This week on Film Jams, we’re taking a look at Cooke’s new cinema lens release, the Cooke SP3, E-mount and RF mount lenses! In our Cooke SP3 lens footage test, we pair up these cinema lenses with our trusty Sony a7S III.
Without much Cooke SP3 footage out on the internet yet, we decided to shoot a short cinematic lens test, which you can view above!
Cooke SP3 Lens Footage Test
The name “Cooke” has been one of the most consistent and reputable names in cinema lenses for decades. Cooke S4 lenses were used to shoot many iconic films like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, James Bond: Casino Royale, A Beautiful Mind, and many many more. The Cooke SP3 lenses are much smaller than any lenses Cooke has produced in the past. You can see in the image below with the Cooke SP3 side-by-side with the Cooke S4 just how small these new lenses are.
The Cook SP3 lenses don’t come in PL mount as they’re designed for mirrorless type cameras as well as newer smaller cinema cameras like Sony’s upcoming Burano. The lenses do ship with Sony E-mounts and also come with RF mounts as well that you can user-swap. Leica L and M mounts are also available as add-on purchases.
The Cooke SP3 Lenses come in a 5 lens set, and when you buy the full set it does include a nice custom case. Total Cost (at time of publishing this article): $21,375 for all 5 lenses and case. Alternatively you can also purchase the lenses individually for $4,500 USD per lens.
Full Frame Cooke Lenses for E-mount
One of the biggest draws to the Cooke SP3 lenses is that they cover full frame sensors AND still retain a very small size. The lenses aren’t quite as fast as Cooke S4 lenses which are at a T2.0, but they are faster than the Cooke Mini S4’s T2.8. The Cooke SP3 lenses are right in the middle at T2.4 which is a decent compromise considering their size and price. They’re still half the cost of the Mini S4’s!
The Cooke SP3 footage test we shot was filmed exclusively on the 32mm Cooke SP3 and the 100mm Cooke SP3. These lenses are pictured above, and as you can see the 100mm (unlike the rest of the lenses in the SP3 set) does have a wider front diameter. The rest of the set has a common 64mm front diameter and M58 filter size. The 100mm has a 77mm thread.
Matches Cooke Panchro/i Classic Look
A big draw to the Cooke SP3 lenses is that they’re built to match the Cooke Panchro/i Classic lenses. We did some side-by-side tests with our Cooke S4 lenses as well, and the color was nearly a dead-on match. This makes the SP3 lenses easily interchangeable with Panchro/i or S4 lenses. This is convenient if you want to use the smaller Cooke SP3 lenses on a drone or gimbal. You can still intercut it later with any footage shot on larger Cooke S4 or Panchro/i Classic lenses. They’re a perfect complement as B-unit lenses or can also be used as A-unit lenses as well. Really good thinking on Cooke’s part!
Cooke SP3 Footage
Overall we were really pleased with the Cooke SP3 footage. The bokeh was circular and very uniform, and the almost 3D Cooke look quality is definitely there. Personally we even preferred the flairs on the SP3 to the Cooke S4 flares. They’re very cinematic and skin tones did not disappoint. We’ll release a comparison of the Cooke SP3 and Cooke S4’s next week on the Film Jams’ YouTube channel.
And in case you missed it, here’s the Cooke SP3 Lens Footage again:
Cooke SP3 100mm lens
The 100mm lens was one of our favorites in the set. The bokeh and separation of subject from background really had that classic Cooke Look. The Cooke SP3 lenses paired really well with a smaller camera like the Sony a7s III. Hand-holding was well-balanced, and the focus gear is buttery smooth.
Many DPs and camera ops, like us, prefer using smaller rigs, and these lenses are perfect for those types of builds. We can’t wait to try them on the Sony Burano which will be releasing next year. Hopefully more manufacturers will follow suit and release smaller cinema lenses like these that pack a serious punch!
The 100mm lens has a 77mm front thread so you can use smaller matte boxes like the Tilta Mini Matte Box. For the other SP3 lenses we utilized screw-on ND filters as the thread for filter size is just 64mm.
Cooke SP3 Lens Footage: Wrap Up
We’re big lovers of the Cooke S4 lenses, and Film Jams even owns a set! So naturally when the Cooke SP3 lenses were announced we got excited. Having a much smaller and less expensive set of Cooke lenses almost seemed too good to be true. Sure they have some drawbacks, like no PL mount option, and a bit slower than the larger lenses in Cooke’s lineup; but they also come with a lot of PROS. Interchangeable mounts (E, RF, Leica L and M), lower price (half the cost of any current Cooke lens), beautiful bokeh and flares, and the small size, are all huge benefits.
Cooke SP3 Pros and Cons
Do we wish there was i/Data, sure. Do we wish they had an extra half T-stop, of course. But what’s exciting is that these are now in the price range of smaller rental shops like ours, and owner ops. We’re very excited about these lenses and what’s to come with Cooke in the future. It’s inspiring to see one of the most iconic lens brands of all time build something like the Cooke SP3 Lenses and evolve their tech for the new generation of filmmakers.
If you’re interested in looking at more Cooke content, check out our Cooke S4 VS Rokinon Lens Comparison.
What do you think of the Cooke SP3 lens Footage? Are these lenses on your holiday wish list? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to keep up with our videos at Film Jams on YouTube.
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GEAR USED IN THIS VIDEO:
-Sony a7S III – https://amzn.to/45YFODC
-Canon EOS R (BTS Footage) – https://amzn.to/2QaPZlK
-Cooke SP3 lenses – (Coming Soon)
-Canon 24-105mm – (BTS Footage) https://amzn.to/2ILo9tp
-Canon 100mm macro – https://amzn.to/2KsZuaF (product shots & CUs)
-Sony 160gb CFExpress A – https://amzn.to/462chJo
-Litepanels Astra 6x – https://amzn.to/463AIpE
-SSD drives (to edit) – https://amzn.to/3u3PG1N
Filmed on location at: https://www.LitewaveMedia.com in St. Petersburg, FL
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