Vintage lenses have been a major trend in the motion picture industry and Cooke is in a prime position to take advantage of their unrivaled heritage. They’ve just announced they’ll be reviving the classic Cooke Speed Panchro line of prime lenses that were first made in the 20’s and ran all the way through the 60’s. Let’s take a look at what information is currently available from Cooke.
Cooke says the optical design will stay true to the original, but with modern housings and PL mounts. There’s no word on which focal lengths will be offered, but Cooke does note that these will begin shipping by NAB 2017.
The original Cooke Speed Panchro, designed by Horace W Lee in the 1920s, was a cine prime lens that chromatically enhanced an image when filming under restricted illumination. Developed several years before ‘talkies’ came into being, the advent of sound films created a great demand for faster lenses because arc lamps could no longer be used, making much existing equipment obsolete. Cooke Speed Panchros combined a relative aperture as wide as f2.0 with an angular field of view and definition previously impossible with much smaller apertures. They quickly gained a worldwide reputation for quality cinema production and were widely used throughout the 20th century.
Les Zellan, Chairman and Owner, Cooke Optics, said, “People still love the look they get from the old Speed Panchros, but they are hard to find – and if you can find them, you have to remount them for today’s cameras. In response to this, we have taken the original design and created a new housing to fit a PL mount. The new Panchro Classic lenses will have the same look and feel that people love about the originals.”
This content was syndicated from Cooke’s website. However, the photo titles contained “FDT” which I interpret as Film & Digital Times by Jon Fauer. Be sure to check out his website throughout the IBC/Cinec buzz.