Following the interest in and demand for Speed Panchro lenses, Cooke are introducing a series based on these vintage lens, but with modern mechanics
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New Cooke Panchro Classics
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Posted 06 September 2016 - 08:43 AM
Wow, didn't see that one coming! Lovely, available April 2017. Looking forward to this.
Posted 06 September 2016 - 03:44 PM
"They'll be exactly the same as the original Panchros, just with new optics, coatings, and mechanics."
So... Mini S4's then right?
Those old coatings are radioactive and somewhat illegal today. Thats what made them awesome.
Posted 06 September 2016 - 04:28 PM
Another thing to note is that all of these lenses were designed with slide rules and analog techniques – not computers – so those imperfections are unique. I know that Panavision offers to "detune" their lenses for some productions and Hawk offers their Vintage line. Maybe this will be similar: a "detuned" version of something like a Mini S4
Posted 07 September 2016 - 08:50 AM
What makes them awesome is the optical design, coatings just suppress reflections and maybe filter certain wavelengths more than others. Older, single coatings basically just don't work as well as newer multilayered ones, so you get more flare and veiling glare, and the surface is easier to scratch. The radioactive component present in some lenses is not in the coatings, but the glass.
The Speed Panchro range stems from a 6 element, 4 group asymmetrical Double Gauss design from the 20s, before coatings were available, when minimising the number of glass to air surfaces was critical. Even the re-calculated post-ww2 series II Panchros only had between 6 and 9 elements, still in a Double Gauss formation. The S4s were a completely new design from the 90s, with more elements and larger diameters - compare a 32mm Speed Panchro for example to a 32mm S4.
The mini S4s are basically aperture limited S4s, similar design with smaller diameter elements. They were initially labelled "Panchros" in a misguided attempt to cash in on the rich history of Cooke lenses, but they are nothing like the original SII and IIII Speed Panchros.
The great thing about newly made sets of Speed Panchros will be that they should have all the positive qualities of the old lenses - vintage cinematic class - with none of the negatives - colour variations between (and even within) focal lengths, potentially damaged element surfaces or separation, and optical computation designed to only cover an Academy frame. The mechanics should be the equal of or better than any rehoused versions, the all important centration should be better, and spare elements should also be available without having to buy a whole new lens.
Edited by Dom Jaeger, 07 September 2016 - 08:51 AM.
Posted 07 September 2016 - 09:17 AM
Thank you for this overview, Dom, with the last paragraph perfectly summarising why I am so excited about his announcement, as I stated earlier.