Astrophotography with the Irix 150mm f/2.8 Dragonfly

Macro photography. A kind of photography that reveals the macro world we live in with extreme detail. Irix has made that possible with the Irix 150mm f/2.8 Dragonfly. But what if I told you that you can do astrophotography with a macro lens? Yes, that’s right. You can photograph the night sky extremely well with this lens and get results you never imagined. Astrophotography is a difficult and unique type of photography because you need to know some details about the cosmos to capture the light within the deep space.

Pleiades cluster with Irix 150mm Dragonfly
Pleiades Cluster (Irix 150mm Dragonfly at f/4, 1hour integration time, ISO 1250, Nikon D750, Star Watcher Star Adventurer)

Using the Irix 150mm f/2.8 for Astrophotography will make your life easier when working at night thanks to its technical details.


As you may know, focus is essential for astrophotography. If your image is out of focus, you may find yourself with some photos that are literally for…. nothing. That’s because an out-of-focus photo is impossible to fix in post. Shooting the stars, galaxies, and nebulas is even harder because you are working in pitch-black conditions and can’t see your object. Using this lens and its amazing features make it pretty easy to focus. It has meterings on the body and a lock feature to lock your infinity point once you find it avoiding any misfocus during the session. The aperture also helps to find stars as it is f/2.8, (bright enough).


The aperture as you know is f/2.8. It is wide open and bright and this is essential for astrophotography because you need to capture as much light as possible during dark nights. In my experience, you will never use this “f” number because you will get some weird stars and vignetting along the edges. Although you can fix it using so-called calibration frames, prepare yourself to crop the image to minimize it if you don’t take these frames. A good value for nice stars and a good amount of light is F/4-5.6.

Rho-Ophiouchi cloud complex (Irix 150mm Macro lens, 5 hours integration time at f/3.5, ISO 2500, Nikon D750, star watcher star adventurer)

Long Exposures

Astrophotography and long exposures go hand in hand because of the deep, deep, dark sky and the difficulty to capture light. This means you need to have a steady tripod on your camera. When I got this lens and opened the box I was amazed by the build quality. But the tripod collar inside the box was what made my day because I know how much it would make my life easier and of course protect my cameras’ mount because of the weight. With this collar, you can adjust the orientation of your frame by just unscrewing the small bolt and setting it wherever you like. An extremely nice feature by Irix!

Dragonfly Design

The Dragonfly design!! Yes it is a premium lens and you can feel it by just touching it, the optics within the body of the lens are extremely difficult to get hazed if you find yourself in the middle of humidity or haze.

Polaris the North star and space dust (Irix 150mm Macro lens, 2:45 hours integration time at f/3.5, ISO 1000,  Nikon D750, star watcher star adventurer)
North America nebula ( Irix 150mm Macro Lens, 1:25 hours integration time at f/3.5, ISO 1650, Nikon D750, Star Watcher Star Adventurer)
The lower part of the Milky Way Core. (Irix 150mm Macro lens, 0:55 hours integration time at f/3.5, ISO 3200, Nikon D750, Star Watcher Star Adventurer)
The core of the Milky Way, Lagoon and Triffid Nebulae ( Irix 150mm Macro Lens, 1 minute integration time at f/3.5, ISO 5000, Nikon D750, Star Watcher Star Adventurer)

Conclusion and thoughts about the Irix 150 macro lens for astrophotography.

Overall it is an amazing lens, sharp and with pretty nice colors. You can easily find the right focus point. The strong and weather-sealed build quality makes you very confident about your gear. According to astrophotography ‘rules’, this is a very good lens. The truth is that it is a difficult lens to use but once you find the right settings depending on the target you want, it will perform amazingly well.

Stay well and clear skies.

Text and Images by Dionisis Eleftheriadis


More information about the Irix 150mm Dragonfly for Astrophotography

The Irix 150mm f/2.8 Dragonfly is a perfect lens for Astrophotography. It is available in the following native mounts: Canon EF, Nikon F, and Pentax K and is 100% compatible with the Canon RF and Nikon Z adapters. Electronic connections on Canon RF and Nikon Z cameras will work perfectly when using a good-quality mount adapter.

Written by Sarah

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