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COOKE PS945 [ NO ]

The lens I regret selling the most is the Cooke PS945 soft focus portrait lens. I sold it because I was letting go of shooting 4×5 portraits and getting into medium format digital, primarily ALPA cameras and lenses. I needed the cash, and I regret it. I bought the lens for $3,500 and sold it for the same. Today it has more than doubled if you can find one, as Cooke no longer makes them. It would have served me well today as a beautiful lens for still-life imagery. I doubt I will ever have another as I am nearing retirement and will not be making the income I have previously to afford such a specialty lens. Lucky are those that have the PS945.

What is so lovely about this lens is how it renders the out-of-focus areas (bokeh) and how you can control the softness via the aperture. Shooting at f/4.5 generates the softest effect while shooting at f/11 eliminates the softness. When I shot portraits for a living during the film era with a Hasselblad, I used Softar filters with three strengths. The Softars could render softness while keeping the pupil of the eye sharp. The PS945 does a similar rendering but offers additional softness control. So if you have the cash, can find a PS945, and desire a controllable, modern portrait lens for 4×5 shooting, the PS945 should interest you.