Cooke Optics, a renowned name in film since their founding in 1893, proves to be a timeless brand with their latest release. Influenced by the game-changing Speed Panchros, Cooke has introduced their newest line of Prime Cinema Lenses: the SP3s.
In today’s digital age, anyone has the accessibility to capture images in motion. However, shooting and conveying emotion-evoking stories demands something more. The SP3s do just that by allowing cinematographers the power of the vintage “Cooke Look” while incorporating modern technology to storytell like never before.
Cooke promises an “optically and mechanically optimized lens” with the SP3s for full-frame mirrorless cameras. The latest set of primes is guaranteed to offer impeccable resolution while mirroring the beautiful dynamic fall off of a classic Speed Panchro lens. You’ll find crisp, sharp focus on-axis that is designed to roll of towards the edge of frame.
The SP3s deliver quality images in 5 focal lengths. Listed below from left to right, the lens set contains a 100mm, 75mm, 50mm, 32mm, and 25mm, each full frame and at a speed of T2.4. The SP3s are also some of Cooke’s lightest lenses yet. Designed for maximum ergonomic performance, the weight of each lens ranges from 1.1-1.52 pounds depending on mount and focal length. The SP3s are E mount with user-changeable RF and L mount options, and an M mount to be released in 2024.
Lens changes are fast and efficient with the SP3s due to their dual focus scales. Focus and iris mechanics are aligned across each set allowing for smooth and efficient swaps without having to reposition motors.
The SP3s are available for purchase as a set of 5 ($21,375) complete with case, or primes can be bought individually ($4500.)
At an open house in New York on December 14, FUJINON debuted the HZK25-1000mm F2.8-F5.0 PL Mount Box Lens on a Sony VENICE 2. Dubbed a “box lens,” the product is designed for multi-camera concerts, events, broadcast, and sports and is expected to be used extensively in the film industry for commercials, sports, stunts, car spots, and feature films.
The lens boasts several unique features, including automatic breathing compensation, which adjusts its focal length in sync with focusing, PL Mount, and Super35 format with a built-in 1.5x internal expander to cover full frame sensors. It also has Automatic Restoration of Illumination Attenuation and automatic lens chromatic aberration correction, both of which only work with the SONY HDC-F5500 currently.
With its incredibly long zoom range and wide aperture, the FUJINON 25-1000 is designed to deliver high-quality and optical performance on par with the company’s highly regarded Premier Series. The lens has a wide F2.8 aperture at its shortest focal length, allowing for low-light filming and delivering beautiful bokeh and a cinematic look. Fujifilm’s advanced optical technology, including the use of aspherical and fluorite lens elements, helps to suppress aberrations and produce sharp images with minimal ghosting, flares, and color fringing.
The lens is also designed to be easy to use and has optical image stabilization, which compensates for vibrations and ensures stable shooting. Its unique box shape allows for the use of optical elements with larger diameters than traditional barrel-style lenses.
The HZK25-1000 is expected to be available in Spring 2023 and will be demonstrated in various locations until then. Camera crews can use wireless FIZ lens controllers from Preston Cinema Systems and ARRI to control the lens.
DUAL FORMAT SYSTEM’
The HZK25-1000 is a versatile lens that boasts a dual-format system, allowing it to support both large format and super 35mm sensors. This means that photographers can achieve the same field of view on both types of sensors, making it a convenient tool for a variety of shooting scenarios.
To use the lens on full frame sensors, it’s necessary to attach the 1.5x expander, which expands the lens’s capabilities even further. With the expander, photographers can capture images with a focal length of 1500mm, and when used in conjunction with a large format sensor, the lens offers optimal optical performance while providing a field of view similar to that of a super 35mm sensor.
The HZK25-1000 is designed to cover image circles of 28.5mm and 41.3mm across its zoom range, depending on the type of camera sensor it’s paired with. When used with a Super 35mm sensor, it covers an image circle of 28.5mm, and when paired with a full frame sensor equivalent to 35mm, it covers an image circle of 41.3mm.
OPTICAL IMAGE STABILIZATION
The HZK25-1000 lens is a groundbreaking product as it is the first box-type zoom lens that is compatible with large format sensors and features optical image stabilization. This lens is equipped with the latest anti-vibration mechanism, which includes Fujifilm’s innovative ceramic ball roller system. This system provides exceptional anti-vibration protection against external sources of shake, such as wind or foot movements, and also reduces hand shake to ensure stable image capture.
The HZK25-1000 lens is designed with advanced optical technology that helps minimize aberrations. It features a large-aperture aspherical lens and a polished fluorite lens to eliminate ghosting, flare, and color fringes, ensuring high image quality.
The lens has been fine-tuned for out-of-focus bokeh through simulations using Fujifilm’s FOCUS (Fujifilm Optical Class Library and Utilities System) software. This software determines the best glass materials for each layer to achieve a natural and soft bokeh. The lens is also compatible with live broadcasting setups, as it can be used with existing FUJINON box lens accessories and even with wireless controllers from Preston Cinema and ARRI.
In addition to its optical stability, the HZK25-1000 includes state-of-the-art features like Automatic Restoration of Illumination Attenuation (ARIA), Remote Back-Focus, and Automatic Chromatic Aberration Correction, which are now standard in many Fujifilm’s FUJINON broadcast lenses.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The HZK25-1000 lens is a versatile lens that can be used in a variety of situations. It is a dual-format lens that is compatible with both large format and super 35mm sensors, which means it can provide a consistent field of view for shooting in different sensor sizes. The lens is also equipped with a 1.5x extender, which allows for capturing images at 1500mm. With its anti-vibration mechanism and optical image stabilization, the lens helps ensure stable image capture and reduces the impact of shaking caused by footsteps or wind.
Additionally, the HZK25-1000 features advanced optical technology to suppress aberrations and produce high-quality images with minimal ghosting, flare, or color fringe. The out-of-focus bokeh is also optimized through repeated simulations, which results in a soft and natural background.
The lens is also designed with live broadcasting in mind and is compatible with a range of accessories, including wireless controllers from Preston Cinema and ARRI. The lens is equipped with various technologies such as Automatic Restoration of Illumination Attenuation (ARIA), Remote Back-Focus, and Automatic Chromatic Aberration Correction, which are now standard in many of Fujifilm’s FUJINON broadcast lenses. Overall, the HZK25-1000 lens is a good choice for those who need a versatile and high-performing lens for live broadcasting, videography, and photography.
Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!
The Cooke S8i Prime lenses are a new line of high-end, hand-crafted cinematography lenses designed for the modern filmmaker. These lenses are designed to offer the best in image quality and user experience, with a range of features that set them apart from other lenses on the market.
In this article, we’ll explore what makes the Cooke S8i primes a great choice for filmmakers and what features set them apart.
First, let’s talk about the build quality of these lenses. The Cooke S8i primes are built to the highest standards, with a focus on durability and reliability. The lenses are made with high-quality materials, including precision-milled aluminum and stainless steel, and are built to withstand the rigors of daily use on set. This attention to detail and craftsmanship means that the lenses will last a long time and perform consistently, even in demanding shooting environments.
One of the standout features of the Cooke S8i primes is their image quality. These lenses are designed to deliver stunning images with rich, saturated colors and sharp detail. The lenses are made with high-quality glass elements and feature Cooke’s unique “floating element” design, which helps to minimize aberrations and maintain image quality across the entire focus range. This results in images that are sharp and clear, with smooth, natural bokeh and minimal distortion.
Another important aspect of the Cooke S8i primes is their versatility. These lenses are designed to be compatible with a wide range of cameras, including full-frame and Super 35 sensors. This means that filmmakers can use these lenses on a variety of different cameras and still get the same high-quality images. Additionally, the lenses are available in a range of focal lengths, from 18mm to 135mm, allowing filmmakers to cover a wide range of shooting scenarios with just a few lenses.
The Cooke S8i primes are also designed with user experience in mind. The lenses feature smooth, precise focus and iris control, making it easy to get the shot you want. Additionally, the lenses are designed with minimal breathing, so you won’t see the image changing size as you focus, which is especially important when working with a moving subject.
THE “COOKE LOOK”
Finally, let’s talk about the Cooke Look. Cooke lenses have a unique, recognizable “look” that sets them apart from other lenses on the market. This look is characterized by a warm, rich image with smooth, natural bokeh. The Cooke S8i primes continue this tradition, offering filmmakers the same Cooke Look that has made Cooke lenses a favorite among cinematographers for decades.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In conclusion, the Cooke S8i prime lenses are a highly advanced and sophisticated set of lenses that offer cinematographers, photographers, and filmmakers unparalleled image quality, versatility, and ease of use. With their innovative design, advanced coatings, and advanced focus and aperture systems, these lenses allow users to capture stunning, detailed images with exceptional accuracy and clarity. Whether shooting in bright daylight or in low-light conditions, the Cooke S8i primes provide exceptional image quality and performance, making them a popular choice among professionals and amateur photographers alike. Whether you are a filmmaker, photographer, or cinematographer, if you want to achieve the highest level of image quality and performance, the Cooke S8i primes are definitely worth considering.
Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!
PANCHRO/i Classic FF lenses revitalize the Speed Panchro look
Cooke Optics, the longest-standing pros in the cinema lens game, do way more than meet their consumers’ demand. The “Cooke Look” has changed filmmaking, and the UK-based optical manufacturer even has an Academy Award to show as proof.
Since achieving wide success from its newer lens packages like the Cooke S4s or Cooke SF primes—Cooke has been bolstering its PANCHRO/i Classic FF lens lineup.
The PANCHRO/i Classic lenses aren’t centered around any gimmicks, like aperture performance or enhanced flaring—but they’re a redesign of Cooke’s legendary Speed Panchro lenses from the 1920s.
History of Speed Panchro Cine Lens
The “Classic” in “PANCHRO/i Classic” refers to the legendary Speed Panchro lenses that Cooke debuted in the 1920s. These lenses were built with extraordinary sticking power, as they have experienced repeated uses throughout their century of existence. In fact, the original Speed Panchros have shot classic films of multiple generations, such as Casablanca in the ‘40s and The Sound of Music in the ‘60s.
Once digital cinema took over in the early ‘00s, the culture shifted towards sharper image rendition as digital cameras became more powerful in the early ‘00s. But, digital cinema soon hit a visual ceiling, and soon the “pixel perfect” quality of digital cameras needed an organic presence to its images, and vintage lenses quickly shot back in style. This resurgence has made the Speed Panchros as coveted as ever, and these original lenses—retained since their original build in 1927—were used on twenty-first century films such as Inherent Vice and Blue Jasmine, as their soft, painterly essence stood in bold contrast to the sterile, featureless quality of newer lenses.
Since the original Speed Panchros have become so popular, Cooke decided to make them more accessible by transforming the original optical design into the PANCHRO/i Classics, a series of full-frame lenses with modern-day housings. Now, users can recreate the creamy, vintage feel of the original Speed Panchros, but with twenty-first century conveniences.
Watch this PANCHRO/i Classic demo from Cooke
Cooke’s PANCHRO/i Classic FF Lenses
A huge problem solved by Cooke’s Classic lenses is that they are color-balanced and color-matched. For anyone using even a rehoused set of Speed Panchros, one lens might not match the other, and users may have to manually readjust the white balance for each shot, not to mention spend countless more hours in the coloring phase of post-production just to match footage. But, since the PANCHRO/i Classics are current, they are all colour-matched to one another, and colour matched with other Cooke len series, such as the Anamorphic Primes.
The new PANCHRO/i Classics are built in a sturdy, anodized aluminum housing that can stand the test of time. Cooke touts the edging tactics used to ensure “perfectly round” glass diameters. These newer lenses are more durable than the original Speed Panchros and they are equipped with the modern-day standard PL Mount or LPL mount.
Additionally, Cooke’s new lenses utilize the manufacturer’s new Metadata logging and transfer system, called /i Technology. Cooke’s /i tech captures lens information such as focus distance, aperture, depth of field, hyperfocal distance, serial number, owner data, lens type, and focal length data, in both meters and feet. This metadata capture goes a long way in post-production, especially since the PANCHRO/i Classics log information each frame.
Because the PANCHRO/i Classic are only inspired by vintage lenses, they avoid the wild flares that vintage lenses normally produce. As Cooke puts it, these lenses “are designed to give maximum performance at full aperture with fine control of flare, distortion, and spherical aberration”. Odds are, anyone choosing the Speed Panchros aren’t doing it for the heavy flares—as there are other Cooke lenses that do it better, not to mention the anamorphic format as a whole. Most likely, these lenses are chosen for their ability to produce spectacular creamy images, first and foremost.
Another change Cooke added with this lens series is full-frame capability. The PANCHRO/i Classic lenses have an image circle of 46.31mm, far more than the original Speed Panchros.
Because these optics are taken from the Classical Hollywood era, they do not have the aperture capabilities of state of the art, digital-looking lenses. The Cooke FF PANCHRO/i Classics do not have a consistent maximum aperture. All lenses have a max aperture of T2.2, except for the 65mm Macro, 100mm, 135mm, and 152mm. This doesn’t mean the lenses’ looks aren’t compatible; only that switching lenses won’t be as easy as screwing them on and then off. This might require some work with ND filters if you’re looking to closely match depths of field among lenses.
All Classics lenses have a common fixed front diameter of 110mm, making it easier to swap lenses when using filters.
The FF PANCHRO/i Classics are an excellent package from Cooke, especially for anyone looking to produce breathtaking, vintage-inspired visuals without the downsides of using vintage lenses. A single lens costs around $13,000, so unless you’re a rental house looking to boost its inventory, your best bet is most likely to rent.
Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Cooke packages!
Cooke, arguably the top optical designer and manufacturer throughout filmmaking history, has released another set of S35 lenses called the S4/i and Mini S4/i.
These two series have a lot in common—but there are clear reasons for going with one over the other. The Mini S4/i primes were based on the original Cooke S4/i series and built as a lighter, lower budget alternative. In the grand scheme of things, the Mini S4s are incredible lenses, but compared to its top-of-the-line counterpart, there are measurable differences.
Cooke describes the MiniS4/i primes as “smaller, light-weight lenses that offer the same resolution, optical quality, and reliability as the S4/i lenses at T2.8 speed”. In fact, the company went through the effort of color balancing the MiniS4/i primes to match all Cooke /i lenses, including the 5/i and Anamorphic/i set.
Both the MiniS4 and S4 lens series showcase “The Cooke Look”. With different physical characteristics and components, however, it’s impossible for the Mini S4 to look totally identical to the S4. Both series are built with moderate control over flares and distortion, opting for a modern look with character. The S4’s subdued look differs from Cooke’s Special Flares package, which prides itself on exaggerated flares, noticeable distortion and enhanced aberrations.
For users who are looking for loud flares but don’t want to get the SF packages, there is still another route to a vintage-inspired Cooke look. See, Cooke offers optional, uncoated lenses for the Mini S4/i primes that you can use to replace your original, coated optics. Be warned, however: this is not an easy task, and it requires planning beforehand and an authorized lens technician to accomplish.
Check out the palpable difference in flare management between the Mini S4/i primes and the Mini S4/i primes with specially uncoated optics.
Even though the Mini S4/i primes were built as a lightweight companion to the regular S4s, they are still capable of shooting Super35 format with full coverage of the frame. Therefore, you can still capture the Cooke Look in Super35 without much negotiation.
Additionally, both prime sets come in a PL mount and can be outfitted with an LPL mount, alternatively. If your desired camera body uses a different mount system, you can use mount adapters to enable compatibility.
The aperture capabilities are the most notable technical distinction between these two Cooke lens series. The Mini S4/i primes have a universal maximum aperture of T2.8, compared to its counterpart’s faster T2.0. While having a universal maximum aperture is an accomplishment in the first place, this disparity in light handling could be the dealbreaker for anyone who wants to shoot with the newest Cooke but, say, is shooting in lower light scenarios. Or, a Director of Photography that’s aiming for an extremely shallow depth of field may side with the wider aperture.
In addition to consistent aperture, the Mini package is outfitted with almost universal front diameters, which comes in handy when swapping filters without matte boxes. All lenses in the Mini S4/i line have an 87mm front diameter, except for the widest, 18mm lens, which has a front diameter of 110mm.
Although there are countless combinations of focal lengths being sold and rented, the total size of the Mini S4/i line pales in comparison to the regular S4.
The Mini S4/i T2.8 primes are comprised of ten focal lengths: 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 65mm, 75mm, 100mm, and 135mm.
The Cooke S4/i primes, on the other hand, have a more comprehensive range of focal lengths. Its 19 lenses include: 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 27mm, 32mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 65mm, 65mm (SF), 75mm, 100mm, 135mm, 150mm, 180mm, and 300mm.
The Cooke Mini S4/i primes were built as a lightweight, smaller companion to the original S4s.
Despite its small size, the Cooke miniS4 lenses feature large numerals on both sides of the focus barrel to help focus pullers get the most accurate pulls. Markings are in feet and inches. Even though many focus pullers may be doing it remotely, these large focus markings in addition to a wide focal rotation make the job remarkably easier for operators.
Both the Cooke Mini S4/i lenses and the original S4/i primes have a scratch-resistant hard, anodized polytetrafluoroethylene finish, giving users a durable lens suitable for extreme shooting scenarios.
Cooke’s /i tech makes a superior professional workflow compatible with a wide range of cameras and accessories. This metadata capture goes a long way in post-production, especially as the Cooke S4 and Mini S4s log information each frame. Lens information captured by Cooke’s /i system includes focus distance, aperture, depth of field, hyperfocal distance, serial number, owner data, lens type data, and focal length (in both meters and feet).
The Cooke S4/i and Mini S4/i are two remarkable sets by the world’s leading cine lens manufacturer. Despite their minor differences, these are spectacular lenses at the end of the day.
If you want to take a closer look at footage shot on these lenses, there are thousands of options to choose from. Cooke’s official site even has a searchable library for all projects shot on Cooke and the exact lens series used. You can search by Title, Topic, Director, or DoP to learn what famous projects were shot with Cooke glass.
However, there’s still one more difference between these lens packages to look at—which is price.
The biggest reason to get the MiniS4/i lenses over the S4 is its significantly cheaper price. A Cooke 35mm T2.0 S4/i prime costs $17,900 retail on B&H, whereas the smaller, 32mm T2.8 MiniS4/i has a retail price of $7,650. This price disparity remains consistent along both lens series, and may be a determining factor.
If you want to avoid these large price tags, however, your best bet to use these cine lenses is to rent from a professional rental house!
Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Cooke packages!
Following the success of the Cooke Anamorphic primes, the UK-based optical manufacturer understood that consumers wanted even more expression to the image’s vintage-inspired aberrations.
So, Cooke modified their top-of-the-line anamorphics with a new coating that dramatically boosted features of the image like flares and bokeh.
This new offshoot of the Cooke Anamorphic Primes is called SF, which stands for “Special Flare”. These Cooke creations offer the same build as the Cooke anamorphics/i, but with a new, anamorphic-minded coating. The original Cooke Anamorphics blue streak lens flare has been rendered more expressive with the Special Flares lenses, elevating Cooke’s bold look to a level of higher intensity. The bokeh has also been enhanced, as it’s sharp-edged look has been turned oval by the additional sides added to the iris.
See for yourself the magnificent flares created by the SF anamorphic primes. The video below tests out a wide range of focal lengths to show the consistent, yet radiant flare rendition among the SF package:
Cooke’s Special Flare Anamorphic lenses were designed to complement Cooke’s other anamorphic primes and are manufactured in the focal lengths: 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, 135mm, 180mm, and 300mm. Although the SF lenses can be thought of as special use lenses, they are color-balanced and color-matched with the other Cooke lens series, allowing easy integration into any production that’s already chosen the Cooke Look. It is worth noting, however, that the Special Flares lenses are built with a slightly different squeeze factor of 1.8x, compared to the typical 2x of anamorphic. This modification was made presumably after Cooke designers found the frame should breathe more if heavier flares are introduced. Regardless, the SF and its predecessor lens have been mixed and matched on Hollywood productions without fault, as discussed further below.
Like all beloved anamorphics, these lenses are a comfortable combination of vintage and modern; the vintage being the distortive characteristics, anamorphic aspect ratio, and aberrations like lens flare—whereas the modern component involves the lenses build. These lenses are consistent among focal lengths and properly color-matched, but the most modern feature has to be Cooke’s /i technology, a metadata system used to transfer lens data from the lens to compatible camera systems.
Details logged through the /i system include focal length, aperture, focus, depth of field, and more in both feet and metric systems. This metadata speeds up the workflow of a shoot in both production and post, especially with respect to VFX-heavy projects. Some systems compatible with Cooke’s /i technology include ARRI, Panavision, RED, Sony, and dozens other brand systems.
The Special Flare anamorphics can shoot S35 format with full coverage of the frame. For larger format, Cooke has another line of anamorphics called “Full Frame Plus”. Most of the SF Anamorphic primes share a 110mm front diameter, which makes swapping filters between lenses easier without any need for a matte box. The SF primes were designed by Cooke for use in both digital and film formats; and are available in either a PL or LPL mount.
The Special Flares primes come with 270° of focus rotation to maximize focus pulling capability, which goes a long way for 2nd ACs shooting anamorphic. The lenses have a universal T-stop of T2.3, allowing excellent, consistent low light performance throughout the package. For instance, if you’re shooting a closeup with the 135mm SF prime, then you switch to capture a medium with the 32mm prime, you can swap lenses with ease and avoid having to change the lighting setup for the camera. More importantly, this means you can stay at the same aperture between setups, giving you strict control over light flares.
These Cooke lenses with enhanced coating have already found their way into both movie theaters and living rooms. Some projects shot on Special Flares include Pete’s Dragon, Swiss Army Man, and episodes of Star Trek: Picard. As the Lead Director of Photography of the Paramount+ series explains in-depth, the futuristic science fiction subgenre lends itself well to Special Flares’ boosted response to light sources.
Interestingly enough, the SF series lenses aren’t officially listed on Cooke’s website. They can be found among rental houses online and in person. These lenses are in short supply, however, and might require some tracking down or winnowing down from your dream SF lens package.
As is the case with any Cooke lenses, the Special Flares anamorphic prime lenses are among the highest quality glass on the market and are priced accordingly. A single Cooke SF lens will run you anywhere from $32,000-$39,000, depending on the lens in question and where you look. Therefore, unless you’re looking to build a personal collection worth half a million dollars, your production’s best bet is to rent for more convenient prices.
Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals’ Special Flares Prime package!
A lens filter is a camera accessory that cinematographers use to control the image. On the surface, a filter is a protective glass that can slide in and out of the matte box in order to eliminate the possibility of extra dust, dirt, scratches, and obstructions that could damage the lens. Apart from their rudimentary use, filters are an excellent way to have more leverage in manipulating the image. Certain filters can enhance colors by adding or subtracting hues and intensifying or dulling the saturation of particular colors. This in turn adds contrast to the image and creates a more vibrant picture. The most used filters are those that affect the exposure of the image by limiting the amount of light that is allowed to pass through the shutter. These filters have varying degrees of how much light they block, and ultimately protect the cinematographer from overexposing the image. There are also filters that can be used as visual special effects by creating a type of obstacle illusion in front of the sensor like Schneider’s True-Streak filters.
What is Schneider’s True-Streak Filter:
Just like any filter, the true-streak filter is placed in front of the lens in order to manipulate the image. Once placed in the matte box, the true-streak filter essentially exaggerates or mimics an anamorphic flare. When light passes through the filter, a hued streak cuts through the light’s source. Based on the source’s size, scope, and intensity, the flare can vary in size. The brighter the light source and specular reflections, the more intense the streak will be. Because anamorphic lenses have a unique internal glass structure, when light passes through the lens it reflects, refracts, and essentially “bounces around” before it reaches the camera’s sensor. Once the light reaches the sensor, a horizontal flare will result based on the angle in which the sensor is receiving the light. These filters work best when using point light sources to create fullest visual effect.
Size, Intensity, and Color:
While blue is the most common solid color, there are other colors that streak filters come in. Schneider produces colors in Orange, Green, Yellow, Violet, Pink, Gold, and Clear. There are also rainbow streak filters, which merge all the color streak filters into one glass. This special effect seamlessly creates a rainbow gradient streak wherever the light source is. Opposed to the true-streak rainbow filter, the true-streak confetti filter creates small multi-colored streaks around a light source. This filter creates firework-like bursts that streak through and around the source.
Based on how far apart the colored lines are from each other on the physical filter, determines the intensity of the streak. The closer together the lines are will great the strongest streak. In other words, the 1mm true-streak filter is more intense than the 4mm filter. At Bokeh, we offer the True-Blue Streak in 1mm, 2mm, and 3mm.
Using True-Streak Filters:
These filters can either be inserted to a conventional 4×5.60 matte box tray or be gear-driven in order to quickly rotate the streak to a desired angle. Like mentioned before these filters can enhance anamorphic lenses that already naturally create streaks and flares simply due to the mechanics of the physical lens. But what if you are shooting with non-anamorphic lenses and desire the streaks to fit the look of your project? These true-streak filters in front of your lens will imitate the anamorphic optics and help achieve your look in a cost-effective way. These filters also enhance highlights and helps to draw attention to a specific part of the frame.
There are very few brand names that hold the prestige of ARRI and Zeiss. So, it’s no surprise that when both companies collaborated on a top-notch quality set of S35 primes, it’s become a genuine staple of the motion picture industry: The ARRI Master Primes.
The two highly respected optical manufacturers co-developed the Master Primes in a unique partnership wherein Zeiss manufactures the Master Primes, which are then sold exclusively through the ARRI brand.
There are sixteen primes in this package: 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 27mm, 32mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 65mm, 75mm, 100mm, 135mm, and 150mm. Additionally, there is a 100mm macro lens to complement the package, typically sold separately.
Part of the Master Primes’ fame—besides its spectacular image rendition—is its incredibly fast performance. The ARRI Master Primes have a uniform maximum aperture capability of T1.3, making these among the fastest lenses out there, which is highly remarkable for a series of sixteen lenses. The 100mm macro lens, however, has a maximum aperture of T2.0.
What’s more telling of the ARRI Master Primes’ performance isn’t specs or footage viewed on a computer screen—but dropping some titles of films that employed the lenses, as the Master Primes have been used on countless Hollywood feature films. In fact, the ARRI website displays a quote about the Master Primes from Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC: “I love the way the Master Primes are – one of the best lenses probably ever made… they allow you to have clean images, and that I like very much”.
Lubezki regularly shoots with ARRI Master Primes, and has done so on The Tree of Life, Birdman, and The Revenant. All three films were nominated for the Best Cinematography Academy Award, with the latter two taking home the Oscar. The list of Master Prime-shot films is endless, but some other examples include The Irishman, Knives Out, and Us.
The ARRI Master Primes easily cover Super35 sensors and operate with the PL LDS mount system, the industry standard designed by ARRI that also allows use of its lens data system. Lenses are marked with either meters or feet measures. All the Master Primes have front diameters of 114mm, except for the 150mm, which has a front diameter of 134mm.
The aforementioned Built-in Lens Data System that transfers lens data to compatible camera systems. This feature of modern lenses is comparable to Cooke’s /i technology and has become increasingly important to maintaining consistency on set and improving the post-production workflow.
As far as image goes, the Master Primes are built to have higher resolution and contrast compared to other lenses of this quality. There is no geometric distortion to the image, which goes a long way in lenses that cover such a wide range in focal lengths. In line with its beautiful, de-emphasized look, there is “dramatically reduced flare” and “virtually no breathing” in the Master Primes.
Check out the video below that demonstrates not only the beautiful bokeh rendering by the Master Primes, but also its complete lack of visible breathing when racking focus.
The ARRI S35 Master Primes are often compared to the Ultra Primes—another top-of-the-line lens set from the same manufacturer. There are minor difference between the lenses’ designs. Generally, the Master Primes are a more stable build, as it has a stronger control of flares and slightly less contrast rendition. Although the Ultra Primes have a more dynamic look, very often they are paired with the Master Primes on shoots. In fact, Lubezki himself shot both The Revenant and Birdman on a combination of Master Primes and Ultra Primes, seeing the utility in both looks.
For further comparison between the ARRI Master Primes and Ultra Primes, check out this lens flare comparison below:
Unless you’re a major rental house or A-list cinematographer, there isn’t really reason to outright purchase an ARRI Master Prime for yourself. Just one from the 17 available costs $26,450 on B&H. Renting the entire package, on the other hand, is overkill for any shooting scenario.
With so many options, it’s best to put together a package that gives you a full, capable range for your production. Bokeh Rentals’ Master Prime package contains five lenses—the 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm—to give users enough flexibility to capture stunning wide shots to captivating close-ups.
Cooke Optics has long been regarded the premier manufacturer of professional-grade cinema lenses.
With the announcement of Cooke’s newest line of cinema primes, a new standard altogether has been set for super-fast full frame lenses—while incorporating its open protocol /i technology.
Last week, Cooke released a specially made video to announce its new line of S8/i FF primes:
These state-of-the-art lenses are built with a maximum aperture of T1.4 across the entirety of its sixteen focal lengths. More importantly, however, is that all lenses are capable of shooting full frame formats.
The new S8/i line is comprised of sixteen different cinema primes, ranging from 18mm to 350mm. Full Frame and T1.4 across sixteen lenses—with no exceptions. It may be worth noting that the unreleased 18mm and pre-orderable 25mm contain 43.4mm image circles, which are still full frame-capable, but the remaining fourteen lenses all have image circles of 46.3mm.
The image quality from the S8/i FFs is immaculate—which should come as no surprise since “the Cooke Look” is burnished in film history. In fact, the optics manufacturer recently received an Award of Merit by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for having “helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century”.
Therefore, this new lens series is successfully continuing Cooke’s spectacular run. Check out the demo footage below, captured by Bill Bennet, ASC, and Kees van Oostrum, ASC, in the Mojave Desert. Cooke notes that all shots were taken at T1.4 to demonstrate the exquisite quality of the lenses at their widest aperture:
As you can see, the Cooke S8/i FF primes produce a beautifully clean image with smooth, clean bokeh. Aberration and distortions exist, but just enough to send its look beyond a sterile, digital aesthetic. These lenses don’t need to lean on cursory vintage artifacts to give its images character, as you can tell by the gorgeous colors produced in the above “Desert Demo”. Cooke describes the result of its all-spherical lenses as “a uniquely organic, film-like quality… characterised by smooth, spherical bokeh and minimal colour fringing”.
Of course, these Cooke S8/i lenses are superb pieces of technology, but if you’re looking for a performatively vintage look, there are plenty of on-lens filters and postproduction processes to get you there.
The Cooke S8/i series is to contain 16 full frame T1.4 lenses by the end of the year. The first seven lenses in the series, available for pre-order now, come in the following focal lengths: 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, and 135mm. By late 2022, nine more focal lengths will be added to the S8/i lineup: the 18mm, 21mm, 27mm, 35mm, 65mm, 85mm (macro), 180mm, 250mm and 350mm.
All the S8/i primes are available in either PL or LPL mount, the standard for cinema cameras. For mounting to cameras with other sensors, such as Sony’s E-mount or Canon’s EF mount, adapters can be employed.
Although the full specs on all sixteen high speed, full frame primes haven’t been released yet, we know the complete specs for the first seven lenses—and they point towards a state-of-the-art lens package built for convenience and consistency. Each focal length prime has a common fixed diameter of 104mm, enabling users to swap filters without needing different sizes or use of a matte box. Similarly, the angular rotation of the iris scale is fixed at 90° for every lens, and the aperture remains consistent throughout the package. Additionally, all the lenses are color-balanced and color-matched, which is a monumental accomplishment for such an extensive series of lenses.
Just like Cooke’s earlier line of Varotal Zoom /Panchro cinema primes—the S8/i lenses utilize Cooke’s metadata technology, referred to as “/i”. Cooke’s /i system digitally captures camera information to streamline the post-production process. This metadata, which requires a wired connection to access, is captured frame-by-frame and synchronized to timecode during recording. The /i Technology’s handling of depth of field, shading and distortion mapping are useful for VFX workflow—and the camera information can also come in handy for producers, ACs, and script supervisors to save valuable time on set.
Cooke’s new S8/i lenses are housed in a hard, anodized finish. Its form factor is compact, lightweight, and scratch-resistant to handle a long lifetime in fast-paced production circumstances of varying environments.
These lenses are built to last a long, long time; and it could be a while until any optical competitor produces a series of full frame spherical primes as fast as Cooke’s new T1.4 S8/I package.
Cooke Optics’ new S8/i 1.4 FF primes might be the nicest lenses on the market, judging by the early impressions online. As the newest, highest-quality glass out there, these lenses come at quite the cost. The seven lenses for pre-order cost about $35,000 each, and prices for the remaining nine focal lengths are expected to be similar.
Therefore, anyone looking to put these state-of-the-art primes to use on their production should consider renting them out from Bokeh Rentals:
Rent the Cooke S8/i T1.4 Full Frame Primes
Rent the Cooke S8/i T1.4 FF Primes from Bokeh Rentals
Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!
As much as filmmakers love experimenting with the anamorphic format—there’s nothing more fun than experimenting with lenses—especially vintage lenses. With strong ties to the history of Soviet cinema, the LOMO anamorphics take the cake as the most sought-after of European, vintage anamorphic primes.
These Russian lenses date back to the ‘70s and are highly coveted for their imperfect optical effects, melding anamorphic’s dynamic quality with the pleasant, tactile feel of vintage glass.
Check out the footage below, in which LOMO anamorphics turn a sunny exterior into a lush daydream.
LOMO (Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association) is an optical manufacturer based in St. Petersburg, Russia. LOMO opened its first factory in 1914 and started mass producing cameras in 1930 with the Fotokor N1.
The company’s history is hard to track, since its existence during the Soviet era had its operations focusing on military and industrial production. In fact, the name “LOMO” was only introduced in 1962 to officially separate its optical manufacturing from other operations.
LOMO still manufactures some equipment today, but most of its popularity revolves around vintage pieces from the company’s heyday; its anamorphic primes were built from the 1970s to the 1990s.
Whether it’s these ‘80s LOMOs or these ‘60s Kowa Prominars—vintage anamorphics are always in high demand, as they stand apart from most modern-day optical gear. See, while the technical capabilities of current equipment are astounding, its ultra-clean, digital-feeling quality can start feeling stale. Thankfully, vintage lenses like these can stand apart for their expressive features, such as these primes’ pleasing falloff—while their anamorphic format gives it dynamic qualities that feel contemporary, such as its extraordinary handling of flares and shallower depth of field.
Because the vintage LOMO sets drifting on the market aren’t straight from the manufacturer, there can be asymmetry in their individual characteristics, such as camera mount, iris blades, or mechanical components.
Insert image from our Instagram post
This particular set of LOMO anamorphics from Bokeh Rentals consists of a 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm prime. They have similar close focuses, of 1m, .92m, .96m, and 1m, respectively.
Their aperture range is representative of its ~1980s build, as the maximum apertures are T2.8, T2.4, T2.4, and T3.2 (in order of ascending focal length.) Although casual consumers can’t help but compare numbers and the nitty gritty of tech specs, camera renters typically keep in mind that what’s important about these lenses is its unique image and original, vintage qualities.
These lenses also have 16 iris blades (10 on the 40mm), which create marvelous oval bokeh. This bokeh, especially in conjunction with the spectacular lens flare, truly makes scouting out these lenses worth the effort.
As evident in the demo footage above, these primes’ out-of-focus areas exhibit the tiniest subtle stretch, giving backgrounds a dreamy, abstract quality—while the areas in focus are kept sharp and discernable. Lastly, the mechanical components of these LOMO anamorphics produce a slight focus falloff at the edges that subconsciously contribute to the dreamy quality of these lenses.
These lenses are built with a 330° focus rotation across all four focal lengths to ensure consistent and accurate focus. Also consistent is the front diameter size of 114mm, which makes simple trading filter between lenses.
What’s interesting about this particular set of LOMO anamorphic primes is its round front, especially with consideration to the 40mm prime. The round front LOMO lenses were constructed to improve upon the design of its predecessors, which have a square front. Within its limited market of resellers, LOMOs with round fronts are more valuable than the less-refined square front models.
These rehoused anamorphic lenses are built on a PL mount, the open standard for cinema lenses, with image circles that shoot Super35 format. The rehousing itself leaves these four lenses with a remarkably cool black exterior containing red and yellow text, and even has the original “LOMO” typography. The ‘L’ in ‘LOMO’ is replaced by ‘Л’, a character in the Cyrillic alphabet, which is used in Russia (technically, at the time of these lenses’ construction, the Soviet Union).
Clearly, these lenses bask in their historical quality—and rightfully so, since its vintage status brings a lot of charm to the image.
The anamorphic primes from LOMO are a rare find and make a great component of any music video, commercial project, and even feature film production.
Most LOMOs on the market are rehoused, so anyone considering renting should be aware that the various repairs or rehousings result in models with different specifications. For this reason, it’s suggested to read the fine print when renting out vintage sets of any brand online. Also, be sure to watch demo footage, because after all, it’s the end product that audiences are seeing.
This article was based on Bokeh Rentals’ new, four-lens LOMO anamorphic prime package.
Rent the LOMO Anamorphic Round Front Prime Lenses
Rent the LOMO Anamorphic Round Front Prime Lenses from Bokeh Rentals
Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!
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