Covering the technology, gear and talent behind film and video production

ZGC’s New Service Location

Patricia Greene  January 6 2015 01:45:25 PM
We are pleased to announce our new lens service location. Beginning on January 12, 2015, Guy Genin, ZGC Inc.’s Technical Director, will service lenses and other equipment in our new Florida office at:
ZGC, Inc.
Attn.: Guy Genin
2430 Vanderbilt Beach Rd, #390
Naples, FL 34109
USA

Guy can be reached by calling: 973-335-4460 x215 or by email: repair@zgc.com orguy@zgc.com

ZGC Inc.’s primary Sales office will remain at 264 Morris Ave, Mountain Lakes NJ 07046. Our sales team can be reached by calling: 973-335-4460 or by email: sales@zgc.com.

With over 30 years of experience, ZGC has the expertise to maintain and repair your professional motion picture lenses. We specialize in the service and repair of Cooke Optics lenses and do preventative maintenance and repair on some of the products we carry. Please download and fill out the Repair Request Form and email it to us at repair@zgc.com. Include a copy of the form with your shipment to avoid unnecessary delays. If you have specific questions about a lens repair or service, please contact us anytime. We’re happy to help you. 

Since 1986, ZGC has represented many of the leading names in products and services for film, cinema and video production. ZGC was founded to meet the needs of professionals looking for one place to buy, lease and repair, or learn how to use all types of image capture and film production equipment. We are a boutique sales and service provider who specializes in assisting our customers with individual requests. Our friendly, attentive and enthusiastic staff is only a phone call away.

                                                                                                         Image:ZGC’s New Service Location                                                                

First Commercial with Cooke Anamophic Lenses Shot In Brazil

Patricia Greene  September 3 2014 09:33:41 AM
First Commercial Shot In Brazil with Cooke Anamorphic Lenses

 Ricardo Della Rosa, DoP ( http://o2filmes.com.br/diretores/ricardo-della-rosa), shot the first commercial with a set of Cooke Anamorphic lenses in Brazil. The SKY commercial was produced by O2.  Cooke Anamorphic lenses provided by TOP 35 Locadora, in São Paulo.  

         Image:First Commercial Shot In Brazil with Cooke Anamorphic Lenses

ZGC-Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services Ltd. - Serving customers Throughout South America -

Patricia Greene  August 27 2014 08:44:49 AM
ZGC-Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services Ltd.

- Serving customers Throughout South America -

August 2014

ZGC-Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services Ltd. located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is open for business and serving customers throughout South America. We offer comprehensive service for Cooke Optics, Zeiss, Angenuiex and all other professional brand lenses.

Since 1986, ZGC has been representing many of the top names in products and services for film, cinema and video production. ZGC was founded to meet the needs of professionals seeking one place to purchase, lease and repair, or learn how to use the equipment needed for motion picture and cinema productions. With their expertise in servicing Cooke, Zeiss, Angenieux and all other makes and models of cinema lenses, ZGC -Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services is proud to serve the needs of a growing South American market.

We are confident that you will be happy working with us. Please contact Daniel Silva Carvalho by phone 55 (11) 99 465 3551 or e-mail: daniel@zgc.com to discuss your needs. We look forward to working with you.

Image:ZGC-Cooke Brazil Technical Assistance Services Ltd. - Serving customers Throughout South America -

Contact:         Daniel Silva de Carvalho
                   55 (11) 99 465 3551
                   Rua Dr. Alberto Seabra, 1040
                   Cep:05452-001
                   Alto de Pinheiros
                   Sao Paulo SP, Brazil

You say your lens went swimming?

Patricia Greene  August 21 2014 03:26:00 PM
You say your lens went swimming?

By Rich West

It happens in real time; so quickly you can only watch as that lens, which costs many thousands of dollars, plummets to the floor.  An expletive escapes as you attempt to stop the lens mid-fall but, alas, you just aren’t fast enough to overcome Newton’s Law.  There’s that horrible feeling in your gut as you watch the lens hit, and maybe bounce a time or two, because you know you are the responsible party: How are you going to explain what happened?

OK, look on the bright side.  Maybe it’ll only be a few parts that need to be replaced.  It’ll put the lens out of service for a while, but the lens will most likely go on to live another day.

Now let’s take a look at the “Dark Side”.  Instead of the lens landing on the floor it lands in the drink.  No, not that drink. (You know, the one you’ll probably have to calm yourself after “The Drop”).  The drink I’m referring to is that body of water that covers the majority of the planet:  sea water.  Unlike a fresh water pond or river, sea water has an element that just doesn’t mix well with lenses.  Sodium Chloride (NaCl), otherwise known in its common term as SALT.  NaCl, aluminum and brass don’t go well together.

While dropping a lens into a fresh water pond or river is reason enough to cause the onslaught of anxiety, it’s generally not the end of the world.  The lens can be shipped in a plastic zip-lock bag to a repair facility where technicians will dismantle the lens, clean it as they go, check for parts that may need replacing, and then reassemble the lens to factory specs.  Hours of work, and maybe the cost of some parts but the lens will likely live to work again. Not too bad, considering.

On the other hand, if the lens was dropped into salt water (ocean, salt water aquarium, brine tank, etc.) more severe challenges await.  The salt water must be promptly flushed from the lens or corrosion will set in.  “What”, you exclaim, “Put the lens in more water?” Yes! Not only put it in fresh water, but thoroughly flush it with fresh water to try and displace as much of the salt water as possible.  After doing this, seal the lens up in a zip-lock bag and immediately send it off to the repair facility with a big note providing notice of what happened and what steps you took.  Delays here will only make recovery more unlikely.

Maybe, if you’re lucky, there will be minimal damage.  Yes, there will probably be parts that have to be replaced, and there will be many hours of billable time for the technician to strip the lens down to individual parts, to wash each and every one of them in fresh water, and to carefully dry them so they don’t rust and/or corrode.  And, again if you’re lucky, the technician will provide you with an estimate of what the charges will be to put everything back together again instead of announcing it was a total disaster and loss. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the “accident” the technician can’t provide you with a warranty on the service he’s performing.  You sigh, as you realize you won’t have to buy a new lens; but if the lens was insured, you’ll probably now have to pay higher insurance rates due to the claim you file.  Life goes on.

To illustrate the disastrous effect salt water has on lenses, take a look at some photos of a lens that wasn’t flushed with fresh water and wasn’t sent immediately in for disassembly and service.  Not a pretty sight.


Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Front of lens showing sand and heavy deposits of salt

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Visible are heavy deposits of caked-on salt

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Salt and sand are everywhere

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Salt has had time to work on the brass

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

Caked-on salt deposits

Image:You say your lens went swimming?

No hope for this iris


This lens was not repairable: i.e., a total loss.

Jeffrey Reyes Joins ZGC Inc.

Patricia Greene  August 13 2014 02:37:24 PM
Jeffrey Reyes joins ZGC Inc.
August 2014


Jeffrey A. Reyes has joined ZGC as Director of Sales for the Americas.  Jeffrey brings with him 18 years of sales and customer service experience as well as 12 years of production experience. He recently served 6 years at ARRI as Director of Sales for Latin America.

Les Zellan, President of ZGC Inc, says “We are pleased to welcome Jeffrey to our sales team. With his extensive experience in Latin America and wide range of sales and industry knowledge, he will be a great asset to our organization.”

States Reyes, “I feel that we have a dynamic team in place with the potential to accomplish great things together. ZGC is synonymous with a great customer experience and I look forward to continuing and expanding that tradition.”

Jeffrey will be based in Los Angeles, California.

Image:Jeffrey Reyes Joins ZGC Inc.

Cooke Optics to be honored at 85th Academy Awards®

Patricia Greene  January 9 2013 02:01:42 PM
Cooke Optics will receive an Academy Award® of Merit — an Oscar® statuette — for its continuing innovation in the design, development and manufacture of motion picture camera lenses.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® created the Scientific and Technical Award to honour the men, women and companies whose discoveries and innovations have contributed in significant, outstanding and lasting ways to motion pictures. Each year, the academy honorees are celebrated at a formal dinner held two weeks prior to the Oscar® ceremony. This year’s Scientific and Technical Awards presentation takes place on 9 February 2013 at The Beverly Hills Hotel, LA.

The Academy commented that Cooke receives an Award of Merit because it "helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century." Cooke lenses are renowned in the industry for the ‘Cooke Look®’, which gives a warm, natural feel to images on the screen. The British company’s innovations over the years have included zoom lenses for movie cameras, the ‘fast’ prime lenses that eliminated the need for bright lights, and more recently its ground-breaking /i Technology protocol, a system adopted by many leading camera and lens manufacturers, that collects crucial lens metadata to provide more accurate information to camera operators and post-production teams.

Les Zellan, Chairman and Owner, Cooke Optics, said, “We are thrilled that the company has been recognised by the Academy after 120 years’ continuous service to the motion picture industry; I’m humbled to accept the award on behalf of all the talented people currently working at Cooke as well as the thousands that have gone before.  Cooke has been an innovative force in this industry from the birth of motion pictures to the current digital film revolution.  Our commitment has always been to enable customers to realise their vision and help them create the films that capture the imaginations of audiences around the world.”

Each Cooke lens is hand crafted at the factory in Leicester, UK, using a combination of state-of-the-art technology, traditional 100 year old techniques and personal dexterity that come together to create the unique and famed ‘Cooke Look’.

Cooke lenses have recently been used on film projects including A Good Day To Die Hard, After Earth, Hugo, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Midnight in Paris and My Week With Marilyn, and on television productions including World Without End, Game Of Thrones, Downton Abbey, True Blood, The Borgias and Chicago Fire.
# # #


About Cooke Optics, LTD.
Cooke is a storied name in both cinematographic and the ultra-high-end professional photography markets. Known worldwide for their precision, exacting tolerances and superior quality, Cooke lenses are specified by many of the world’s most respected cinematographers. Cooke is also the developer behind /i Technology, the protocol enabling vital lens and camera information to be captured and passed digitally to post-production teams. Features in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include  A Good Day To Die Hard, To Rome With Love, Filth, After Earth, Hugo, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Midnight in Paris, My Week With Marilyn, Red Dog, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and Angels and Demons. Television shows in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include Chicago Fire, Game of Thrones, World Without End, The Borgias, Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, Trollied, Trauma, Community, Back, Journeyman, State of Mind, Life, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, and Entourage.



Media contact:
Wendy Mattock, Bubble & Squeak
e: wendy@bubblesqueak.co.uk   t: +44 (0)7912 300231

Cooke miniS4/i lenses are the popular choice in Uruguay

Patricia Greene  December 18 2012 08:25:21 AM
Press Release:



- ‘Terra Ribelle 2’ is one of many recent miniS4/i shoots
-

Leicester, UK - 13 December 2012

Image:Cooke miniS4/i lenses are the popular choice in Uruguay



Cooke miniS4 lenses (formerly known as Panchro by Cooke) have gained rapid popularity in Uruguay, with many international feature film, television and commercial productions turning to the small, lightweight lenses to bring warmth and personality to digital images.

“The miniS4s have proved to be very popular in our market, and have quickly become the workhorses of our rental department, working with everything from RED and ALEXA to Canon and DSLR cameras,” says Ernesto Musitelli, Owner and Managing Director, Musitelli Film & Digital. “These digital cameras are very sensitive and usually require filtration, so the T2.8 speed of the minis4/i is not an issue. They match well with Cooke S4/i lenses so we are comfortable to supply mixed sets, and the camera crews like the miniS4/i because they are small and lightweight.”

The rental house recently supplied two units comprising RED cameras and Cooke miniS4/i’s for a six month shoot for ‘TERRE RIBELLE – IL NUOVO MONDO’, a television drama series for the Italian broadcaster RAI.

Marcelo Camorino A.D.F., Director of Photography, said, “The combination of Cooke MiniS4/i lenses and digital capture with RED MX and EPIC has yielded excellent results as regards texture, contrast and resolution. During the 24 week shooting of ‘TERRA RIBELLE – IL NUOVO MONDO’, the combination was put to intensive use in many different lighting conditions and I am fully satisfied with the final result.“

One of Musitelli’s most popular sets of miniS4/i’s has uncoated front elements, which give a particular look to digital material. “We found that our DPs really liked how the uncoated lenses behaved more like old lenses, especially with digital cameras – the images are not so ‘pristine’, and the DPs like the softer, more flattering effect especially for beauty work,” comments Musitelli.

Panchro/i officially renamed miniS4/i: S4 Quality Deserves the S4 Name

Patricia Greene  November 19 2012 12:18:05 PM
The “Panchro/i by Cooke” prime lenses are being officially renamed “miniS4/i.”  

                                                       Image:Panchro/i officially renamed miniS4/i:  S4 Quality Deserves the S4 Name
Why?  Because resurrecting the venerable name, Panchro, one of the most popular lens names in film history, has apparently caused a whole lot of confusion for filmmakers.

Turns out, the name “Panchro” is more than just a legendary Cooke brand name.  People are asking if the new Panchro lens is the same as the original Cooke Speed Panchro, used extensively during the 20th century.  The answer is, not at all, but apparently people assumed the “Panchro/i by Cooke” lenses were an updated version of the original Panchro.

This new lens design was purpose-built as the T2.8 version of its brother, the T2.0 Cooke S4 lens with the same image quality, the same Cooke Look and color matched to the other Cooke lenses including the old Speed Panchro. It’s smaller and lighter weight than the S4 lens. It really is a “miniS4.”

The original Cooke Speed Panchros are still in circulation and being used to shoot certain scenes for a more retro, nostalgic flavor.  They’re also used remounted for both motion and still photography.  So, the name “Panchro” carries a certain personality that has little to do with merely bringing forward a legendary name.  

As of November 15, 2012 the prime lenses formerly engraved “Panchro/i” will be engraved “miniS4/i”.  Nothing else has changed.  It’s exactly the same lens, it’s merely a new name. We will be mailing new labels to Panchro/i owners, with the miniS4/i logo, to be placed over the Panchro/i engraving for those who would like to update the name on their lenses.

Cooke brings its latest lenses to IBC 2012 as demand for PL glass continues to grow

Patricia Greene  July 25 2012 02:00:58 PM
Cooke brings its latest lenses to IBC 2012 as demand for PL glass continues to grow
- Prototypes of new focal lengths on display -


Leicester, UK – 25 July 2012 – Cooke Optics, the premier manufacturer of precision lenses, will bring lenses from its three ranges - S4/i, Panchro/i and 5/i – to IBC 2012, including a prototype of a 65mm lens for the Panchro range. The company also continues to expand its production capacity with more new hires at its Leicester factory to meet increased global demand for PL glass.

“Many broadcasters around the world are switching from cameras with 2/3” sensors to those with PL mounts that give a full-frame 35mm picture, such as the Sony F3, F35 and F65, the ARRI Alexa, as well as RED and Canon cameras - and therefore they need lenses to go with them,” says Les Zellan, Chairman and Owner, Cooke Optics. “Digital images are clean and pure but don’t have much personality; Cooke lenses handle colour and contrast in such a way that they give a warm, organic and much more visually pleasing quality known as the ‘Cooke Look’ that audiences respond to, while still retaining full resolution to beyond 4K. This filmic quality is what persuades broadcasters and film-makers to choose Cooke lenses time and again.”

Recent high profile projects that have been shot with Cooke lenses include the Emmy Award-winning television series ‘The Borgias’ and M. Night Shyamalan’s forthcoming feature After Earth, which is the first feature film to be shot on the Sony F65 camera.



About Cooke Optics, LTD.
Cooke is a storied name in both cinematographic and the ultra-high-end professional photography markets. Known worldwide for their precision, exacting tolerances and superior quality, Cooke lenses are specified by many of the world’s most respected cinematographers. Cooke is also the developer behind /i Technology, the protocol enabling vital lens and camera information to be captured and passed digitally to post-production teams. Features in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include After Earth, Hugo, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Midnight in Paris, My Week With Marilyn, Red Dog, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and Angels and Demons. Television shows in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include The Borgias, Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, Trollied, Trauma, Community, Back, Journeyman, State of Mind, Life, Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, and Entourage.

AN AUDIENCE WITH CHRISTIAN BERGER

Patricia Greene  July 17 2012 10:33:55 AM
AN AUDIENCE WITH CHRISTIAN BERGER

Award-winning cinematographer, director, producer, writer, film academy professor, developer of film technology … Christian Berger has a storied career in film that spans over 40 years and continues to go from strength to strength. Here he talks about the importance of lighting, the wide-ranging effects of digital cameras, and how Cooke lenses have enhanced his most recent films, including Haneke’s The White Ribbon – for which he was Oscar-nominated and received, beside many other awards, from the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography 2010 – and the latest work, coming in 2013, (working title)   The Notebook by director Janos Zsasz.


I have used Cooke lenses for decades; I particularly like the ‘friendly’ look they give in contrast to a very hard story. The Notebook is such a story; based on the novel ‘Le Grand Cahier’ by Agota Kristof, it depicts the ravaging effects of war on 13 year old twin brothers. Although it is set at the end of World War II the story itself is timeless and we wanted to avoid a ‘historical’ look. This was one of the most important arguments to shoot it digitally.

I had not worked with the director Janos Szasz before but we worked closely together from the beginning and I was able to suggest ideas about how to shoot and how to light the film.  We shot the film on the ARRI ALEXA using ARRIRAW 1:2.35 CinemaScope because we wanted to keep the twin boys in the frame together nearly all the time.

As with all my films in the last 10 years, I used the Cine Reflect Lighting System (CRLS) that I developed with Christian Bartenbach - it simplifies the lighting process, whether shooting into strong light sources or dealing with shadows and darkness. I like to use natural light sources like candles, torches and so on in the frame and Cooke lenses are unsurpassed in their anti-flare qualities, therefore the Cooke S4 lenses were perfect for this project. I like to work mainly with the so-called ‘normal lenses’ – 32/35/40mm – but we had the complete set so that we could use others if it was necessary or made sense.

I also used S4 lenses for The White Ribbon, directed by Michael Haneke. We wanted to achieve a special black-and-white look and, after a serious test phase to compare other lenses, the Cooke lenses were the winners. Besides the well-known anti-flare quality, they were just the best for me – the Cookes are sharp but less ‘hard’ than other lenses, which makes all the difference. Shooting digitally with cameras that are so light-sensitive, I think that T1.4 is not so important any more – aside from the greater focus problems in the digital field with any open lens, T2.0 and the chip sensitivity is more than enough. And you pay the price with too much light: it makes me sad when I have to put a piece of gray glass in front of a high class lens to reduce the incoming light – that makes no lens better.

I believe we need a new way of thinking about light for digital image acquisition; the very fine and precise control of contrast and light distribution is essential, even more than for film in my opinion, if you really want to use the given high dynamic range to its best ability - from the most tender to the most rough lighting style.


Moviecam       The Notebook on set





www.christianberger.at