Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly Lens Review

The Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly Lens

Back in January of this year, the good people at Irix USA sent me a new 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly lens to try out, use, and review. I’ve photographed with it a handful of times over the past few months and I’m just now getting around to offering some opinions. My opinions are POSITIVE! In fact, I couldn’t find one thing I didn’t like about the lens. Honest.

Here’s a summary of what I liked about the newest Irix lens: It’s manual focus, which all macro lenses should be. There is no practical need for autofocus with a macro lens. The highly rubberized focusing ring is smooth and adequately damped for fine-tuning the focus. In fact, everything about the lens says “solid” and “quality” to me. It’s the perfect focal length for a macro lens as well. At 150mm, the angle-of-view is narrow enough to easily control the background, which is really important when doing macro photography. Even though the lens is relatively small and compact, Irix has added a lens collar so transitioning from horizontal to vertical and back is quick and easy. And there’s a Arca Swiss mount built into the lens foot! I hope this catches on and becomes standard practice.

Image quality is superb, which is what I’ve come to expect from Irix. My experience with the Irix wide-angle primes (11mm and 15mm) prepared me for this result. It’s incredibly sharp and contrasty. The bokeh, something pretty important when it comes to macro photography, is smooth and creamy at large apertures, even at 1:1 true macro reproductions. The large f/2.8 maximum aperture on the lens allows a lot of light for focusing, especially in live view.

The Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly lens can be ordered with the Canon EF (pictured here), Nikon F, or Pentax K mounts. Let’s hope it’s updated later for the new mirrorless mounts. The lens barrel is composed of metal alloys with a polished, satin anodized metal finish and it’s packaged with a very stylish molded case that protects the lens well when transporting. Everything about how the lens looks and performs is first class.

Get yours here on Amazon: Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly Lens

The Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly Lens Specs

I just received the new Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly Lens from Irix USA. I’ll do an in-depth review once I have the time to actually use this telephoto macro lens, but my first impressions are the following: The lens is solidly built. It feels cool, heavy, and dense in my hand. 150mm is the perfect focal length for a macro lens, in my opinion. The telephoto perspective really allows you to control the background much better than shorter focal lengths. I absolutely love the fact that the lens has a detachable tripod collar (to make it much easier to go from horizontal to vertical and back) with a built-in Arca Swiss mount. Why don’t other lens manufacturers do this as well considering this is the industry standard?

Specifications:

  • Covers full 35mm frame, for Nikon F, Canon EF, Pentax K mounts
  • Manual focus
  • Weather-sealed construction (Dragonfly finish)
  • 12 elements in 9 groups, 3 ED, 4 HR elements
  • f/2.8 to f/32, 11-blade diaphragm
  • 77mm filter ring
  • 12” (0.345m) minimum focus, 1:1 maximum magnification ratio, focus lock ring
  • 3.9” (135mm) long, 4.5” (87mm) diameter
  • 20.5 ounces (840g) weight
  • Detachable tripod collar with Arca Swiss mount; includes lens hood
  • Black
  • USD$ 595
  • Announced by Irix September 24, 2018

Get yours here on Amazon: Irix 150mm f/2.8 Macro 1:1 Dragonfly Lens

Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer in the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe. For more great information on new images, gear reviews, book projects, and photography workshops and tours, Sign Up For Our Newsletter.