Pro Moviemaker March/April 2024 - Web


THE COOKE LOOK FOR LESS The world’s most-famous lenses are now made for smaller cameras at a much more attainable price A sk any serious cinematographer about lens choice and it doesn’t take long for the name Cooke to come up. The SP3 range includes 25, 32, 50, 75 and 100mm focal lengths and comes with

Sony E-mount installed, while Canon RF mounts will be available soon. Early purchasers can get a set of RF mounts at no extra cost. L-Mount is available at launch as an accessory part – and Leica M-Mount examples will be introduced next year. Of course, they are not cheap, but a set of all five is £18,480/$21,375 in a heavy- duty carry case with shims to get a super- precise fit on E-mount cameras. The case has space to fit the RF mounts

The British brand promotes the unique ‘Cooke Look’ produced by its optics that has been used on blockbuster films and now big-money TV franchises since the dawn of cinema to today. From Laurel and Hardy , Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz and Apocalypse Now to Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Umbrella Academy and Chernobyl , Cooke lenses offer incredible quality and an optical style that is all their own. Cooke, the company that pioneered the zoom lens and fast-aperture lenses for cinema, nowadays offers a massive range of optics famed for bringing a filmic look to super-sharp digital video cameras. There are anamorphic versions set to flare in a certain way and plenty of options. Of course, quality and handmade precision don’t come cheap, so they are realistically a rental option for many. For example, the classic Cooke lens set is the Panchro/i Classic FF in 18, 21, 25, 27, 32, 40, 50, 65 Macro, 75, 100, 135 and 152mm focal lengths. These are a modern take on Cooke’s classic lenses that were popular decades ago, but remade with modern housings and glass technology. Prices for a set are on application only, but a 27mm T2.2 Panchro/i Classic costs £11,640/$14,000. Cooke also makes zoom lenses, such as the Varotal 19-40mm, 30- 90mm and 85-215mm examples – which cost around £45,600/$54,900 each. These are all designed for PL mount, of course, the choice of most high-end DOPs. So when Cooke Optics recently launched its most affordable lenses ever, it sent waves through independent filmmakers around the world. The SP3 prime series, for full-frame mirrorless cameras, brings a cinematic look to the videography market. The SP3 series is based on the Cooke Speed Panchro, one of the most influential lenses in film history, with a new optimised design both optically and mechanically to retain the legendary look.

when they become available, so this makes them ideal for Canon RF-mount cameras as well as Red’s Komodo and V-Raptor series that also use that mount. All have an aperture range from T2.4-16 and are small and lightweight compared to other Cookes, yet have a solid construction that’s built to last. The SP3s are Cooke’s lightest lenses, weighing in at between 500g/1.10lb and 690g/1.52lb including lens mount, making

them practical for use on gimbals and drones. All the lenses have matching 0.8M geared rings for the focus and iris control, and the four with the shortest focal lengths are almost the same size but not identical. The 100mm is physically longer, though the consistent control-ring placement makes it fast to change lenses when using follow-focus systems. The lenses feature a dual-scale focus in metric and imperial markings, with a 58mm front filter thread and 64mm front diameter on the smaller four. The 100mm version has a 77mm thread. And each has a nine-bladed iris for smooth bokeh that’s a lot more rounded than the more-jagged effect on the Speed Panchros. You can also buy the SP3 lenses individually, costing £3900/$4500 for a single lens. Different mounts cost

“The SP3 series is based on Cooke Speed Panchros, one of the most influential lenses in film history, with a new optimised design”

SIZE MATTERS The Cooke SP3 lenses are compact and work well with a follow focus or without, for a more stealthy look



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