View Full Version : Cooke Lens Info & Price Help

23-Jan-2014, 10:51
I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge in these more esoteric lenses.

I just picked this up at my local camera store to try out for 8x10.
A Cooke 16" Series V f8; made by Taylor-Hobson England.

I wanted to know if it was a soft-focus lens, or if anyone here knows of any of its particular qualities.

The glass is pretty clean, aperture is smooth, if a little tight to the turn.

And if you have an idea of what I should pay for this, please let me know.
Thanks in advance.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7297/12104916585_17e5abf629_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zsari/12104916585/)
Cooke 16" Series V f8 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zsari/12104916585/) by Ari4000 (http://www.flickr.com/people/zsari/), on Flickr

Dan Fromm
23-Jan-2014, 11:03
It is a process lens. Go price 16" f/8 or so process lenses. If you seriously want that to use a slow coated lens at that focal length, look into a 420/9 Apo Nikkor or a 16" or so Red Dot Apo Artar. I'd suggest an Apo Ronar but that line runs 360, 485, doesn't include anything close to 16".

23-Jan-2014, 11:07
Thanks, Dan; so definitely not a soft focus lens.
I will give it a try for portrait use, it is only half a stop darker than my other 8x10 lenses.

23-Jan-2014, 11:14
All I could find on the web.

See about half way down on this

The Cooke Series V, f/8 lens began its run about 1899 and was designed in continued collaboration with Dennis Taylor as an even more refined variant of the Cooke Triplet lens. It was offered as a Cooke process lens a little over ten years later because of its special clarity of definition. The lens was especially suited for commercial photography requiring microscopically fine definition in average lighting conditions. (In 1912, a Professor Pickering of the Harvard Observatory chose several of the Series V focal lengths to record nightly sky survey shots of the stars from Cambridge, Massachusetts.) Until about 1925, the Series V, f/8 lenses were made in these focal lengths: 9 inch for 5x8 format, 11 inch for 8.5x6.5, 12 inch for 8x10, 16 inch for 10x12, 18 inch for 12x15 and 25 inch for 16x18.

The series V was intended for architectural, copying and reproduction work

23-Jan-2014, 11:21
Hi Bill,
Thank you very much; it may be too clinical for portraits, but I want to try any way.
I'm going to bookmark the Camera Eccentric page, I never seem to find it when I need it.

23-Jan-2014, 12:58
Ok, very strange; I put the lens on my 8x10 and it would not make any kind of image on the GG except if I stuck my fingers about 2cm in front of the lens.
It gave me a huge image of my fingers, but nothing else.
I looked at the Camera Eccentric page, and there are no elements missing.
So maybe someone swapped out some other lens in place of the original.

The lens is going back to the store, unfortunately.