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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
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    If I were you , I would prefer classic tried and tested and used by Ansel Adams XV but not the new one.
    I asked the same question and hard to find a gallery at internet.
    Classic Cooke uses Chance Brothers British made glasses and each lens element corrected to a best possible degree. Later technology prefers to distribute the aberration errors from one lens element positive and other lens element negative to destroy each other. I think if Cooke uses modern softwares , there would be no turning back.
    And modern softwares tends to balance lower order aberration correction with distorting the higher order. I expect from that lens a bad rendition , eye catching distortion and bad bokeh.
    I contacted with cooke and made a long conversation with chief designer and later I looked to modern Cooke cine lens designs and found them extreme over saturated.
    I looked to RED Cine Camera shots with Cooke and they were terrible.
    Use what Brits do their research and development by theirselves and use their own glasses.
    BUT , from all over of that investigation , I found a XVA picture at photo net and best rendition I have ever seen.EXCELLENT
    My investigation would be a handwaving and ask these questions to Cooke. May be they wrote their own softwares to catch up the aberrations similar to classic. They dont want to cut the gold egg giving chicken ,neither all of us.
    Reversely Cooke site have few pictures taken with XVA and their colors were so natural and not hot like porn at the cine lenses. Two different and far examples from a lens company.
    Chief designer wrote to me there are a sweet spot with warm color at the middle and cinematographers
    likes.

    Umut

  3. #3

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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

  4. #4
    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

  5. #5
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    If a lens corrected for TriX and Agfa , I would prefer it but if its corrected for Tmax ,Neopan, Foma, Efke ,I am not rich to buy this lens or a bad product. But may be this corrected for new things means corrected for digital backs and scanners. I cant think no British company is capable to do that today.
    If you want to learn english , they expect you to england , but they dont expect from you to buy british product with high tax and 2 times more expensive pound and lower technology. If you think Queen is a guarantee for good quality , it was 300 years ago.

  6. #6

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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

  7. #7
    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 ?

  8. #8

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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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