assistant. Its main problem – at the moment – is its lack of availability, with very few games available in the market and with a waiting list of two years, although each focal point has a cost of approximately 21,000 euros. Their main visual characteristics are identical to those of the S4, so we refer to them and, their main advantage with respect to their younger sisters is, therefore, their maximum aperture (T / 1.4), a full diaphragm brighter than those (T / 2.0) without a decrease in optical performance at equivalent apertures.
Like the 5 / i series, the Cooke Panchro, which take the name of the old series of Cooke fixed optics, were announced in 2009. They are optics that, like the 5 / i, are not yet too widespread, in part perhaps because for many operators and many productions they have a serious drawback: their maximum opening is only T / 2.8, which can be a problem to shoot in celluloid and even in interior and night scenes of many digital works (such as to balance backgrounds with light available in an outdoor night shoot).
Cooke Speed Panchro
The crème de la crème in terms of old optics are the Cooke Speed Panchro, a generic nomenclature that serves to accommodate both the series made up of Cooke S2 optics (with designs from the 1930s) and Cooke S3 (designs from the 1950s ). And it is that many surviving games contain optics of both series, since of the S3 series only 18mm and 25mm were manufactured, so that all the focal points except these must be completed with the S2 series.