Olympus 8mm f1.8 (1 of 1)

If you are transitioning from a full frame system like the Canon 5d Mark III to Micro 4/3, you’ll immediately miss the field of view provided by lenses like the Canon 24mm f1.4 and Canon 16-35mm f2.8.  While a wide-angle perspective isn’t something you’ll use for everything it can be a very enjoyable look.

Olympus 8mm f1.8 bath time (1 of 1)

My search for good wide angle lens options started out with the Panasonic 7-14mm f4 which is very decent regarding image quality, it’s very lightweight, and you can pick it up for around $600. However, the f4 aperture was very limiting in low light conditions, and it isn’t very practical for any kind indoor shooting.

After almost a year of using the Panasonic 7-14mm f4, I finally got my hands on the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8, and it’s a great wide angle lens. The 7-14mm f2.8 is sharp wide open and has barrel distortion very well controlled very well controlled, build quality is top notch and the f2.8 aperture is a notable advantage. That said, the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 thing is massive. Part of the joy of shooting with the M43 format is the absolutely minuscule size of both lenses and camera body.

While the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 is a great lens, you will not find the term “minuscule” anywhere in its description. The all metal body is heavy, tough, and built like a tank and while those are all great features, if you want to travel light, this is not the lens for you.

Olympus 8mm f1.8 (1 of 1)

With that in mind, I thought I’d give the Olympus 8mm f1.8 lens a try. The 8mm f1.8 is far more manageable in terms of size, and if you are looking for a compact, lightweight, wide-angle prime, the Olympus 8mm is in a league of its own.

Olympus 8mm f1.8 (2 of 3)

As with any wide-angle lens, the front Element is bulbous and like many ultra wide angle lenses, there is a lot of barrel distortion. One unique feature of the 8mm f1.8 is the 4.6-inch maximum focal distance. That will give you the ability to fill the frame with only an eyeball. Here are a few examples of both the close focus distance and barrel distortion.

Olympus 8mm f1.8 (1 of 3)

The build quality of the Olympus 8mm f1.8 lens is as good as any other Olympus lens in their lineup. An all metal body, built-in lens hood, and a fly by wire focus ring pretty much cover the outside of the Olympus 8mm. Focus speeds are ultra fast and the f1.8 aperture easily allows for low light indoor shooting. A lens like this makes me want to go out and shoot live band performances and skateboarding videos. So far, I love it and I really look forward to reviewing this thing.

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