Cooke Anamorphic Tests

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At Micro Salon in Paris last week, Cooke Optics presented test films shot by John de Borman, BSC and Patrick Blossier, AFC. The Paris test is online on Vimeo.

The framegrabs above show some differences between a Cooke 75 mm anamorphic at T2.8 and a Cooke S4/i 40 mm at a T2.0 – 2.8 split. The Cooke anamorphic has “classic” oval bokehs (out of focus highlights), and the background seems less recognizable, more distant. Compare that with the spherical Cooke S4/i, with its rounded bokehs and more defined background.

Do you find the skin tones of the anamorphic slightly smoother and cosmetically silkier? The anamorphic shot also seems slightly less noisy (grainy), perhaps because it’s using most of the Alexa’s  4:3 picture area.


Anamorphic 2x on a 4:3 Alexa sensor uses a 376 sq. mm sensor area — approx. 21.20 x 17.74 mm (27.64 mm diagonal), which is 2570 x 2150 photosites.

Spherical Super35 2.39:1 widescreen (like the 40 mm Cooke S4/i above) on the Alexa uses a “letterboxed” 234 sq. mm sensor area — 23.66 x 9.90 mm (25.65 mm diagonal), which is 2868 x 1200 photosites.

Oh, and by the way, shooting 2x anamorphic on a 16:9 sensor of any manufacturer uses an image area of 211 square mm, and has a crop factor of 1.8x — because it uses less height and the left and right sides are “pillared.” So a 75 mm anamorphic on a 16:9 sensor camera will appear like a 135 mm.


An article on Cooke anamorphic lenses and a visit to the Cooke Optics factory in Leicester is coming in our NAB edition.


Credits for the Paris test:

  • Cinematographer: Patrick Blossier, AFC
  • 1st Camera Assistant: Maeva Drecq
  • DIT Julien Bullat
  • 2nd AC: Florent Bethelot
  • Producer: Danys Bruyere, TSF
  • For EMIT: Andrew Steele, Benjamin Steele
  • Post-production supervisor: Jean Delduc, Sylicone
  • Camera: ARRI Alexa XT (4:3 sensor)

Click on the images above to enlarge.



Leave a Comment

1 Response:

  1. Rob Stiff says:

    Beautiful bokeh!

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