smak's reviews

  • Olympus 8mm f/3.5 Zuiko Digital Fisheye

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    Incredible build quality, high image-quality, great fun to use.
    Not cheap, relatively heavy and large, of limited use.

    The first thing I noticed with this lens is it's incredible build quality. The barrel is all metal, it is weathersealed, there's a nice metal lenscap, and it simply says "quality item" from every angle. The downside of this is that it is relatively heavy, and large-ish. (especially for a 4/3 lens)

    Optically this lens is very good; it focuses very close too, which is useful with a fisheye. The downside is there's some purple fringing in high-contrast areas on the edge of the frame, but this seems hard to avoid with fisheyes. The effect becomes less with the aperture stopped down a bit. Flare-resistance is truly excellent.

    The huge 180-degree angle of view is great fun to use, but the fisheye-distortion may make this lens of limited use to some people; but, the images can be "de-fished" automatically using Olympus Studio software, which makes this lens into a normal superwide.

    The price is high, but considering the good build-quality and good optical quality not outrageous. The results are unique, and it can be a real "problem solver", or simply a very nice toy...

    reviewed December 24th, 2006