Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens Review

Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens Review:

Instead of a plain, boring body cap for your camera, wouldn’t it be cool to have something like a lens built into a body cap?  Well, Olympus have done just that, and added a nice twist to it: for $84, you can get a body cap that contains a 9mm f8.0 fisheye lens.  In 35mm terms, the 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens is an 18mm equivalent that give its user a very unique perspective with its 140º angle of view.  Given how unique this lens is, and my fondness for fisheye lenses, I knew I had to give it a try.

Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens Build Quality:

As always, I like to start off my reviews by talking about build quality, and in terms of it, this lens may surprise you.  The 9mm f8.0 fisheye is made out of hard plastic, and it’s much sturdier than I expected.  In other words, it feels pretty solid for the money.  At 2.2 x 0.5″, this lens is tiny, and with a weight of 30g, it’s light enough to bring pretty much everywhere with you.  There are no electrical contacts, so if you’re using something like the Panasonic Lumix GX85, which is what I used with this lens, you’ll have to go to the menu in your camera and turn on “Shoot Without Lens”.

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↑ The ultra compact Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens.

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↑ As you can see, there are no electrical contacts on the back of the lens.  The mount is also plastic.

One issue that some may have with this lens is the fixed aperture of f8.  There are no other aperture settings to choose from but in practice, I didn’t find much of a problem with this.  I usually shoot with small apertures when I’m using wide angle lenses, and high ISO capabilities in cameras these days are very decent, so I usually have no issues cranking up the ISO when I need it.  Also, since it is an ultra wide angle lens, it’s much easier to hold steady than something like a telephoto.

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↑ The Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye is almost the same size as the rear lens cap.

In terms of focus, it is done manually but that’s perfectly fine with me since an autofocus motor would probably make the 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens a lot larger.  Plus, I didn’t find it difficult to focus at all.  First off, focus peaking helps quite a bit, and second, it’s an ultra wide, so there is a large depth of field, especially since its fixed aperture is f8.  To adjust focus, there’s a lever on the bottom of the lens that can be slid into four positions.  One position slides a cover over the lens for when you’re not using it, and the other three are the focus settings: minimum focus(0.2 meters), middle focus, and infinity.  The lever is a bit flimsy, so it can be moved accidentally if you’re not careful but it serves its purpose.

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↑ The Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye with the cover for the lens closed.

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↑ The lever on the bottom is used to focus the lens.

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↑ Top view of the Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens on the Panasonic Lumix GX85.

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↑ Another view of the Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye on the GX85.

Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens Image Quality:

In terms of image quality, let me be as frank as possible: no one should expect this lens to perform as well as a top tier lens.  But with that said, the 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens did better than I expected it to.  For instance, it’s definitely not one of the sharpest lenses that I’ve ever used but it is still decent.  It is sharp in the center and only lost definition on the edges.  The corners can be a bit mushy sometimes but if you’re not pixel peeping, it’s not bad at all.  Furthermore, vignetting, while present, wasn’t much of an issue in real world usage.  Color rendering and contrast were okay but the lens is highly flare resistant.  You really have to aim the lens directly at the sun or do something equally extreme to make the 9mm f8.0 fisheye flare.

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↑ Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan.

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↑ As you can see, I basically had to aim the lens directly in the sun to make it flare, and even then, it isn’t that bad.

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↑ Parachute Jump at Coney Island.

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↑ Walking up the Manhattan Bridge.

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↑ Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

Overall, the 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens does not offer class leading performance but I’m still quite happy with it.  In fact,  it exceeded my expectations in every way.  I absolutely loved what came out of the camera with this lens mounted.  You can definitely buy a better performing fisheye but it would be more expensive.  Plus, with a more expensive lens, you would lose the magic of the 9mm f8.0 fisheye.  What makes this lens so downright awesome isn’t really just one feature like image quality; it’s actually the combination of everything like build, image quality, compactness, and of course, the price.  All of these features make this lens easily accessible to most, great to own, and downright fun to use.

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↑ I love the atmosphere in Lower Manhattan.

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↑ This little 9mm fisheye can make a great street lens.

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↑ Washington Square Arch.

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↑ Downtown Manhattan.

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↑ Walking into the subway.

Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens Pros and Cons:

Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens Pros:

  • Ultra compact leaving you no excuse to leave it at home.
  • Well-built considering price.
  • Decent image quality for the price and for this lens type.
  • Excellent price.
  • Great way to try a fisheye for the first time without investing too much.
  • Great to have if you’re someone who doesn’t use fisheyes much but would like one for those special occasions.
  • Most fun I’ve had with a lens in a long time.

Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens Cons:

  • Pretty much all plastic.
  • fixed aperture of f8.
  • Decent image quality but nothing impressive.

Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens Verdict:

The 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens may not give you earth shattering performance but it is still one of my favorite lenses that I’ve tested so far.  It’s well-built, and it is so compact that there’s really no excuse not to bring it along everywhere with you.  Furthermore, image quality is still decent and a lot better than the price suggests.

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↑ This is one of the cooler subway stations in the city.

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↑ I love how arc structures look with a fisheye lens.

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↑ Astor Place.  I haven’t been here in a while, and was surprised they took the cube away.

The 9mm f8.0 fisheye is a great companion for the seasoned fisheye user but it doesn’t stop there.  If you’ve ever wished you had a fisheye for those special occasions but don’t want to invest too much into it because you know it’s a lens you won’t use often, this is also perfect for you.  It’s also great for people who want to try a fisheye lens for the first time because again, at $84, it’s not a big investment.  While this lens can be used for serious photography, the design of this lens also makes it great for moments when you don’t want to take your photography too seriously.  In other words, it’s just a fun lens to use that will deliver you great pictures.  Overall, I can not give this lens enough praise, especially since the asking price basically makes this lens a steal, and therefore, I highly recommend it to any micro four thirds user.

Thanks for taking the time to read my review!  If you’re considering purchasing the 9mm f8.0 fisheye, and my review helped you decide, please help support this site by purchasing from the links below or any mentioned in this review.  It will not cost you anything extra.  Thank you for your support!

9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens from B&H Photo

2 comments… add one
  • inthedarkroon

    Great shots; I wonder what the leaning tower of Pisa would look like!

    • Patrick

      Thanks inthedarkroom! That would be a very cool shot I’d imagine :).

      Best regards,

      Patrick

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