Get the Cooke Look at a fraction of the cost, as Cooke Optics launches budget SP3 cinema lens range

Cooke SP3 lenses
(Image credit: Cooke Optics)

Cooke Optics has launched its cheapest-ever range of cinema lenses. Costing a fraction of the price of its existing products, the new range of five primes is designed to attract a new generation of cinematographers to the advantages of what has become known as The Cooke Look.

By some people's standards the new Cooke SP3 lenses are not especially cheap. But costing $4,500 each, they are around a third of the price of the Panchro/i Classic lens range (which sell for $12,900 each). Cooke's flagship S8 range of lenses cost around $35,000.

The full SP3 range will include 25mm, 32mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm lenses - all with a maximum T2.4 iris openings, and with 9-bladed diaphragms. A full set of the five lenses will also be available in a custom hard-case set.

Historically Cooke has primarily produced lenses for the Arri PL-mount - the standard bayonet lens fitting in the cinema industry. But the new SP3 range breaks with this tradition and will be available in a range of mount options for full-frame mirrorless camera systems – namely Sony FE, Canon RF, Leica M, and L-mount.

The boxed set will come with all five of the SP3 lenses, fitted with Sony E mounts, but also supplied with user-interchangeable Canon RF mounts (Image credit: Cooke Optics)

The lenses will be supplied with both Sony and Canon RF mounts – allowing you to switch between these two popular systems. Other mounts will be available as accessories. 

The design of the SP3 lenses is based on Cooke's Speed Panchro - one of the most influential lenses in 130-year Cooke’s history, dating back to 1921.

The lenses are also the lightest in Cooke's history, with weights ranging from 500-690g a piece. All the lenses have both imperial and metric distance markings, and share the same architecture, so focus and iris mechanics stay in the same place. We are told that the size and weight mean the lenses are suitable for use on gimbals and drones.

The new lenses promise the Cooke Look that has been sought after by professional filmmakers for decades. Cooke explains this look as providing. heightened dimensionality and contrast performance, giving great realism to your footage. Humans look human, we are told, with believable skin tone and character.

The lenses are available to pre-order now for $4,500/£3,250 each, or for $21,375/£15,400  as a box set of all five optics. Initially, the lenses will be sold with the Sony E mount - but purchasers will be able to get a free RF mount with shims as soon as it is available. The L-mount is available immediately as an optional extra, with the Leica M mount going on sale from early next year.

The Cooke SP3 lenses are now available for pre-order at BHPhoto

Check out our guides to the best cine lenses and to the best cinema cameras

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.