Irix shocked us all recently by announcing that their 45mm prime lens was going to be released as a T1.5 cinema lens first, and not the f/1.4 we’ve been expecting since Photokina 2016. Irix were at PhotoPlus 2019 this year, showing off the new Irix 45mm T1.5 prime, along with the 11mm T4.3 and 150mm T3.0 cinema lenses. So, we stopped by to take a look and chat about Irix’s plans for the future.
The Irix cinema lens lineup matches up with the standards typically found on cine lenses. They feature toothed rings for aperture and focus designed to hook directly to follow focus and other motor systems, the 95mm front thread for matte boxes and similar weight distribution through the range for minimal fuss and rebalancing when swapping out lenses,
But they offer some quite neat and unique features, too. While the toothed focus rings are the standard .8 pitch, they’re not quite the standard shape. Research has shown Irix that many filmmakers also like to use their cinema lenses for photography or because they just want go to with a minimal handheld rig and no follow focus. But those toothed focus rings are typically sharp on the corners, which doesn’t make for fun manual focusing. So, the teeth on these are slightly rounded for handheld refocusing. And when you do want to use a follow focus unit, the lenses feature a rotating ring which provides some extra clearance for mounting your follow focus motor.
As well as the 95mm standard thread for matte box use, there’s also an 86mm filter thread inside for the screw-on filters most commonly associated with photography. One thing you might notice, though, is that there’s no thread for a lens hood. But don’t worry, there are hoods for each lens, and they fit magnetically. These allow you to forego the matte box if you desire and go lightweight with just the hood, and because it’s magnetic, you can attach or remove it very quickly and easily.
While they haven’t released any specifics, Irix says there are at least a couple of lenses in the works, because 11mm, 45mm and 105mm isn’t exactly your standard range of lenses for cinema. So far, all they’ll say is that one of them will be somewhere between 11mm and 45mm and the other will be somewhere between 45mm and 150mm.
I think many of us might be hoping for maybe a 24mm and an 85mm, although some of us are still holding out for that 45mm f/1.4 regular prime for photography. I guess we just have to be a little more patient.
We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
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