Lens maker Irix, who has been making still primes for a few years now, moved into cinema territory this year with a 150mm Macro that promises a few innovative features, like a magnetic accessory ring, along with all the standard requirements, including a wide array of lens mount options, lightweight build, affordable price point.
Irix is now following that up at the opposite side of the spectrum. Debuting at IBC 2019, a new 11mm very wide-angle prime. The popular Sigma Cine Primes got a lot of attention when they rolled out a 14mm lens, but this takes that even wider. Combing an 11mm focal length with a full-frame sensor, which this covers, and you end up with a very, very wide lens.
It features a brand new optical design crafted specifically for this lens, the same magnetic accessory mount, and a full 180° of focus rotation. Available in EF, PL, E or MFT mounts, it only opens to a T4.3. While this isn't "fast" by any means, the challenges of this kind of wide-angle covering full-frame are immense, and considering the speed of modern sensors, T4.3 should be a very useable aperture for the vast majority of shots.
- Rectilinear image projection
- Image circle: 43.3mm
- Multi Start Thread for smooth focus
- 180° rotation
- Metric or Imperial Markings
- Weather-Sealed magnesium housing
- Mod 0.8 standard geared focus ring
- 95mm front clamp
It was an interesting move in terms of getting known in cinema glass...and in many ways a smart one. While there is a lot to choose from in the standard focal lengths, most of them don't have a macro option, thus cinematographers are used to sometimes going to a different brand for a macro (I've shot many shows with a variety of lenses and the beautiful Arri Macro). So, for Irix, this a good way to introduce yourself to filmmakers.
At the price point offered, it's even potentially a purchase item for many filmmakers since it's always good to have a macro around when you need it, and it's the kind of item producers will sometimes knock off a rental list.
The lens shade accessory will be popular since this lens will be too wide for many matte boxes.
This is of course not going to be used on every shot in your movie. With a field of view this wide, you need to get exceptionally close to your performers and fill the frame with much more complicated staging and art direction. Unless, of course, you are shooting something like Soy Cuba, which shot the vast majority of their footage on the 9.8mm Kinoptika. (That was on Super 35mm, and if working in full-frame, this 11mm will give you an even wider field of view.)
Even if you aren't going to use it for long elaborate handheld explorations of pre-revolutionary Cuba, a lens this wide is still very useful for establishing shots or when working in very small spaces. More than anything else, it's just great to have options and to be able to explore the full palette of your space with the widest array of lens choices possible.
This is a very smart strategy for an upstart to move into the space. It's almost a Napoleonic strategy, in fact: instead of striking at the center of the competition (by coming out with an 18/35/85mm set, say), start at both edges, see if you can't use it as an opportunity to get to know people, then slowly move in. We're excited to see the result, and hopeful that the price point on this will line up with the price point on the Macro.