1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Review Olympus 9mm BCL

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by gryphon1911, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    olympus_9mm_BCL.png
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    © Olympus Europe

    Background

    Sometimes things are just so inexpensive and different that you need to experiment. This was the case with the Olympus 9mm f/8 Body Cap Lens (BCL).

    Retailing at just $99, you may not think much of this "lens", which Olympus officially has listed in their catalog as an accessory. Along with the 9mm, Olympus also makes a 15mm BCL. Others that have reviewed them both state that the 9mm is the better of the 2.

    Let's find out how it performs.

    27021699852_4e1277afd1_k.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/160, f/8, ISO 200
    Olympus PEN-F

    Handling/Size/Weight
    This is tiny. Barely sticking out from the camera body at all. It is made of plastic so it weights next to nothing as well.

    This is a constant/fixed f/8 aperture lens so there is no aperture adjustment or aperture ring to contend with.

    There is honestly not a lot to say about this lens.

    31711876920_d42c178da2_k.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/500, f/8, ISO 200
    Olympus EM1 Mark II

    Weather Sealed

    Not on this guy! This is an all plastic body cap lens.

    16772929669_3ca323a328_k.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/100, f/8, ISO 250
    Olympus EM-5 Mark I

    Image Quality

    Let's level set. This is not going to be the sharpest lens in the tool kit. However, this lens is actually better than you'd expect it to be.

    You are already starting out at f/8 so you have a ton of depth from front to back of your image. Sharpness is actually pretty good considering.

    This is a fisheye lens too, so expect that kind of rendering and distortion in the final image.

    16574583199_8eefbd003a_k.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/60, f/8, ISO 2500
    Olympus EM-5 Mark I

    31246035324_f2700a6246_k.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/100, f/8, ISO 1250
    Olympus EM1 Mark II

    32087387815_32365e16bf_k.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/100, f/8, ISO 2000
    Olympus EM1 Mark II

    42273834614_af169a66da_k.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    1/640, f/8, ISO 200
    Olympus PEN-F

    Focusing
    Focusing is done via a 4 position lever at the bottom/front of the lens. Position 1 is closed and protects the lens element. The next 3 progressive positions are for close focus, middle focus(where it is probably used the most) and infinity focus.

    I found that the lever was easily bumped from position, so if using this lens, be careful to ensure that the lever stays in your intended position.

    VR/IBIS - Lens or Body Stabilization

    This is an m43 lens, so it can take advantage of the IBIS (in body image stabilization).

    Bottom Line
    This is not going to be your go to, everyday lens. What it can be is a fun experiment or a special occasion lens that gives you something different. Being f/8 it really works best when there is ample light, but with m43 IBIS or putting it on a tripod for low light - you can still get some good images in those situations.

    While $100 might not be worth it to you new, you can find these used for half that or less.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Wow Wow x 1
  2. relic

    relic Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    879
    Oct 21, 2010
    North Carolina, USA
    Excellent, useful review-- thank you. I just wanted to add, as a reminder, that I think one must set the focal length manually to get IBIS with this lens since there are no electrical connections to the camera.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. Mihau

    Mihau Mu-43 Rookie

    22
    Aug 10, 2016
    Poland
    Thanks for the informative review.

    Regarding IBIS this is really important. I've just ruined my shots by forgeting to set it correctly. You may not be aware of the problem especially if you disable half shutter press stabilization to save battery. Hey Olympus, there could be some kind of notification when turning the camera on. ;) 
    Until then I put some stickers on the cap and legacy lens adapter as a reminder.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  4. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I use mine every so often and never worry about the IBIS that is always on.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again and again Subscribing Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Great review.
    I like your style.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  6. twigboy

    twigboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    699
    Sep 10, 2016
    Virginia
    A quick check on the Olympus site shows that 4 out of 13 current "visionaries" claim use of this lens, among their Pro lenses: Visionaries | Olympus
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. mcgruff

    mcgruff Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    26
    May 29, 2013
    Irvine, CA
    Pulled this a couple years ago with this lens. (Some noticeable fringing) It’s such a cliche, but it applies to this thing: “it is what it is”. It weighs nothing and you can literally put it in your shirt pocket. It has never disappointed because I know what it is.

    4D77951D-303E-45FA-AB09-7B5359F32E12.jpeg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. .
    .
    Got mine for A$45 which I consider a bargain for a bit of fun

    43986408375_33c22568b0_o.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Olympus 9mm fisheye BCL QUT by Kevin Dickinson, on Flickr
    29962342817_16d076d2e4_o.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Olympus 9mm fisheye BCL QUT De-fished by Kevin Dickinson, on Flickr
    44178194754_0b7f47f121_o.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Olympus 9mm fisheye BCL Brisbane Town Hall by Kevin Dickinson, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 6
  9. AchinPotua

    AchinPotua Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Aug 18, 2018
    INDIA
    • Like Like x 5
  10. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    313
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    Lightroom users who want to correct the distortion from the 9mm. Odd cap lens can use the profiles available here. For those who also/instead use DxO PhotoLab, you can correct the distortion equally well. Go to the Geometry panel, and in the Distortion section choose manual correction, fisheye type. An intensity setting around 63-68 is optimum.
     
    • Informative Informative x 4
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.