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cooke speed panchros rehousing options

cooke rehouse speedpanchro

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#1 kris limbach

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 08:14 AM

After fiddling around with adapters and all options I found werent that great I decided I would like to get my set of speed panchros rehoused completely. Therefore I wanted to ask about options: What I keep hearing is that TLS is the best rehousing and superior to P+S , and also more expensive. But I couldnt find any infos about the actual pros and cons here. Do you guys have some real world experience with both rehousings? And in Case: Is the difference that big, that for example people renting lenses would pay more to rent a set of tls rehoused lenses than P+S rehoused lenses? 

 

Are there any other options of rehousing from other companies I am not aware of? Thank you very much for any infos on this!! 


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 10:59 AM

TLS and P&S both do great work. If I had to guess about the difference in price, I'd say it's because TLS is a company made up of ex-Cooke employees, and their conversions look a lot like Cooke lenses. This may or may not be an important factor for you.

 

For a cheaper option, you might try GL Optics in China. I have no direct experience with them, but Adam Frisch, who posts here, had some vintage Lomos rehoused by them, and he seemed happy with the work they did.

 

Other options would be Les Bosher in the UK, and Zero Optik here in LA


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#3 kris limbach

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 09:07 AM

Thank you so much for that info. I will write also to the other businesses and will compare. And I know what you mean , the TLS rehousing looks very similar to the cooke s , which for me personally would not be a factor at all but i would like to also  rent these lenses out and then maybe this can be a factor again.. 


Edited by kris limbach, 25 November 2018 - 09:07 AM.

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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 08:46 PM

In my experience the TLS rehousings are better than P&S Technik's, so the cost difference is a reflection of that. Nothing dramatically different, just the TLS rehousings are a bit more reliable and durable.

My experience with GL Optics was a little bumpy, although mechanically their rehousings that I have inspected were quite well built. Their QC in terms of focus scaling/flange depth was the issue, but they did immediately fix the problems I identified for a client. Could have just been a bad week.

Van Diemen Films in the UK are another company that do good quality rehousings. I haven't seen their newest designs, but we had an older set of rehoused Van Diemen Speed Panchros at the last rental house I worked for, and they were very good, rarely needing maintenance.
https://vandiemenbro...e speed panchro
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#5 kris limbach

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 05:05 AM

Thank you for the insights! I also see comparing the prices now that the difference between P+S is there and TLS costs more, but it is also not huge. I contacted TLS and they have a waiting list of 6months at the moment, which would be ok for me. 

I will definitely check out van diemen Films and see their options as well. 


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#6 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 05:38 AM

Do you already own the base lenses? If not, I think it's well worth considering Cooke's own re-release of them. From what I remember, the prices between the new-old lenses and a high-end rehousings are very close to equal.

Which makes it harder to justify the rehouse
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#7 kris limbach

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 05:44 AM

Yes I already own the base lenses, that is why.. Other than that I would consider the re-release lenses as well.  But I was also concerned if there is / will be a drop in value for the rehoused lenses, as there are new options now.. but who knows, I guess some people will still prefer the original rehoused lenses and others the re-release? 


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#8 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 08:54 AM

I haven't personally seen the Van Diemen re-housings but based on the pictures, they've placed the iris gear close to the front of the lens which, as any assistant will tell you, is going to be very inconvenient if you're going to be using a set of these in combination with other lenses which have the more common iris gear placement closer to the mount. It means moving lens motors all the time, although if you work on sets without remote focus or remote iris then this isn't an issue – or if these are the only lenses on a job.


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#9 kris limbach

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 09:00 AM

Thanks for the feedback on the Van Diemen rehousing Kar Wai Ng . This is valuable infos as i want to share the lenses with a rental house. 

 

BTW I also got infos from P+S and they have a waiting list till august 2019, even longer than TLS  at the moment...  


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#10 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 11:02 AM

How long is Cookes wait list for their reborn Panchros?Might be worth weighing up what you could sell the base lenses for (against a set of the new ones) versus a faraway rehousing.

Id certainly be interested to hear how they compare.
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#11 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 08:49 PM

I haven't personally seen the Van Diemen re-housings but based on the pictures, they've placed the iris gear close to the front of the lens which, as any assistant will tell you, is going to be very inconvenient if you're going to be using a set of these in combination with other lenses which have the more common iris gear placement closer to the mount. It means moving lens motors all the time, although if you work on sets without remote focus or remote iris then this isn't an issue – or if these are the only lenses on a job.

 

True, they've continued their design form from the days when the iris ring position didn't matter as much. It's a similar issue with older lenses like Arri Macros, Zeiss Super Speeds, original K35s or Super Baltars and others. The P&S rehousing of Super Baltars that I've seen also had the irs gear at front. 

 

On a seperate note, the massive shift to using motors all the time these days is actually causing damage to rental gear that was designed in an earlier age. In particular the way motors drive lens gears hard into their end-stops is breaking iris pins, shifting focus scale rings and damaging end-stops constantly. I spend a good part of my working life dealing with motor damage to older lenses, and even newer lenses can be damaged by over-torqued motors.  If you're an assistant, please take care when calibrating motors on older lenses, and either turn the torque down or hold the rings a little to stop motors slamming into end-stops.


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#12 Jaron Berman

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:24 AM

I own Van Diemen Leica R rehousing, they're gorgeous.  Yes, the iris is up front which makes clip-on matte boxes not a real option.  I don't recall where, but I heard about their wire form drive system and went down the rabbit hole researching and finding their patent.  It's a pretty simple and ingenious system and very simple [for a lens tech] to keep it tuned.  I was smitten by how clever it was, so I went for it - there were other companies at the time doing the R's, though not as many as there are now.  Currently I have 3 of my 4 lenses, going on year 3 with them.  Van Diemen is not known for speed - I knew this going in - but keep it in mind that rehousing is basically a passion project when it comes to timeframes.

 

As for original speed panchro glass vs. the re-released Panchro Classics - I love vintage lenses, yet I find myself far more attracted to the Panchro Classics than the rehoused originals.  The originals tend to be in pretty bad shape in rental fleets or personal collections, so maybe I haven't seen any truly great sets.  But the coatings of original panchros you find for sale now are generally in terrible shape - so the image you're seeing is a lot dreamier than the glass was capable of new.  And every time I've used originals whether "naked" or rehoused I've found myself wishing they were a little...something else.  The Classics on the other hand are stunning.  And they're widely available.  I bought a couple of original speed panchros with an eye to get them "TLS'd" until I worked with the classics.  Immediately sold the originals - the Classics hit the sweet spot for me, they just look right.  Lenses are insanely subjective, but I personally find something about the Panchro Classic image that I like more than both Superspeeds and S4s - two very different lenses, not to mention the originals.  A little dirty, a little modern, super smooth.


Edited by Jaron Berman, 27 November 2018 - 12:34 AM.

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#13 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 01:14 AM

There are a lot of advantages to getting the Cooke Panchro Classics over rehousing old lenses, not the least being much better colour matching and contrast, i/data contacts and an expanded range of focal lengths. I believe the image circle coverage is a bit larger (though I need to check that), and of course you can replace elements if they get damaged rather than having to source a whole lens for parts.  I don't think the wait time is a whole lot different, nor the cost once you factor in sourcing original Speed Panchros to rehouse. So no real disadvantages I can see either.


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#14 kris limbach

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 10:45 AM

thank you everyone for valuable infos ! @ Dom yes i see that tendency as well, though I own a set of old panchros  and I would personally like to rehouse more than selling them again and buying new.. but this is more an emotional thing I guess than it would be an objective decision. 

I don´t know how the waiting list for the new Panchros looks but it seems they are selling already, no? I haven´t seen any direct comparison etc. though...


Edited by kris limbach, 28 November 2018 - 10:45 AM.

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#15 Sam Edmonds

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 01:33 PM

Here is a little comparison video from a London facilities company (shift 4) hope it’s of some use

https://m.youtube.co...me_continue=116
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#16 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 02:22 PM

TLS does gorgeous work, the best I would say. But they cost a fortune and the wait is forever. Prob more like 2 years to get it done. And what's worse - if any of their buddies or previous customers come along, they get slotted in before you. This has been a complaint from many rental houses I've spoken to - unless you're in with them or a larger customer, they'll work on your stuff last.

 

I personally went with Nan and his company GL Optics in China. He's a standup guy and does good work. The precision of his lenses has also increased  considerably and they're now close to being as tight as western conversions. His prices are very competitive, but he's also got a backlog these days. Prob count on close to a year to get a set done. But I'm using him again for my LF lens conversion.

 

There's also a new kid here in LA that does conversions called Zero Optik. He does great work and I just played with his Angeniuex F0.95 conversion yesterday. Beautiful lens.


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#17 kris limbach

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 04:22 PM

thanks for the video link, yes they come very close but the i cooke are more consistent. for my personal needs this wouldnt be a problem though, but this could change a bit the lens rental market.. 

 

 

@  Adam Frisch thanks for the Infos, I ll write these guys too and will compare! As I am based in Europe I remember customs can be troublesome going in and out from the US (I once bought a modded Fisher Price PXL2000 if anybody remembers these cams ;) ;) and it was really complicated.. ) with expensive stuff... 

 

for the waiting lists I would also estimate that they would get shorter with the arrival of the new  cooke i  classics but who knows...


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#18 kris limbach

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 04:29 PM

Is there a homepage or an email you could share from GL Optics? Google didn´t give me any results .. ;( 


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#19 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 05:50 PM

Is there a homepage or an email you could share from GL Optics? Google didn´t give me any results .. ;( 

http://www.glcinemod.com/english.html


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#20 kris limbach

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 07:03 PM

Thank you!! the site cannot be reached at the moment (www.glcinemod.com’s server IP address could not be found.), but I  guess that is temporary.. 


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