Lens review

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly

26 February 2019
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic properties of the Irix 2.8/150 Macro and properties of similar 150-180 mm macro lenses. As you see the Irix is a relatively simple device when it comes to the optics; it features four elements less than the older Sigma without stabilization but with the same parameters and two elements less than the slower and already quite old Canon. The weight and physical dimensions of the Irix don't differ much from dimensions of the older, non-stabilized Sigma.

In the photo below the Irix150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly is positioned next to another macro lens, namely the Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L IS USM.

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding contacts and a rear element which doesn't move. The element is 32 mm in diameter and remains hidden inside the inner tube about 2 cm deep. The tube is very nicely blackened and matted so from this side the situation looks really well.

Please Support Us

If you enjoy our reviews and articles, and you want us to continue our work please, support our website by donating through PayPal. The funds are going to be used for paying our editorial team, renting servers, and equipping our testing studio; only that way we will be able to continue providing you interesting content for free.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - advertisement - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a ribbed, metal ring on which you can find a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, an inscription 'neutrino coating' (not to be mistaken with elementary particles also called neutrino) and information that the lens was produced in Korea and designed in Switzerland.

Then you see a ring with a prominent inscription stating the name and parameters of the lens, to which you can also attach an Arca Swiss compatible tripod adapter that you get with the lens in the box.

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality

Further on you find a vertical line and an infra red R marker at inifinty. At that place a good, manual, fixed focal length lens would also feature a depth of field scale but, unfortunately, the tested Irix doesn't have it.

A manual focusing ring, as wide as 51 mm, is the biggest part of the barrel. Most of its surface occupies rubber padding with fine indentations and one protrusion which is supposed to be placed right under your thumb and make the whole process of focusing easier. Bellow the rubber padding you find a distance scale expressed in feet and meters, along with magnification ratios. The ring moves smoothly, evenly, and is properly damped, its whole rotation range amounting to 270 degrees, in itself an excellent value. There's just one problem: the whole range is dedicated to the macro division. The range from 3 meters to infinity which might be used for other purposes than macro photography, got barely 10 degrees. It makes finding precise settings in that range very difficult and time-consuming. The fact that the rubber padding not only sticks to your fingers well but also catches dirt and dust easily is another flaw – after an intensive focusing session its appearance leaves a lot to be desired.

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality

Another ring with inscriptions 'unlock' and 'lock' gradually tensions the rotation of the focusing ring until it is completely locked. Behind that ring there is the next part of the lens, a hood mount.

The front element is 53 mm in diameter, it doesn't move and is surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 77 mm in diameter. When you photograph using 1:1 scale your object will be placed in a distance of less than 18 cm from the front element.

The Irix 150 mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 is moisture sealed in five crucial places (front element, focus lock ring, focusing ring, and the mount) so it might be used outdoor even in bad weather conditions.

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 12 elements positioned in 9 groups – not much for a closed construction macro lens.The situation is saved by a significant number of special elements: 3 SLD (Super Low Dispersion) and 4 HR (High Refractive Index) ones. The diaphragm inside features 11 rounded blades and it can be closed down to a value of f/32 at the maximum.

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality

We usually don't have a lot to say about standard box content, merely listing what you get with the lens. In this case, however, we would like to emphasize the fact that the producer really takes proper care of every detail, making any prospective buyer feel they deal with a top-of-the-range, premium instrument. From the carton box and the hard case for the lens, to two back caps and one front cap, a tripod collar, and the hood, everything seems to be made of good quality materials, and, generally, as stylish and well thought-out as you could wish. You can feel pampered.

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality

Irix 150 mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 Dragonfly - Build quality