My take / informal review of the 15mm F8 bodycap lens

Started Oct 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Rick_Hunter
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My take / informal review of the 15mm F8 bodycap lens
Oct 22, 2012

Well, got it for 44 euros, guess I just couldn't resist getting a new toy... Took it out this weekend in Trieste (italian town) for a spin.

I'll be quick: yes, it's very small (barely bigger than your standard body cap) and yes it's very light at just 22 grams (30 with the rear cap)

As for ergonomics: the only control on the lens is the little lever, which has 4 positions:

1 lencap closed (lever clicks in this position)

2 infinity focus (lever does NOT click in this position, you have to be careful, more about this later)

3 middle distance focus (lever clicks in this position)

4 close up focus (lever does NOT click in this position, just reaches the end of its throw)

Focusing: middle distance focus is the only one I'd use for candids or street photography where you want to shoot quickly without focusing, works best with subjects roughly around 4-7 meters from the camera.

Infinity focus: don't trust the lens markings: point somewhere at infinity, use magnified live view and focus manually until it is really focused at infinity. On my sample it is a little bit off from the infinity mark on the lens.

Focusing with the little lever is not very practical, but possible with decent accuracy (using magnified live view) after a little practice.

And now the important part: optical quality.

First: i'd like to say that this lens seems to perform better up close than it does at a distance.

With this caveat in mind, I'll just say that central sharpness is good/decent (think about cheap kit lens sharpness) while corner/peripheral sharpness is, at best, of cheap point & shoot quality, especially at longer distances. Microcontrast is a bit lacking on the whole frame. Mind you: in good light I think you could get pretty decent medium sized prints from this lens.

My take on it? If you already have the panasonic 20mm or 14mm, forget it, save your money for something else. Especially if you have the 14mm. Size wise, not much difference, iq wise, massive difference. Not to mention larger aperture, autofocus, build quality, etc...

 Rick_Hunter's gear list:Rick_Hunter's gear list
Nikon D3S Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +8 more
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