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Set  Cooke Panchro S2


The cream of the cream  Regarding old optics, they are the Cooke Speed Panchro, a generic nomenclature that serves to accommodate both the series made up of Cooke S2 optics (with designs from the 1930s) and Cooke S3 (designs from the 1950s). And it is that many surviving games contain optics of both series, since of the S3 series only an 18mm and a 25mm were manufactured, so that all the focal lengths except these must be completed with the S2 series. Originally, the sets came with an Arri Standard mount, but the best way to use them today is using series rebuilt by Century Optics or Van Diemen, with PL mounts and mechanisms (focus rings and diaphragm) similar to those of modern optics.

The images produced by these series can vary greatly depending on the different focal points that make them up, but in general one can expect enormous softness, warm colors and many spectacular sparkles, bearing in mind that there may be notable differences within a same game in terms of tonal reproduction, sharpness, resolution and contrast that affect the consistency of the images of a project. Of course, their aberrations and "flaws" are magnified at maximum aperture, where they can offer an image of distortions reminiscent of anamorphic. So for any project that needs high consistency or great image quality –a priori– they don't seem like the most suitable games; On the other hand, if you are looking for an organic, vintage or old-fashioned image, or even favor actors/actresses with lenses that offer a very natural diffusion or softness, the Speed Panchro is a more extreme version of the subsequent Cooke creations and could turn out wonderful.

Movies shot with Cooke Speed Panchros

Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette, dir. Sofia Coppola, DF. Lance Acord)
An Education (Life Teaching, dir. Lone Scherfig, DF. John de Borman)
Spartacus (Spartacus, dir. Stanley Kubrick, DF. Russel Metty)
A Clockwork Orange (A Clockwork Orange, dir. S. Kubrick, DF. John Alcott)
Midnight in Paris (Midnight in Paris, dir. Woody Allen, DF. Darius Khondji)
12 Monkeys (12 Monkeys, dir. Terry Gilliam, DF. Roger Pratt).

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