Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    823

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    I got to play with the Cooke soft focus lens for a few days. some test images at collum.omniblog.com . A very impressive piece of glass (not to mention expensive). Amazingly sharp at > f11 (in fact, one of the sharpest lenses i've used). A very unique look from f11 to f4.5.

    Anyone compare this to the original Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality Series IV that it's modeled after?

    jim

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,786

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    Thanks for the info and link Jim. Now if the price were just a bit lower...

    Steve

  3. #3

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    Jim,
    I can't get the pictures to load in your blogspace - it's too immense and even after 10 minutes of loading I see nothing. Is there another space on the net that one can see your results? I'm dying to see them.
    Regards, Norm

  4. #4
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Posts
    4,594

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    Thanks for the nice demo. Interesting to see how much it sharpens up after f:11. With a Verito there is still a fair amount of chromatic aberration at small apertures, even after the spherical aberration that causes the glow at wide apertures is gone.

    I didn't have any problem seeing the images posted on the blog from my 56K dialup connection at home.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    nyc
    Posts
    378

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    "Anyone compare this to the original Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality Series IV that it's modeled after?"

    Clive Russ can probably answer your question. http://www.cliveruss.com/

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    823

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    norm,

    let me see if i can get that fixed today. i've pinged the blog developer on that (there should be a 'table of contents' type page, with only the latest entry showing. as it is now.. all blog entries come up

  7. #7
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,481

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    Jim,

    Yes, it is a very impressive piece of glass at a very impressive price. When I did the article on modern variable focus lenses (November - December View Camera) I went through the same sorts of tests and comparisons that you did. Your results match mine and those of most everyone else who has used the lens. I did have the opportunity to compare it to an original Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality Series IV as well (courtesy of Kerik Kouklis) although that comparison was strictly a studio comparison and was not a one-to-one comparison at that since the older lens was much longer). A few points to consider:

    1) Yes, it is very sharp at f11, perhaps sharper than the other modern soft focus lenses tested (Imagon and Fuji) but IMO it was not as sharp as a Fujinon 240 A and I only really see the point of considering the ultimate sharpness of a ‘soft focus’ lens as an addendum to its performance used in the soft focus mode.
    2) When compared to the original Pinkham & Smith it did not provide as much of a range of softness and thus is not as technically useful for either portraiture or soft focus landscapes. I say technically as useful since ‘usefulness’ has many facets, the performance of the lens being only one. For example, I would never try and take the 300+ mm Series IV lens some of the places I routinely go with a 4x5 or 5x7 field camera and a Fujinon 240 or 300 A lens, but then I am an old guy and others may disagree. For the older lens I am talking a BIG piece of glass mounted in a studio shutter; needs a special lensboard opening larger than any of the modern standard openings but will, barely, on a Sinar/Horseman board. I recall that the lens is available in shorter focal lengths and that the shorter ones are also smaller. To me, however, for purposes of working photography, this sort of a discussion is a tour de force since the lenses are so uncommon on the used market and when they do show up are not inexpensive in their own right.
    3) The performance was almost identical to the performance of the Imagon when used for portraits in the studio. So close, in fact, that when I showed the images to several others they had to turn the prints over to see which was from which lens and said they couldn’t see any difference. What differences I did see were very very very small. For environmental portraiture it had different bokeh than the Imagon but which you like better is a question of personal choice.

    I liked the lens and shot some 60 sheets of film with it over a several week period but, to me, it remains a very specialized lens. If you want to carry only one lens in your kit and shoot both portraits and landscapes then this could be a contender if price is no object or if you could easily amortize the price for business. If you are in the portrait business and want modern glass then I would go for either this lens or the Imagon (I have owned and used the Fuji SF off and on over many years and just never liked it, never thought it performed as well as the Cooke or the Rodenstock Imagon .. personal choice). A final note, all these lenses are very finicky. They can be difficult to focus, need to be focused at the taking aperture, etc.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    5,275

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    Per Volquartz had one from Cooke to evaluate about a year or more ago. I loaned him my Coated 240mm Heliar at the same time so he could compare them. The Cooke is of course much more diffused at f4.5 than the Heliar. The Heliar is more subtle. I have an original 13" P&S but have never had the pleasure of comparing to the pricey PS945. That would be a fun test. I have to think the personalities would be quite different because of the coatings the modern lens has compared to the older uncoated lens. If you've got the $$ and are wanting a difuse portrait lens I doubt the PS945 would disappoint. I'll bet it's gorgeous.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  9. #9
    unexposed darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,806

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    I am waiting on a PS945 right now. Jeff from Badger says Cooke is waiting on delivery of shutters from Japan and that is the hold up. I am a portrait photographer and it is my intention to share with this forum a small portfolio of images I will make after I can get my hands on the lens. If I had enough knowledge like some of you guys have with the older LF portrait lenses, I would try to equip myself with some of the classic SF lenses, but I do not. I did use an Imagon SF with a Mamiya RB a few years ago, but was not that impressed with the disk placements. I was a working pro at the time and was use to the demand of having to shoot quickly so my tried and true Hasselblad with Softars was more the speed at the time. If any of you LF lens gurus would like to recommend some older SF portrait lenses that I can equip my 4x5" with I would be interested in hearing about them.

  10. #10

    Got to play with a Cooke Portrait PS945 lens

    "norm,

    let me see if i can get that fixed today. i've pinged the blog developer on that (there should be a 'table of contents' type page, with only the latest entry showing. as it is now.. all blog entries come up"


    Jim,
    I managed to look at your blog in another browser. It was my very old IE that was making the trouble - it 'hung' on one of the images loading and would just sit there and not finish. Not the first time the old IE is playing up - time for an upgrade.
    Now I've found out that I have to look at your blog at another computer with a better screen resolution....oh well, maybe it's time for a new computer altogether. From what I could see, it looks as nice as other results I've seen with the Cooke. Can't wait to see how their other lens projects will turn out.

    But thanks for the effort. I may not be the only one having this glitch.
    Regards, Norm

Similar Threads

  1. Taylor Hobson and Cooke lens repair
    By Tracy Smithson in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 27-May-2010, 02:58
  2. Cooke Process lens VB series
    By ISO 2 in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 28-Sep-2004, 16:02
  3. Want a say in the next lens design from Cooke Optics?
    By Graeme Hird in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23-Apr-2004, 03:05
  4. New Cooke Convertible lens
    By steve simmons in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 15-Apr-2004, 10:20
  5. Jim Cooke Lens Used?
    By Mark_3705 in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 20-Nov-2003, 11:15

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •