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Testing out the Olympus 9mm Fisheye Body Cap Lens at the Taj Mahal

Due to being strapped for space on a recent trip to India, I decided to bring along the compact Olympus 9mm Fisheye Body Cap Lens.  I thought it would be fun to test the lens at one of the 7 New Wonders of the World – The Taj Mahal. 

Taj Mahal Wide Angle View

First off, I have to say the Olympus 9m Fisheye Body Cap Lens is extremely small (it fits in a shirt pocket), light, and a lot of fun to shoot.

After this though, the review goes downhill.  The 9mm Fisheye Body Cap lens is a fun lens to shoot, and that is what it’s meant to be.  If you are looking for professional results, this may not be the lens for you.

Arches of the Taj Mahal

I’ll start off with a few of the lens features, so you know what you are getting when you purchase this lens.

  • It is a manual focus lens.  Autofocus will not work with this lens.   Also, since there are no connectors to the body, the focal length, aperture, and lens information will not be recorded in the EXIF data.
  • The lens is a constant f/8 aperture.  This is not the minimum aperture.  The lens will only shoot at f/8.
  • The lens only has 3 focus settings that are controlled by a lever at the bottom of the lens. The settings are:

    • Minimum Focus Distance (.2 meters)
    • Deep Focus (.5 meters and beyond)
    • Infinity

It may be helpful to turn on focus peaking to ensure your subject is in focus, especially for close up photos.

Olympus 9mm Fisheye Body Cap Lens

Here are a few of my observations when using the Olympus 9mm Fisheye Body Cap Lens.

Taj Mahal Wide Angle

  • The lens is noticeably soft at the edges.  You can see this in the wide angle picture of the Taj Mahal, and this is after sharpening.  The focus lever was set to infinity in this picture.
  • Chromatic Aberration is also evident in the photos.
  • Distortion also occurs in photos taken with the 9mm fisheye.  But that is to be expected with a fisheye lens.  You can see the distortion in the towers of the Taj Mahal in the wide angle photo, and this is after manual correction in Lightroom 5.
  • I noticed that several times the focusing lever slid open in my bag leaving the lens unprotected.
  • The lens is plastic and overall feels cheaply made.  It doesn’t feel like a $99 lens.  For a little more money ($249) the Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye has a much studier build and has variable aperture.  However, the Rokinon is also manual focus.  See my blog on the Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye lens.

Taking a Break at the Agra Fort

(Taken at the Agra Fort)

If you are looking for a really small body cap type lens to go out and have some fun, the Olympus 9mm Fisheye Body Cap Lens may be the lens for you.   However, if you want a more solid built Fisheye lens with better performance for your micro four thirds camera, check out the Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens.

Written by Martin Belan

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