I’ve first seen the IRIX cine 45mm at PPE last year, when tradeshows were still a thing. On paper, it looked incredibly impressive for $1,200 so I was really hoping to take it for a spin. A few weeks ago, I got my hands on one and took it for a ride. TL;DR – The IRIX 45mm cine in an amazing deal for its price, with some nice features and a look that reminds me of the Zeiss CP.2 signature look.
The IRIX cine 45mm is what I think the first affordable lens to combine both aspects of a good cine lens: production features and cinematic look.
Creating a good cine lens is hard, its a balance between several qualities. First, the glass you need for a good “cinematic look” is both heavy and expensive. Then, you want cine features like gear, long focus pull, and lens-family similarity. It’s not easy. The IRIX 45mm cine is the first lens I know of to provide both qualities for an affordable price. (Well, affordable compared to a $16,000 Summicron).
Most “cheap” cine lenses provide one of those aspects – cine features or cine look. Canon FD lenses, for example, have a great vintage cine look, but lack on the “production” side. The Samyang cines, on the other hand, have great features, but lack on the cine look.
The Irix has a nice and long focus pull, and the gear to attach it to any system. It also has a small form factor that is easy to handle. On the flip side, it has a very appealing bokeh and “look” which usually lack from cheaper lenses. I guess cramming all those features into the lens came with the price of weight – the lens comes in at 1.1 Kilos which you’ll feel if you are going handheld.
A clever move from Irix was to provide the lens with a nice selection of mounts from Sony, to Canon to MFT (sorry Nikonians). Most importantly, it has a PL flavor which means that it can go on traditional cine cameras.
There are two newish features on the lens, one that I like and one that I don’t. I love that the marks are all over the lens and are super-clear. They are mirrored on both sides, so you’ll have an easy time no matter how you mount your rig. And it comes in both inch and cm variants. I am not a big fan of the magnetic hood mount. It falls when bumped (common on a set), and you don’t want to pick up the lens from the hood.
|Lens Mount||Sony E|
|Image Circle||43.3 mm|
|Minimum Focus Distance from Image Plane||1.15' / 0.35 m|
|Optical Design||11 Elements in 9 Groups|
|Gear MOD & Pitch||Focus: 0.8 MOD / 32 Pitch
Iris: 0.8 MOD / 32 Pitch
|Front Diameter||95 mm|
|Filter Thread||86 mm|
|Lens Support||Lens Support Foot with 1/4"-20 Mounting Thread|
|Weight||2.43 lb / 1.1 kg|
Pricing and availability
P.S. Here is our interview from PPE 2019 with the Irix crew: