Cooke Optics brings new prime lenses to mirrorless cameras

Cooke Optics recently revealed its new Cooke Optics SP3 range of prime lenses. They have been designed for full-frame mirrorless cameras. The company says that the new lens series is based on the Cooke Speed Panchro, one of the most influential lenses in film history.

Focal lengths

The Cooke SP3 full-frame prime lenses are available in five focal lengths: 25 mm, 32 mm, 50 mm, 75 mm and 100 mm. All five lenses feature the same maximum aperture of T2.4 for great low-light performance. Combined with a nine-bladed iris, this should also give a smooth round bokeh in out-of-focus parts of the image.

Lens mounts

The Cooke SP3 full-frame prime lenses come with Sony E-mounts installed and RF-mounts will be available soon. Cooke is running an offer where early purchasers can get a set of RF mounts at no cost. You can also buy L-Mounts as an optional accessory part, which is available now. In addition, M-Mounts will be introduced in early 2024.

Lightweight design

The SP3 primes are the lightest lenses in the Cooke Optics lineup, weighing in at between 1.10 lbs (500 g) for the 50mm and 1.52 lbs (690 g) for the 100 mm. They are also relatively compact, measuring from 3.7 inches (94 mm) for the 32 mm and 50 mm lenses up to 4.88 inches (124 mm) for the 100 mm. These are fully manual lenses, however, with no electronics at all.

Lens gears

The focus and aperture rings on the Cooke SP3 prime lenses both feature gearing for use with follow-focus systems. The rings are also in standard positions across the series. In addition, the focus throw and iris ring rotation are the same for each focal length. This means that you can quickly and easily switch between lenses without needing to reconfigure your camera rig.

Tim Pugh, Cooke Optics

Cooke Optics Chief Executive Officer Tim Pugh said, “The imaging market has long been viewed as ‘videography’ and ‘cinematography,’ with their associated differences particularly evident in budgets and hardware. However, these boundaries are now blurring with vast improvements in the quality of ‘mid-market’ camera performance, and consequently, the creative optical possibilities and ambitions in this area are widening. This ‘democratization’ means that we can now offer truly cinematic glass to the traditional pro-video market at an accessible price point and with the flexibility of camera mounts, enabling more DOPs to enhance the narrative of their stories.”

What we think

The fact that Cooke has designed a new lens series for mirrorless cameras shows how the camera market is changing. Mirrorless cameras, which could have been previously seen as “prosumer,” are now being recognized as powerful tools for serious projects. Although they come at a premium price, the Cooke SP3 prime lenses will deliver the much sought-after “Cooke Look” with lenses specifically designed for mirrorless cameras. The compact and lightweight design also makes the SP3s ideal for use on a gimbal or in tight locations. It’s a very exciting time for mirrorless camera users.

Pricing and availability

The Cooke Optics SP3 full-frame prime lenses are available now. You can pick up individual lenses for a retail price of $4,500. Alternatively, you can buy a set of all five lenses in a heavy-duty carry case for $21,375.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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