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Three cheap-ish fisheye options, including a weird one

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Gerry, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. Gerry

    Gerry Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 3, 2012
    Bay Area, California
    Howdy! At the moment, the widest lens I have is the Panny 14mm, which is my "always on" lens. Having something a little wider would be nice, especially as I prepare for an island adventure. I was (and maybe still am) planning on picking up the Panasonic DMW-GWC1 converter to turn this into roughly an 11mm or so, I think it comes out to. However, I started thinking about fisheyes, as I'm also picking up an Oly TG-3 for underwater use, and they have a native teleconverter fisheye, the Olympus FCON-T01. Looks like it may be worth it to get that fisheye for the TG-3 in order to capture even more below-the-surface goodness.

    And then I think a cheap-ish fisheye could be really fun to play around with in Hawaii on land, too, if not also back here on the mainland when I get back home. So here, then, are the three options I see as possibilities for my E-P2:

    1) The Panny DMW-GFC1 Converter. Like the wide-angle DMW-GW1, it's specifically designed for the Panny 14mm I already own.

    2) The Oly 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens. Pro: Widest of my three options by a fair bit. Con: I presume that f8.0 will require good light. In other words, this fisheye might be a pip to use outdoors in Hawaii, but for darker indoor shots, maybe not so much.

    3) Okay, this is a weird one. But if I get the Olympus FCON-T01 for my TG-3, could I possibly adapt it to fit my Panny 14mm lens? Even though I've seen one or two conflicting reports of a 45mm mount thread on the FCON-T01, most sites seem to list the mount thread as 40.5mm. The Panny 14mm accepts 46mm filters. A step down ring should do the trick, right? The question is: Just what sort of result would I get from this jury-rigged combo? Serious vignetting? Too much?

    3.5) I guess I could just use the Olympus FCON-T01 on the TG-3, even on land, I guess, for all my fisheye needs, and forget about fisheye-ing with my EP-2. Seems like an insult to my EP-2, though.

    Any one of these options would cost me, at most, half of what the Rokinon/Samyang/Bower 7.5mm costs, and should all be smaller and lighter, too. And I don't think I need to go all the way down to 7.5mm at this time. So I'm not considering that lens.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts as to the above three options. I'm liking the idea of playing around with the fisheye enough that I'm even starting to think about scrapping my plans to buy the Panasonic DMW-GWC1 wide angle converter. Perhaps between the 14mm and any one of the above three fisheye options, maybe I wouldn't miss the in-between focal length.

    Thanks in advance for any and all responses!
  2. Geemone

    Geemone Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2014
    I have both the 14/2.5 and the DMW-GWC1 converter. The latter is a must have! I have compared the results with other lenses of similar focal range, icluding the truly superb Fuji XF 14/2.8 and could not find a difference in sharpness, BQ oder distortion (which even was one of the reasons, why I sold my Fuji X gear and stuck with M4/3 only...).

    But roughly 11mm were not wide enough for some of the projects I have. The 7-14mm Panasonic is to costy for me and the 9mm of the Olympus 9-18 wasn't enough difference to the 11mm of the DMW-GWC1.
    So I went for the Samyang 7.5mm Fisheye which I easily defish with JPG Illuminator. I know, it's a compromise, but it gives me both worlds, a fisheye if I want that effect and a regular ultra wideangle when defished. And the lens is sharp, very sharp! Only drawback, it has no IS and no AF, but in that focal range, that's not really a problem...
    • Like Like x 1
  3. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    Hi, I own olympus 9mm bodycap. It's a good...cap lens :p 

    And yes, with a good amount of light you get the best results with it, even at dusk, or with low iso and a good tripod you can get beautiful shoots.
    No way -almost for me- to use it indoor, but I think who wants these bodycap is searching for something very wide for landscape and mainly outdoor (as I wanted when I purchased it).
    Remember it's NOT a zuiko lens, meaning that at centre you'll get good sharpness, lower at sides

    some pics can explain better what you can get

    • Like Like x 1
  4. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    The Rokinon 7.5mm is amazing. Sharp, great handling, brain-dead easy focus. And you can defish it digitally. Check some reviews, and put it back on your consideration list :) 
    • Like Like x 2
  5. stargate

    stargate Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 14, 2013
    I have a wide converter that I use with my 14-42 lens and it is OK. The mount diameter does matter!. The 14mm is already wide and so any step down ring will cause serious vigneting. I have bought mine a lot wider on purpose. Mine has a mount diameter of 62mm! That makes it big and heavy, so to use it I just hold it in front of the lens instead of screwing it on. It is not very convenient but it works. Just be sure to keep in mind that these converters are just for the occasional (rare) use. If you get hooked with the ultra wide field of view (as I am) your best bet is the 7.5mm fisheye and/or the 9-18 zoom.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    The 9mm BCL is a great deal for daylight shooting. I had a lot of fun with it at the Great Wall recently... the 12-40mm wasn't feeling near wide enough (and the Oly 7-14mm and Oly 8mm aren't travel-friendly).

    I do occasional real-estate shots, and if that's what you mean by 'indoor shots', you may need a 7.5 fisheye or 8mm fisheye or a 7-14mm rectilinear (I've found 7mm rectilinear not wide enough for small rooms though). You'll normally need to apply distortion-correction / de-fishing or walls and doors will look weird.
    Otherwise, what do you plan to use a fisheye indoors for?

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Gerry

    Gerry Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 3, 2012
    Bay Area, California
    Ha! Guess what? I found myself at a camera store today that had in stock the FCON-T01 fisheye converter designed specifically for the Oly Tough TG series cameras. And although they didn't have the right sized step right ring, I held the converter in front of my Panny 14mm, and it looked great! I bought it, and it'll do double duty as a fisheye for both the TG-3 and the 14mm on my EP-2.

    In fact, just now back here at home, I held up a step ring that goes all the way down to 37mm in from of my 14mm lens, and I see no vignetting! The glass on that front of that lens is actually very small, and I don't think I'm going to be affected at all. I just need to order myself the right sized step down ring. Cool beans.

    And if I really, really get into the whole fisheye look, maybe I'll consider the Rokinon one day. More likely, though, I'll just adapt this fisheye onto my always-on-me LX100... :smile:
  8. Geemone

    Geemone Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2014
    Please post some results once you have them of that FCON-T01 on your 14mm. Thanks.

    EDIT: Just saw, that this converter only offers 0.74x wideangle. That ist similiar to that of the Panasonic DMW-GWC1, which is specifically made for the 14/2.5 and is also lighter and cheaper. And it has definitely no distortion at all... .
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Legend

    Mar 21, 2014
    The 7.5mm/3.5 fisheye is a superb lens. I know it's not as convenient, but it's definitely worth the money, even as a general ultrawide lens. The results are just so much better than anything else I've seen, and you can find it for around $200. Mine's a Bower version.

    It seems like a big reason for is that you're unlikely to need to go "that wide." But I'd be willing to bet you that if you de-fished the 7.5mm and then cropped a narrower range from the middle, you'd still get more detail and fewer aberrations than any of the alternatives you're evaluating right now.
  10. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    14 + wide angle is wide enough for real estate work and I don't have to defish. I am NOT happy with the quality, however, nor am I happy with how it attaches to the lens.

    Rokinon 7.5/3.5 is an amazing lens for the $200 I paid. Super sharp and fun. Defishing is something I want to get into so I don't have to use the above combination for real estate. What I've been doing so far is just cropping and not defishing.

    9mm BCL fisheye: haven't tried but sounds fun!
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