Olympus bills the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO as the brightest lens of its type. Andy Westlake investigates whether it lives up to its Pro tag.

Product Overview

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO

Pros:

  • - Fast maximum aperture
  • - Robust, splashproof construction
  • - Impressive image quality
  • - Fast, silent and accurate autofocus

Cons:

  • - Expensive compared to other fisheye lenses
  • - Bulky compared to other Micro Four Thirds fisheyes

Product:

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO Review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£799.99
TAGS:

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO Review – Image quality (2)

Aside from sharpness and chromatic aberration, other factors are important in overall image quality. Here I’ll take a quick look at some of them.

Flare

Flare handling is a pretty important property of a fisheye lens; when you’re shooting outside, that huge angle of view means that the sun can often end up on your shots. My initial impression is that the 8mm handles this very well, with minimal loss of contrast. The shot below has the sun towards the centre of the frame at f/5.6, and aside from a small red flare mark diametrically opposite, there are no ill effects at all.

Olympus 8mm f/1.8 fisheye on OM-D E-M5 II; f/5.6

Olympus 8mm f/1.8 fisheye on OM-D E-M5 II; f/5.6

Bokeh

The word ‘bokeh’ refers to the rendering of out-of-focus regions in an image, with specific consideration to their aesthetic quality. Some lenses do rather better than others in this regard; it’s not just a matter of focal length and aperture. I wouldn’t usually even think about looking at this with a fisheye, but the 8mm f/1.8 has a sufficiently large maximum aperture that, if you get in really, really close to the subject, you can get quite strongly-blurred backgrounds:

Olympus 8mm f/1.8 fisheye on OM-D E-M5. f/1.8

Olympus 8mm f/1.8 fisheye on OM-D E-M5, f/1.8

By focusing on the closest flower, just a few centimetres in front of the lens, the rest of the scene has been thrown out of focus. The background is quite smoothly and attractively blurred too. For a lens this wide, it’s a pretty good performance. Note also that the sun is in the bright area of the frame where, and while it’s veiled behind thin, high cloud, again there’s no flare problem at all.

  1. 1. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO Review - Introduction
  2. 2. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO Review - Image quality
  3. 3. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO Review - Image quality (2)
  4. 4. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO Review - conclusion
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