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How it all began
TH Swiss Ltd. was created in 2016. With headquarters in Switserland and our manufacturing facilities in South Korea and Japan, Irix Lens now manufactures, markets and distributes lenses in Europe, North and South America and in Asia.
Swiss precision, Korean ingenious solutions and Japanese Glass make a powerful mix. The brand has only been established three years ago, but the process and the creation started long before that.
It all started with a group of photographers who had a dream about a brand that would create the photo and video gear they always wished they had. A brand that delivered top optical performance with maximum funcionality all while using the latest technologies.
The name "IRIX"
In order to create this dream brand, we needed to come up with the most important thing: the name.
Contrary to what you may think, this really was one of the hardest parts of the whole process: finding a good name :) It needed to be an original name, easy to remember and ideally, it needed to have some kind of connection with "photograhphy".
After hours and hours of brainstorming and hundreds of propositions, "IRIX" emerged, it was a derivative from the word "Iris" and is a combination of eyes and imagination, exactly the same ingredients necessary to create photography.
A community of Photographers
Back in October 2016, we made our first appearance at the NEC in Birmingham. This is where we presented our very first wide-angle lens to the world - there may have been some stress, but everyone survived ;).
This was the 15mm f/2.4 lens, an ultra-wide and ultra high quality lens, which quickly gained a large group of loyal fans all around the world.
Ever since, we have worked very hard to make our brand available all over the world. And as of December 2016, Irix is also available in the US.
We attended our first trade show in the US in 2017, the PPE fair in NYC. We have been back there every year since then.
We have also been at Photokina in Cologne, Salon de la Photo in Paris, IBC in Amsterdam, CP+ in Japan, and so on, because not only do we want to deliver high quality products, we also want to create a community of passionate photographers.
Irix at Photokina 2018
People often ask why we started with a 15mm lens. The answer is simple: we wanted a lightweight wide-angle, reasonable in size but with many functionalities.
Functionalities like a front filter thread, a removable lens hood equipped with a window enabling rotation of a CPL filter. A focus lock to lock you focus and a rear filter slot, in case the front filter isn't enough. An infinity click that lets you "feel" the infinity position without having to look. And the AE chip for focus confirmation, easier post-processing and weather and dust sealed.
To make them available to all photographers and all budgets, we created two versions, the Firefly and a more premium verion, the Blackstone.
The 15mm was our first dream. But we still had another one: to make the widest rectilinear Full Frame lens ever made. That is how the 11mm was created.
Again, no compromises regarding distorsion, resolution and funcionalities, again, loaded with two different finishes.
But we weren't finished yet.
Since our 15mm has a front filter thread, we decided it needed filters that were 100% compatible without any vignetting. This is how the Irix Edge filters were born.
The Irix Edge filters are trusted super-slim round and square filters. All of the filters are made of optical glass which is especially important when used with high-resolution camera sensors to achieve the best possible results.
After that, we decided we wanted to try something completely different. We wanted to create a new type of lens, so we went to the other extreme of the spectrum, and created a 150mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro lens with a new finishing combining the best of both the Firefly and the Blackstone versions: the Dragonfly finishing.
This lens has won several prestigious awards, among others, the iFDesign 2019 and the RedDot Award 2019.
Irix Cine Lenses
Since we want to share our combination of top optical performance with maximum funcionality with as many professionals and enthusiasts as possible, we have decided to also enter the Cinematographic world.
We did this just a few month ago with the launch of our first Cine lens, the 150mm T3.0 1:1 Macro lens. The lens' optical system is based the 150mm f/2.8 but with a new optical formula that’s been made specifically for cinematic purposes.
This first Cine lens was very well received, that is why we decided to also launch our newest lens, the Cine 11mm T4.3. A super-wide Cine and unqiue lens which offers a very wide view for full-frame filmmakers.