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Lens review

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly

26 February 2019
Maciej Latałło

11. Summary


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Pros:

  • very good image quality in the frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the frame both on APS-C/DX and FF,
  • solid, sealed, stylish casing,
  • lack of longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • excellent correction of lateral chromatic aberration,
  • zero distortion,
  • sensational coma correction,
  • not bothersome vignetting on the smaller sensor,
  • rich accessory kit,
  • nice appearance of out-of-focus areas,
  • good price-quality and price-performance ratio.

Cons:

  • weak performance against bright light,
  • distinct astigmatism,
  • difficult focusing in a range from 1 meter to infinity.
The tested Irix is currently the cheapest 150-180 mm macro lens available on the market so it would be difficult not to write this summary from that perspective. Even the Samyang 100 mm f/2.8 ED UMC MACRO, a lens of worse build quality, comes with the same price tag as the Irix. When compared to its direct rivals produced by brand-name or third-party manufacturers, the price-quality and price-performance ratio of the tested lens remains really very favourable.

The mere fact that the Irix was able to perform as well as the much more expensive Sigma 150 mm f/2.8 APO EX DG OS HSM Macro is a perfect recommendation in itself and it can't be changed even by the fact that newer macro instruments do provide higher MTFs than the Irix. After all the resolution provided by the tested lens is more than enough to take photos of excellent quality.

Taking all the test into account I suppose the bothersome focusing in the portrait range from about 3 meters to infinity seems to be the most serious flaw of the Irix. I understand perfectly well that it is a macro device and carping about troublesome performance in a range so removed from the 1:1 mapping scale might be a bit out of place. Still you have to remember that the moderate price of the Irix, one of its selling points, means that plenty of less afluent photographers might get interested in purchasing it. Such users have to save money to buy a macro lens and they want it to be as versatile as possible; after all, the majority of them intend to use it not only for macro shots from closer distances but also for portraits and e.g. astrophotography.