Irix 15mm f/2.4 Black­stone £600/$600

East meets West in this smart new ul­tra-wide lens

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

De­signed in Switzer­land and man­u­fac­tured in Korea, the Black­stone is su­perbly well en­gi­neered, with a mag­ne­sium al­loy bar­rel and full weath­erseals. Ad­vanced fea­tures in­clude a fine-tun­ing ad­just­ment to en­sure ac­cu­racy of the fo­cus dis­tance scale on in­di­vid­ual cam­era bod­ies, a lock­ing mech­a­nism for the fo­cus ring, a slid­ing panel in the de­tach­able hood for fil­ter ro­ta­tion, and even flu­o­res­cent mark­ings for the fo­cus dis­tance scale, hy­per­fo­cal dis­tance and depth of field.

There’s no aut­o­fo­cus, but the silky-smooth fo­cus ring op­er­ates with su­perb pre­ci­sion. The less ex­pen­sive Firefly edi­tion of the lens has a plas­tic bar­rel, plain mark­ings and one less weather seal, but op­ti­cally it’s iden­ti­cal. Per­for­mance Con­sid­er­ing how wide this lens is, cor­ner-to-cor­ner sharp­ness is ex­cel­lent in real world shoot­ing. Bar­rel dis­tor­tion and vi­gnetting are tol­er­a­ble, and ‘neu­trino’ coat­ings do a good job of com­bat­ing ghost­ing and flare. Over­all im­age qual­ity is sim­ply sump­tu­ous, in keep­ing with the lens’s high-qual­ity con­struc­tion.

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