New Line of Eight Panchro Classic Lenses from 18–152mm Set to Ship at NAB 2017

Cooke Optics is set to ship a new line of Panchro Classic lenses — the vintage Speed Panchro lens design with modern PL camera mounts — starting next spring.

The new Cooke Panchro Classic line of lenses is set to ship at NAB 2017, Cooke said. It will include eight lenses at focal lengths from 18mm to 152mm, with T-stop ranges varying from T2.2-T11 for the widest lens to T3.2-T22 for the longest.

Cooke Classic Panchro lens chart

Source: Cooke Optics

The Speed Panchro was so named because it was designed with a large relative aperture of up to f2.0, allowing its use on Hollywood sets of the late 1920s and early 1930s that had grown darker with the demise of arc lamps, which generated too much noise to use while filming talkies. By 1935, there were eight focal lengths from 24mm to 108mm in the Speed Panchro range, according to a 2011 article [PDF] in the Guild of Television Cameramen journal, Zerb.

"People still love the look they get from the old Speed Panchros, but they are hard to find — and if you can find them, you have to remount them for today's cameras," said Cooke Optics Chairman and Owner Les Zellan in a prepared statement. "In response to this, we have taken the original design and created a new housing to fit a PL mount. The new Panchro Classic lenses will have the same look and feel that people love about the originals."