Cooke Begins Shipping S8/i Full Frame Primes

Cooke recently announced their latest endeavour – the S8/i Full Frame Primes. These new lenses will be their flagship set of cinema primes with seven focal lengths available immediately and an additional nine in development bringing the set to 16 focal lengths once completed.

The S8/i primes began shipping June 2022 with seven focal lengths including 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, and 135mm. Nine additional focal lengths are expected to begin shipping in Fall of 2022, including 18mm, 21mm, 27mm, 35mm, 65mm, 85mm MACRO, 180mm, 250mm, and 350mm. The lenses will be priced at approximately $34,000 each.

The S8/i are a cutting edge, state-of-the-art high-speed full frame lenses motivated by feedback from cinematographers wanting to create more realistic and film-like images with spherical lenses for digital motion capture. An evolution of the Cooke Look®, S8/i produces breathtakingly beautiful images with an almost organic feel and a clean bokeh. To achieve this, Cooke has focussed on optimising the contrast performance for the S8/i. Good resolution is, of course, vital with a modern lens. Crucially, human perception of resolution is tied to contrast, so an observer will perceive a sharp image due to the synergy and balance of both.

Cooke Optics

The new design is, in my opinion, a return to Cooke’s revolutionary roots. I’m not referring to the vintage Panchros. I’m referring to the dawn of the Cooke Look – the mid-90s when the Cooke S4 primes were the gold standard. Not only were they an industry staple, but from a service and maintenance perspective, they were an absolute dream. I believe the S8/i primes are the true successor to the S4s. I say this based on some of the design details such as the all-spherical optical design. No sophisticated asphere elements in these lenses. And yet Cooke managed to achieve a respectable speed of T1.4 across most of the focal lengths. You might think this is easy enough, but considering their size and weight are no greater than an original S4 with a much larger image circle to boot, I’d say this is quite the achievement. The S8/i primes are significantly smaller and lighter than their predecessors; the 5/i and S7/i primes. Mechanically, the S8/i primes are very similar to the S4 primes which will also make their maintenance a breeze with most technicians who are familiar with their internal construction.

Cooke has incorporated a variety of technologies in the new Cooke S8/i including their latest /i technology which provides the usual focal length, t-stop, etc, as well as real-time metadata such as shading and sitrotion mapping and inertial motion data which can be extremely useful for virtual productions. For my fellow lens geeks, let’s take a look at the tech specs below – but first, as always, you can order your own S8/i Primes from Duclos Lenses.

Max. ApertureT1.4T1.4T1.4T1.4T1.4T1.4T1.4
Min. Focus22″2′ 3″2′ 3″2′ 3″2′ 9″2′ 9″4′
Focus Rotation270°270°270°270°270°270°270°
Front Dia.104mm104mm104mm104mm104mm104mm104mm
Weight5.3 lbs.5.3 lbs.5 bs.4.6 lbs.5.3 lbs.5.3 lbs.7 lbs.

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