Irix has released another 150mm T3.0 cine lens but this one’s not a macro lens

Dec 19, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Irix has released another 150mm T3.0 cine lens but this one’s not a macro lens

Dec 19, 2022

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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You might get the slightest sense of deja vu here, but lens manufacturer Irix has announced a new 150mm T3.0 Tele Cine lens. No, it’s not just a successor to the company’s existing 150mm T3.0 cine lens. It’s a new one that appears will co-exist in the Irix lineup alongside the original. The difference? Well, this one’s a regular 150mm telephoto prime and not a macro lens like the other one.

The company says that while the Irix Cine 150mm T3.0 Macro 1:1 lens released in 2019 has proven very popular, it’s not ideal for non-macro situations. Essentially, once you start getting out of macro range and into some distance on the focus ring, there isn’t much wiggle room for accuracy. So, the company developed this second version of the 150mm T3.0 with the “Tele” designation.

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The optical and mechanical structure, Irix says, is very similar to its older sibling, but there are some differences. For a start, as the lens has lost the macro capabilities, its minimum focus distance now starts at around 67cm. This allows for more precise movements of the focus ring in the focus distance ranges of 2 metres to infinity. It still retains the full 270° of throw on the focus ring, but most of it now resides in a useful area of focus distances.

This is the only real downside to using macro lenses for more “normal” compositions. Many photographers, for example, regularly use Nikon 105mm f/2.8 or Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lenses for shooting portraits. With the benefit of autofocus when shooting stills, the fine manual focus control isn’t much of an issue. But when it comes to shooting video, particularly with cinema lenses that only offer manual focus control, being able to keep that control at range is essential.

The other big difference between this and the original Irix 150mm T3.0 Macro lens is that the minimum aperture has changed from T32 to T22. In theory, this just means that you’ll have less risk of diffraction because you won’t be tempted to stop the lens down too much just to control the ambient light. In reality, even with a minimum aperture of T32, most people are never going to stop down this much just to control the light anyway. They’ll just add ND over the lens. While the extra stop of depth of field can be handy for close-up macro shots, going this small is a rare occurrence for most normal shooting.

Focal Length 150mm
Maximum TransmissionT3.0
Minimum TransmissionT22
Format CompatibilityFull-Frame
Lens MountCanon EF, Canon RF, Leica L, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z, Sony E, PL
Minimum Focus Distance67cm
Focus Throw270°
Angle of ViewFull Frame: 13.7°
Super35: 9.6°
APS-C (1.5x): 9°
APS-C (1.6x): 8.5°
MFT: 6.6°
Optical Design12 Elements in 9 Groups
Diaphragm Blades11, rounded
Focus TypeManual Focus
Image StabilizationNo
Filter Size86mm
Weight~1105g

The Irix 150mm T3.0 Tele Cine Lens is available to buy now for $1,195 in Canon EF, Canon RF, Leica L, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon Z, and Sony E mounts or $1,295 in PL mount. For reference, this is the same price as the original Irix 150mm T3.0 Macro 1:1 Cine Lens.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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