The addition of Cooke S4i Prime Lens to Talamas Sales and Rentals inventory reflects the company’s commitment to expanding their digital cinema division and increasing the options available to clients.
Acquiring the S4/i Prime Lenses was a direct response to the needs of clients working on feature films, high-end commercials and broadcast television, says Talamas Staff Engineer, Anthony Bottaro. “We’ve gotten more requests for Cooke S4/i lenses because digital cameras reveal so much that directors of photography like to use Cooke products because they provide an extremely pleasing look.”
There seems to be as many ways of describing the ‘Cooke Look’ as there are fans of Cooke’s lenses. Most users cite Cooke’s balanced color, smooth contrast and their lenses’ ability to capture images with a clarity and sharpness that, while highly detailed, is never brutal or clinical. “They all say more or less the same thing, but in different words,” says Les Zellan, owner of Cooke Optics, who singles out director/cinematographer, James Chressanthis’ description of the ‘Cooke Look,’ and his assertion that they provide an image that is ‘…natural and close to what the human eye sees...’ as particularly relevant to the needs of modern filmmakers. “It’s a look that’s faithful, yet pleasing for skin tones,” Zellan adds, “and the fall off and focus are natural and have been consistently so with all our lenses since the 1920s.”
Those qualities and their impact in the film industry were recently celebrated by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with a 2013 Academy Award of Merit presented in recognition of Cooke’s ‘continuing innovation in the design, development and manufacture of advanced camera lenses that have helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century.’
“There is an overall optical balance, a quality to the image, that is different from other lenses,” explains Guy Genin, Technical Director at ZGC Inc. “With a high contrast image the transition between white to black or between strong colors is very gentle.” Cooke’s consistent warmth, superb clarity, and balanced color and contrast are particularly relevant now, he adds, given the rise of high definition, digital cameras and the S4/i’s ability to ‘soften’ the digital look without sacrificing clarity or contrast. “The S4/i also provides benefits in post production because of the information and lens settings that are recorded for each frame. So, when you insert a special effect for example, that information is available without having to analyze the image, which saves time and money.”
"Cooke lenses provide a beautiful look that is in high demand by our clientele,” sums up Dave Talamas. “We are delighted to have the latest Cooke S4i version in our lens inventory.
Cooke Optics has been major force in lens manufacturing since the company’s founding in 1886 and their lenses have been used in applications ranging from early Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford films to Ernest Shackleton’s exploration of Antarctica. On October 15th, Talamas Sales and Rentals will host an evening with Cooke Optics’ owner Les Zellan, who will present an interactive look at the history of lens design and manufacturing from the late 1900s to the present. The evening will also feature a special guest appearance by respected author, cinematographer and publisher of Film and Digital Times, Jon Fauer.