View Camera Review Of Cooke Triple Convertible Lens
Anyone have any opinions about the review in the July\August issue? Personally, I was left feeling like it was a marketing piece for Cooke. There were many subjective comments like:
'I can only describe the image as having a "lushness".'
'There was "air" in the image.'
'Like looking at the world after a spring rain'
Since when did 'lushness', 'air' and 'spring rain' become the benchmarks for lens performance?
The author said he was going to compare the performance of this lens to vintage convertible lenses, but that it was so much metter than them that it would be a waste of time and that the Cooke lens can hold i't own against modern lenses. Well, if that's the case, why not compare it to some of the modern lenses, then? Compare it in all 3 focal lengths. He says that the projected image does not lose quality wide open when used with a single element, but offered no proof. All we get is one somewhat blurry and flat picture of some cactus. Does he tell us how lines per mm the lens will resolve at each focal length compared to a good modern lens? That would interest me. The one technical figure provided was copied off the Cooke web-site.
At the end, he even tells us that we should rush out an buy one because the supply is limited (Operators standing by!!).
There was some unseful information on using the lens and a good description of it's use in the field. But at the end I had no hard information that would make me want to go out and buy one. It all seemed like hype to me.
It could well be that the reviewer is right and I should rush out and but one, but at some $2500 (or more) for the lens, I'd need more than hype to get me to do it.
Does anyone own one of these lenses? Can you give us some feedback on it's performance? Something other than 'I love it', etc? Have you done any comparision with it and modern lenses of similar focal length shootint the same scene and comparing prints.
If this lens is a great one, I'd like to get one (I understand another batch is being manufactured as they sold out the first?).
Gordon Hutchins is a very knowledgeable long time LF practitioner and if I was going to take somebody's word, he would be one. OTOH, like you say, perhaps not to the tune of $2500 dollars. I agree more technical comparisons should have been done before someone should recommend that we run a buy it.
Also, you have to understand that VC is not a "Journal" but simply a photography magazine where the publisher/editor is not very technically knowledgeable. If you present an article with graphs, curves, MTFs, etc, he either will not understand them, or deem them too complicated to publish. In addition you have to limit yourself to 2 or 3 pages the most. All these constraints result in the authors of many articles in this magazine to be forced to write "puff" pieces with little scientific or technical background.
If it is any consolation, although I dont own one (cannot afford it and I rather save my pennies for Jim's camera), the consensus from what I have read about it seems to be that it truly is a wonderful lens worth owning.
I took Gordon's workshop over a 1 1/2 years ago. At the time he had only the orginal version of the lens. Cooke had been given one of the two orginals that he had to duplicate the lens. I saw pictures he had taken with the orginal lens. The new one, I saw at the LF conf. Again I saw some of the pcitures made using it. Then to my surprise, Per Volquartz was one of the people testing the lens. His images were stunning. Everything I have seen is remarkable in the clarity and detail of sharpness. I am impressed and hope the lens God's might take pity on redhead female photographers, and allow me to test one.
If the article wasn't clear, Let me say without having used it, the images I have seen are wonderful. It in my opinion is well worth the money. But then I would still try to find a way to get it cheaper being me.
I don't think it's the lens making Per's images what they are; he's a very good photographer.
For the same price, I can get (and did) a mint used Fuji 600C, 450C, and 300C, and of course there are many other options in the 300mm focal length. This set is only marginally heavier than the Cooke, and I don't have to change lens cells in the field and deal with variable aperture scales.
That said, I may actually get to test one in the future, and if so, I'll post the results or maybe even let APUGers suggest test shots or comparison shots then pass them around.
Or you could buy an Emil Busch Vademecum for a song and have enough money left over to purchase, oh, I don't know, maybe a new 8x10. Modern doesn't always mean better, but I guess VC has a duty to showcase new products.
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It does look like an interesting lens, and I'm interested to read Gordon Hutchings' account, since he was involved in the development of the lens, but at the same time, I can read critically, and I know from other things he's written that his enthusiasm--which is delightful--might get in the way of his judgment.
I think it's great that Cooke is developing these lenses, but they'll really need to show an advantage over the older lenses and new lenses, I think, to make them an economic success. For the price of their soft focus lens for 4x5", for instance, one could just as well buy a Verito with strobe sync added to the old shutter and an 8x10" camera, which is arguably a better tool for the job.
The triple convertible is multi-coated and is supposed to be optically improved over the old version. These are attractions. I'd be interested in testing one.
Also, you have to understand that VC is not a "Journal" but simply a photography magazine where the publisher/editor is not very technically knowledgeable. If you present an article with graphs, curves, MTFs, etc, he either will not understand them, or deem them too complicated to publish. In addition you have to limit yourself to 2 or 3 pages the most. All these constraints result in the authors of many articles in this magazine to be forced to write "puff" pieces with little scientific or technical background. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
This is pure BS. I understand H&D curves, lens diagrams, etc. My interest is uch more what photography can do in terms of image content and expessive values in the final print. Anyone who thinks they can boil photgraphy down to charts and graphs misses the point of the medium.
Lets look at the misstatements in Jorge's comments.
Many articles are more than 2-3 pages. In fact we do better job of showing portfolios and give them more pages than any magazine except possibly Lenswork
We have pubished H&D curves many times over the years. Jorge however, tried sending an article on PMK and HD that we rejected for numurous reasons and he still seems angry at us. His article did not have H&D cures but some esoteric chart that few people could understand. He commnted at one point that millions of people would understand these charts but people who looked at them on his site also did not know what he was doing. For someon to submit an article that was as badly done as this one and then come on here and tell people that I do not understand technical things in photogaphy is hypocritical. When I did my work I offered to show the negatives for public review. When I challenged Jorge to do he same he claimed to have destroyed his PMK and HD negs. Now anyone worth their salt knows you NEVER destoy original research material. He seems to have destroyed the negs soon after being challenged about the results. In his article he did not give any exposure info other than to say that broad daylight exposure with FP4+and no filter was 4 seconds.Only when challenged by several people on another forum did he admit he treated the situation as an N-2. He did not discuss if he gave an adustment for reciprocity correction in this situation. I would never compare two developers, or to films, using an N-2 scene as ths is rather specialized. If I did would tell people up front what Iwas doing. When he wascriticizd by others for thesecharts he became abusive and insulting rather than backup and learn from others.
Criticism is one thing and we can all learn and grow from construtive comments. But, however, much of the time the comments are wrong about what we are doing and come from people who have not bothered to check their facts. One criticism which we felt was fair was about our poof reading. In the last issueof each magazine we have added an extra layer of proofreading to try and correct this problem.
Some magazines will fill pages with charts and cut back on the final images. We prefer to show photographs and show charts when they really provide useful informaton.
This grudge match between Steve and Jorge is tiresome. You both have good and probably valid points. I enjoy both Jorge's contributions to this forum and his photography. Steve's dedication to VC magazine must be applauded whether you agree with him or not.
I'm not taking sides on this one, I would just rather see the hyperbol turned down a few notches.
Good point, Eric. A round of Glenmorangie for the house!
Eric, all I did was post my opinion and the reasons why I thought the Cooke article was not as good as it should have been. Once again, Simmons used this to adevrtise his magaznie. In any case, you know what is wonderful about APUG? The ignore list. Use it, you will grow less tired....
Originally Posted by EricR