The Irix 15mm lens got the first place in the list of my favorite lenses pretty quickly. I got my Firefly version in Spring 2017, just in time to join me for a photography workshop in Sardinia. The sharpness, the ease of use (just set the focus to hyper-focal mark and your are all set) and the ergonomic design made me quickly fell in love with this piece of metal and glass (and plastic).
Now, after more than one year, this lens is still my favorite. But I've felt something was still missing in my setup. What? A proper filter holder system that allowed for the use of all the ND and GND filters that I owned instead of buying a all new set.
Well, Irix just launched the Irix EDGE 100 (aka IFH-100) and greatly solved this problem! This filter holder can be used not only with the Irix 15mm lens, but using adapter rings can be adapted virtually to any lens!
I testes the filter holder in preview for you, together with the ND1000 and Reverse GND8 filters, and have summarized my experience and feedback in this review! Checkout the video and my feedback below.
With this kind or ultra wide angle lenses, you typically cannot use slot filters of 100mm size or screw-in filters, but the Irix 15mm is a special beast!
With the Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens we had until now, three possibilities of using filters for landscape photography and long exposures:
- 150mm filter holder system: if you own this kind of kit already, you could use it with this lens. But the clear disadvantage is that is really bulky and difficult to carry around! When it is raining then, good luck with keeping it dry. And when it is windy, keeping steady your camera system won't be easy!
- Gelatine filters: the Irix 15mm lens, as also the Irix 11mm, allows the use of gelatine filters that can slide on the back of the lens. They are available as ND4, ND8 and ND16 (2, 3 and 4 STOPS).
I tested them, and they work well. But they are not my choice for two reasons:
1) I like to shoot with much darker filters like the ND64 and ND1000 (6 and 10 stops)
2) I don't want to remove my lens to have to change the filter when is windy, dusty or rainy. As quite typically is when I do landscape photography :)
Therefore the usability of this solution drops to uses outside my needs.
- Screw-in filters: this lens, as opposed to many in this category (Nikon 14-24mm, Sigma 14-24mm, Canon 11-24mm and Samyang 14mm) has a flat front element that accepts screw-in filters of 95mm size. A fantastic design, one that drove me initially into buying this lens. I love the possibility to use screw-in filters especially in windy and wet situations where bigger systems can become cumbersome to use and even dangerous. 95mm filters are a great solution, but it can become expensive to buy a new set of filters, especially if you already own a filter system for your other lenses.
So what's the catch? The most common filter system is the 100mm. It can be adapted virtually to any kind of lens, but to ultra wide angle lenses. On ultra wide angle lenses, the holder goes typically in the way of the field of view, creating a more or less strong vignette effect.
But Irix just came to help, making the 100mm system available for the Irix 15mm Firefly and Blackstone! They just introduced the Irix EDGE 100 (aka IFH-100), a filter holder that locks itself on the lens hood mount and allows to use the 100mm slot filter type. So the bulky 150mm system is not needed anymore! And no need to buy all the filters in screw-in format again!
The filter is in aluminum and is really well made. It is composed of only two pieces: the adapter ring that goes onto the lens hood mount and the actual filter holder (super thin!).
Additional rings can be bought to adapt the holder to any other lens: for example I can easily adapt it to my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 G, that has a 77mm thread on the front element.
Another great feature, that I didn't find on other filter holder systems, is that the original lens cap can still be used while the holder adapter is still mounted.
Mounting the ring that holds the filter directly to the barrel, where the lens hood goes, is such a clever idea. It allows to move back the filter system, avoid vignetting and allowing to use the 100mm slot filters.
The holder has two slots for filters, so you can use it with a ND filter and also a Polarizer in slot format! And both won't vignette, as the filter is so close to the lens.
During my test in Sardinia I really loved the holder and two filter in test: the ND1000 and the RGND8. Checkout the photos I captured with it!
If you have any questions or curiosity about this filters kit or the Irix lenses just let me know in the comments below!
You can find more about the lenses and filter holder reviewed here checking the following link storeeu.irixlens.com