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Cooke Panchro 'War Finish'

Brian Balshaw

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Researching my set which are marked 'War Finish', I can't find any reference to this elsewhere, so, I'd appreciate some help with a few questions:

I assume they are Series 1, uncoated, as one is 35mm.


Obviously 1939-45 approx., but would there be any more accurate dating for that labelling?

What does WF imply? They're normal black gloss but would they be any lesser quality because of the war need?

Are there any published serial number ranges for the various types?

They have just a basic 1mm-pitch thread. What is the designation of this and was it standard for these early types before adapting to other mounts?


Any help will be much appreciated.



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This page gives an estimate of serial number dates for Taylor Hobson lenses:



I always assumed "war finish" was an extra durable and less reflective finish given to military photographic equipment, with no chromed or silvery surfaces. You don't want to be standing out in a war-zone..


I have read that Cooke lenses were coated after around serial number 290000, but can't confirm if that's true. I imagine it was more likely after WWII, in the late 40s.


Some photos would be helpful regarding the mounting thread.

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Thanks for that. It confirms mine are after 1939, being in the 280000 range.


I would say mine are a dull gloss finish, definitely not matt. It must be durable, having lasted so well. I couldn't imagine they would manufacture a lesser quality, war or not!


The threads are approx. 43, 37.5 and 31mm O.D. and 1mm pitch.

Photo attached.


Thanks again.






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