Olympus 8mm F1.8 Pro Fisheye

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Olympus 8mm F1.8 Pro M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye
– Old But Gold
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Image: Olympus OM-D EM1 MarkII Mounted with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye & Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED by the side.


30th May 2017, Japan-Taiwan-Singapore – Apart from the NEW Olympus TG-5 TOUGH that Olympus Singapore had sent me for review, along with the package as per my request, they had also sent me the OM-D EM1 MarkII (which I had previous reviewed) along with the 12-40mm F2.8 PRO & the 8mm F1.8 PRO Fisheye lenses. But I was really looking forward to the 8mm Fisheye. As one of Olympus’s appointed reviewer for Singapore, I had touched almost every lens in the Olympus inventory but strangely, I was never given a chance to review the 8mm. So this time, I was super thrilled.

I have seen many nice images of cruise ships shot by Fisheye and since I am heading on a Fly-Cruise package with Princess Cruises on board the Sapphire Princess, it’s like finally I get to shoot my own fisheye images on a real cruise ship!

The Olympus 8mm Fisheye was released in May 2015 and from the MSRP, this lens is on the expensive side, suspecting that it could be due to the bright aperture of F1.8 instead of the usual F2.8 that most Fisheye lenses comes with.

Before I proceed, as usual I would like to disclaim that this is a user’s review with real world images from the camera with mild editing like cropping and adjusting of exposure, everything else was left as it is. If you found your way here looking for technical review and specs, I will suggest you stop reading and move on to Olympus’s main website.


Small as it is, Olympus had packed 17 Elements in 15 Groups including 01 Aspherical lens, 03 Super ED lenses, 02 regular ED lenses, 1 Super HR Lens & 2 HR lenses, so expect the lens to be slightly weighty at 315gm. It may be feather weight to regular DSLR users but may proves to be a little heavy to regular Micro Four-Third users (come on people, go to the gym or something! This lens is too light to be called heavy!) The lens focuses from merely a 10cm distance and designed as a 7-bladder for that nice bokeh even when distorted. Aperture opens from F1.8 to the F22 and the lens focuses very fast and quiet.

OK. Now check out the images that I had shot during my vacation on Sapphire Princess covering from Taiwan to Japan using the Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye!

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Image: On the Sun Deck of Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 

 

It was a gloomy & wet day when I boarded the Sapphire Princess. Once on board, I decided to quickly settle my luggage in the stateroom and get to the top of the vessel (sun deck). For the simple reason that there will be lesser people there and I do not want to wait till everyone is up there then I start shooting.

 

 

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Image: On the Sun Deck of Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 

 

As expected from a typical Fisheye lens, you get the full 180 degree view, and it is crucial if you are going to shoot in & around the cruise ship as spaces are carefully utilized up to 90%. I have always wanted to shoot the view from/on a cruise ship and it is like a dream comes true.

 


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Image: On the Sun Deck of Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.  

 


What surprised me was the details captured in every image. (You may click on any of the image on this article and blow them up to see). I was shooting between F2.8 to F5.6 throughout and the images are super sharp even at the outer distorted circumference. Some of the fisheye lenses that I had used from other brands started to have soft corners – a typical optical phenomenon – but definitely not on this little Olympus Fisheye.

 

 

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Image: On the Sun Deck of Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 
Personally I own several fisheye lenses for different systems (brands) and I like how the lens distorts and changes perspective, plus the ultra-super-uber wide focal range, fisheye lenses are capable of many things apart from just making everything round. For those new to Fisheye lenses, the close focusing distance + the high magnification ratio allows you to do some form of macro to an extent, or use it as an interesting portrait lens given the bokeh possibility. In short, you will enjoy hours and hours of fun with a fisheye lens!

 

 

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Image: On the Sun Deck of Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 
The couple above was trying to avoid my frame, but this is a (badass) fisheye lens. No one escapes the angle line of vision! After I got all the shots that I wanted on the sun deck, it’s time to explore the ship’s interior. You can see from the below images, the Olympus 8mm fisheye does not disappoint and perform well even in super low-light shooting condition. (and I wasn’t even using F1.8!)

 

 

sigma 

 

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Image: Staircase in between Decks on board Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye. 

 

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Image: Took this shot from inside a Fine-Dinning Restaurant on board Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 

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Image: Took this shot at the main Piazza on board Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 

The above shot was shot vertically giving a very magnificent perspective for an interior shot covering from ground all the way up to the ceiling and across many floors. In tight confined spaces especially on a cruise ship, a fisheye lens is definitely fun & important to have.

 

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Image: The Stateroom Corridor on board Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 
And I waited until everyone went to bed before I make my way up to the sun deck again. I wanted some night shots and also test the Fisheye lens + OM-D EM1 MarkII combo to see how they behave and perform. The result is definitely more than satisfied from the below images.

 

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Image: Night on the Sun Deck on board Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

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Image: Night on the Sun Deck on board Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

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Image: Night on the Sun Deck on board Sapphire Princess, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 

I do not know about you but I am certainly thrilled with the images. Not to even mention the sharpness and details that are all present in every image, the fisheye performs well and lives up to its designation as a “PRO” lens and indeed, this is one shark of a fisheye lens.

Took the fisheye lens out to Okinawa and took the below image inside the castle as well a shot from a supermarket while I was at Ishigaki too.
(There’s a lot more images on my Facebook album)

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Image: Ancient Ryukyu Castle at Okinawa Japan, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

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Image: Ancient Ryukyu Castle at Okinawa Japan, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 

Lastly, a shot of Taipei’s main train station (below) is a must too. Many had done panorama shots at this location but very little fisheye shots. Check out the below image!

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Image: Ancient Ryukyu Castle at Okinawa Japan, shot with Olympus 8mm F1.8 PRO M.Zuiko Digital ED Fisheye.

 
To sum things up, the Olympus 8mm fisheye is an amazing lens for Micro Four-Third systems. From the uber bright F1.8 aperture to its corner-to-corner sharpness, seriously I feel that the asking price is reasonable although many of you are complaining that it is expensive. Well, I had tested this lens and saw what this lens is capable of, you should look beyond the price tag and as a photographer, you know quality lenses comes with a price. This Fisheye is definitely worthy of its asking price.

 

OK Guys, Buy your Olympus gear here.

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Image: Editor AL doing “his thing” again on Ishigaki, Okinawa Japan.

 

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Editor’s Note: Thank you Olympus Singapore!

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About Olympus http://www.olympusimage.com.sg
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About Ourshutterjourney.com
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apd

About Editor AL

About The Web Editor: http://about.me/shutterjourney
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