Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42

Thread: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

  1. #1
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Eastern Seaboard Blues again...
    Posts
    5,627

    When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    Or, "Too many Cooke's spoil the broth..."

    From the thread "Please...":

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=52592

    Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
    good luck to you mark!

    BUT check the lens carefully to be sure it is what it says it is. the seller bought a bunch of lenses recently that were B&J reworker....not bad all by them selves but may not be exactly what they say they will be. my cooke lens has very very differnet writing and "fonts" on it.....makes me believe this is a B&J rework....so what did they do to it? if nothing you win! if not....well.......

    i hope you won....i really do.
    Eddie called it. A very authoritative source has confirmed this is definitely not a genuine TT&H Cooke lens, and probably a B&J rework. The glass "is probably" Cooke, but the barrel definitely is not. I'm obviously very fond of what the lens can do, but a large amount of the purchase price is based on its pedigree. The seller, after trying rather aggressively to persuade me that it was an incredibly rare and spectacular bargain even if it wasn't a real Cooke (which he doesn't dispute), has offered a refund.

    So, my questions to the board:

    Is a B&J Cooke worth as much as a "real" Cooke? Was I scammed? Since I like what the lens can do, should I keep it? It's a great lens, though when held in hand, the build is not up to Cooke standards. And great lenses sell every day for much less because they don't have the heritage of a Cooke or similarly respected lens.

    I honestly (and obviously) like the lens. But I also like being able to say an image was "taken with a Cooke 16 inch Portrait Lens" without biting my tongue. Then again, if the lenses themselves are probably Cooke, should I just say, "it's a Cooke", keep it and not worry about it?

    Up in the air and taking opinions...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  2. #2

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    Now that you're seriously suffering from buyer's remorse, I'll buy it for $375 and you can suffer from seller's remorse FOREVER, it will all balance out in the end.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    789

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    I believe you were scammed, Mark. I'm sorry that happened to you. At the very least the seller should send you a substantial refund.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    299

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    The provenance is wrong Mark. The lens is not what it says. The lens includes the glass and barrel. There is no way to find out what the glass is. I would not trust the seller. Its to much money for a no name in my opinion. You'll never be able to sell it as a Cooke in good conscience.

    This was a fraudulent transaction and should be voided. If you can buy for say $ 300 fine.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    6,189

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    I respectfully dis-agree and have some experience I can share. I also have a Burke & James 'refinished' Cooke Portrait lens. Mine is an 18" Series VI f5.6. I am lucky enough to also have a 15" Series VI that is un-tampered with. They are identical in every way except that Burke and James during the late 1960's was in the re-finish mode and clearly stripped the original finish, re-did it in black and re-lettered it in white. They also single coated the glass. The barrel and machine work is all TTH Cooke.

    Now Burke and James did re-set some other antique lenses in their own house made barrels. I have a Steinheil lens that is clearly in a barrel that B&J created in their shops. The threads are loosey goosey and it looks exactly like Carl Meyer quality. Not so the Cooke. I believe all they did was re-paint these and coat them.

    If you look carefully at the 1920's Cooke catalog at Seth Broder's site you can see that the earliest series II Portrait lenses looked just like Marks. If you go to the Series II f4.5 description page you'll see that catalog no. 263 is Mark's lens. 16" 10X12.

    I don't think there's a thing wrong with Mark's lens and certainly the photos he's already done would support me in my belief. The proof is in the puddin'.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  6. #6
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Eastern Seaboard Blues again...
    Posts
    5,627

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    Jim could be quite right. I'm going to have a long sit-down with the lens at school tomorrow, and try to figure it out. I have a few more clues to go on now. As he said, "the proof is in the puddin'", and this thing gives beautiful negatives regardless. I just want it to be what it says it is, a Cooke Portrait Lens.

    Other lens collectors have shelf-queens. I get drama-queens. (*sigh...*)
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Milford Pa.
    Posts
    2,924

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    mark,

    the lens shoots nice....errr! you shoot the lens nice..

    IMO it has been reworked. it may be just fine (as jim has indicated and it may actually be "correct) but B&J clearly had their hands on it right of wrong, good or bad. i feel that in this case it diminishes the value, this is only MY opinion. i look at it this way, any "original collectible" that has been reworked has less value in most all cases (shelby being one that actually increases the value of a ford but he is seen in an opposite light than B&J is seen in this example) if you change something then it looses its value.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post

    A very authoritative source has confirmed this is definitely not a genuine TT&H Cooke lens, and probably a B&J rework. The glass "is probably" Cooke, but the barrel definitely is not. I'm obviously very fond of what the lens can do, but a large amount of the purchase price is based on its pedigree. The seller, after trying rather aggressively to persuade me that it was an incredibly rare and spectacular bargain even if it wasn't a real Cooke (which he doesn't dispute), has offered a refund.
    that says it to me. if the authority says it is not original then it is not. this will affect the value of it later down the road. will it affect the photos you can/have got with it? no. could it have cooke glass? maybe. but this distinction affects the value. it is similar to my example a while back of a car that has been "totaled". yes, the car is repaired correctly and is working fine (total is just a dollar amount and is no indication of the real damage. it could have lost all the glass and had the airbags go off creating a big repair price tag for example) but having a salvage title to a car will always result in less revenue from a sale..

    the long and short of it. the seller has accepted a return. take it (unless some one right here right now wants to buy it from you for what you paid for it including the shipping to you , as the seller will do.....anyone willing to buy it under these terms?....i doubt it. but lets see.) if some one here will pay you and they want it sell it to them. there are many many of these lenses out there. there are very few one of a kind (anyone got a voigtlander 7B? i have one and have not seen or heard of another....yet). you will feel better with your money back and an original lens down the road.

    good luck.

    eddie
    My YouTube Channel has many interesting videos on Soft Focus Lenses and Wood Cameras. Check it out.

    My YouTube videos
    oldstyleportraits.com
    photo.net gallery

  8. #8
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    local
    Posts
    4,028

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    hi mark, sorry for your troubles ..

    in the end of it all, were you planning on selling it in a few years to double or triple your $$ / investment ?
    if i had th $$ i would buy it for exactly what you paid for it --->>without hesitation.
    in the end it isn't really the lens that makes the photographs but you...

    if you feel badly about buying something that was misrepresented i would send it back to the seller,
    demand a full refund, and make sure that ebay knows what sort of thing he does ...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    299

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    Repainting and refinishing is most certainly not a re manufacture of the lens. Even the lettering, while not accurate would not be a big thing. The single coating is even OK. It is my understanding that the only original parts of the lens are the glass - maybe. If B&J gussied it up its still a cooke. Any way to contact cooke directly and send a few photos?

  10. #10
    wfwhitaker
    Guest

    Re: When is a "Cooke" not a Cooke?

    What does Barbara Lowry say about it? She had expressed an interest in it during the auction.

    Do I understand correctly that Burke & James made the mechanicals, but Cooke made the glass? How well do the mechanicals work? Are they rough and sloppy? Cooke mechanicals tend to be as smooth as the finish on their glass. My guess is that if this had been a "real" Cooke with the typical Cooke lacquered brass finish, it would have gone for more money than you paid. But that's just a guess.

    I saw the title of this thread and said to myself, "uh,oh...". You bought this lens from a seller whose notoriety seems to grow constantly. But if your example shots are any example, it's a fine lens. Do you punish the devil and throw out the baby with the bath water? You have a dilemma on your hands, lad.

Similar Threads

  1. advice on Cooke with stuck Soft focus
    By Emil Schildt in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 9-May-2014, 13:59
  2. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 19-Mar-2009, 22:39
  3. Cooke XVa Convertble lens
    By Scott Squires in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 28-Sep-2007, 07:31
  4. Cooke production update
    By tim atherton in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-May-2007, 18:35
  5. Cooke triple convertible vs. other lenses
    By merlo.luca1961@libero.it in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 19-Nov-2006, 07:42

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
  •