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First Use of Cooke CXX Lens


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#1 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 12:50 PM

Gents--

I just had the priviledge of flying the brand new Cooke CXX Zoom, which is a 15-40mm T2 PL mount lens, on my rig for a commercial.

I have nothing but praise for the design and execution of this fine piece of optical treasure! This lens was made for Steadicam use. This lens would also be ideal for hand held work as well. The CXX is part of the S4 family and is the elegant result of years of design and lens expertise. The DP had me carry this lens, which is not much larger than a Cooke S4 prime, combined with a PRO35 adapter hooked into a Varicam. Not for the slight of heart, that's for sure! But, oh those images!

My Steadicam just hung there, like it was made from depleted uranium, but how lyrical the shots were with that combination of lens and camera. I was glad that it was a HD shoot so I could see the images as we went along. Waiting for dailies was to much.

If I had to predict, I would say this lens will fly on many, many Steadicams as it becomes available this March in the USA. The flexibility of a "rubber prime" makes this lens an ideal Steadicam compliment. Just think of all those shots where a few millimeters of adjustment would have made the shot so much better and your job so much easier...I thought back to my time on Third Watch...But seriously, folks.

This lens rocks! No breathing, smooth, easy focus action, LDS port for outboard data systems, built-in LDS contacts, once again T2; a real T2. Check into this lens. This is the one lens to make your day work for you!

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Steadicam/Camera Operator

PS I will post a picture of the rig with lens in another post as the Forum won't let me add one right now.
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#2 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 01:40 PM

Gents--

Here is the machine, fully loaded!

Cooke Testimonial

This was not an ugly combination but rather a smooth, quiet, patient rig that did only what was ordered.

There was no running, only smooth dolly-like moves with some of them in really, really tight places.

Best,

Brant
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 01:54 PM

weight of lens? any issues of balance shift when racking focus from one end to the other?
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#4 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 08:52 AM

Gents--

How neglectful of me to not include the tech specs.

Here they are:

Specifications

Focal Length Range 15-40mm
T Stop Range T2 - T22
Maximum f Stop f/1.84
Close Focus from Lens Front 6.94 inches / 169mm
Length from Front of Lens to Image Plane 11.06 inches / 281mm
Minimum Marked Object Distance 18 inches / 450mm
Maximum Format Covered 30mm image circle (for Super 35 format)
Diagonal Angle of View for 30mm Image Circle 90 - 41 degrees
Iris Scales Two opposing scales, whole and third stops marked
Minimum Marked Object Distance 18 inches / 450mm
Iris Scales Two opposing scales, whole and third stops marked
Angular Rotation of Iris 92 degrees
Iris Drive Gear 134 teeth 0.8 metric module
x 2.5mm x 80.5mm from image plane
Focus Scales Two opposing focus scales, metric or footage marked from infinity to MOD
Angular Rotation from Infinity to MOD Endstop 290 degrees
Angular Rotation Between Endstops 300 degrees
Focus Drive Gear 153 teeth 0.8 metric module
x 6.0mm wide x 223mm from image plane
Zoom Scales Two opposing zoom scales
Angular Rotation of Zoom Scale 130 degrees
Zoom Drive Gear 140 teeth 0.8 metric module
x 6.0mm wide x 99mm from image plane
Length from Front of Lens to Lens Mount 9 inches / 229mm
Front Diameter 136mm
Matte Box suggestion Arri LMB4 clip-on matte box
Weight 7.9 lbs. / 3.6 Kg

Now some folks might be alarmed by the weight. Not me. I feel that this size and mass works for you given some camera bodies, like the Arricam LT and Moviecam SL tend to be a bit "sporty" for some languid dialog or walk and talk shots. I feel that the flexibility outweighs (ugh) the mass issue.

I did use a clip on matte box and two filters and with no worries.

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Steadicam/Camera Operator
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#5 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 08:15 PM

7.9 pounds isn't much heavier than an Arri Master Prime, and they flew pretty wonderfully on the last movie that I did. And the Master Primes are fixed focus!
I look forward to seeing and using the Cooke.
Thanks for the write up Brant.
Jamie.
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#6 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 09:11 PM

brant,

you look like a young mike o shea... nice photo though...
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#7 Charles Papert

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 11:20 AM

For this zoom range, it may also be worth considering the Angeniuex Optimo 15-40. Did a show with it recently and it delivered beautifully. Nearly a stop slower than the Cooke, but considerably lighter.

Critical spec comparison: (Cooke CXX/Optimo):

Minimum aperture: T2/T2.6
Length 9"/7.3"
MOD 18"/2'
Weight: 7.9lbs/4.4lbs
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#8 Erwin Landau

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 02:30 AM

Talking about lightweight zooms...

I had the pleasure to try out the ARRI Zeiss Lightweight Zoom (LWZ-1) tonight at the ARRI Gala, in conjunction with the ARRI 416.

Minimum aperture: T2.6
Length 8.2"
MOD 18"
Weight: 4.4lbs


Unbelievable times...


Erwin
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