Irix is a relatively new third-party lens manufacturer that has quickly built an impressive reputation for its premium-spec optics. The brand previously launched lenses including a 11mm and a 15mm optic, but Irix has just announced a lens that’s, quite literally, aiming higher. Much higher!
This is because the Irix 300SR lens has designed to be used in the harsh environment of outer space, that’s right, up there with the astronauts and the satellites. In fact, Irix has teamed up to participate in the first Polish Earth observation satellite, which is called Światowid and launched into orbit on April 17.
Measuring 70x75mm and weighing just 250g, Irix explained the lens’ design was based on NASA guidelines and features a 300mm fixed focal length with an f/5.6 aperture. The camera that the Irix lens has been paired with features solar panels, weighs 2kg and features a 5.1-megapixel CMOS sensor.
According to Irix, the lens and camera have been created with the aim of providing high-resolution images of the earth that will be reviewed in real-time and, as you’d expect, the design of the lens had to be rugged enough for the unique demands of space – including withstanding strong G-forces, extreme temperatures and strong UV radiation. Infact, Irix’s 300mm lens has a working temperature range of -50 to +150 degrees Celsius.
Along with the insane temperatures to deal with, the lens will be travelling at 27743 kilometres an hour and will complete a cycle of the earth’s orbit in just 90 minutes. You can learn more about this inspirational lens on a dedicated website.Although there is no final confirmation, there are suggestions Irix may offer this special lens for general release sale, so budding astrophotographers should stay tuned.