Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.5

Started 2 months ago | User reviews thread
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JohnLock
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Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm F3.5
2 months ago

I've had this fish eye lens for a little over a month now, and have found it to be one of the most exciting lenses I've ever owned. It's amazingly small, light and has excellent build quality. I really needed the AF of this particular lens and am definitely glad I got it. AF is quick and accurate and I have no regrets in this regard. The 8mm will focus to about 5 inches from the sensor plane, meaning 3-3.5" from the front element.

This lens is quite sharp but of course final sharpness depends on the subject and the lens curvature as distance from center increases. Although I've been using it mostly as an ultra-wide landscape lens with good success, it's also useful for unusual close-up views of some subjects, e.g. I've done several flower photos that I like. I do a lot of de-fishing using Paint Shop Pro X6-- it's easy to use and does a decent job. Of course some AOV is lost during the de-fish process.

Initially I was quite concerned about excessive flare, but no, I've had standard zoom lenses that exhibited worse flaring than this fish-eye. But I don't want to over state this. The 8mm can be made to flare, and quite badly at that with a full sun in the photo, but if the sun is filtered some by clouds, tree limbs and leaves or anything else, I've found it really quite easy to work around the flare issue. In some cases though it's a matter of waiting for conditions to change for a shot you want. Flare(s) can range from tight discreet blobs that are fairly easy to deal with in post to large diffuse blobs that pretty much ruin the shot-- those are the tough ones.

Lastly, filters cannot be used on this lens and when nearly invisible particles, whether water, dust or whatever get on the lens, they can distinctly show up in the photo as white blobs, or small specs. I've started carrying micro-fiber cloths and gently cleaning the lens with just breath and the cloths. Be sure there is no grit on the lens before rubbing to clean it. As I shoot a lot in very high humidity along beaches and coastal headlands keeping the front element clean is imperative.

I'll try posting some example photos this evening.

JL

 JohnLock's gear list:JohnLock's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II +6 more
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