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Can anyone recommend a good & reasonable lens repair guy?


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#1 ReadyTeddy

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 10:59 AM

Hello there.

I am the proud owner of an Arriflex 35-2B. I've been collecting a few older primes in Arri Standard Mount to outfit an MOS package with it.

I recently stumbled into a couple of Cooke Speed Panchros which I love for the warm pastel images they render. But, because of their age, these lenses need some adjustment... nothing super fancy.

Can anyone recommend a good lens repair tech? Ideally I'd like to find someone who is on his own, maybe semi-retired and who used to work for a rental or service house... a guy who knows his stuff. My Cooke 50mm SII was monkeyed with by someone who didn't know what they were doing, so I know what happens when a lens is serviced poorly.

The problem is it's not worth it to pay $3-400 a lens for service on these guys. So reasonable is a key word here.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 12:06 PM

Try Focus Optics in LA. If he can't do it for you at the right price he can probably reccomend someone who can.
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#3 Sam Wells

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 12:28 PM

Give Ken Hale @ Whitehouse AV in Burbank a shout.

-Sam
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#4 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 12:31 PM

Can anyone recommend a good lens repair tech? Ideally I'd like to find someone who is on his own, maybe semi-retired and who used to work for a rental or service house... a guy who knows his stuff. My Cooke 50mm SII was monkeyed with by someone who didn't know what they were doing, so I know what happens when a lens is serviced poorly.

The problem is it's not worth it to pay $3-400 a lens for service on these guys. So reasonable is a key word here.


Try Stuart at Focus Optics. Don't know his experience with Cookes, but it might be worth a call.

I had him go through a set of Schneider standard-mount primes and a bayonet-mount Zeiss 10-100 zoom that I purchased with an Arri S/B. He showed me each lens on the projector before and after the service and did a nice job for a very reasonable price. I think it worked out to about $75-150 per lens for a general maintenance, cleaning and calibration. The only down side was the turnaround time; I think it was five weeks. I believe he was pretty backed up with big clients at the time, so that probably explains it. Nice guy, too.
Here's the link: http://www.focusoptics.com/service.htm

The lenses checked out great in my film test. I keep them around when I want a more old-school look. I know these old lenses don't match the sharpness and contrast of the latest computer-generated stuff, but they produce beautiful images in their own way.
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#5 ReadyTeddy

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 12:58 PM

Thanks gentlemen.

I have tell you that I got the general $3-400 quote from one of the guys mentioned above, but I won't say who...

I have to agree with the comment made that the older lenses aren't as sharpo warpo as the latest glass from Zeiss and Cooke etc. but they can render certain things wonderfully.

If anyone has a Cooke Speed Panchro 25mm Series III in Arri Standard Mount, drop me a line. I need to shoot a gritty rock performance for a 3 minute WHAM BAM music video. I LOVE how these lenses flare when the light source is in the frame.

Cooke should reissue the old Speed Panchros in modern mounts. Or someone else should copy and sell them. I am sure the patents have long since expired.
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