Ultra variety in the ultra-wide angle lens market: Irix announces 11mm f/4.0 full-frame lens


posted Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT


It has been a big week so far for ultra-wide lenses. Early this morning, Sigma announced their new 14mm f/1.8 lens. Irix, a newcomer to the lens industry, has replied with an even wider 11mm lens of their own, the Irix 11mm f/4.0. This is the second lens from Irix, as they announced a 15mm f/2.4 lens last year.

The Irix 11mm f/4.0 offers a 126° angle of view on full-frame cameras and has a focus range of 0.9 feet (0.275 meters) to infinity. The lens has four high refractive lenses, two ED lenses and three aspherical lenses as part of its 16 elements in 10 groups. The lens promises minimal distortion, which Irix states is as low as 3.13 percent. You can see the distortion and MTF charts below.

Distortion chart for Irix 11mm f/4.0
MTF chart for Irix 11mm f/4.0

Like the 15mm f/2.4 lens, the Irix 11mm f/4.0 comes in two versions, the Blackstone and Firefly. The former version is the more expensive, higher-end version. The Blackstone’s housing is made of aluminum-magnesium alloy with an anti-scratch finish. The Firefly on the other hand opts for less rugged, lighter material. The Firefly is about 12 percent lighter. The Blackstone’s focus ring is all-metal with a grooved surface whereas the Firefly goes with an anti-slip rubber focus ring. There is a big difference with the markings as well, as the Blackstone has engraved markings with UV light reactive paint, meaning that they glow in the dark at night. Personally, I find it confusing that the “Firefly” version isn’t the one which glows in the dark, but I digress. Another difference is that the Blackstone comes with a hard lens case whereas the Firefly comes with a soft lens pouch. Both the Blackstone and Firefly versions are weather-sealed.

The Irix 11mm f/4.0 is a manual focus lens, but aperture is controlled via the camera. The aperture diaphragm has nine rounded blades. As is par for the course with ultra-wide-angle lenses, the Irix does not have a front filter thread. However, it does have a rear gelatin filter slot which is 30 x 30 millimeters. The lens has a diameter of 4.49 inches (118 millimeters) and it is 4.05 inches long (103 millimeters). The Firefly weighs 1.61 pounds (730 grams) and the Blackstone weighs 1.74 pounds (790 grams).

Irix 11mm f/4.0: Blackstone (left) and Firefly (right)

Available for Canon EF, Nikon F and Pentax K mounts, the full-frame Irix 11mm f/4.0 lens will be available at an undisclosed time. The premium Blackstone version will cost US$825 and the lightweight Firefly model will cost $595. See here for more information on the new lenses.

(Seen via PetaPixel)