July 15, 2019

Irix Launches Full Frame Cine Lens Line with a 1:1 Macro

Starting at the far end of the spectrum, relative newcomer Irix is launching into Cine lenses with a full-on 1:1 150mm Macro lens that should resolve to 8K resolution.

Irix, a Swiss/Korean company best known for a few very wide still lenses, have launched their first Cine lens, a 150mm Macro, which is based on their 150mm still image macro (that comes in at only $600 and has received positive reviews).

This Macro is notable for offering full 1:1 resolving power, meaning that the size of the object will be the same size on the sensor. 

A 1cm item will create a 1cm image on the sensor, which is a very useful feature for a lens.  If you've ever found yourself frustrated that you can't quite get the close-up of an iris you want, a Macro is a tool you need in your kit. Plus it's exciting that we're going to have more Cine macro lenses around.

Opening to a T3 (which wouldn't be very fast for a wide lens but is quite acceptable for an affordable 150mm macro) the lens is also apparently the first in what will be a line of "cine" options from Irix. 

Available in Canon EF, Sony E, MFT, and PL mounts, they feature consistent 95mm front diameters, consistent iris and focus ring placements, UV paint for ease of readability, metric or imperial markings, and a unique magnetic mount on the front for mounting accessories. 

The first launch accessory is a lens shade that will magnetically snap on. The lens is also ready for 8K resolutions.

What does 8K resolution even mean on a lens?  After all, a lens doesn't have pixels, so how can it have an 8000-pixel resolution? 

Well, what lens makers mean when they talk about lens resolution is the format that it is capable of resolving properly. 

That means that this lens is designed so to be at least sharp enough for an 8K sensor without lowering the image quality.  While most of us are currently shooting 4k, 8k resolution capture is coming (and somewhat here from RED), so it is good to think about future-proofing your lens packages. 

But the standout feature here is that amazing 1:1 Macro mode.

One factor to be aware of with Macro lenses is that exposure changes with focus when you get very close to the front of the lens.  Very fancy Macro lenses like the Arri Macro compensate for this, but the still version of this lens doesn't compensate and it's unlikely this will either.  Not a major issue in the digital era when you can see an accurate image on your monitor, but something that required extra effort during the film days when you needed to be sure to compensate for the magnification when setting your aperture.  

All of this makes us excited to see what Irix is coming out with in the future. If the price point lines up with their still lenses, we could have some real competition in the full-frame cine lens category.

Pricing an availability details still to come, but we're going to guess something around $1500 based on their still image price point.

Tech Specs:

  • T3 maximum aperture
  • Magnetic Mount System
  • 86mm front filter thread 
  • Magnetic Mount System (first accessory: lens shade)
  • Front diameter of 95mm
  • Canon EF, Sony E, MFT and PL mounts

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