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  1. #1
    vic vic's Avatar
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    Cooke optics XVa convertible ?!

    hi all,
    any experience with the Cooke XVa ?
    maybe even some samples that somehow show the way it renders.
    characteristics and unique things compared to normal schnieder.

    for portraits,
    i suppose u should be able to focus this lens (normal 311mm) a little bellow 1 meter (90cm, 3 foot) with bellow extension of about 50 cm ? am i right ?
    from cooke-optics website, i also understand that when working with 476 (back cell only), it needs far greater bellow draw (542mm) than normally expected, so, how close can u get with say 65-70 cm bellow extension ?

  2. #2

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    I own a Cooke XVa. It is formulated for modern film types.

    If you are shooting film from Ansel Adams era, then the XV will do you fine.

    What can I say other then it is a marvelous lens.

    Some of these images in my gallery were shot with the XVa, but right now I can't remember which ones. I don't write this stuff down. Anyway, these little internet jpags can't show you the incredible image quality the XVa produces.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photog..._County.html#0

    Of course how you shoot might not work with the XVa. Everyone has different expectations. I find it a very versatile lens for what I do, plus saving weight in the camera bag.

    Good luck.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Try a search on "Cooke XVa" and you'll turn up several existing threads on this lens.

    When I was considering it, I came to the conclusion that it would make more sense--if I wanted a modern sharp field lens or three for 8x10"--to buy a trio of Fujinon-C lenses (300-450-600) for about the same price new, each being a complete, corrected lens, easy to swap in the field without dealing with the logistics of a convertible. In the end, I decided to stick with my classic lenses (10" WF Ektar, 12" Golden Dagor, 19" Apo-Artar being my main trio of 8x10" lenses, with a few extras on the wide end and portrait lenses for the studio).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4

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    Cooke is owned by an American company. The glass is ground and assembled in England.

    The XVa is engineered and coated for modern color film.

    Only buy what you truly need for your photographic vision.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  5. #5
    vic vic's Avatar
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    Umut, David, Walter

    obviously, emulsions available now, kodak, ilford etc, the only old type is efke/adox. probably, those lens computing issues are less mandatory for b/w than color. i read on this forum things like - "flare resistance", "wide open". these are the things that captivate me more.
    i see b/w a little bit like cooking - ingredients that make something new/authentic in the hands of artist/craftsman... light, lens, film, print...
    with this in mind im looking at Cooke XVa convertible - maybe it has some inherent character that i will take to a sublimely unique touch on the print. the standard Schneider Symmar-L is always a great option otherwise.

    as for the tripple convertible issue... 8x10 and Cooke lens is part of the study for the LF/ULF adventure im thinking to get into.
    the 8x10 camera i favor the most is ArcaSwiss Misura, a genuine 8x10, or a maybe, a conversion kit from Misura 4x5. this might not be leica or rolleiflex in the hand, but mobility of this set is not a big issue (in LF terms at least), whether on hike/trekking, or taking it to indoor location. the moderate bulk of Misura should give confidence when working alone too, in short, this set will see a lot of use in practice, a spontaneous sort of use too. also, ArcaSwiss is probably the finest and most intuitive LF to use.
    but the camera (genuine or converted from 4x5), has a little issue with longer extension, which normally goes to about 50cm. this should be enough for portraits i think, but not enough for convertible 476 set of Cooke XVa, which according to their data needs extension of about 52cm to focus just on infinity.

    @ walter,
    sneaked a look to your website, cool stuff. of course its not possible to recognize from the internet which are Cooke photos :-)
    how close can u get with 311mm set if u have 50 cm extension ?
    my GUEES is a little bellow 1m (maybe down to 0.8m) or 3foot, which is ok for portraits most of the time.
    is it really different/unique/appealing when wide-open than what u would expect from modern Schneider ?

  6. #6

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    Victor,

    Unfortunately I don't have much experience shooting with long bellows draw with the XVa because I haven't used it for tight portrait work. The appeal for this lens was shooting landscapes so when I'm in the field I can have three focal lengths with one lens.

    This is why I've emphasized that just because I like the XVa doesn't mean you will.

    Thanks for taking a look at my website. I wish I could find the time to update it, or more ideally redesign it. I have so much more new work, but each time I turn around 2 or 3 months have flown by.

    Best,

    Walt
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html



 

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