Cooke Anamorphic lenses are widely considered some of the finest and most versatile lenses available in the film and television industry. With their unique ability to capture stunning and cinematic images, these lenses have been used in the most recognizable movies and television programs in recent years. 

“A lens needs to make something believable onto what it’s projecting the image onto”, says Carey Duffy, Director of Sales at Cooke. And that’s what makes Anamorphic Lenses so good in the film industry. This article will look at what makes these lenses so unique.

Design and Build Quality

Cooke Anamorphic Lenses are designed with a unique optical structure that uses a cylindrical shape to create a 2:1 aspect ratio. This means that the lens compresses the image’s width while elongating the height, producing a cinematic look. The lens design features a single focus mechanism that allows for smooth and accurate focus pulls, making it ideal for handheld and Steadicam work.

The construction of the Cooke SF Anamorphic Lens Super 35mm is of the highest quality, utilizing the best materials available to ensure durability and longevity. The lens housing is constructed of high-grade aluminum and is coated with a black anodized finish to prevent scratches and reduce reflections. The lens features a smooth focus and aperture ring that rotates with precision, providing a satisfying tactile experience. A metal cover serves as the lens’s frontal guard and the rear by a removable dust cap.

The optical elements used in the lens are made of high-quality glass, providing excellent color and contrast performance. The lenses are multi-coated to minimize flaring and ghosting, resulting in sharp and detailed images. The Cooke Anamorphic Lenses are also weather-sealed, making them suitable for use in challenging environments.

In terms of overall build quality, the Cooke Anamorphic Lenses are exceptional. The lenses are robust and well-constructed, with a level of precision and attention to detail that is unmatched. The focus and aperture mechanisms are smooth and precise, and the lens housing is designed to withstand daily use on set. The lenses are also designed to be compatible with popular PL mount camera systems, making them an ideal choice for professional cinematographers.

Optics and Performance

Regarding resolution, Cooke Anamorphic Lenses are known for their exceptional image quality, high resolution, and sharpness. They can produce clear, sharp images with minimal distortion, even at the edges of the frame. This is partly due to high-quality glass elements, carefully selected for their optical properties and carefully assembled to ensure maximum image quality.

Sharpness is another crucial factor when it comes to the optics of Cooke Anamorphic Lenses. These lenses are designed to produce incredibly sharp and detailed images with minimal aberrations or distortions. This sharpness is partly due to aspheric elements, which help correct any distortions that may occur during image capture.

The bokeh produced by Cooke Anamorphic Lenses is also noteworthy. These lenses produce a pleasing and natural bokeh, with smooth transitions between in-focus and out-of-focus areas. This bokeh helps create a sense of depth and separation between the subject and the background and is an integral part of the unique anamorphic look that these lenses are known for.

Compared to other lenses in the same category, Cooke Anamorphic Lenses are often considered some of the best available. They offer a unique and highly desirable anamorphic look with high resolution, sharpness, and pleasing bokeh. But it’s important to remember that these lenses are also more expensive than a lot of other anamorphic lenses and may only be suitable for some budgets or projects.

There are a few notable optical flaws or issues associated with Cooke Anamorphic Lenses, including chromatic aberrations and a tendency to produce flaring in bright light. However, these issues are relatively minor, can be easily corrected in post-production, and are outweighed by the many benefits and advantages of these lenses.

Handling and Using Cooke Anamorphic Lenses

Weight and Balance

The Cooke Anamorphic Lens is a heavy lens weighing approximately 4.5 lbs (2 kg). This makes it a bit more challenging to handle for extended periods, especially for handheld shooting. However, the lens is well-balanced, with a comfortable and ergonomic grip. The lens also has a built-in support foot that can rest the lens on flat surfaces, helping alleviate some weight.

Focus and Aperture Ring Controls

The focus and aperture ring controls are smooth and precise, allowing for precise and accurate control over focus and depth of field. The focus ring has a comfortable grip, allowing for easy adjustment, and the focus markings are clear and easy to read. The aperture ring is also smooth, with a well-defined click that makes it easy to select the desired aperture. The lens has an aperture range of T2.3 to T22, providing remarkable control over the depth of field.

Ease of Use and Overall Handling

The Cooke SF Anamorphic Lens Super 35mm is designed for professional use, and its handling reflects this. The lens is well-constructed, with high-quality materials, and has a robust feel. The aperture and focus rings are smooth and accurate, making it easy to control focus and depth of field. The lens is compatible with standard front accessories, making it easy to use with matte boxes, lens hoods, and other equipment.

Special Features Of The Cooke Anamorphic Lenses

The Cooke Anamorphics Lens series boasts various unique features contributing to its excellent image quality and creative possibilities. Some of the notable special features of the Lens include:

  • Anamorphic Flares: One of the most notable features of Cooke Anamorphics lenses is the anamorphic flares. These lenses produce unique and beautiful anamorphic flares that add depth and dimension to the images. The flares are created by light reflections within the lens, resulting in bright, bokeh-like circles that are evenly spaced and perfectly aligned.
  • Aspect Ratio: Another unique feature of Cooke Anamorphics lenses is the aspect ratio. These lenses capture images in a 2:1 aspect ratio, which is wider than traditional aspect ratios and offers a more immersive viewing experience. The wider aspect ratio also provides more creative options for filmmakers, as they can choose to capture more of the surroundings in the frame.
  • Image Quality: Cooke Anamorphics lenses are well known for their exceptional image quality. The lenses are constructed with high-quality materials, including multi-coated elements, which help to minimize chromatic aberrations and produce sharp, clear images. Additionally, the lenses have a consistent focus and T-stop throughout their entire range, which allows for consistent image quality and exposure.
  • Customizable Focus Scale: These lenses come with a removable focus scale that can be adjusted to match the user’s specific needs. This feature allows for precise focus control and enhances the shooting experience.

Get the Most Out Of Cooke Anamorphic Lenses 

Cooke Anamorphic lenses offer a unique and stunning perspective to your visuals, making them an excellent investment for cinematographers and videographers alike. With their great focus and color consistency, it is no surprise that they are a popular choice for high-end productions. 

If you are in the market for a new lens and want to add some flair to your shots, the Cooke SF Anamorphic Lens Super 35mm is worth considering.You may opt to rent the Cooke SF Anamorphic Lens Super 35mm for your next project due to the high cost associated with these lenses may hinder those getting started in the industry.  Cinevo is a camera equipment rental company that rents Cooke Anamorphic lenses by the day, week or longer. 

You can visit Cinevo for a hands-on experience with the lenses if you are located in Phoenix, AZ, or Los Angeles, CA, or you can have the lenses shipped right to your door through our nationwide shipping program. Contact us for more information.


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