Handling and Features
The 15mm Body Cap "pancake" lens gives the equivalent of 30mm in 35mm equivalent terms, and is available for around £60 or was available for free as part of a bundle with the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM3
and Lite E-PL5
Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap Handling and Features
The Olympus 15mm Body Cap lens is extremely compact, measuring just 9mm from front to back, with a diameter of 56mm, it weighs just 22 grams.
The focus lever has four positions, Off or closed, infinity focus, distant focus and close focus. Close focus puts the lens at it's closest focus distance of 30cm, and the lever can be set in between close and distant to set a different focus distance. When you switch the lever from off to "on" it automatically clicks into distant focus and switch to infinity you have to pull it back slightly, whilst making sure not to let any of the lens cover block the light path. There is a slight resistance to help you know when you have hit infinity, but it is quite subtle.
Trying to gauge the correct focus for close objects can be quite difficult due to most Olympus cameras lack of focus peaking, and the fixed aperture of f/8, as well as the general lack of sharpness from the lens. The aperture is fixed with a round disc in the middle of the lens.
Combined with the Olympus OM-D E-M5
it makes the camera quite pocketable, and if used with one of the more compact Olympus PEN cameras
would be extremely compact.
Overall the lens feels well put together with tough black plastics used for the lens barrel and the lens mount. There is no filter thread, and all that is provided in the box is the rear lens cap, as the front lens cap is built in.
Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap Performance
At an aperture of f/8 the lens should be at its sharpest, sharpness in the centre of the frame is quite reasonable, but drops as you leave the centre of the frame. Purple fringing appears to be low, however chromatic aberrations are visible towards the edges of the frame.
Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is quite noticeable when taking photos of bright subjects. There is a low level of barrel distortion, and the softness towards the corners is a bigger issue.
Despite this being a budget lens with a basic design, it coped well with the sun in the frame. The closest focusing distance is 30cm, and while this isn't going to give the best macro photos, it does provide a reasonable result, blurring the background.
Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap Sample Photos
Value for Money
Available for around £60 this lens is one of the cheapest lenses available, at this price point the most direct alternative would be the Wanderlust PinWide
with an extremely compact form factor (although shutter speeds will be much slower). Alternative "Toy" Lenses such as the Holga Plastic Lens
(available for around £20), SLR-Magic Toy-Lens
(£79), are available although none offer the compactness of the Olympus. You would need to spend at least double to buy a compact prime lens, such as the Panasonic 14mm
(available for around £189), or Sigma 19mm
(available for around £99 for the original model).
Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap Verdict
If you are regularly changing the lens on your camera, and would like to be able to pick the camera up and shoot straight away, then the Olympus 15mm f/8 body cap lens makes an excellent addition to your Micro Four Thirds camera. For quick results, and a relatively low price, the body cap lens delivers reasonable results, and with an Olympus camera, delivers bright saturated colours, which will look great when shared on the web.
Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap Pros
Makes your camera extremely compact
Good value for money
Decent build quality
Built in lens cover
Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap Cons
No electrical connection with the camera
Fixed f/8 aperture
Focus can be fiddly
VALUE FOR MONEY
Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap Specifications
- Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
- Olympus Micro Four Thirds
|Angle of View||72°|
|Filter Size||No Data|
|Box Contents||Lens Rear Cap (LR-2), Instruction Manual.|
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