Cooke S4 optics offer superb optical and mechanical performance, control of flare, distortion, veiling glare and spherical aberrations at full aperture. The cam-type focus mechanism allows for smooth focus adjustments. The optics are bright and have a constant aperture at T2.
The S4 lenses are known for their constant aperture and sharpness, very low chromatic aberration, pleasant contrast and the warm Cooke look that is perfectly suited to the entire range.
Over the years they have become a standard in the world of 35mm cinema.
The “Cooke Look”
When we talk about the "Cooke look", we think above all of the sharp, subtle and smooth visual rendering of Cooke optics. But behind this particular aesthetic, so appreciated by filmmakers, lies above all a unique know-how and very precise scientific and technological procedures in the design, correction and adjustment of lens aberrations.
In the very early days of the company, Cooke recognised the need to design, manufacture and calibrate lenses that produce a film image that, when eventually projected, looks warm and natural. Their lenses are designed with an understanding of the pipeline between what the DoP sees and the experience in the movie theatre.
Cooke S4 lenses deliver high end optical and mechanical results with their anti flare layer, minimal distortion, veiling and geometrical aberration when wide open. They are meticulously constructed to maintain color balance and transition in the image. Consistently maintaining the colour balance across the range means all the lenses are colour-matched to give a seamless look when shots are mixed in production.
The Cooke image is renowned for its softness and definition, with a smooth transition from focus to blur, low contrast and warm colour. While they don't always play well with horizontal and vertical lines, distortions are magical on faces and figures. They make the skin tone wonderfully "creamy", and the quality of the bokeh is pictorial. They tend to bring out the warm tones and minimize the cold tones, which again is wonderful on faces.
The Cooke S4 brings morphology, presence and roundness to the image. It is sharp from edge to edge but has more presence - a depth and shape that is pleasing to the eye. These optics are capable of reproducing perfectly detailed images (be careful not to confuse the concept of softness with lack of definition) and they actually have the perfect resolution for the super35 format.
What are their main characteristics?
Optical Design: The optics are designed to give maximum performance at full aperture with superior control of flare, distortion and spherical aberration.
Colour Balance: All Cooke S4 prime lenses are colour balanced to a specification within parameters approved by Kodak.
T2 Aperture: All Cooke S4 primes have a true T2 aperture and cover Super 35mm format.
Index Marks: Every index mark is labelled. More detailed markings allow for more detailed focus control.
Focus Movement: Our Academy Award® winning cam-style focus movement coupled with the added benefit of a large lens barrel diameter, has allowed for an increased number of focus markings, particularly at close focus. Spherical aberration has been controlled throughout the range of focal lengths to eliminate compensation of changes in back focus with aperture. A four-point contact bearing provides a smooth positive backlash-free movement.
Camera Mounts: Arriflex PL Mount
Focus Scaling: Large, clear numerals on both sides of the focus barrel benefit the focus puller when shooting under difficult lighting conditions.
Compatibility: All Cooke S4 primes have a common fixed front diameter of 110mm, with a focus drive gear of 140T x 0.8 mod and an iris drive gear of 114T x 0.8
External Finish: A scratch resistant PTFE hard anodised finish is provided on all Cooke lenses, providing a durable, hard-wearing surface to meet the most demanding environmental conditions.
Iris: A new eight-leaf linear module iris assembly is fitted into the Cooke S4 primes with an aperture range of T2 to T22.
Weight/Size Ratio: The lenses are designed for all shooting applications, including handheld and Steadicam, providing comfortable balance ratio with the latest compact cameras.
Reliability and Service: The Cooke S4 prime lenses are designed to meet a market requirement for fully reliable performance with a minimum of downtime.