Olympus 15mm F8.0 Body Cap Lens Review

10/21/2013 11:26:14 AM

The 15mm Body Cap "pancake" lens offers the equivalent view of 30mm lens in 35mm equivalent terms, and is on the market for $90 or is available for free as part coming with the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM3 and Lite E-PL5.

Description: Olympus 15mm f/8.0 Body Cap

Olympus 15mm f/8.0 Body Cap

Description: The product image

The 15mm cap lens mounted on OM-D E-M5 body

Features and Handling

The Olympus 15mm Body Cap lens is extremely compact; the size is only 9mm from front to back, with a 56mm diameter, it weighs only 22 grams.

The focus lever has four positions: off or closed, infinity focus, distance focus and close focus. The process of close focus places the lens at the closest focus distance of 30cm, and the lever is likely to be placed in between close and distance focus to set up a different focus distance. When you turn the lever from off to "on" it will automatically switches to distance focus and infinity and you have to pull it back a bit, while making sure not to let any of the lens cover prevents the light path. There is a little obstruction to help you realize when you've hit infinity, but it is rather subtle.

Attempting to assess the precise focus for near objects may be fairly hard because most of the Olympus cameras lack focus peaking, and the fixed aperture of f/8, as well as the lack of sharpness from the lens. The aperture is fixed with a circular disc in the middle of the lens.

Combined with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 it causes the camera to be quite easily put into the pockets, and if used with one of the more compact Olympus PEN cameras would be extremely compact.

In general, the lens creates the appropriate feeling when coming with tough black plastic used for the lenses and lens mount. There is no filter thread, and all that is provided in the box is the rear lens cap, because the front lens cap is built in.

Description: The lens cap

The lens cap


At an aperture of f/8, the lens should be at its sharpest, sharpness in the center of the frame is fairly good, but decreaseswhen you leave the center of the frame. Purple fringing seems to be low; still chromatic aberrations are visible towards the edges of the frame.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is pretty noticeable when shooting pictures of bright objects. There is a low level of barrel distortion, and the softness towards the corners is a bigger problem.

Although this is a budget lens with a basic design, it adapted well to the sun in the frame. The closest focusing distance is 30cm, and while this will not provide the best macro images, it gives a reasonable result, blurring the background.

Test images

Description: The test sample images

The test sample images


Sold for $90, this lens is one of the cheapest lenses available on the market out there; at this point, the most direct replaced price would be the Wanderlust PinWide with a greatly compact form factor (although shutter speeds will be much slower). "Toy" lenses replace the Holga Plastic Lenses (available for $45), SLR-Magic Toy-Lens ($118.5), which are available although they do not provide the compactness of the Olympus. You will need to spend at least twice to purchase a flagship compact lens, such as the Panasonic 14mm (available for $283.5), or Sigma 19mm (its price is $148.5 for the initial model).


If you frequently alter the lens on your camera, and want to opt for a camera and shoot immediately, then the body cap lens of the Olympus 15mm f/8 is a great addition to your Micro Four Thirds camera. For quick results, and a relatively low price, the body cap lens gives reasonable results, and with an Olympus camera, provides bright saturated colors, which is going to look great when shared on the web.


·         Makes your camera extremely compact

·         Be able to adjust the focus

·         Good value for money

·         The quality of the structure is rather good.

·         Built-in lens cover


·         Does not have electricity contact to the camera

·         Fixed Aperture at f/8

·         Focusing may be difficult to use

Olympus 15mm f/8 Body Cap Specifications


·         Lens Mounts: Panasonic Micro Four Thirds; Olympus Micro Four Thirds



·         Focal Length: 15mm

·         Angle of View: 72°

·         Max Aperture: f/8

·         Min Aperture: f/8

·         Filter Size: Not available

·         35mm equivalent: 30mm

·         Internal focusing: No



·         Min Focus: 30cm

·         Stabilized: No



·         Blades: 1

·         Elements: 3

·         Groups: 3


Box Contents

·         Box Contents: Lens Rear Cap (LR-2), Instruction Manual.



·         Weight: 22g

·         Height: 9mm



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