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Thread: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

  1. #11
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    Barbara, you might want to add a listing for the Cooke Achromatic Portrait Lens.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  2. #12

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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    Karl - Your lens is now added to the XIV list and I changed the introduction date of this lens from c. 1935 to 1933. Thanks!

  3. #13

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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    Mark - If the Cooke Achromatic Portrait Lens had appeared in any Cooke catalogue, I would have included it. I'm pretty confident that we have all the Cooke lens catalogues that were published. Every lens that was offered to the general public is entered in the lens history section. There are lenses out there that don't appear in any catalogue. Usually, it's because they were military issue, or they were a one-off custom lens. What is the engraving on your lens?

  4. #14
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    Hi, Barbara ~

    On the Cooke Optics History page, (https://www.cookeoptics.com/t/history.html), it notes:

    "Clarence White and Alfred Stieglitz, master impressionist photographers, among others, used a Taylor, Taylor & Hobson lens known as 'The Rapid View' or 'Portrait Lens' (brass lens engraved 'R.V.P.') produced by TT&H in the late 1880s. By 1913, because of the influence of these acclaimed photographers, the company received numerous requests for the RVP lens that predated the sharp Cooke Anastigmat. In response to an avalanche of requests, they reproduced the single lens RVP as the 'Cooke Achromatic Portrait Lens f/7.5' (as engraved) in four focal lengths: 10.5 inch for 4x5, 12 inch for 5x8, 15 inch for 6.5x8.5 and 18 inch for the 8x10 format. The 'new' versions of these lenses included an iris diaphragm.

    A Cooke lens catalog of 1913 notes, 'Whoever expects sharp definition will be disappointed, but the photographer who desires softness and roundness coupled with fine modeling and a true perspective will be both astonished and delighted.'"

    So it must be in that 1913 catalogue, at least. Dan Colucci's site puts it as being re-introduced in 1911. Since Clarence White, Alfred Stieglitz, and Gertrude Kasebier were among the users of this design, it seems worth mentioning. Here's the engraving on my 18-inch Cooke Achromatic Portrait:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cooke A P 18.jpg   Cooke A P 18 b.jpg  
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #15

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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    Thank you for your work!
    I have two lenses from Series IX, 30" and 48". I wonder it is possible to know how many lenses Cooke-TH produced in each type/series.

  6. #16

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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    I havn't read everything, but your starting date for "Cooke" lenses is certainly open to discussion. I realise that for a company now called "Cooke", the date (1893) of T,T & H adoption of H.D. Taylor's patent from the Cooke telescope establishment, is a convenient choice! For years, T,T & H were makers of "Cooke" lenses (variations on the original triplet design) but the need to continue the adopted series names meant that non-triplets were included. More importantly, the RV and the various casket sets which included the RV lens, and which is exactly the same lens as the RVP and the later "Cooke" Achromatic Portrait lens, were available well before 1893.

    In the Convertible section (another non-Cooke lens!), you quote "Moonrise Hernandez 1941". The next sentence about coating being an advantage is misleading (by proximity, at least) as coating was available only much later than 1941. There is a typo at the bottom "Novmeber".

    The section of IIe suggests that coating of the three remaining soft models ended after 10th april 1947. Were coated after that date seems more likely.

  7. #17

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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    Hi Steven -- You are obviously a history buff, so I welcome you to take a look at https://cookeoptics.com/t/history.html. It will give you more detailed information about how the Cooke name was coined.

    The "RV" and "RVP" lenses predated the Cooke brothers' and William Taylor's licensing agreement. The first Cooke lens was made in 1894 based on the 1893 Cooke Triplet Patent. The Cooke name was adopted from that point forward for all lenses made by the Leicestershire company, but ONLY if the lens design rose to the quality the company demanded. The name stuck, so to speak, beyond the original agreement to make the Cooke brothers happy. Note that the video lenses made by TH in the early 60s did not have the Cooke name on them; only the motion picture lenses and then only those whose quality was deemed good enough to carry the Cooke name (Gordon Cooke -- you can read about him at the link as well, if you have an interest.

    The IIe, IId and VIa -- guessing that the catalogues had typos in them regarding the coating, because there is a 1951 lens out there that is coated. Good eye, Steven!

  8. #18

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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    Not easily. The serial number books no longer exist before 1940. None of the leather books after that date are digitized.

  9. #19
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    Thank you Barbara for your hard work and for sharing it with us. And thank you as always for the many fine lenses. I'm sure we've all benefited from the many fine images they've produced even if we don't personally own that lens!

  10. #20

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    Re: "Cooke Lens Compendium" is finally published

    And further regarding Adams's Cooke Series XV lens, the photograph "Sunset, Carmel, California" with the comment "Coated lens minimized flare." also appears in the first edition, March 1948, of _Camera and Lens_. I've wondered did he have this lens coated post World War II (when this service seemed to be commonly available)? And is it the case that doing a proper job of coating requires high vacuum and temperature such that a cemented lens like the Series XV would have had to have been"un-cemented" first? Just curious.

    David
    Last edited by David Lindquist; 30-May-2018 at 17:03. Reason: redundant phrase

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