SCHOTT solutions no. 2/2013 > Camera Lenses
Glass for Maximum
Cooke Optics is known in the film industry for its innovative camera lenses. The company with a rich tradition has been shaping the quality of motion pictures for decades with its high-quality products that utilize optical glass from SCHOTT.
Oliver Frederik Hahr
Martin Scorsese’s 3-D hit movie ”Hugo” raked in five Oscars in 2012 – among other accomplishments for “Best Cinematography.” The British manufacturer Cooke Optics Ltd. was responsible for the matched pairs of 5/i, S4/i and miniS4/i camera lenses used in the 3-D technology that features optical glass from SCHOTT.
The company founded in 1894 manufactures up to twenty different molded lenses for each of its high-performance lens systems. Lenses that are made of either flint or crown glass are combined with various optical properties to obtain outstanding image sharpness and depth of color. Glasses with particularly low dispersion like N-FK51A and KZFS short flint glasses from SCHOTT with abnormal partial dispersion help correct aberrations.
The homogeneity of the glass and the precise determination of its properties are extremely important for users in the optics industry. SCHOTT achieves the narrowest tolerances by rigidly controlling the melting and annealing processes during manufacturing of optical glasses. For example, the deviation from the nominal values for the highest quality, as published in the data sheet, is only ±0.0001 for the refractive index and ±0.1 percent for the Abbe Number.
The ”Cooke Look” with its warm and natural colors is legendary in the film industry. ”With our innovations, we have been shaping the beauty of motion pictures from the moment they were born until today’s digital revolution,” emphasizes Les Zellan, Chairman, and owner of Cooke Optics. For example, the company developed the zoom lens for film cameras, light-sensitive lenses and, most recently, the revolutionary /i-Technology Protocol. It collects important metadata from the lens in order to provide the camera team and post-production crew with more accurate information. <
On the left: Cooke lenses like the 5/i (see picture) and S4/i are the lenses of choice for shooting 3D movies. On the right: Over 70 different glass types that have different refractive and chemical properties are used. They are supplied already molded close to the required shape and then ground according to exact specifications. Photos: Cooke