Cine Zoom Comparo: France vs. England

The Cooke 20-100mm is a workhorse of a zoom lens. It's solid build quality combined with classic "Cooke Look" glass make it a very desirable lens in the current HD market. The other option is to drop a pretty penny on a stellar new Angenieux 24-290mm. The current champion of motion picture zoom lenses. These two cinema zoom lenses are decades apart and even farther apart in cost. An average Cooke 20-100mm costs a mere $7,000 compared to the going rate for a new Angenieux 24-290mm at around $63,000. A little background on these still samples. These were shot with a 35mm full frame 5D which means the vignetting is severe and expected. The settings were the same for each lens, 100mm at T4, ISO 100, 5100K color temp etc. Here are the samples.

A few notes about the image quality here. Obviously the Angenieux looks sharper than the cooke but lets explore why this is. The main aspect I notice right off the bat is the difference in contrast. The Angenieux has far better contrast which combined with superior resolving power defines the edges much better, resulting in a cleaner image. The Cooke does possess a very nice soft effect. It doesn't lose much resolution but it does lack a lot of contrast giving it a very flat organic look. This would be particularly nice if used for shooting faces or skin tones. When you look at these images you can instantly come to the conclusion that the Angenieux is technically better. But is that really what you want?

 

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