Lens review

Irix 30 mm f/1.4

16 March 2022
Maciej Latałło

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between basic parameters of the Irix 30 mm f/1.4 and these of other full frame lenses with a similar focal length (28 mm) and aperture fastness. Even though the Irix should be considered a bulky and heavy lens, the rival Sigma has very similar physical dimensions, and the Zeiss Otus actually manages to outperform it in this area. What's interesting, the inner construction of the Irix features less optical elements than the construction of the Zeiss, the Sigma, and the Nikkor, included in our chart. Apart from that the Irix stands out with as many as eleven aperture blades.

In the photo below the Irix 30 mm f/1.4 is positioned next to the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM.

Irix 30 mm f/1.4 - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding contacts and a rear element, 31 mm in diameter. The rear element moves and is situated on the same level as the contacts with the lens set at infinity. When you pass to the minimum focusing distance it hides inside the inner tube about 0.5 cm deep. The tube around it is very nicely blackened and matted so from this side the situation looks really well.

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Irix 30 mm f/1.4 - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a ribbed ring made of plastic that turns wider after a while. On the ring you can find fine ribbing, added for a firmer grip, 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.

Looking from above you can notice a flat indentation inside which there is a big, clear inscription with the name and parameters of the lens.

Irix 30 mm f/1.4 - Build quality

A manual focusing ring, as wide as 45 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. Below the rubber padding you find a focusing scale expressed in feet and meters. The ring moves smoothly, evenly, and is properly damped, its whole rotation range amounting to about 160 degrees, in itself an excellent value, allowing you very precise settings.

Irix 30 mm f/1.4 - 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.

Irix 30 mm f/1.4 - Build quality

The front element is 67 mm in diameter, it doesn't move and is surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 86 mm in diameter.

Irix 30 mm f/1.4 - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 13 elements positioned in 11 groups.The producers weren't skimpy with special elements: you get 3 ED and 2 HR (High Refractive Index) ones, along with one aspherical element. The diaphragm inside features as many as 11 rounded blades. The buyers get with the lens: both caps, a petal-type hood, and a stylish hard case.

Irix 30 mm f/1.4 - Build quality