What we heard from the industry
While many DPs prefer to specify Cooke lenses to take advantage of the Cooke look as well as the on-set usability and reliable operation, cost has sometimes been a barrier. In addition, many purchasers of digital cameras like Red also want a full set of lenses at a realistic price.
We also wanted to open up the opportunity to use Cooke lenses in risky situations such as on-board stunt work; lower costs lenses reduce rental and insurance costs.
S4 Quality Deserves the S4 Name
Our goal has been to deliver a smaller, lighter lens which offers the same resolution, optical quality and reliability as the S4/i, but at a lower price. We decided that the lenses should be equally suitable for shooting film and digital images up to and beyond a 4K resolution pipeline.
In addition the lenses include /i Technology, providing lens data per frame for downstream post production. Like the S4/i lenses, the miniS4/i's are designed for motion photography and they don't breathe.
The lenses are one stop slower than the S4/i, as a result they can be smaller and lighter.
All Cooke lenses are colour matched. This means miniS4/i and S4/i lenses can be mixed on a shoot with full confidence that the images will match.
Cooke miniS4 Uncoated Elements
For those who want a softer contrast, more flaring and an "older" lens look and feel.
Cooke miniS4/i lenses are now available with uncoated front and/or rear elements. Offered as a set of 6 (18-100mm) and individually for 40mm, 65mm and 135mm, they can be swapped with the standard coated elements by a qualified lens technician.
Uncoated elements may help creat a different "historic look" - more flare, softer edges, etc. Footage showing the effect of coated vs. uncoated elements on the miniS4/i.