Prepare to do more with your Irix 150mm macro lens – Review by Dionisis Eleftheriadis
Macro photography. A kind of photography that reveils the macro world we live in, with extreme detail. Irix has made that possible with this lens. But what if I told you that you can do astrophotography with a macro lens? Yes, that’s right you can photograph the night sky extremely good with this lens and get results you haven’t imagined. Astrophotography is a difficult and unique type of photography as you need to know some details about the cosmos to capture the light within the deep space.
Pleiades cluster( Irix lens macro 150mm f/4 ,1hour integration time, ISO 1250,Nikon D750,star watcher star adventurer)
Technical details about the performance of the lens according to astrophotography is that it has a lot of features that can make your life easier out in the night.
Focus is essential for astrophotography as you may know. If your photo is out of focus you may find yourself with some photos that are literally for…. Nothing and that’s because an out of focus photo is impossible to fix it in post. Shooting the stars ,galaxies and nebulas is even harder because you are in pitch black conditions and can’t see your object. Using this lens and it’s amazing feature is pretty easy to focus. On it’s body it has meterings and lock key feature to find your infinity point and once you find it you can lock it to avoid any misfocus during the session .Also the aperture helps to find stars as it is F/2.8 ,(bright enough) .
The aperture is as you know F/2.8. It is wide open and bright and that is key essential to astrophotography ,because in dark night you need to capture as much as possible light you can. In my experience you will never use this ‘F’ number because you will get some weird stars and extreme vingeting along the edges.Although you can fix it using the so called calibration frames ,but in case you won’t to take this frames prepare your self to crop the image to minimize it. A good value to get nice stars and a good amount of light is F/4-5.6.
Astrophotography and long exposures are equalevant because of the deep deep dark sky and the difficulty to capture the light. So you need to have a steady tripod an your camera. Since I got this lens and opened the box I was amazed by the built quality. But the tripod collar that was inside the box made my day because I know how much it would make my life easier and of course protect my cameras’ mount because of the weight. With this collar you can abjust the orientation of your frame by just unscrewing the small bolt and set it wherever you like. Extremelly nice feature by Irix !
Dragon fly design!!Yes it is a premium lens and you can feel it just touching it , but except that, the opticals within the body of the lens are extremely difficult to get hazed if you get in the middle of humidity or haze.
Rho-Ophiouchi cloud complex ( Irix lens macro 150mm , 5 hours integration time ,F/3.5,iso 2500 Nikon D750,star watcher star adventurer)
Polaris the North star and space dust ( Irix lens macro 150mm , 2:45 hours integration time ,F/3.5,iso 1000 Nikon D750,star watcher star adventurer)
North America nebula ( Irix lens macro 150mm , 1:25 hours integration time ,F/3.5,iso 1650 Nikon D750,star watcher star adventurer)
Lower part of the Milky way core. ( Irix lens macro 150mm , 0:55 hours integration time ,F/3.5,iso 3200 Nikon D750,star watcher star adventurer)
Core of the Milky way, Lagoon and Triffid nebulae ( Irix lens macro 150mm , 1 minute integration time ,F/3.5,iso 5000 Nikon D750,star watcher star adventurer)
Conclusion and thoughts about the Irix 150 macro lens.
Overall it is an amazing lens, sharp and pretty nice colors. Easily find the right focus point, strong and weather sealed built quality and that makes you very confident about your gear. According to astrophotography ‘rules’ this lens is very good. The truth is that it is a difficult lens to use it but once you find the right settings depending the target you want, it can perform amazingly well.
Stay well and clear skies.