IRIX 150mm T3.0 Cine lens review- a lens filled with character
Irix just came with their IRIX 150mm T3.0 cine lens. But, wait, you say. They already have a 150mm T3.0 cine lens. Well, they do, but listening to customer feedback, they came up with a new version, that is more optimized for infinity focusing.
I know what you all want. We loved the Irix 11mm, 15mm, 21mm, and the 45mm. And IRIX coming up with a second-gen 150mm lens does not help to fill that gap. We were curious ourselves and asked IRIX, and they told us that 2023 will be the year when this gap closes, so stay tuned.
Till then, let’s take a deeper look at the 150mm lens, what it’s good for, and why you’d want it in your toolbox.
IRIX Cine 150 presentation and features
Like the rest of the IRIX cine line, this lens is super solid. You are probably tired from hearing this, but this lens is built like a tank, and it weighs like lots of glass too, about a kilo and 200 grams.
Like the other IRIX lenses we reviewed, the mechanics of this lens just feel good. It even has a flat lens cap! (That was an issue with the 30mm cine).
I really like the attention to detail that IRIX puts on their lenses.
- It has the same 0.8 gear pitch for follow-focus motors. Plus, they introduced a clever ring to make sure your follow-focus gears never get stuck against the lens body.
- The distance inscription is super clear and it shows on both sides, so you can read the lens no matter the orientation.
- And according to IRIX, it is super duper sealed for harsh weather. Sadly, it’s too sunny to test here.
IRIX 150mm T3.0 Cine lens optics
Irix That said, let’s jump into optics. There are some things that this lens does incredibly well, and some things that it struggles with.
Let’s start with the awesomeness:
At 150mm wide open, you get a pretty sharp lens. It looks amazing on people. Sharp on the face, and a creamy smooth bokeh on the back. You get that same creamy bokeh as long as the lens stays fully open.
It is not ARRI SP sharp, but it also does not cost $32,000.
Bokeh / Flare
The Bokeh is absolutely gorgeous, fully open, and looks great even when fully stopped down. But, if you are at minimum focus distance and are at about T.5, you get a weird bokeh. You can see for yourself and decide if the jagged edge thing really bugs you. Maybe I’m just nitpicking. It definitely does not cancel out what this lens does well.
Being such a long lens that stops so wide, makes it easy to play “hide the fence”. I love how the long pull transitions so beautifully.
I like the flare, and in controlled environments, it showed a lot of character.
It is also pretty much distortion free.
You get some Chromatic Aberration when shooting in harsh contras. But nothing that is over the top.
In the end, there are trade-offs when you design a lens. If you want to keep the size, weight, and price at affordable place, you may have to optimize the lens for specific scenarios. I have no hard feelings for IRIX making those design decisions.
IRIX 150mm focusing distance
The last piece of the fun comes when you consider the focus distance. IRIX did away with the Macro feature of this lens, to get better infinity focus, but it still focuses pretty darn close—about two feet.
If you consider all of those, you are getting a sweet lens, for a very fair price. (About $1,200)
So here we are. For 1,200 dollars, you are getting a tank of a lens. If you are shooting cinematic portraits, you are in for a treat. It is not an ARRI, but then, you are also not paying Arri dollars.
Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.