Thread: Cooke 4s mini vs s4 vs 5i

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  1. #1 Cooke 4s mini vs s4 vs 5i 
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    Hello! Now I want to buy myself my first set of cooke. But I came across several articles where they write that s4mini, s4 and 5i are absolutely the same, the difference is only in weight, price and in the diaphragm and they also draw. I do not really believe in this, since there is a huge difference in price between s4 mini and 5i. And I have a question. Please tell us what are their real differences except the diaphragm?
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    Senior Member Brendan H. Banks's Avatar
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    T stop. The 5's can open to T1.4, minis are limited to 2.8. There are other reasons but that's going to be #1
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    Senior Member Steven Dean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan_H_Banks View Post
    T stop. The 5's can open to T1.4, minis are limited to 2.8. There are other reasons but that's going to be #1
    I have used both, the Mini's more extensively, but I pretty much agree with Brendan on this one - T Stop is the main difference, and commands the higher price always. Of course draw can be different between the two using the 5i under T2.8, and diaphragm can/will effect out of focus image areas - usually more (or more rounded) blades resulting in more pleasing OOF characteristics. I'd be hard pressed to identify easily viewable differences between the two. Exactly the same glass/coating wise? Maybe only Cooke really knows, but the look between the two is nearly identical to me. I seem to remember the Mini's having better Weapon coverage across more lenses, but I could be wrong on that. I have had some nasty CA pop up on the Mini's, but nothing that isn't fairly easily corrected in most situations - not sure if the 5i's are better corrected (when using the 5i I never had a situation that would result in CA)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan_H_Banks View Post
    T stop. The 5's can open to T1.4, minis are limited to 2.8. There are other reasons but that's going to be #1
    Yes, I know about the difference. And sharpness and that as draws an objective? What are the differences between them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Dean View Post
    I have used both, the Mini's more extensively, but I pretty much agree with Brendan on this one - T Stop is the main difference, and commands the higher price always. Of course draw can be different between the two using the 5i under T2.8. I'd be hard pressed to identify easily viewable differences between the two. Exactly the same? Maybe only Cooke really knows, but the look between the two is nearly identical to me. I seem to remember the Mini's having better Weapon coverage across more lenses, but I could be wrong on that. I have had some nasty CA pop up on the Mini's, but nothing that isn't fairly easily corrected in most situations - not sure if the 5i's are better corrected (when using the 5i I never had a situation that would result in CA)?
    Yes, I know about the difference. And sharpness and that as draws an objective? What are the differences between them?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksandr Frayman View Post
    Yes, I know about the difference. And sharpness and that as draws an objective? What are the differences between them?
    From what I understand, optically it doesn't appear that there's any discernible difference to most people. But to be honest, this is all a little above my pay grade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth C Merrill View Post
    From what I understand, optically it doesn't appear that there's any discernible difference to most people. But to be honest, this is all a little above my pay grade.
    So you also want to say that there is no difference?
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    Senior Member Brendan H. Banks's Avatar
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    Lenses are fairly subjective outside of their technical properties. If you are going to drop that amount of money on glass, I suggest locating a set of each and test them. I know it ends up costing some money but you can probably get a set to test from a dealer as if you like them, buy them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan_H_Banks View Post
    Lenses are fairly subjective outside of their technical properties. If you are going to drop that amount of money on glass, I suggest locating a set of each and test them. I know it ends up costing some money but you can probably get a set to test from a dealer as if you like them, buy them.
    It would be a pleasure to test them, but I appeal here because there is no such opportunity to take them to the test. We do not have dealers, we have companies that rent out. And then, they give only those people who constantly borrowed from someone in the lease. I never take anything for rent, for this reason the course is closed to me) I can buy Cooke 5i and I can buy Cooke s4 mini accordingly. BUT! You always need to understand why you pay money. In this case, I see that the Cooke S4 mini is lighter, smaller, with the same image quality but with a larger aperture T stop 2.8 / A Cooke 5i larger, heavier, with the same image as the 4s mini but T stop 1.4. I wanted to hear from people whether there is a real difference or there is no sense of overpayment?
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    Senior Member Marcus Friedlander's Avatar
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    The reason you are seeing such dramatic price differences, even though manufacturing costs are roughly the same, is because the people buying the 5i's are paying for a larger percentage of the overall cooke R&D, than people buying mini S4's. This is a function of economies of scale (there are significantly more mini S4 sets sold, than 5i sets) but more importantly a function of how R&D expenses are recovered in the film industry. (Side note: I don't know the exact numbers, but R&D on super high end cinema equipment is far more expensive than the actual manufacturing of each individual product.)

    The people on the top end, who are making studio films, are able to pay higher costs to secure the best possible equipment. Thus, they can afford to pay for both the cost of the manufacturing, and also the cost of R&D. Whereas someone shopping for lenses in the mini S4 range, cannot afford to pay so much for the R&D.

    So a company like Cooke (or zeiss) starts by releasing a very expensive, cinema quality product (S4/5i, ultra primes/master primes). Then, gets the studio film world to jump on board and pay a premium for access to the gear, which ends up covering the costs of the R&D. Then, once they have recovered the R&D costs, they can focus on making prosumer (mini S4 and CP.2's), and eventually consumer (ZF.2), products from their original R&D, that'll generate them millions (or billions) in revenue. Plus, the association with the high end cinema world is one of the best forms of marketing there is. It's a seal of quality that can't be beaten by any internally based marketing plan.

    A perfect example of this all in action is the way RED handles their sensor development. When the MX sensor came out, you could only buy it in an EPIC body for like 50k or something. However, after RED had recovered enough of the R&D from their sensor investment, they could afford to start selling the SCARLET, at a lower price, to a wider consumer base. Even though the SCARLET was 99.99% the same camera from a hardware perspective, they could still afford to sell it at a ridiculously cheaper cost than the EPIC, even though manufacturing costs were more or less the same. This is because the massive expensive of hardware R&D was recovered, and now they could focus on cheaper, and more flexible, software development.

    And you see the same thing with the Dragon and helium sensors, as well.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention that after RED recovered their R&D costs on the EPIC MX they dropped the price in like half over night, because it became less about R&D and more about costs of build vs price per unit.
    Last edited by Marcus Friedlander; 05-10-2017 at 11:33 AM.
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