Tag Archives: Cooke Optics

Cooke Digital

Cooke Optics creates a new business unit to develop software-enabled products for post-production, VFX, animation and gaming.

Cooke has launched a new Cooke Digital business unit. Jordan Thistlewood (photo above) will be Managing Director of Cooke Digital.

This is a logical progression of Cooke’s /i Technology, an industry standard lens metadata protocol. In the past year, Cooke introduced Near Real-Time post-production capability in partnership with EZtrack, and explored other opportunities to extend Cooke’s role across the increasingly convergent creative markets of live action capture, animation and gaming. read more…

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Graham Cassely, Cooke Optical Designer on SP3

Graham Cassely is an optical designer at Cooke. He described the SP3 project, “When we started on the Panchro/i Classic project about 8 or more years ago, we did a lot of digging through lots of paperwork at Cooke to find the original Speed Panchro designs. We found the old prescriptions—the optical designs written down by hand. The SP3 series are essentially another variation of the Speed Panchro design. In terms of the look of the lens, we tried to keep it very similar to what a Speed Panchro or a Panchro/i Classic would look like. We’re using the same types of single layer coatings that they would have used back in the 50s or 60s… read more…

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New Cooke SP3 Prime Lenses

Cooke Optics introduces a new line of compact, lightweight, mirrorless-mount, affordable lenses. The new Cooke SP3 primes are based on a reincarnation of the legendary Cooke Speed Panchros.

Tim Pugh, CEO at Cooke Optics, calls the SP3  lens series “a significant strategic move into an exciting new sector that expands the horizons for such an iconic brand.”

The new SP3 primes are based on original Speed Panchros.

They have modern mechanics and a single optical coating.

At launch, there are five SP3 primes: 25, 32, 50, 75 and 100 mm.

They all cover Full Frame and have a T2.4 maximum aperture. The lens mount is easy to swap. You do not have to be a lens tech, nor do you need a clean room.

SP3 will come in E-Mount and RF-Mount as standard (RF-Mount will follow shortly after launch and customers can receive them free of charge). L-Mount and M-Mount are available as accessories. M comes in early 2024. read more…

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Les Zellan Exits Cooke

Les Zellan is exiting Cooke. Announced today, Cooke Chairman, Les Zellan, will be stepping down from the company, and its CEO, Robert Howard, will be retiring, both effective from 31 October 2020.  Tim Pugh will take over as CEO, while Kees van Oostrum, currently a Cooke Optics board member, becomes Non-Executive Chairman. read more…

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Cooke Tour 2020 Chinese Translation

Who knew that Les Zellan and Robert Howard spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese? They don’t—but if you do, here is the FDTimes Cooke Factory Tour 2020 translated in Chinese, all 36 pages and online as a free download. Please go to the top right of our FDTimes Chinese homepageread more…

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Cooke S7/i FF+ 60, 90, 150 mm Macro 1:1

Cooke Optics announced a new branch of the S7/i family—the 60mm, 90mm and 150mm 1:1 Full Frame Macro lenses. They include /i lens metadata. By the way, 1:1 Magnification in a Full Frame Macro means you can focus down to fill the frame with an object that is about 36×24 mm or 40 x 20mm actual size. read more…

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Cooke Tour 2020

This was my 4th tour of Cooke Optics in Leicester, England. The factory has come a long way since previous visits in 2006, 2009 and 2013. It is now a state-of-the-art, modern facility with clean rooms, the latest machines, and many more technicians. As Les Zellan described it, “The glass manufacturing area is cleaner and neater and there are many… read more…

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New Cooke S7/i Full Frame Plus

Full Frame and beyond. Need we say more? The new Cooke S7/i lenses cover an image circle up to 46.31 mm diameter. That’s every format from RED 8K VV 21.60×40.96 mm (46.31 diagonal) to Full Frame 24×36 mm (43.3 mm diagonal)and anything on down. Why would you want a bigger Cooke Look? Full Frame and Large Format is gathering momentum. It is future-proof because these lenses work equally well on Super35, current Full Frame, VV and the inevitable arrival of new cameras to come. The new Cooke S7/i lenses are extremely fast and go incredibly close. Maximum aperture is T2. Minimum object distance is around 4 to 6 inches in front of the wider ones. Front diameters are nicely compact at 110 mm. read more…

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Cooke Anamorphics with “Flair” at CamTec

CamTec is one of those rental houses with a love of tweaking and experimenting on cameras and lenses—like many of their DP customers with similar symptoms of Retrofit Syndrome. CamTec’s  workshop benches, adjacent to their busy rental checkout area, are scattered with a vast array of lens elements, mechanical parts and test equipment. Jay and Kavon Elhami and their crew… read more…

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Cooke 35-140 Anamorphic Zoom

Cooke Optics has revealed details of their impending Front Anamorphic zoom. It will be 35-140 mm and may begin shipping around NAB 2016. Like the rest of the Cooke Anamorphic/i family, it will be a front anamorphic design, 2x squeeze ratio, with familiar oval bokehs. read more…

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Zoom over to Cooke

At NAB 2015, Cooke Optics will announce the first of several new secret lenses to join its existing set of front anamorphic primes. Since the official word from Cooke is “zoom along as quickly as possible,” one might guess what it is. read more…

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Jeffrey Reyes joins ZGC Inc.

Jeffrey A. Reyes has joined ZGC as Director of Sales for the Americas—North and South. (ZGC distributes Cooke lenses in the Americas.) Jeffrey  worked in sales, customer service, and independent film production. He recently worked for 6 years at ARRI as Director of Sales for Latin America handling camera, lighting, accessories and lenses. Jeffrey will live in LA, on airplanes and hotel… read more…

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Cooke Lecture in NYC

Les Zellan, Chairman of Cooke Optics Limited, comes to New York with his lecture on lens manufacturing for the motion picture industry. Topics include: History of Cooke An inside look at lens manufacturing at the company’s factory in Leicester, England The “Cooke Look,” how it began, what it is, and how it looks in film and digital Metadata and Cooke’s /i Technology… read more…

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Searching for Optical Ingredients

Undisclosed location. Northeast of Dead Chest Island in the British Virgin Islands (18° 22.059′, -64° 33.747′), made famous in the Robert Louis Stevenson lyrics, “Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest — Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!” I had joined Les Zellan, Chairman of Cooke Optics for a lesson in locating pure white sand, ingredient of optical glass… read more…


Cooke Metrology Lens Projector

Cooke’s new Lens Projector is now shipping. No rental house or lens owner should be without one. A lens test projector is essentially a slide projector. The light source is a bright, parallel beam. Instead of a slide, it carries a test chart (reticle) with format lines and resolution grids. The image is projected through the back of the lens onto a… read more…

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Cooke at IBC

Les Zellan arrives at IBC with new Cooke anamorphic primes and a new Cooke Metrology Lens Projector. 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…. read more…


Cine Gear Expo 2013

5/30/13 – 6/2/13
Cine Gear Expo 2013: We're in Booth 54 - NY Streets

Cine Gear Expo at Paramount Studios — now in its 16th year.  read more…

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Jon Maxwell on the Cooke Look

What is the Cooke Look? The Academy will honor Cooke Optics with a Sci-Tech Oscar statuette “for their continuing innovation in the design, development and manufacture of advanced camera lenses that have helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century…producing what is commonly referred to as the Cooke Look…” Jonathan Maxwell, lens designer, recently published an article… read more…

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