What we heard from the industry
While many DPs prefer to specify Cooke lenses to take advantage of the Cooke look as well as the on-set usability and reliable operation, cost has sometimes been a barrier. In addition, many purchasers of digital cameras like Red also want a full set of lenses at a realistic price.
We also wanted to open up the opportunity to use Cooke lenses in risky situations such as on-board stunt work; lower costs lenses reduce rental and insurance costs.
S4 Quality Deserves the S4 Name
Our goal has been to deliver a smaller, lighter lens which offers the same resolution, optical quality and reliability as the S4/i, but at a lower price. We decided that the lenses should be equally suitable for shooting film and digital images up to and beyond a 4K resolution pipeline.
In addition the lenses include /i Technology, providing lens data per frame for downstream post production. Like the S4/i lenses, the miniS4/i’s are designed for motion photography and they don’t breathe.
The lenses are one stop slower than the S4/i, as a result they can be smaller and lighter.
All Cooke lenses are colour matched. This means miniS4/i and S4/i lenses can be mixed on a shoot with full confidence that the images will match.
Cooke miniS4/i Lens Test by Dave Leitner 2013
The miniS4/i Primes (T2.8 to T22 aperture) incorporate everything that today’s filmmakers ask for: smaller, lighter-weight lenses that offer the same resolution, optical quality and reliability as the S4/i lenses at T2.8 speed. With the speed of the new digital cameras, T2.8 is the new, economical T2.0. The Mini S4/i’s are interchangeable with the S4/i and 5/i lenses for shooting film and digital images up to and beyond a 4K resolution. Current Mini S4/i focal lengths are 18, 21, 25, 32, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100 and 135mm.
All of our miniS4/i Prime lenses are supplied with /i Technology, and are designed for all PL mounted professional motion picture film and electronic cameras. The /i Technology provides cinematographers and camera operators with vital information on lens setting, focusing distance, aperture and depth-of-field, hyperfocal distance, serial number, owner data, lens type and focal length in both metric and footage measurements. For zoom lenses, the zoom position is displayed.
For companies interested in producing compatible products with /i Technology, the /i protocol is available as a free download in PDF format: /i Technology Reference Manual.
33.54mm Diameter (New Epic S35mm Format)
Two opposing focus scales – metric or footage. Scales marked from infinity to MOD.
Focus Drive Gear
121 teeth 0.8 metric module x 5.0 wide x 104 from the image plane.
Two opposing linear T scales – whole and third stops marked.
Iris Drive Gear
119 teeth 0.8 metric module x 2.5 wide x 84 from image plane.
miniS4 Main Features
The optics are designed to give maximum performance at full aperture with superior control of flare, distortion and spherical aberration.
Accessible via contacts in PL mount that sync with /i compatible cameras.
All miniS4/i prime lenses are colour balanced, colormatched and compatible with Cooke 5/i, S4/i and Anamorphic/i.
All miniS4/i primes have a true T2.8 aperture and cover Super 35mm format.
Every index mark is labelled. More detailed markings allow for more detailed focus control.
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.
Cooke Hardened PL Mount with /i Technology contact.
Large, clear numerals on both sides of the focus barrel benefit the focus puller when shooting under difficult lighting conditions.
All Cooke miniS4/i primes, except the 18mm, have a common fixed front diameter of 87mm, with a focus drive gear of 121T x 0.8 mod and an iris drive gear of 119T x 0.8.
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.
An eight-leaf linear module iris assembly is fitted into miniS4/i primes with an aperture range of T2.8 to T22.
The lenses are designed for all shooting applications, including handheld and Steadicam, providing comfortable balance ratio with the latest compact cameras.
Reliability and Service
miniS4/i prime lenses are designed to meet a market requirement for fully reliable performance with a minimum of downtime.