Irix 15mm f 2.4 Review
In this review I want to talk about one of the most recent new additions to my camera kit, the Irix 15mm f2.4 Blackstone version. As a landscape photographer who really enjoys shooting at night, a fast wide-angle lens is very important. So, when I saw that Irix came out with a 15mm lens that had a f-stop of 2.4 I was interested straight away. There are faster and wider lenses on the market, but most of them suffer from horrible coma in the corners when doing astro photography so I didn’t look into those anymore. Seeing a couple of results online of the performance that the Irix 15mm had – and the amazing coma performance – made me contact Irix to send me one of their lenses.
The lens arrived in a beautiful hardcase that actually keeps the lens very safe. The build quality of the lens is top notch; the smooth focus ring and the alloy housing reminds of the finishing you would get with the way more expensive Zeiss lenses. The lens comes in black with white markings on it, and you can lock the focus ring which is perfect for astro photography.
The lens hood is also very cleverly designed with a small window that you can open to adjust your CPL filter. This takes me to one of my favourite aspects of the lens – you can use screw-on filters, meaning you don’t need to carry a huge filter holder and filters when travelling to and from shoots. The lens takes regular 95mm filters, which Irix offers as well. They have good selection, which I recently received, and I will test them on my next trip which is to Tenerife.
Let’s start with the first question most people will ask: “how does the lens perform for landscape photography and how sharp is it?” The answer is the lens works perfectly for landscape photography and is razor sharp.
Barrika Beach North Spain, Irix 15mm f2.4 (1/4 sec, f14, iso 100)
The build quality of the lens didn’t make me worry at all about shooting at Barrika Beach in north Spain with its crazy currents and water sprays everywhere because the Irix 15mm f2.4 Blackstone is completely weather sealed. This is a great feature because you don’t have to worry about water spray and can just concentrate on taking pictures.
My favourite type of photography is shooting landscape and astro panoramas. Shooting stitched panorama images gives you more creative freedom and you can capture more of the scene in one picture. The Irix 15mm is perfect for this as it has almost no distortion and the vignetting is easily corrected in Lightroom with the matching profile.
Passo Sella, Dolomites, Italy. Irix 15mm f2.4 (1/15 sec, f11, iso 100) 8 picture panorama
Alpe Di Siusi, Dolomites, Italy. Irix 15mm f2.4 (1/40 sec, f8, iso 100)
The most interesting thing about the lens for me was always going to be the aperture and how it would perform for astro photography. During my trip to the Dolomites we had full moon which is not ideal for Milky Way pictures, but I still managed to test the performance with some moonlit night shots.
Passo Sella, Dolomites, Italy. Irix 15mm f2.4 (10 sec, f5, iso 1000) 5 picture panorama
After returning from the Dolomites, it was time to wait for the next new moon phase to photograph the Milky Way – which I planned to do in south Spain. I went out the first night possible and even just looking at the back of the screen of my camera I knew already that the pictures would turn out really well.
Cap Prim, Javea, Spain. Irix 15mm f2.4 (25 sec, f2.4, iso 5000) 7 picture panorama
The lens produces pin-point sharp stars right into the corners and there is almost no coma throughout the frame, which is amazing for night photography.
Restaurante Mirador de Xabia, Javea, Spain. Irix 15mm f2.4 (25 sec, f2.4, iso 2500)
Overall, I am very impressed with the Irix 15mm f2.4 lens and I highly recommend it. It is rare to find a lens as wide and fast that still performs perfectly wide open for astro photography – and is affordable in price.
Most lenses that give you similar results are four times the cost. This lens is ideal not only for astro photography, but also for general landscape and architecture photography due to its low distortion and sharpness.