Olympus 8mm f/1.8 Pro Fisheye Lens Review: quirky, ultra-distorted lens gets ‘Zuiko Pro’ treatment


posted Friday, May 29, 2015 at 1:42 PM EDT


To some, a fisheye lens might seem like just a novelty lens, but it definitely has its time and place, especially for skateboarding, surfing, and other extreme action sports scenes as well as underwater photography. With the recently-announced Olympus 8mm f/1.8 Pro Fisheye lens, the Japanese camera company has given the "Zuiko Pro" treatment to a brand new "super-ultra-wide" lens with a uniquely ultra-bright f/1.8 aperture.

Joining alongside the other Zuiko Pro lens, the 12-40mm f/2.8 and 40-150mm f/2.8, the new 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye features the same high-quality construction and weather sealing. The Fisheye lens provides a full 180-degree field of view, and the bright f/1.8 aperture provides lots of light-gathering capabilities -- great for underwater photography. The 8mm f/1.8 lens not only has a very close focusing distance, but also the f/1.8 aperture allows for a nice thin depth of field with pleasing out of focus backgrounds and good subject isolation, which all in all results in some really unique photographs.

We've have a chance to "test" this new lens, but unlike our typical SLRgear reviews, fisheye lenses aren't compatible with our testing software, so our review in this case is more qualitative than quantitative. But suffice it to say, the new 8mm f/1.8 Pro Fisheye produces sharp images and has the typical excellent build quality we've come to expect with Zuiko Pro lenses.

For all the details on this unique lens, head over to SLRgear for our Olympus 8mm f/1.8 Pro Fisheye review. Below are a couple sample photos taken with the 8mm lens shot by our lens technician Rob Murray. See a full selection of sample images, including full resolution files, over on our Flickr page.

If you're ready to place a pre-order for this brand-new optic, which retails for $999, check out one of our trusted affiliates. Buying this lens, or any other item, at one of these retailers helps support this site and keeps these reviews coming!

Panasonic GX1: f/1.8, 1/4000s, ISO 160
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Olympus 8mm f/1.8 Pro Fisheye Review