OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO
This fisheye lens for Olympus micro four-thirds system belongs to their "PRO" series. This means that it features the rugged dust/drop-proof construction, superior quality lenses including super HR and ED lenses, and the "ZERO coating" that thoroughly eliminates ghost. As a result, the resolution is wonderful from the center to the corners. Plus, this is world's first fisheye lens to have a F1.8 speed. While F2.8 is said to be fast enough for a fisheye lens, this lens is faster by more than 1 step and draws a whole new world we have never seen. Plus, because the minimum focus distance is as short as 12cm, we can not only get so close to the subject until the front element almost touches it, but also get bokeh unlike conventional fisheye lenses. The combination of wide perspective, distortion, and close-up capability sounds extremely exciting.
( Photography & Text : T.Takahashi )
The world captured through the show window looks like a microcosm. Enjoy the deformation effect as it just swallows subjects. The corners are bright enough.
I got so close to the cute puppy. While it defined the hairs minutely, the blurred background funnified the image. And, the fisheye's unique distortion worked to emphasize the innocent face.
With the combination between the F1.8 max speed and the camera's 5-axis image stabilization, you can shoot dynamic night view handheld. And, because the resolution is high to the corners, you can use wide open aperture even for long distance scenes.
I got very close to the bottle label at a dark bar. The bokeh grows drastically from the focal plane. And, the soft background bokeh is amusing. This fisheye is so versatile because it allows panfocusing when shooting distance scenes and generates big bokeh when shooting close subjects.
I only stopped down to F4.5 to shoot in the dark bamboo forest. The image quality is excellent from near to far. I shot slightly under, but the dark tone has a gradation.
Certainly, the joy of using a fisheye lens is its unique distortion. However, sometimes we want to get wide views without distortion. And, yuou can do it using the "fisheye correction" of the software "OLYMPUS Viewer 3" (version 1.5). As you can see on the bottom image, the corners do flow more or less, but the capability of getting 11mm equivalent ultra-wide images afterwards more than outweighs the negative.
This M. ZUIKO PRO series fisheye lens is compact and its high quality construction feels nice. As you have seen, the resolution is high to the corners. And, the clarity and sharpness are high as well. The image quality is wonderful wide open: the bokeh and the 3D separation are so great that I almost forget I was using a fisheye lens. And, you can always cancel the distortion with to get non-fisheye ultra-wide angle lens images. This extraordinary fisheye lens has so much potential and it will become a great tool for your new expressions.
( 17.07.2015 )