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View Full Version : Digital Lenses Zuiko Digital (Olympus) 8mm f3.5 - High Grade - Fisheye



craig
09-29-2005, 11:57 PM
Focal length: 8mm
Angle of view: 180
closest focusing distance: .135m
Max aperture: f3.5
Min Aperture: f22
Filter size: none
Dimensions 79x78 mm
weight: 16 oz.
tele 1.4: yes
EX tube: no
Price: $799

Olympus Website (http://www.olympusamerica.com/e1/sys_lens_8mm.asp)

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4209

craig
09-30-2005, 12:05 AM
Our own mini review including pictures, and test.

craig
09-30-2005, 12:06 AM
Other reviews online. ... If you see one, add it to the user section and I will place it in here.

craig
09-30-2005, 12:07 AM
Please use this format, or else you will be deleted!!!
Pros:
Cons:
price paid:
Other info:

Hokuto
03-08-2006, 08:32 AM
A lot of gnashing of teeth has been heard over on DPR regarding what some consider an untenable level of CA in the lens samples people've been getting. Perhaps there is a QC issue here, so I don't want to make a blanket statement, but based on the few shots I got to take with an 8mm a few weeks ago, I've seen lots worse from other brands, so I personally don't consider the amount of CA a deal-killer for a lens this wide, but YMMV.

I used this discussion, though, as the opportunity to check Silkypix's built-in CA suppression control (something I rarely get to use with Oly lenses :) ).

Here's a comparison of an image I took in Shinjuku's Yodobashi a few weeks ago: first the original:
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/technical/P2115127cr0w1.jpg

Interestingly, there's no CA in the lights at the top of the image, but over on the left corners, there is:
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/technical/P2115127cr0300.jpg
(300% crop)

Silkypix has a CA control function that cleans it up using two sliders, one for red and one for blue, although increasing the red adjust excessively will result in a replacement with green, as shown here (look along the vertical edge of the sign to the right of the lights):
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c197/Peregrinor/technical/P2115127cr1300.jpg
(300% crop)

This may be especially problematic with the red-tinged CA produced by the fluorescents here, since I cranked up the CA suppression very high for emphasis; in real life I'd evaluate the entire image to decide on the trade-off level of suppression between the more-objectionable purple and the slight green.

OzRay
03-16-2006, 11:16 PM
What's a fisheye lens used for?

To take photographs, naturally; but photographs of a completely different kind. With a fisheye, it’s that extreme angle of view that makes for very interesting photographs, almost regardless of the subject matter. This is not a lens for everyone and you can go a bit wild with your photography if not careful.

But when taken in a considered manner, and with appropriate subjects, one can get extreme wide angle shots that look fairly natural, or shots that utilise the fisheye ‘look’ to its maximum. This is not a circular fisheye, but one that fully fills the frame; however, because of its extreme field of view, some of the distortion associated with a circular fisheye is naturally in the images.

The Technical Bits

I won’t go into specifications, as these are readily available all over the place, but for those who don’t know where ‘all over the place is’, here’s a start:

http://www.olympus-europa.com/consumer/dslr.htm

Physically, the 8mm fisheye is a solid lens; I would call actually it chunky, a bit like a British Bulldog. Photos don’t do it justice; you have to attach this lens to a camera to truly appreciate what it’s really like in the flesh. Speaking of flesh, this is a lens of very robust construction. It appears to be all metal, including the lens hood (fixed) and lens cap. Its waterproof (I call these pro lenses waterproof, rather than Olympus’s fairly tame ‘splash proof’).

The most noticeable feature of this lens is of course the front element. It’s by no means as pronounced as that on the 7-14mm, but it occupies the entire front of the lens. If you have a 14-54mm lens, just imagine the entire front being a gently curving piece of glass, and I mean right across from one side of the filter thread to the other. For those with the 14-45mm, it’s about as big as the petals at the end of your lens hood.

This means that you have to take care of that front element, as there are no filters that you can screw on for protection (unless you want to walk around with a marine housing). The only protection you get is that metal lens cap that slides over the lens hood; lose that and you’re going to get twitchy, not the least because of the potential replacement cost.

Additionally, because of the extreme close focussing distance of 2cm, you can very easily jam that front element into your subject. You very, and I mean very, quickly begin to chant the mantra, ‘don’t get too close, don’t get too close’.

In the Field

OK, first off, it’s a fisheye lens and you’re going to get extreme distortion effects, as already stated. There’s no way around this, but that’s not such an impediment, as there are workarounds; more on this later. You just have to take a different perspective (pun intended) to your view of life when using a fisheye. It can actually be quite rewarding and, if you don’t go silly, you can get some fantastic results and a number of such examples have already been posted.

The major issue with a lens of this type is that it takes in just about everything, including your feet, if you’re not alert. So that means you don’t take photographs in the way you would with say the 14-54mm or even the 11-22mm, you have to look at every edge and corner of the viewing screen to see that something like your dog’s nose is not poking out from the side.

The thing about this lens is that while you get distortion, you get no light fall off at the edges and everything is tack sharp corner to corner. You also get incredible depth of field; if you want soft bokeh, forget it. In the photos that I posted of the lounge/dining room earlier, you can nearly read the words on a print in the far background. Given more MP than the E1 has, you probably could read the words.

A few other things that I found is that the 8mm focuses very fast and why shouldn’t it; everything is nearly in focus all the time anyway. I suspect that the motor only has to move the elements mere fractions, compared to other lenses going from closest focus to infinity.

Did I mention that you should take care with this lens? I’ve had it for only a day and already I’ve needed to give it a mild cleaning four times. Go poking around such things as flowers, and you’ll invariably get something stuck on the front. This is probably not going to be my lens of choice when I’m standing on a rocky beach outcrop, facing salt spray whipped up by a headwind. Get a speck on this little bugger and it’ll show up like dust on a sensor, actually worse. And don't go pointing this lens at a kid with an ice cream or an exited puppy.

And about that fisheye distortion; what does one do about it? Well, if you’re a Studio owner, apparently the latest update includes de-fishing, but it doesn’t appear to offer a lot of intervention. If you’re a PS or PSP X user, then these programs offer their own de-fishing capabilities. PSP X has a very good capability that allows you to select the degree of de-fishing, which is handy because every photo will require different degrees of adjustment, depending on the subject matter. It’s definitely not a case of ‘one hat fits all’.

De-fishing makes photos taken with the fisheye look quite normal, but you do lose some of the image from the edges, depending on the degree of de-fishing. But that’s exactly what happens when you do perspective adjustments, if you’ve taken shots with a ‘normal’ wide angle lens of tall buildings, for example.

The other interesting feature about the 8mm is that if you couple it with the EC-14 tele-extender, you actually get a wider field of view than you do with the 11-22mm at 11mm. In theory the 8mm with the EC-14 should be 11.2mm, but in practice it’s more like 10mm or less. It still has some of the fisheye distortion, but even when de-fished, you have a greater field of view remaining than with the 11-22mm.

So where are the photos you might ask? They are still out there waiting to be retrieved. I really haven’t had the time to take any serious photos and I don’t like to post shots that have no real visual quality; the room shots were there for a technical reason. Hopefully, I’ll get the time and opportunity for serious stuff soon.

Tchou
03-17-2006, 04:10 PM
Hi, my first post on this forum...
I went to Multimedia Image Photo Show in Paris today and I had the opportunity to play a little bit with oly lenses (all the ones I cannot afford), my only regret is that they hadn't the 7-14 to play with, but the Fisheye was here...
As some already said it is quite wide and i found it very funny to play with, I showed the results to a friend from my photo club and he was quite impressed with the results...
I just played with studio and it's new options (de-fisheye)... here are the results :
original :
http://img391.imageshack.us/img391/1921/31718622ld.jpg
de fisheyed image :
http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/8505/3171862fec3oq.jpg

BL3
05-20-2006, 07:06 AM
Just want to add a few thoughts to the other excellent posts here: This lens is way fun to shoot. I bought it so I could shoot interiors, but soon found that I was compulsively "snapping" at everything I could (New Lens Syndrome?). The 8mm is much more versatile than I had imagined. Not being a Studio or CS2 user, I imported "PTLens" for $10, as it has excellent de-fishing software and pretty good CA correction, even though it doesn't yet have a default setting for the 8mm like it does for almost all other Zuiko lenses. I have found, however, that when a photo is de-fished, you end up exchanging one kind of distortion for another, and you lose field of view as well. So, de-fish sparingly (at least for me). I'd like to add that when shooting outdoors, that huge field of view admits more sky than with other lenses, and ESP metering is usually overwhelmed. So I have to check the histogram in a trial exposure, and usually end up cranking in a full stop of less light to accomodate all the sky. Oh yeah, another irrelevant note is that the lens looks cool--I always get compliments from fellow photogs about the 8mm/E-1 rig. Accompanying shots, the first defished, the second not defished:

http://bl3.smugmug.com/photos/71931476-M.jpg

http://bl3.smugmug.com/photos/73866129-M.jpg

Admittedly this lens is capable of generating some nasty chromatic aberration that I can't attenuate with PT Lens, but it should have appeared in the above shot--silhouetted foliage, and it's not really problematic here (at least at this low res web posting). Nevertheless, CA can be a problem with this lens (and my 11-22 as well) and cropping is sometimes the only cure. (I haven't tried RAW/Studio workflow, however.)

One final note, Ray is right, the front element on this lens will not accomodate any kind of filter, and its slightly bulbous profile makes it a prodigious rain/dust/schmutz magnet, so carry some kind of lens cleaning element when using this lens.

Rocky

cisaaca
06-12-2006, 08:30 AM
I have to agree with BL3 here too... its so tempting to shoot everything on the Fisheye these days... I have tried that with fashion, with interiors, everything! Its such a fun lens to use. I de-fish the lens a little, or rather distortion correct, so that the warping is minimised and yet retaining as much details from the wide angle coverage. I will look through the shots that I have taken and attach some pics later.

cisaaca
06-12-2006, 08:36 AM
Here is a nightshot taken with the 8mm fisheye, slightly "de-fished" in Photoshop CS2.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g38/cisaaca/travels/church-in-beijing-defished.jpg

Its an early Catholic church in Beijing. Notice the Chinese wordings on the building.

AlanF
07-11-2007, 07:09 PM
First impressions at http://www.farfoto.com/070710_OLY_8MM/

CA at the corners is quite bad, but doesn't prevent stitching by PtGui.

The following is a crop, which I pixel-replicated 4X so that you can see it on the screen

http://www.farfoto.com/070710_OLY_8MM/P7116146A_CORNER_4X.jpg

drakedave
03-05-2008, 11:54 PM
Pros : I love this lens, you rapidly want to shoot everything with it, specially landscapes.
Cons : beware of chromatic aberrations in the highlights, maybe sometimes you need to shoot BW to avoid them.

Here are two examples taken with the 8mm


http://www.david-leonard.org/blog/images/137.jpg

http://www.david-leonard.org/blog/images/157.jpg

drakedave
05-07-2008, 03:47 AM
Here is another example of what you can get with this amazing lens :

http://www.david-leonard.org/divers/photosexternes/7.jpg

drakedave
10-30-2008, 09:56 AM
Another example with different kind of postprocessing :

http://www.david-leonard.org/blog/images/239.jpg