Olympus recently provided a major firmware update to the E-M1 Mark II, their flagship camera. As part of that update they have included built-in fisheye compensation for the m.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 PRO. I'm a real fan of this lens, using it quite regularly for landscape and astrophotography. Whenever I pick it up I recognize that I am going to have to deal with the obvious distortion that comes with a fisheye lens. Well, now I don't have to.
The new compensation feature helps turn the 8mm lens from a typical fisheye lens into a rectilinear one. When engaged, the fisheye compensation generates a full resolution jpeg image that emulates a rectilinear lens. As such, two images are recorded, the corrected jpeg, and the original, uncorrected RAW file.
Accessing the fisheye compensation requires a bit of menu diving, but once engaged it will remain active until you disable the feature. This means that each time you attach the 8mm lens it will recall the previously programmed settings. Once set, a small icon on the rear LCD indicates that the feature is selected and which of the three settings you have enabled.
The images below illustrate the original, uncorrected image along with the 3 corrected settings. There are significant differences in the field of view between the uncorrected, narrow and wide settings. To make composing the image easier, the corrected image is viewed in real time on the LCD or the EVF.
For the two images below, notice the difference between the hydro lines and fence post.
8mm Corrected vs. 7mm
For many Olympus shooters a natural question might be, how does the corrected version's field of view compare to the 7mm focal length of the m.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO. The two images below help to illustrate the differences.
Upon careful examination you can clearly see that the corrected image from the 8mm lens has a slightly greater field of view than the 7mm focal length from the 7-14mm lens.
Overall, I have been pleased with the results I have gotten from the new built-in fisheye correction, particularly when using Setting 1. I really like the fact that I get both a jpeg and RAW image that I can work with. The jpeg image quality defaults to LN, not the higher quality LF setting so you may want to change this.
Since the images are digitally corrected some camera features are disabled. This includes the following;
For more information about the m.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 you can check out two other posts that I've written about this lens (told you I was a fan); website.
Peter Baumgarten is a professional photographer and educator. He is also an Olympus Visionary and NiSi Official Photographer.