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Irix 45

Review Irix 45mm f1.4.

I’ve had the opportunity to test during last 5 weeks, the 45mm F1.4 lens provided by the Irix Lenses team and once I tested, I will say what I think. Whether I like it or not. And that freedom convinced me to say yes to the proposal.

My conclusion: this is a premium lens, no doubt about it.

Lens presentation, the rather minimalist packaging and the weight: that weight that only gives a choice of two things. Quality Glass or added weight without any sense.

Nikon D850 + Irix 45mm f 1.4 + orchids + macbook pro
Irix 45mm f1.4 + Nikon D850

In this case, I find the lens is really good. It does not degrade the quality of the files at all. And that is one of the highlights. It is bright, very clear, with virtually no distortion (it is very close to the focal length considered standard in humans) and with a very little chromatic aberration visible even in adverse light conditions.

EXIF: 1/320s; f3.2; ISO 800. LR Development

It’s heavy, I’ve said it before. Quite a lot for being a fix lens, more even than the 35mm Sigma Art F1.4 that also goes through my photography bag. 665g for Sigma, 905g for the Irix. This would be a negative point even though I like heavy lenses.

For now, one positive and one negative point.

It is sealed, and that for me, who loves to shoot outdoors and the worse the conditions, the better, is an essential point.

And now, one of the differential facts: it is a manual lens. And this can slow down a lot depending on the type of photography. 

The first thing that comes to my mind is a family shooting with children, the kind of shootings I share with my dear Montse Ferré. Focusing on children who are constantly moving is already difficult with lenses with fast focus, with a manual, it’s (almost) impossible. 

On studio photography with people who can pay attention to you and be a bit still, this lens is a jewel: bokeh, it’s very fast (remember that it is F1.4).

EXIF: 1/800s; f1.4; ISO 800. LR + PS Development
EXIF: 1/2500s; f1.4; ISO 400. LR + PS Development

Also, for landscape, to capture details in flowers (it’s not macro but on a large sensor with cropping, you can get good results), quiet animals (cats, in my case). The amount of information it is able to provide to the sensor is a lot and of high quality. This ensures you an awesome result.

Cat, Monstera, Orchid
Monstera Variegata's detail EXIF: 1/500s, f1.8, ISO 800. LR Development
Cat. EXIF: 1/400s, f1.4, ISO800. LR Development
Blossom Orchid's Detail EXIF: 1/320s, f3.2, ISO 400
Spring Field EXIF: 1/100s, f22,ISO 250

And we come to the price. It moves about 200 € below optics of similar quality that have not been redesigned in recent years. Of course, most of them have focusing motors and that is a differential fact.

As you may have seen, all the images except one in the review are taken with very large apertures. This is deliberate. If with open apertures between 1.4 and 3.2, I leave to your imagination the quality we get at f8, for example.

In summary and being my personal opinion: it is a 99% recommendable lens if you can work with manual focus. For price and quality. And 100% recommendable for those who work with analog systems. This quality on 35mm film, must be a great experience.

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