Cooke All In on Full-Frame with New Spherical and Anamorphic Focal Lengths

Cooke announces new gear via webinar despite NAB 2020 cancellation. 

Cooke has always been a favorite among storytellers. When the RED One came out in 2007, and later the ARRI Alexa in 2010, cinematographers were pairing the digital sensors with lenses that softened the image. Everyone seemed to be shooting ARRI and Cooke back then. The last five years, it seems to have switched to Sigma, which to me, is embarrassingly noticeable if you have an eye for it. It doesn't matter the color grade or LUT, it still looks like a Sigma lens. But good for Sigma, right? 

Besides the point, with NAB not taking place this year, droves of companies are switching to virtual settings to share product announcements, or offer free support. Zhiyun started things off with its Crane 3. Blackmagic introduced the ATEM Mini Pro. Canon and Sony will square off April 20. However, Les Zellan of Cooke Optics introduced 5 new lenses into the Cooke family. 

The Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus range sees a new 180mm focal length. It joins seven others that include 32, 40, 50, 75, 85 Macro, 100, and a 135mm. Besides the 85mm Macro, the set shares a T2.3 aperture, covering an image circle of 36 x 24mm with a 1.8x squeeze.

It features i/Technology which records the lens data for every frame that can be handed off to post. If you happen to be a cine lens manufacturer not including metadata capture on your lenses, start doing it now. Cooke has i/Technology, ARRI has Lens Data System (LDS), but to me, you should invest money in the former. One is not better than the other, it's just that i/Technology has more players involved.  

On the spherical side, the S7/i lenses have been growing since its initial announcement. Previously covering 16 to 180mm, Cooke has announced the development of a 300mm lens. Wide open, it's T3.3 and can stop down to T22, and many of the physical features are shared with the existing family. The maximum coverage is 46.31mm, there's a 270° focus throw, 110mm front diameter, standard focus gears, opposing linear T scales, among others. Everything we'd expect from the company. The lens tips the scales at 9.4 lbs (4.4 kg), so it's highly recommended to mount it on a camera with support. But you're professionals. You're going to do that. 

The focal lengths now include 16, 18, 21, 25, 27, 32, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100, 135, 180, and 300mm. At the time of publishing, I believe the only lenses not available yet are the 180 and 300mm. Interestingly, the S7/i focal lengths seem to be mirroring the S4/i lenses that cover Super 35. So it may be only a matter of time when we see a 12, 14, and 150mm added to the lineup. On the telephoto side, Cooke has never offered a lens above 180 and below 300mm. If large format is a final frontier, do we see that change?

Along with the 300mm, a new range of S7/i lenses have been introduced, the S7/i Full Frame Plus lenses. Cousins to the Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus line, the full-frame versions will include a 60, 90, and 150mm 1:1 macro lenses to start. Delivery dates have not been set, but the S7/i lenses that are available are taking about eight months to deliver as they are on backorder.

You can find more info about the lenses via Cooke, and if you can't find it there, ask us in the comments section.      

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2 Comments

I love the S35 anamorphic/i series lenses. I've shot with them quite a few times. Glad to see Cooke staying current and offering solutions for full-frame cameras.

April 8, 2020 at 2:06PM

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Trenton Massey
Director of Photography/ DIT/ Camera Operator
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"The last five years, it seems to have switched to Sigma, which to me, is embarrassingly noticeable if you have an eye for it."

This might be the single most ridiculous statement I've ever seen on this site. Are there better cine lenses out there than Sigmas? Of course, but the differences, whether you "have an eye for it" or not, are very often virtually unnoticeable even when pixel peeping. In many lighting conditions and after grading I'd bet it would be difficult for anyone to tell them apart with absolute certainty. Yes, some lenses may have a slightly better or more cinematic aesthetic (slightly), but to say that Sigmas create some type of embarrassing, low-quality, amateur image is absolutely absurd.

April 10, 2020 at 5:57AM

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