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The Most Popular Cinema Lenses Pt. 2

Corporate Video Production Company Mumbai

The Most Popular Cinema Lenses Pt. 2

The Most Popular Cinema Lenses Pt. 2

Cooke S4

Created in the late 1990s, the Cooke S4 lenses are widely used in Hollywood films and feature that classic hexagon (stop sign) bokeh that we all know so well. They’re available in a large set of focal lens with a consistent 110m front diameter. They’re very modern and easy to work with on set, and for VFX work they feature the ability to relay focal length and focus distance information. Known for their increased contrast, minimal aberrations, healthy skin tones, warmth, consistency, and sharpness, these lenses are literally everywhere and their quality is hard to beat


Cooke Speed Panchro

Produced by Cooke in 1920 in England, these spherical 7 prime lenses revolutionized the industry with their T/2 aperture – in a time when lenses were far slower. These lenses are smaller than modern cinema glass, and often don’t cover bigger digital sensors.

Three series of these lenses were produced SI, SII, SIII until Cooke stopped making these lenses in the 1960s. Now, these lenses are rehoused to work with PL mount cameras, and the quality of that rehousing varies across the globe. True Lens Services rehousing is the most preferred as it offers a user-friendly, standardized, smooth focus motion.

Arri / Zeiss Master Prime

Built-in partnership with Arri and Zeiss in 2005, these 16 prime lenses come in a range of 12-150mm with a consistent T/1.3 aperture with a standardized 114m front diameter. They’re designed to be as sharp as possible, and easy for assistants to work with thanks to their consistency across the range.

Maintaining sharpness across the frame, these lenses have absolutely no focus breathing or aberrations. They feature a high contrast, which is good for modern digital sensors, and reduced flares. However, when the DP is looking to counteract the distortion of film or for capturing the maximum clarity with a digital sensor, this is where they turn.


Angénieux Optimo 24-290mm

Designed and released in 2001, this workhorse zoom features incredibly high magnification and a fixed T/2.8 aperture. The focus scale remains accurate throughout the zoom range. But it is full of glass, super heavy, can’t be used handheld, and isn’t suitable for smaller-bodied cameras. It’s however, a good single lens for productions wanting to save money, and make reframing shots a breeze.

All stated it is very sharp but not nearly as sharp as modern primes. There is a slight distortion in wider focal lengths like 24mm but this lens features a versatile zoom range, solid build quality, and consistent optical design that make it a favorite in Hollywood.


Canon K35

Launched in the 1970s & 1980s and based on the design of their FD lenses, which many independent shooters today adapt to their Canon EF cameras for a cool vintage look, these lenses are rare and hard to find. The Canon K35 is very similar to super speeds with a compact, lightweight body, and a consistent T/1.4 aperture. K35s are great for handheld, gimbal, or drone work and cover a full-frame sensor with a sharp and lower contrast projection.


Arri DNA

Developed in conjunction with DPs inspired by old Hasselblad lenses with the ability to cover large format digital sensors like the sensor in the Arri 65, these very fast lenses were released in 2016 with stops ranging from T1.6 to T2.8.


They offer great ergonomics with a smooth focus pull, 114mm Front Diameter, and well-spaced distance markings. Like the Cooke S4, these lenses record metadata and are great for VFX work. They offer perfect sharpness, neutral color, great skin tones, amazing focus falloff, and dreamy bokeh.


If you’re currently filming with DSLR lenses or affordable glass, you shouldn’t be thinking that you’ve to sell your car to pick up one of these. They were never intended for you to purchase, and you probably wouldn’t make your money back in your investment. These lenses are intended for rental houses, and for people like you and me to rent for specific projects that would benefit from their customized characteristics.

  Apr 28, 2021       by Eguaogie Eghosa       39 Views

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