What is the Cooke Look®
Cinematographers choose Cooke lenses for the "Cooke Look" - a sharp, subtle, smooth rendering that provides dimensionality and high contrast, and pleases the eye.
Our expertise is in the science of creating beautiful images for the motion picture industry. Our understanding of the right way to implement technology comes from our long term involvement in the film business.
So where does the Cooke Look come from?
In the very early days of the company Cooke recognised the need to design, manufacture and calibrate lenses that produce a film image that, when eventually projected, looks warm and natural. Our lenses are designed with an understanding of the pipeline between what the DoP sees and the experience in the movie theatre.
We've never wavered from that commitment.
Consistently maintaining the colour balance across the range means all our lenses are colour-matched to give a seamless look when shots are mixed in production. This painstaking process is partly why Cooke lenses take time and skill to construct.
In aiming for as natural an image as possible, we also consider "transition in the image" - when an image of a sharp edge goes out of focus. Cooke lenses ensure the blend is smooth and rounded, and that there is no artificial effect (including ringing and doublings) introduced by the lens and spoiling the transition.
So what about digital film camera sensors - does the Cooke Look have value in a digital acquisition workflow? Absolutely! Modern single chip digital cameras have detectors that fully benefit from the Cooke lens colour balance, and transition is of course as relevant as ever.
The Cooke lens is the eye of the cinematographer.