Lens sets being used on wide range of film projects
Cooke Optics, the premier manufacturer of precision lenses for the motion picture industry, will be celebrating the continuing success of its lens sets – the top-of-the-line 5/i Prime lenses, the industry favourite S4 Prime lenses and the increasingly popular lightweight Panchro lenses – on Booth C9750 at NAB 2011.
“No matter which Cooke lens our clients choose, they are assured that they will get the warm, luminous Cooke Look that makes such a difference to every story, as well as unrivalled optical and mechanical performance,” said Les Zellan, Chairman and Owner, Cooke Optics. “The technical expertise that goes into Cooke’s R&D also stretches to post production, since every new Cooke lens has /i Technology built in to capture lens metadata. Camera manufacturers including Sony, Thales Angenieux and Fujinon have adopted /i and continue to develop cameras with mount contacts for /i-enabled lenses.”
The 5/i Prime lenses have been used on forthcoming films including Martin Scorsese’s 3D film Hugo Cabret and Midnight in Paris directed by Woody Allen, as well as My Week With Marilyn starring Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh, and Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.
Darius Khondji, DP, Midnight in Paris, says, “It’s difficult to pin down exactly what I like about the 5/i lenses. They give beautiful, soft images but with a slight crispness; there is something more incisive, more modern about them but they retain that sensuousness and roundness that Cooke lenses are renowned for. Even in dark conditions when you don’t want to light a shot too much, they give a luminosity that lets you see more in the darkness. I really feel that I have found the lenses I’m going to be using for the foreseeable future.”
Ben Smithard, DP, My Week With Marilyn, comments, “On this prestigious project I wanted to use the best lenses available. I had used Cooke lenses many times in the past and always liked their warm quality, so when I heard about the new 5/i lenses it wasn’t a huge leap of faith to choose them. Also since My Week with Marilyn is about 1950s Hollywood the combination of Cooke lenses and Kodak film – with all the history that comes with them – was perfect.”
Additionally the small and cost-effective Panchro lenses are quietly building a loyal following, with the Leicester factory working flat out to meet demand. While there has been some discussion about the speed – Panchros are T2.8 compared with T2.0 for S4 – those who have used the lenses contend that T2.8 is more than adequate for the majority of shooting requirements, and in fact advances in digital camera light sensitivity render the issue almost irrelevant.
Cinematographer Ryan Patrick O’Hara, who owns a set of Panchro lenses, has written a web article on the topic, The Future of Super Fast Lenses. He comments, “All facts considered, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand why anyone who could achieve a desired shooting stop of at least T2.8 would justify spending more money for a set of equal quality super-fast lenses. This especially rings true when budgeting lenses for the 2nd unit or multiple camera production. If a stop under T2.8 is not needed, renting multiple sets of more expensive lenses adds up quickly. Thus, the question remains; “does one need a T-stop wider than T/2.8?” The answer is increasingly ‘no’.”
Cooke S4s continue to be favoured for a range of high profile projects including Supernatural, CSI: NY and Fairly Legal.