Cinema lenses: the Cooke look – YMCinema


Here are the key points and highlights from Cooke’s presentation, as part of the DCS (Digital Cinema Society) discussion, on “Focus On Cine Lenses From the Buyer’s POV”. Eric Johnston of Cooke Optics gives a bit of company history and shares the latest news. From mini S4/i to S7/i, and Anamorphic in the middle, explore the Cooke Look in all its glory.

Cooke Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus

The DCS (Digital Cinema Society) has once again hosted one of the most exciting discussions about cinema lenses. As DCS stated, “As is our tradition, the primary focus of the event is to explore the market of available cine lenses from a buyer’s perspective.” We at YMCinema Magazine have meticulously watched the presentations in order to serve you the key points and highlights which you can find below. However, all credit belongs to DCS. Read our first chapter (ZEISS) here, the second chapter (Angenieux) here, and the third chapter (ARRI) here.

About DEC: the Digital Cinema Societyfounded by cinematographer Jim Mathers, is a non-profit educational cooperative dedicated to the enlightened integration of new technologies by industry. The Oscar winners to aspiring filmmakers, educators and students are joined by artists from all production and post-production disciplines, including dozens of ASC filmmakers, ACE editors, leading technologists and senior executives from manufacturers, studios, exhibitors and networks. The Company’s goal is not to champion digital technology, but to objectively examine all media, solutions, services and technologies without favoring one brand, service or format over another.

The DCS (Digital Cinema Society)
The DCS (Digital Cinema Society)

In this presentation, Eric Johnston of Cooke Optics (Business Development Director) gives a bit of company history and shares the latest news on their lenses at the Digital Cinema Society’s Lens 2021 event. Check out the presentation below:

Cooke’s presentation begins with a 60-second showreel which is a historical reel based on films shot on Cooke for over 100 years. We invite you to watch it because it’s the best way to market a lens by showing how many great stories have been created on this lens over a century. We tried to find this spool on the web, but ended up finding the longest spool, which is also pretty impressive. Check it out below:

According to Johnston, the reason cinematographers choose their lenses is the “Cooke Look”. The “Cooke Look” is Cooke’s trademark and statement for the creamy, cinematic imagery produced by the lenses. This is how Cooke defines the “Cooke Look”: “A clean, subtle, smooth look that offers dimensionality and high contrast. It is warm and natural with a transition from the optical center. It is also pleasing to the simple as that, Cooke’s goal is to make lenses pleasing to the eye. That’s it! Cooke claims to have produced 10 unique series of lenses that encompass nearly 100 unique focal lengths constructed from 1893.

Cooke mini S4/i set.
Cooke mini S4/i set.

Currently, the Cooke product range induces the following ranges:

  1. Super 35 Series Bounties
  2. Full Frame Plus Seires Premiums
  3. Anamorphic primes
  4. Full frame anamorphic primes
PANCHRO/i Classic cooker
PANCHRO/i Classic cooker

The main models: From Mini S4/i to S7/i

These are the main models presented in the game, and their description indicated by Cook:

  • Cooke Mini S4/i: “The miniS4/i Primes (aperture T2.8 to T22) incorporate everything today’s filmmakers need: smaller, lighter lenses that offer the same resolution, optical quality and reliability as S4/i lenses at T2.8” speed.
  • Cooke S4/i: “The Cooke S4 optics offer superb optical and mechanical performance, control of lens flare, distortion, veiling glare and spherical aberrations at full aperture, with the cam-type focusing mechanism allowing adjustments smooth focus”.
  • Cooke 5/i“See in the dark like never before with T1.4 speed and a focus ring that lights up when you need it.” Harness the visibility you need without affecting the light entering the camera, allowing you to get the perfect shot every time.”
  • PANCHRO/i Classic cooker: “The growing demand for vintage Cooke Speed ​​Panchro lenses from the 1920s to 1960s prompted us to introduce a modern reworking of the vintage classic. True to the original look of the Speed ​​Panchro but with all the benefits of glass and contemporary technology »
  • Cooke Anamorphic/i Prime: “Harness all the anamorphic lens characteristics demanded by today’s filmmakers with the Cooke Look and Oval Bokeh. Achieve exceptional shape, depth and form with unparalleled optical and mechanical performance.”
  • Cooke Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus: “The next step in the evolution of cinema: large format production with anamorphic features, including reflections and oval bokeh”.
  • Cooke S7/i: “Shoot 35mm, Super 35mm, Full Frame, VistaVision and beyond with the Cooke S7/i Primes, designed to cover new full frame cinema camera sensors down to an image circle of at least 46.31mm”.
Cooke S7/i
Cooke S7/i

Recently, Cooke updated and rebranded his website, including sample footage, reels, and more beautiful and educational content. Go check it out here.

Product list

Here are the products mentioned in the article and the links to buy them from authorized retailers. (Note price differences due to focal lengths, specs, sets, etc.)

  • Cooke miniS4/i
  • Cooke S4/i
  • Cooke 5/i
  • Cooke Panchro/i Classic
  • Cooke Anamorphic/i Prime
  • Cooke Anamorphic/i 1.8x Full Frame
  • Cooke 7S/i


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