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Benh Zeitlin

Rehousing Cooke Kinetal Lenses

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I have a set of Cooke Kinetal primes I'm looking to rehouse and the adapt for an Aaton XTR PL mount.  I have the 9, 12.5, 17.5, 25, and 50  So far the only house I've found who will work on them them is asking 3.5k per lens, anyone have a tip on a more affordable vendor?

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It may depend on whether they've done that particular rehousing before. If they haven't, and they have to prototype it first, it's going to cost more. I'd imagine there's not that many people rehousing 16mm Kinetals these days.

It may be worth talking to Les Bosher in the UK. He offers a "jacketing" service for some Cooke lenses that would probably work out cheaper than a full rehousing.

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37 minutes ago, Benh Zeitlin said:

Good to know, it's Van Diemen Optics, who seem great.  Just didn't have a sense of a normal price range for this kind of work.

I would suggest avoiding Van Diemen and Christopher Smith at all costs. They want your money up front, often do not give accurate estimates of when the work will be done (off by years in some cases), and will stop responding to emails when it is convenient for them (after they have your money). If you decide to change your mind, good luck ever getting your lenses or your money back.

In my case, they also did substandard work,  requiring the lens to be sent back immediately for repairs - at my own cost. Yes, they would not cover shipping costs, even when they agreed that the lens should not have left their facility in that condition. What other business in the world operates this way? 

If you do a little research online, you will see that this is not an isolated case. There have been many familiar-sounding complaints over the last several years.

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True Lens Services (TLS) in the UK do great work, especially with Cooke lenses. Apparently a lot of their staff used to work there. Expensive, but top quality - their Speed Panchro rehousings are the best.

Duclos Lenses and Focus Optics in LA are great. They focus less on rehousing and more on service, although they have both done some well-regarded rehousings in the past.

Haven’t used the cheaper Asian rehousing companies like GL Optics and Kim Camera, but they seem to provide good value for the budget user. At the end of the day, I think quality is important - but honesty, decency, and reliability are more important. Just my opinion.

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