Inexpensive M43 walk-around prime lens

Rick_B

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It looks to be about the same size as the 8mm FE.



Are you referring to in-camera corrections? As a general rule I avoid those except for the FE corrections and have had no problem in using the corrected jpgs in HDR sequences and panoramas (although it is hard to see a need for a pano using such an UWA lens. I did it a couple of times to verify that it would work). The lens is very sharp and I do like the in-camera corrections since they allow me to frame the image I want to take properly without the FE distortion. I actually bought the lens to allow me to stop having to compose panoramas, but it has turned out to be more versatile than just that.
There was a time a few years back when I was doing a lot of interiors and exteriors that benefited from HDR, but they weren't big jobs and the tools at the time weren't great, so the in-camera HDR was actually pretty usable under the circumstances. When I saw that I couldn't get both FE corrections and HDR at the same time, it pretty much decided that lens's fate for me.

As for the Laowa's size, I struggled to find an angle that both gave a good view and didn't make it look larger than it is. It is quite a bit smaller - about ½" smaller in diameter, over an inch shorter in length, and a bit over half the weight.
 

ArizonaMike

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It is quite a bit smaller - about ½" smaller in diameter, over an inch shorter in length, and a bit over half the weight.
That is quite a bit. Maybe it is a good idea to look around to see if I can find a used one.
 

Rick_B

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Sorry - I overstated the difference in length a tiny bit - it's actually almost exactly an inch shorter (2.17 vs 3.15), not over an inch; weight is 6oz vs 11.11oz.
 

beameup

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Since I bought the M5.3 I have been looking for some inexpensive walk-around prime lenses. I have the17mm f/1.8 and have been quite happy with it, but was interested in something a bit wider - perhaps 12mm - but could find no comparable lens to the 17mm. Yes, I know about the 12mm f/1.2 but I want something a bit lighter in weight and cost.
I bought the 9mm body-cap lens for $89 and was shocked to see how good it really was. It can be "de-fished" easily. Makes your camera almost invisible: :laugh:
 
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I bought the 9mm body-cap lens for $89 and was shocked to see how good it really was. It can be "de-fished" easily. Makes your camera almost invisible: :laugh:
I used to lust for the 9-18mm but always told myself that I didn't need it because I have the 12-32mm and the 9mm bodycap for a really portable "9-32mm" setup.
The body cap is great fun, and usable for outdoor daytime shots. It failed me in a church, even though it was day outside it was too dark inside, and the camera only had 2 axis IBIS.

In the summer, I rented the 9-18 from a local retailer and was positively surprised about the rendering and color output of the thing, despite the "kit zoom" feeling.
But alas, it was still too expensive to justify. Recently, I found a good deal in used condition (175€) and bit the bullet. It's just a cool lens, and captures the essence of m43.

The body cap won't see much use now, but it's so cheap it's almost not worth the trouble to sell it. And it is very stealthy indeed :whistling:
 

ArizonaMike

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I have used both the Olympus Workspace software and PhotoLab 3 to compare their ability to de-fish the Olympus 8mm FE and the results are exactly the same, at least to the limit of my ability to distinguish between them. I used the default setting on the Olympus Workspace app for some raw images and the automatic distortion correction in PL3 and the sides and top seemed identical. One thing I have not done is take a sequence of 3 images at the varying corrected menu settings to compare the de-fished raw images against the corrected jpgs.

For both the default de-fishing ended where the sides of the corrected image began to distort too much to be usable but objects that were supposed to be upright and straight were still bent at an angle due to the FE effect. Generally I send those image to PS and use the distortion correction to straighten them out.

I can post the results if anyone is interested.
 

ArizonaMike

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You know there is a 12mm f2, right? Good size and aperture, not so good price.
Yes. I ended up buying it from Mpb for what seemed like a reasonable price - $349 for a lens in "like new" condition. It is a bit longer (physically) than I would have liked, noticeably longer than the Olympus 17mm f/1.8, but seems fine.
 
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That's a lens I'd really want to get... hard to justify it though as it is pretty expensive.
You got a good price for it... I rarely buy second hand but this may be a good idea for this lens.
 

ArizonaMike

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That's a lens I'd really want to get... hard to justify it though as it is pretty expensive.
You got a good price for it... I rarely buy second hand but this may be a good idea for this lens.
I only bought new lenses until I decided to try a used Olympus 12-50. The idea was that the lens was not a lens I expected to use much and it was very inexpensive since it was (and is) not a heavily used lens. I think it cost me something like $100. When it arrived I tested it and found it to be sharp with good color and working perfectly and, since it was a good deal lighter than my Olympus 12-40 and had a macro setting, I started to carry it around mounted on my M1.2.

Long story short, I fell in love with the lens and could not believe how versatile and useful it was and since it was a used lens and was working perfectly I started to buy more used lenses. Basically I have never been disappointed in any of the used lenses that I bought and if I thought it was not what I needed I was able to return it.

Now my first thought when thinking about a lens is to look at some of the better used lenses (specified as "Like New" or "Excellent" or even "Very Good") and I have this Olympus 12mm f/2 as well as an Olympus 17mm f/1.8, a Panasonic 12-32 and am thinking about an Olympus 30mm Macro.
 

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