The Irix 30mm f/1.4 gives photographers the cinematic look of cine lenses

Irix 30mm f/1.4
(Image credit: Irix)

Irix has announced its new Irix 30mm f/1.4 – a manual-focus prime lens for Canon EF, Nikon F and Pentax K DSLRs.

The Irix 30mm f/1.4 is based on the design of the firm’s recent and rather good cine prime, the Irix Cine 30mm T1.5. It’s made for full-frame sensors and, while it’s only available for DSLR mounts, the fact that Irix shows the lens adapted to the mirrorless EOS R in the press shots suggests that it's counting on broad appeal.

• Read more: Irix Cine 30mm T1.5 review

It’s based on the Dragonfly manufacturing standard that Irix also used for its premium 45mm and 150mm photo lenses – we reviewed the Irix 45mm f/1.4 Dragonfly and were impressed by its solid construction and image quality.

The Dragonfly moniker’ means a reinforced and metallic chassis construction for durability, a scratch-resistant finish, an anti-slip focus ring, engraved markings filled with UV-reactive paint, and sealings to protect against ingress dust and water. This also means it’s a manual focus-only lens. 

(Image credit: Irix)

The aforementioned focus ring is of a design specific to Irix, which the firm has used in previous lenses. It’s specially textured with rubber material that ensures a secure, comfortable grip and makes for easy manipulation. There’s also a focus lock function that, just as it sounds, enables you to lock the focus in place. This is useful for pre-focusing, a technique employed by many street photographers. 

Internally the lens is constructed of thirteen elements in eleven groups, including three ultra-low dispersion elements, two high-reflectance elements and one aspherical element. The aim, according to Irix, is to imbue images with a cinematic look. Users will certainly be able to make the most of the full-frame sensors for which it is intended to produce images with vivid bokeh, thanks to the 11-bladed aperture. 

The minimum focusing distance is 0.34m, and its design is such that it does not change size or shape while focusing. This has made it easier for Irix to be comprehensive with the weather sealing – and while there are no numbers put on it, the firm is confident that the three rubber O-rings should keep the lens safe and working even in the most challenging of shooting conditions. 

A sample shot taken with the lens, which seems aimed at photographers looking to capture cinematic street scenes (Image credit: Pawel Kaminski)

Irix says the lens will be available from October 2021, though we don’t yet have a precise date, and the manufacturer is still being tight-lipped about exact pricing information. 

However, given that the lens it’s based on, the Irix Cine 30mm T1.5, impressed us with its quality and price point, it’s not unreasonable to assume that this lens will also be suitable for shooters working on a budget. 

Read more: 

Best lenses for street photography
Best 35mm lenses
Best cameras for street photography

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Jon Stapley

Jon spent years at IPC Media writing features, news, reviews and other photography content for publications such as Amateur Photographer and What Digital Camera in both print and digital form. With his additional experience for outlets like Photomonitor, this makes Jon one of our go-to specialists when it comes to all aspects of photography, from cameras and action cameras to lenses and memory cards, flash diffusers and triggers, batteries and memory cards, selfie sticks and gimbals, and much more besides.  

An NCTJ-qualified journalist, he has also contributed to Shortlist, The Skinny, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, The Guardian, Trusted Reviews, CreativeBLOQ, and probably quite a few others I’ve forgotten.