Olympus 9mm f/8 Fisheye Lens Cap - Review / Lens Test Report
Lens Reviews -
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2014
A while ago we reviewed the Olympus 15mm f/8 Lens Cap but, honestly, we weren't all that impressed. After all, there are several available pancake lenses around this focal length so there is a rather limited appeal in such an offering in our opinion. Seems as if Olympus agreed with this assessment ... and recently they released their 2nd shot - the Olympus 9mm f/8 Fisheye Lens Cap. Now THIS makes a lot more sense since most people don't own a fisheye nor want to invest big bucks into it. However, most people would certainly like to experiencing the joy of playing with one and at around 100EUR/US$, this is an investment that doesn't hurt usually.
That being said - please don't expect too much here. The price point is already an indicator here and Olympus calls it a Lens Cap for reasons. A better name may be 'toy lens' (similar to some Pentax Q lenses). It order to distinguish the Lens Cap from the conventional lineup, Olympus also omitted the usual "M.Zuiko" from the name. While it is manufactured by Olympus and obviously mountable to micro-four-thirds cameras, it has neither any electronics - thus it doesn't produce EXIF data - nor an aperture mechanism in the conventional sense - it has a fixed aperture of f/8. The Lens Cap does not feature an AF motor either. However, it is possible to focus manually via a tiny lever.
The 9mm f/8 Fisheye Lens Cap is a dwarfish being and weighs next to nothing really (30g) ... this is, however, a magnitude more than for the 15mm f/8 which reaches just 22g. ;-) The build quality is Okay - there is nothing wrong with the all-plastic body but the focus lever feels somewhat fragile. In 'transport mode' the lens cap has a ... well ... lens cap/cover similar to ones found in digicams. The 'built-in' lens gets exposed by turning the focus lever into working mode. The first 'click' is the infinity setting. From here on you can focus down to 0.20m. There's also a distinctive 'click' in the middle range which can be used as a one-size-fits-all setting (hyperfocal distance) for conventional scenes. The lens has a focus extension system so it moves a tiny bit when turning the lever. Unsurprisingly you cannot mount a filter but this is true for all fisheye lenses anyway.
It is quite interesting to note that Olympus has put some considerable efforts into the "lens" design this time. Now again, we aren't talking about a conventional lens here but Olympus has incorporated 2 aspherical elements which shows that they spend some thoughts about the optical quality.
|Equiv. focal length||"18mm" Fisheye (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||f/16 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||5 elements in 4 Groups inc. 2 aspherical elements|
|Number of aperture blades||fix|
|min. focus distance||0.2m (max. magnification 1:11)|
|Dimensions (L x W)||12x56mm|
|Other features||It's a lens cap ... and/or a fisheye|