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  1. #1

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    Cooke Series X- 9.25 in./f 2.5 Lens- Camera Body Thoughts?

    Hello

    I recently purchased a Cooke Speedic in the far less common 9.25"/f2.5 focal length. I have several of these in the 162mm/f2.5 length mounted on Graflex Cs and on a Speed Graphic.

    I can put the big Cooke on a Graflex 5x7 Reflex I have, or look for a Graflex Speed in 5x7-there's one Ebay right now, WAY too much $$$.

    They're wonderful lenses with a look that's not that common and I'd like to be able to use it to it's best advantage. Are there any other bodies or combinations that I should consider or look into?

    It covers 5x7, that's it. And I think it might be a bit long for a 4x5, plus I already have other speed portrait lenses for that focal length so I'd like to head towards a bigger plate.

    Any ideas are welcome. Thanks!

    Robb Scharetg

  2. #2
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Congratulations on a rare find. I have never seen one this long. I am curious what you find pleasing about them.

    In any case, where this lens belongs is on a 5x7 reflex camera. I think anything else would be a waste, unless you are shooting wet-plate or dags, in which case the speed is all that matters.

  3. #3

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    Hello JG

    It's a wonderful lens, albeit both big & heavy. The lens has a wonderful sharp/soft quality about it, the falloff generated by the extremely wide aperture really forces the eye to see what's being emphasized. In addition there is a slight "swirl" outside of the plane of focus. The tonal range on the negatives produced also has a nice look. Somewhat like an image shot with a 150/2.8 Xenotar, but the color palette is softer-if you're shooting color.

    Based on my research (which is limited) it IS a rare lens. This is the ONLY one I've ever seen, althought they are listed in the Cooke catalog. Apparently new they sold for $295 USD, sometime in the late 20's/early 30's.

    Robb

  4. #4
    Lachlan Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robb Scharetg
    Based on my research (which is limited) it IS a rare lens. This is the ONLY one I've ever seen, althought they are listed in the Cooke catalog. Apparently new they sold for $295 USD, sometime in the late 20's/early 30's.
    If Cooke were made them today then they would cost at least $3500 to buy new!

    Lachlan

  5. #5
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lachlan Young
    If Cooke were made them today then they would cost at least $3500 to buy new!

    Lachlan
    The cost reflects EXACTLY the effect of inflation since then.

    My 1912 - ish B&L Portrait Unar would go today for..... $ 9000 !

    Besides the obvious comments to make about inflation,
    it shows just how D*mned expensive photography USED to be.

    df
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  6. #6
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    This is a HANDSOME lens: I've seen one, wish I could have run faster that day, I'd still have it. The old geezer didn't look that tough. But that's another story.

    The beast has an 81mm aperture. Gosh. That's like a 60mm f/.7 lens.

    It would be useable on a 4x5, but I agree that 5x7 will be it's best use. Shooting wide open, it will need that extra space around a head to make a pleasant overall image. But since I don't shoot 5x7 anymore, I bet I'd be more than happy with that bomber on 4x5, and so will you !

    The cool thing about a Cooke is the 4 air-glass surfaces mean it's actually transmitting a reasonable amount of light, like a Tessar.

    Which is why Bertele used the triplet as a starting point for his Ernostar and Sonnar high speed lenses.

    EDIT: The Speedic is a modified triplet too ! The rear cell is split, giving it 6 surfaces, not 4. Pretty durn good for a 1923 lens.

    Great find.

    SHOW US PICTURES !!!
    Last edited by df cardwell; 05-16-2006 at 06:00 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: fixed an error
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  7. #7
    Lachlan Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    My 1912 - ish B&L Portrait Unar would go today for..... $ 9000 !
    How much did you pay for it?
    Puts into perspective the cost of those new Schneider Fine Art XXL lenses doesn't it!

    Lachlan

  8. #8

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    df, you're being more arithmetically challenged than usual. The VM shows what it says is a Speedic cross-section. Four air-spaced elements, eight (8! Count them! 8!) air-glass interfaces. The classic triplet has three air-spaced elements, six (again, 6!) air-glass interfaces.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  9. #9
    Lachlan Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    This is a HANDSOME lens: I've seen one, wish I could have run faster that day, I'd still have it. The old geezer didn't look that tough. But that's another story.

    The beast has an 81mm aperture. Gosh. That's like a 60mm f/.7 lens.

    It would be useable on a 4x5, but I agree that 5x7 will be it's best use. Shooting wide open, it will need that extra space around a head to make a pleasant overall image. But since I don't shoot 5x7 anymore, I bet I'd be more than happy with that bomber on 4x5, and so will you !

    The cool thing about a Cooke is the 4 air-glass surfaces mean it's actually transmitting a reasonable amount of light, like a Tessar.

    Which is why Bertele used the triplet as a starting point for his Ernostar and Sonnar high speed lenses.

    EDIT: The Speedic is a modified triplet too ! The rear cell is split, giving it 6 surfaces, not 4. Pretty durn good for a 1923 lens.

    Great find.

    SHOW US PICTURES !!!
    I've just found THIS and wonder what it will finally go for! If no one else bids for it then I might be tempted - then again I can get a late model Ektar 203mm f7.7 for the equivalent of $107!

    Lachlan

  10. #10
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    ...The VM shows what it says is a Speedic cross-section. Four air-spaced elements, eight (8! Count them! 8!) air-glass interfaces. The classic triplet has three air-spaced elements, six (again, 6!) air-glass interfaces...
    This is the problem with these lenses, or at least the ones I have used; really serious FLARE.

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