Swiss lens company Irix is set to begin offering cinema lenses starting with their 150mm T3.0 Macro 1:1 lens. The Irix line of prime lenses, while limited, seem to be ideally situated for a future in cinematography thanks to their high quality, fully manual design.
A quick background on Irix – a company of Swiss origin, Irix made their first impression on photographers by offering a rather unique solution; precision mechanical quality of a fully manual focus but with electronic iris control and metadata. Their first lenses were an 11mm f/4 and a 15mm f/2.4. Another unique feature was their different trims within each model. Designated with clever names such as Blackstone, Firefly, and Dragonfly, each trim featured a different purpose. Firefly being the lowest on the scale featuring lighter weight materials such as composite plastics and lower grade weather sealing. Moving up to the Dragonfly which promotes more robust weather sealing, a mic of higher quality materials including aluminum and magnesium alloy, and UV reactive engravings. Ending with the Blackstone being the most robust option thanks to its aluminum/magnesium alloy housing.
The first lens in their line to feature the Dragonfly trim was their 150mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro lens. A particularly beautiful focal length, aperture, and minimum focus combination for dramatically shallow depth of field. Photographers quickly adopted the robust, high quality lens just as much for its image quality as its industrial design. Over the course of the company’s infancy, it was clear that many users who bridged the gap between still and cine had pressured Irix to employ their unique approach to photography lenses in the world of cinematography. The appeals were met with results which can be seen in the new Iris Cine 150mm T3.0 Macro 1:1 lens.
While the optics remain the same – which is not an uncommon theme in today’s market of hungry lens manufacturers – the rest of the lens features some clever solutions. Starting at the front, the detachable sunshade is secured with magnets to make mounting and removal a breeze. The entire focus movement is internal which means there’s no telescoping to ruin your close focus shots or matte box pairing. The front housing is a standard 95mm diameter with an 86mm filter thread.
Standard 32-pitch focus and iris gears are present (as expected) with a rotation of 270° and 75° rotation respectively. An 11-bladed iris will surely produce smooth bokeh. The lens will be available in Canon EF, Sony E, Micro 4/3, and Arri PL. The lens will produce an image circle sufficient enough for FF35/VV formats including RED’s 8K Monstro sensor.
The moderate focal length of the Irix Cine 150mm T3.0 Macro 1:1, combined with its exceptional functionality, makes it a fantastic tool to discover new fields of creation – ones that were not easily accessible for enthusiasts of filmmaking previously. Release of the 150mm T3.0 Macro 1:1 as the first lens in the cine line is a great opportunity to share ideas and unique solutions developed especially for the Irix Cine lenses.Irix Press Release, July 18th 2019
Irix has indicated that the 150mm is simply their first step into the world of cine lenses. The other two lenses in their current lineup, while not necessarily unique, would be excellent additions to their effort. Personally, I look forward to seeing Irix grow as a lens provider going head to head with much larger, more established names. The Irix 150mm T3.0 Macro 1:1 will begin shipping this August at a price of $1,195 for all mounts except Arri PL which will be $1,295. Pre-Order today from Duclos Lenses.
|Image Circle||FF35, 43.3mm|
|Number of iris blades||11 (rounded)|
|Minimum object distance||0.35 m (13.78”)|
|Distance scale||Metric or Imperial|
|Angle of View (Horiz)||FF35||13.7°|
|Filter Thread||86 x 1mm|