View Full Version : Jim Cooke Lens Used?

19-Nov-2003, 03:10

I am studing photography in the States right now and I am very interested in British photographers and most recently Jim Cookes new book Re-Placing Arcadia.

I was interested to know your thoughts on what kind of lens he is shooting with because I would like to try shooting some wide angle landscapes too.

Do you also think he is using the same lens though out his work or changing out?

Here is a reference link to some of his fantastic images.


Thank you for reading this and any info you can provide on this.


Gene M
19-Nov-2003, 07:42
None of the shots look very "wide" to me. I'd say they were slightly wider than the "normal" lens for whatever size film he was using. If these are 4x5's I'd guess that they were taken with something like a 135 or so.

Witold Grabiec
19-Nov-2003, 09:57

I think I'd agree with Gene that most of the pics are in a standard view rather than wide. Few show little to judge subject distance well enough so as to make that call. Anyway, it might be best to contact the author directly on this, and I'd start with the contact page on the site, or just google for Jim Cooke.

A 90 mm for a 4x5 would be probably best to start with for a wide angle. You have numerous choices, many at bargain prices.

tim atherton
19-Nov-2003, 10:33

I seem to recall he uses an 8x10 (I've been waiting for the book from Photoeye for aeons - if anyone knows where to get hold of it...).

From the little bit I've seen and read I really like the work.

Looking at it mainly online I would guess the lenses used look to be in the 210 - 240/250mm range, with possibly one or two a little wider (160-180mm)

So in 4x5 that would be around to 100/110 to 120/125mm (and 75/80 - 90mm)

This brings up a question that I've been meaning to ask.

I'm not sure if it's entirely an perception/optical illusion, or whether there is some math behind this, but:

People on here often say "why bother with 8x10 unless you really want contact prints, just use 4x5 if you are going to enlarge" or words to that effect

Apart from the differneces if you are going to print big - 4 or 6 feet wide, I feel there is a difference in look or preception between the same scene taken with an equivelent lens in the two formats.

That is, suppose you photogorpah the same landscape scene in 4x5 with a 125mm lens and in 8x10 with a 250mm lens.

Pretty close equivelents. But to my eye the scenes are rendered differently.

I know I always get a little lost with the math and DoF from one format to another, but I always get the feeling there is less DoF with the 250mm than the 125mm? And even using movements to bring everything into focus from front to back in both photogorpahs, to my eye there is a different perception of the space in the two images.

Maybe it's an optical illusion? Maybe there is some math behind it? But my personal feeling is that photogoropahing the same space using the two different formats (with equivelant lenses) gives two differenign preceptions of that same space.

John Kasaian
19-Nov-2003, 13:08

Your link wouldn't work for me so I did a search for Jim Cooke and found a site on "Replaceing Arcadia in, I think slav. Apparently the prints are from 8x10 negatives(that much, at least, I can translate) and IMHO he probably used a lens in the 240-360mm range on an 8x10. It dosen't look like (to my uneducated eyes)he was using a great deal of moves on the few photos displayed, nor did the quality of the digital reproductions provide me with any further clues. That said and getting back to your question for a similar lens to use, I think the perspective could probably be replicated nicely with a 12" or 14" Commercial Ektar. You should contact him and get the info straight from the horse's mouth. I'd be interested to know how closely I guessed!-----Cheers!

tim atherton
19-Nov-2003, 14:38

go here www.tataralexander.com

pick "View Artwork" from the left column and then pick Jim Cooke

CP Goerz
19-Nov-2003, 22:42
He uses an 8x10 camera.

CP Goerz

20-Nov-2003, 11:15
Hello All,

Thank you so much for your advices on this. I really appricate it. I hope to be able to post some results soon.

Thank you again.