Cooke S7/i lenses are some of the most recent lenses to come from Cooke Optics. They are incredibly sharp from corner to corner since they are designed to cover well beyond Full Frame. They are high contrast lenses, built to the highest standards of optical quality, and mechanical precision and reliability.
Focus breathing is minimal. Flaring and ghosts are controlled, and have their own look unique look. They have an iris design that differs from Cooke S4/i and Cooke 5/i primes, which remains more circular when stopped down.
Focus tapers quickly outside of S16 frame.
Moderate CA throughout. Remains through aperture.
Moderate SA, CA throughout. Remains through aperture.
Moderate SA, CA throughout. Cleans up around T2.8
The Cooke S7 are the big boy lenses offered by the famed British lens maker famous for the distinctive “Cooke look.” These are beastly lenses given their huge image circle and tank like build. The flare is very pleasing however I find the look of these to be less than the full Cooke look. The relative illumination is better than the popular S4 series that everyone loves. This is a bonus for larger format sensors however it comes at the cost of not having the same classic look that bring DPs to Cooke time and again.
Overall they are beautiful lenses with what I would characterize as a very subdued look compared to other lenses that this legendary lens maker has built its name upon.
The "Cooke Look" is harder to pin down these days. Cooke Speed Panchros, Cooke Classics, and Cooke S4s share a lot of DNA in my opinion. Cooke S4s for example are sharp and well corrected, but still with lovely character, and just enough flavor to keep them from being sterile. Cooke S7s are a different beast. They are ruthlessly sharp from corner to corner. That is not an exaggeration. Either on a camera or a lens projector, they are absolutely tack sharp, high contrast lenses, and aberrations are incredible well controlled. Look at the microphone in the foreground of our lens tests and you'll see just how impressive the image is even out to the edges.
I have a feeling these lenses might just about cover the Alexa 65 and what we are seeing is a "sweet spot effect," because these lenses are performing as good in the corners as they are in the center of frame. It's truly impressive. Cooke opted for a new iris design for the S7s, which is different than the S4s and 5s, so stopped down they have their own look to the bokeh. But personally, I would never stop these lenses down, because they look so great wide open and they are already at peak optical performance at T2.
Flares and breathing are both well controlled. The lenses are big, heavy and expensive, so keep that in mind if any or all of those factors don't work for your production.
Cooke brought that familiar name to the full frame game back in 2017 when they announced this line at NAB. With a bigger build, Cooke is wasting no space on mechanics to yield one of the best builds in the full frame class. However, what's really special about this lens set is the metadata (represented by the "i" in the name) you can now use for advanced post-workflow. With metadata of lens information such as, focus, T stop, distortion mapping, and depth of field, the Cooke S7/i set is an optical feat that's future-proof for some of the biggest budget shoots.
Ah - the “Cooke look” Wait… Where’s the Cooke Look?!. The S7/i Primes are a bit of a departure from the rest of the Cooke lineup in that they produce a relatively clean, accurate image. Their optics are very well designed and corrected. Their mechanical design is a bit more complex than something like the now-classic S4 or even the 5/i primes. As far as high speed primes go, The Cooke S7 can be considered bulky, but totally worth it considering their image quality.