LEICESTER – Cooke Optics has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the company by Caledonia Investments, a self-managed investment trust. The investment is set to enable faster company growth and development of new lenses.


The current Cooke Optics management team, including Chairman Les Zellan, CEO Robert Howard and COO Alan Merrills, remain in place, and day-to-day activities at the Leicester-based company will continue unchanged.


“We have been experiencing a sustained period of growth, and the time was right to look for a new investor to help us develop further,” said Les Zellan, Chairman, Cooke Optics.


“Caledonia, another historic British company, has a reputation for long term investment and for supporting management teams to grow their businesses. With a strong financial partner in Caledonia, Cooke is in an excellent position to continue designing and making more of our coveted lenses for the film and television industry.”


Cooke now offers more lens series than any other company; every range is designed from the ground up, not repurposed from existing components, and every lens is hand crafted in the Leicester factory.


Cooke’s most recent developments include the acclaimed S7/i full frame lens range which correctly anticipated the current large format trend; the Panchro/i Classic range which replicate the beloved look of vintage Speed Panchro lenses but with modern housing, mounts and glass; and the Anamorphic/i SF range that adds more exaggerated anamorphic attributes including lens flare and oval bokeh.


The company is also behind the lens metadata standard, /i Technology, which captures valuable lens information for use on-set and in post-production.


The latest Cooke lens ranges will be on display at IBC 2018, held in Amsterdam, Netherlands from 14-18 September.


Cooke is a storied name in both cinematographic and ultra-high-end professional photography markets. Known for their precision, tolerances and 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. Cooke was honored with a 2013 Academy Award of Merit for its continuing innovation in the design, development and manufacture of motion picture camera lenses.


Features in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include Venom, A Star Is Born, Call Me By Your Name, The Irishman, Motherless Brooklyn, Darkest Hour, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House, Stan and Ollie.


Television shows in production or recently shot with Cooke lenses include Gameface, Doctor Who, Will, The Crossing, Gypsy, The Crown, Westworld, Poldark, Game of Thrones, Midsomer Murders, Orange is the New Black and Fargo.