First Look: Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro Lens (Photokina 2018)

During Photokina 2018 we had a chance to talk to Martin from Irix about the newly announced 150mm f/2.8 macro lens and learn a little bit more about this interesting new lens.

There are just a few macro lenses above the 100-105mm range (Nikon, Canon, Sigma, and Tamron has ones but they are not very recent designs for the most part and some of them can be on the pricey side). Long macro lenses are a niche (maybe even a niche within a niche) and most manufacturers don’t seem to want to invest too much into developing new designs.

Irix realized that there might be a gap and decided to develop a new lens called the Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1. Like the existing Irix lenses (the 11mm f/4 and 15mm f/2.4, this new lens covers a FF sensor and comes ready for DSLR mounts including Nikon F, Canon EF, and Pentax K mounts. Unlike the other Irix lenses, this lens only has a single variant (the two other lenses came in two versions  Firefly and Blackstone that represented lightness and solidity) and it draws from both the  Firefly and Blackstone (almost entirely made of metal but with a rubber focus ring). 

The  Irix 150mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1

The lens has 11 aperture blades for a smoother bokeh and unlike some other macro lenses, it does not change its length when focusing (the new Sigma 70mm Art macro lens extends quite a bit for example). The lens has very little distortion and is composed of  12 elements in 9 groups (including 4x HR elements and 3x ED elements).

The lens has a min focus distance of 34cm, a long throw on the focus ring of 270 degrees, a 77mm filter thread and it weighs 840 grams (or just under 30 oz).

The lens does come with a built-in CPU for focus confirmation (so despite being a manual lens you will be able to see when you are in focus). It comes with a deep hood, hard case (which is really nice by the way, similar to the other Irix lenses) and even more interestingly – a removable metal collar with Arca Swiss base which can be very useful for working on monopods and tripods.

The lens isn’t available yet (according to Irix it will be ready “soon”) and there is no official pricing although Martin told us that it should be “around” $600 (or 600 Euros).

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