A hundred years ago, William and Thomas Smithies Taylor, founders of the company that became Cooke Optics, said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t make it.” Along the way, they built all kinds of machines to measure things, including the famous Talysurf. Cooke Metrology continues that tradition today with a new line of lens testing equipment designed by Cooke and manufactured by Pure4C.
Lens projectors are used by most of the world’s best rental houses to compare, check and analyze optics. It works like a slide projector, shining an even and bright light onto a reticle. It’s in reverse of the way we shoot, projecting the image through the back of the lens and onto a flat wall, which presumably has been painted studio white. It’s a good way to see how the lens handles geometric distortion of straight lines, whether there is chromatic aberration, internal barrel flare, sharpness, where the edges fall off (shading), if the lens breathes, and so on.
The new Cooke Lens Projector is especially good at working accurately with lenses faster than T2, which some other projectors do not. Cooke Metrology’s projector is so bright that it can be demonstrated in daylight. This makes it much easier to discern flaws and artifacts in fast lenses. The projector comes in racy British Racing Green. Price has not been finalized, but FDTimes expects it to be under US $15,000. This is the first of three pieces of optical test equipment. A T-Stop Tester and an Infinity Bench are in the works. www.cookeoptics.com