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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras
|Compatible Mountings||Micro Four Thirds|
|Max Focal Length||8 Millimeters|
|Min Focal Length||8 Millimeters|
About this item
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- 17 elements in 15 groups reduces aberrations, 3 Super ED lenses, 2 ED lenses diminish peripheral chromatic aberrations
- 180 degree angle of view
- ZERO lens coating effectively minimizes ghosting and flaring
- Silent auto focus for Movie-Still compatibility
- Minimum working distance of 2.5cm from the end of the lens
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From the manufacturer
World's first f1.8 fisheye lens! Ultra bright f1.8 aperture allows for faster shutter speeds and improves the ability to take low light hand held shots. Weatherproof, Dustproof, and Freeze proof construction.
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I had a four thirds SLR back in 2006 and wanted the Panasonic 8mm 3.5. It had autofocus and was a fisheye! I was a college student at the time and could never justify it. This lens completes a journey that started when I lusted after the Panasonic.
One of the beautiful things about Micro Four Thirds is that manual focus adaptable lenses are available (both in native and non-native mounts) and are affordable! I bought the 7.5mm Rokinon/Samyang/Bower f3.5 lens for my MFT camera in 2013; it was amazing! I started to shoot 360 panoramas with ease (and as few as 5 or 6 shots!). It was a brilliant, artsy, small, solid lens that was also affordable! It was built like a tank! I felt that I could drop my camera and the lens would absolutely survive - but it was manual focus. I kept the Rokinon, enjoying fisheye photography and missing a shot or two every now and then because scale focusing is pretty difficult with that lens. But I loved it!
On to the Olympus!
As a proper "grown-up" I was recently able to justify the mammoth purchase of the Olympus 8mm f1.8! Yes, 1.8! My biggest fear going in was that it would only be marginally better than the Rokinon, and I would feel that I've spent $800+ on an incremental improvement. On paper my fears are quite justified; in reality, there's nothing to fear as the user experience more than makes up for it!
This lens is larger, and heavier than the Rokinon. This is obviously a disadvantage, however the second point more than makes up for it!
The Olympus has a f1.8 aperture. On an 8mm lens, the shallow depth of field problem (yes, it's a problem despite what full frame zealots will have you believe) is not that big of a deal. For instance, at f1.2, the Panasonic Nocticron is basically unusable for anything other than a straight on studio shot if you're closer than 10 feet. There's just nothing in focus! But on this 1.8 fisheye, there's a lot of stuff in focus even at 8-10 feet close. Also, f1.8 is insanely fast/bright for a fisheye. I can basically shoot an indoor panorama at ISO 400 instead of ISO 1600 - that is significant on a (comparatively) noisy MFT sensor.
Autofocus (especially when it's this quick) is an amazing asset on an fisheye! It simply changes the way you use the lens. I can now get shots of cats for my local rescue using the fisheye - near impossible with the Rokinon, due to the skittish nature of a foster cat in a cage, and the not quite ample f3.5 aperture of the Rokinon. Bright, high-key ISO 200 in-focus shots of my kids are now possible. Kids never sit completely still, and you always need to re-set the focus right before the shot - Olympus' autofocus in this lens handles it easily. I almost never lose a great shot because it's soft. It's a common problem to forget the Rokinon set to 0.25m and then try to take a landscape shot; I've lost far too many to that sort of issue, and it's simply not a problem anymore.
It's built like a tank and weather-sealed. OK, the weather-sealing is a weird point because I don't have a weather-sealed body, and I'm not letting water splash my $800+ lens, but it's nice to have. However, it's a very tough lens with a great feeling focus ring.
I work at a user experience design agency. Our day-to-day job is to think of how the user feels when using a web site, or when going through the registration process and entrance of a conference/workshop. When I use this lens I simply feel like it is right, and all that is left to do it to frame the shot, and grab the moment. Sometimes I de-fish it (partially) in Lightroom, but other times it stays with its full fisheye perspective.
This lens it NOT the most practical lens, but more often that not, my favorite shots are made with it.