Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) were the standard by which other lenses were measured for much of the golden age of cinema, prominently being used in classical Hollywood cinema between the 1930’s and 1960’s.
The TLS rehousing of the vintage Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) lenses is widely considered the best available. The mechanics of this set look and feel very much like the modern Cooke S4/i lenses, while the optics are the original Speed Panchro design.
The Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) produce images that you can’t recreate in post, surprisingly sharp with pleasing flare and low contrast, they have the warmth of the ‘Cooke Look’ but with that added character of a vintage lens, giving a unique look that DOP’s love.
They’ve been used to fantastic effect on films like ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ where Cooke S4/i were used primarily and Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) for warm close-ups and flashbacks. Darius Khondji did a similar thing in Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’.
For some great examples of how they look on camera, check out some of these films:
- “Mr Turner”
- “Midnight In Paris”
- “An Education”
The Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) Cinema PL Mount Lens Set includes 7 lenses that sport hand-fitted construction and classic Panchro optics that have been enjoyed by Hollywood filmmakers since the early 20th century. These Panchros are color-matched to intercut with one another and feature linear irises and cam-style focus. These deliver the Classic “Cooke Look”. They are ideal for PL mount Super 35 sensor cameras for narrative and documentary work.
Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) Seven Lens Set (TLS Conversion)
These vintage lenses from Cooke have been newly rehoused from TLS to conform to current cinema standards, providing a modern PL mount, modern focus and Iris rotation, as well as matching 110mm Front Diameters, all while maintaining the famous “Cooke Look”. The Cooke Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) were designed in the 1920’s and were heavily used between the 1930’s and 1950’s due to its fast aperture. The character and texture created by the vintage nature of these lenses are now becoming more popular due to the high resolving power of today’s digital cinema sensors and the demand for ways to add personality to the clean look provided by digital.
Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) lenses rehoused by TLS (True Lens Service in the UK) are recognized throughout the industry as being the very best rehoused Cooke Speed Panchro lenses available. No lenses exemplify “The Cooke Look” better than vintage Cooke Speed Panchros. The look of an image starts with the glass and no lens before or after the Cooke Speed Panchro line of lenses has been able to match the organic, painterly look of Cooke Speed Panchro lenses, no filter or post-production technique either.
Cooke Speed Panchros rehoused by TLS provide the user with the beauty of Cooke Speed Panchro optics in a housing whose fit, finish and mechanics very closely resemble that of Cooke’s modern Cooke S4/i lenses.
Cooke Speed Panchro Rehoused. The fantastic classic Cooke look, these 1950’s lenses are surprisingly sharp with pleasing flare and low contrast.The lightweight and robust re-housing by True Lens brings these classic Cooke Speed Panchro lenses up to modern day specification. The internal and external mechanics of the TLS re-housings share many similarities to the well-known Cooke S4/i lenses.
The Cooke Speed Panchro’s are notorious for producing beautiful images and produce a warm romantic feel. Made from stainless steel, brass and aircraft grade aluminium, the whole lens is now brought up to modern day specification. You can now capture that “Cooke Look”, and be confident that their modern housing allows them to stand up to the rigors of modern day production.
These Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) produce a classic soft look of the 1930’s and 1940’s American cinema. A quality very much to the Paramount Pictures films of the studio system. Very flattering to flesh tones and known for extreme forgiveness in highlights. Cam driven focus system and chassis style lens housing allow matte boxes and other accessories to be attached to the front of the lens without affecting focus movements. The benefit of zero backlash and image shift give accurate dual focus scales that repeat on direction change with the cam drive system giving a wide spread of markings through the scale.
The True Lens Services Speed Panchro T2.3 PL Mount is a re-housed prime by TLS, following in a rich tradition of optical excellence established by Cooke. A standard by which other prime lenses were measured between the 1930’s and 1950’s, the Cooke Speed Panchros were estimated by George Eastman to have captured approximately 90% of 16mm films shot during that time in America. After an intensive design and development process, the TLS team developed and refined a brand new housing that adds modern functionality to an archaic form without losing the “Cooke Look”.
With imperceptible backlash in the focus movement, zero image shift and smooth transition of the optical unit within the lens housing, the TLS re-design has become a significant standard by which re-housing processes are measured.
Focus & Iris Ring
Positive stops on the focus ring are designed to withstand the rigors of modern drive systems that can often overrun the frail end stops from some earlier re-housings. Using a similar setup up to the Cooke S4/i lenses the iris ring is freely rotatable on the main body of the lens and set on a pair of split bearing rings that keep the two components apart. The iris ring is also governed and designed to stop cleanly at either end of the scale.
Internally adjustable stops on the iris aperture ring mean that the lens can be set to overrun the end markings, if required, but this will not necessarily mean that the lens will open or close any more than the original specified settings.
The shimmable stainless steel PL Mount retains the iris datum ring, using eight cap head screws.
The variable pitch cam that guides the optical unit gives the focus puller an even spread of the focus scale around the circumference, which is particularly useful towards infinity.The cam groove inside the focus barrel has been calculated and cut to give a constant acceleration of the optical unit along the barrel during its rotation. Machining the two-part, spring-loaded cam follower that runs along the cam is an intricate operation which is critical to gain the correct ‘feel’ of the finished lens movement.
The same can be said for the machining of the cam groove with surface finish, produced to give a smooth movement of the optical unit within the housing. The entire focus movement is designed to give reliable, repeatable, progressive and constant performance throughout its working operation. The internally adjustable focus stop gives a clean, solid halt to the travel at either end of the scale. Once set, it must hold its position as it is matched to the cam groove and focus scale on the outside. Spring-loaded support bearings on the internal carrier help give the optical unit a smooth and cushioned ride along the inside the lens barrel.
The focus barrel is held on a specially designed bearing that eliminates shake and play from the focus movement in the focus barrel. This is a key component to the whole re-housing.
Focus Gear & Iris Drive
Externally, the focus and iris drive rings both have 0.8 MOD drive gears that will be the same size and in the same position throughout the whole range of Speed Panchro re-housings.
The front diameter is 110mm and can accept standard matte box clamp rings and doughnut adaptors, without affecting the focus movement. The front diameter of the lens has been set at this dimension to ensure that no vignetting takes place in the corners of the Academy format, which the original Cooke Speed Panchro S2/S3 (TLS) were designed to cover.
The front internal filter thread is 105mm x 0.75 pitch to accept standard filters of that diameter. Deep internal re-icing on the inside of the front carrier helps reduce internal reflections in difficult lighting situations.
Made from stainless steel, brass and aircraft grade aluminium, the entire lens is now brought up to current specifications. You can now capture that “Cooke Look” with confidence that a modern housing will allow these lenses to withstand the rigors of modern production.
Given the reliability and solid construction of the Cooke Speed Panchro conversions, TLS has now moved on to re-housing other classic, vintage lenses from both Kowa and Bausch and Lomb. Also they include the conversion of the Canon K35 series, alongside other suitable manufacturers’ lenses, which are constantly being appraised for conversion suitability.