Cooke SP3: A New Series of Mirrorless Cinema Lenses Inspired by the Legendary Speed Panchro

Cooke Optics, a renowned manufacturer of high-end cinema lenses, has announced the launch of a new series of full-frame prime lenses for mirrorless cameras, called the SP3. The SP3 lenses are designed to deliver the famous cinematic look and character of the legendary Cooke Speed Panchro lenses, which have been used in many iconic films since the 1920s.

What are the SP3 lenses?

The SP3 lenses are a new range of full-frame prime lenses that are optimized optically and mechanically for mirrorless cameras. They offer outstanding definition and resolution, yet feature fall-off towards the edge of frame, which is a key factor in the cinematic look achieved by the Speed Panchro lenses. The SP3 lenses also feature specialized cinematic optical coatings that ensure control of excessive flare.

Cooke SP3: A New Series of Mirrorless Cinema Lenses Inspired by the Legendary Speed Panchro
Cooke SP3: A New Series of Mirrorless Cinema Lenses Inspired by the Legendary Speed Panchro

The SP3 lenses are available in five focal lengths: 25mm, 32mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm, all with a T2.4 aperture. They have a choice of user-changeable mounts, including Sony E-mount, Canon RF-mount, Leica L-mount, and Leica M-mount. The lenses are small, lightweight, and robust, making them suitable for various shooting scenarios, such as gimbals and drones.

What is the Speed Panchro legacy?

The Speed Panchro lenses were first introduced by Cooke Optics in 1921 and became popular in the film industry due to their exceptional optical qualities and versatile characteristics. They were renowned for their sharpness, contrast, and minimal distortion, and produced a distinct cinematic look that filmmakers found captivating. They also had fast apertures around f/2.0, which enabled shooting in low-light conditions and shallow depth of field.

The Speed Panchro lenses were used in many classic films, such as Citizen Kane, The Third Man, The Godfather, and Star Wars. They were also favored by directors such as Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, and Steven Spielberg. The Speed Panchro lenses have a rich history and association with cinematic storytelling and have influenced generations of filmmakers.

However, the original Speed Panchro lenses were not well suited for the rigors of modern motion picture setups and as a result, rehousing operations became a popular option for the aging optics. Cooke Optics also revived the Speed Panchro design with the Panchro/i Classic series, which are faithful reproductions of the original lenses with modern enhancements.

Why choose the SP3 lenses?

The SP3 lenses are a new option for filmmakers who want to capture the cinematic magic of the past with the convenience and flexibility of modern mirrorless cameras. The SP3 lenses offer the following benefits:

  • They deliver the trademark dimensionality and contrast performance that renders faces with remarkable skin tone and character, known as The Cooke Look.
  • They have dual focus scales with imperial and metric markings and nearly identical size and shape across all focal lengths, allowing for fast and easy interchangeability.
  • They have an affordable price point compared to other Cooke cinema lenses, making them accessible to a wider range of filmmakers.
  • They have a 100% mirrorless design, which means they are compatible with any mirrorless camera system without any adapters or converters.

The SP3 lenses are expected to be available in mid-September 2023. The MSRP is $4500 for a single lens and $21,375 for a five-lens set.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *