Thoughts on the Olympus Body Cap Lens

I had ordered the slightly silly F8 body cap lens from Olympus a while back and not paid it much attention until it arrived yesterday.

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It’s so small it makes the E-M5 look outsized (that statement is so ridiculous I’ll leave that there for a while)… It’s a manual focus lens and doesn’t communicate with the body.

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Having now run it through its paces the high level view is that the body cap lens is fun but don’t expect optical perfection. This is very much Olympus meets holga…

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Optically this lens is a little bit pants. The corners are soft and a little smeary. There is also quite a bit of vignetting. However, it’s enjoyable to shoot with because you have to shift your shooting style to compensate for the narrow (fixed) aperture and manual focus. To be fair the centre is sharp even if the corners are not.

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So what’s the point? To be frank, I’m not really sure. If it was to create an inexpensive lens that’s kind of fun, yes, that works except that the UK price of £69 is beyond a “fun” lens. I bought two of these, but one at least is going straight back. Having said that, I suspect the old story of the UK being “treasure island” is repeated again – I understand the US price is $59 which seems far more reasonable.

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Ignoring the price, this is enjoyable to use, and if you enjoy the challenge of something different, maybe this is for you. I certainly think this is a fun street shooting lens. You can’t really use it in poor light, or with moving subjects, but it’s so small that it’s incredibly discrete. About the only thing that draws attention is using the small switch to focus it.

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If you would like to see more shots I took with the body cap lens they can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgoldswo/archives/date-posted/2012/11/01/

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