View Full Version : The Cooke Look

19-Jan-2016, 20:39
Hi All,

Anyone have experience with the Cooke Ser-2 Soft Focus Portrait lens, particularly the 10.5 inch. Newly acquired I have taken a couple of preliminary shots with it but am wondering if anyone might have extensive experience working with this optic. Figuring utilized as a portrait lens it would need to be used on 4x5 format and enlarged. Do strong negatives from this lens hold up well in enlargement, do they exhibit the "Cooke Look" reputed smoothness of tone etc. or is it more of a collector lens type of thing? It has very nice glass with a somewhat banged up ugly body, mechanically ok.
I am looking to use this primarily as a portrait lens, I have used all of the modern glass but I am looking for something a little different...

Thanks, Steve

Tin Can
19-Jan-2016, 20:46
Look up Jim Galli both here and the general Internet. He knows most of it.

But as they say, discover your own way, which is the best way.

Mark Sawyer
19-Jan-2016, 21:08
The 10.5-inch Knuckler covers 8x10, but its focal length is more appropriate for portraits on 4x5 or 5x7, maybe whole plate. Quite sharp when you use it that way, but is softens the skin textures when used that other way too. Perhaps the most elegant design ever, cancelling out all the aberrations with just three single elements, yet one can dial a bit of spherical aberration back in. And one of the most nicely manufactured lenses and housings ever. Yup, there's a reason Cookes go for so much...

19-Jan-2016, 23:53
I have a 10.5 Series II Portrait Lens (non knuckler). It is wonderful.


Emil Schildt
23-Jan-2016, 07:49
A few portraits with that lens...

13-Feb-2016, 23:55
Are you doing any enlarging with negatives from these lenses or strictly contact printing negatives?

Emil Schildt
14-Feb-2016, 01:53
Are you doing any enlarging with negatives from these lenses or strictly contact printing negatives?

if you're asking me, then contact printing only..

14-Feb-2016, 19:19
Got it, so working with 5x7 correct?

Emil Schildt
15-Feb-2016, 00:25
Got it, so working with 5x7 correct?

the two first are cropped 18x24cm(a Little smaller than 8x10) (just in height) - the last two are 13x18 (5x7)