Olympus 9mm Body Cap Lens and Street Photography

Today I headed out to explore possibilities with the Olympus 9mm Body Cap Fisheye Lens.   While at 120° angle of view, it is not a true fisheye it provides some definite creative possibilities and alternative points of view.   My trip was short as I got so  focused on photographs and sprained my left ankle pretty good on some of Tarlac’s “uneven”sidewalks and cracked Femur.   NOTE: None of these photos are SOOC (Straight Out Of the Camera.)   I am  old school and always post process  images, as even in the old film days, all good images were adjusted in processing for color, exposure, contrast and dodging and burning were common dark room techniques to improve detail capture..  All of the images are  post processed in Lightroom from the Olympus RAW files.  Typical adjustments are for highlights, shadows, mid-tone contrast (clarity)  and color vibrance.  Some light sharpening is applied and for  higher ISO’s some light noise reduction.  I am a fan of detail so apply noise reduction only to the point that it does not disrupt detail.   One of the things I like about my Olympus is the tremendous flexibility the RAW files provide even under harsh lighting situations.

This photo was actually taken with the 8mm in February at my Cousin's wedding. Indoors available light. ISO 3200. I'm still pretty impressed by the detail it captured.

This photo was actually taken with the 9mm in February at my Cousin’s wedding. Indoors available light. ISO 3200. I’m still pretty impressed by the detail it captured.

 

Here you can see the lens and how if fits on a camera body. Barely larger then a body cop itself. Note the lever at the bottom. It is a fully manual lens with only the F8 aperture and a simple manual focus mechanism. Pushed all the way to the left, a shutter closes over the lens to protect it. The infinity setting will give a depth of field that is suitable for long shots, but the single dot is the most common use setting. It will cover from .5 meter to most reasonable distances. There is a closeup setting for .2 meter or about .66 of a foot for very close focus.

Here you can see the lens and how if fits on a camera body. Barely larger then a body cop itself. Note the lever at the bottom. It is a fully manual lens with only the F8 aperture and a simple manual focus mechanism. Pushed all the way to the left, a shutter closes over the lens to protect it. The infinity setting will give a depth of field that is suitable for long shots, but the single dot is the most common use setting. It will cover from .5 meter to most reasonable distances. There is a closeup setting for .2 meter or about .66 of a foot for very close focus.  In other words, depth of field is seldom a problem.   The “dot” for deep focus probably will cover 90% of most people’s shooting is what all of my photos were taken at.  For that reason it is a great lens for candid from the hip shots.   Focus is seldom a problem.

Olympus 8mm Body Cap Fisheye Lens in Tarlac City, Phlippines.

Olympus 9mm Body Cap Fisheye Lens in Tarlac City, Philippines.  This still shot  was prior to a short video  film I will also link to after I sprained my ankle and had to catch a trike home. This was on my way home in the trike as I could no longer walk on my injured ankle.  This is traveling down Zemora street by the Tarlac University.  

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While riding the trike back, I captured freehand (no viewfinder) this shot of the Driver on his motorcycle from inside the side car.  I simple held the camera down and to the side  and pointed it toward the driver.

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This is the view from inside the side  car.  It really is quite small and not easy for a big person to get in or out of.   Note the assist handle on the top left.  Many trikes do not have even that.  I have seen as many as 3 adults and a child squeezed into a sidecar.  Of course one “large” foreigner like myself just about fills it.

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This shot was literally shot from the hip without looking.  A true point and shoot.   The green trike on the left is a commercial “for hire” trike.  The fancy one on the right is a private trike often used by families that can’t afford a car.  I have seen a few that almost looked luxurious.  About 12-15 feet down from this spot is where I twisted my ankle.  You can see the uneven sidewalk which is quite common in the Philippines.  Always have to watch where you are stepping, even in some of the modern big city areas like Makati, the International Finance district.

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Again a quick wide shot.  Click the photo to enlarge it and take a look at the inside of the side car.  There are 3 Filipino adults in the side care and one riding on the back of the motorcycle.  This is an example where a lot of work had to be done to bring up the shadows but the Olympus RAW file gave me a lot to work with while still holding sky detail.  In the JPEG and untouched RAW the inside of the side car is almost black.

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Here you can see the inevitable bowing (curving) at the sides of the image that is typical of ultra-wide lenses.

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I was standing almost on top of this shot.  It is an election year and you can see the huge number of political posters that are plastered everywhere.

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This is a Catholic Church near my house.   It is estimated that the Philippines is anywhere from 75-85% Catholic though not all are practicing catholics.   About 8-10% muslim and the rest a variety of other Christian faiths or other religions including Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, etc.   Except for some extreme factions, most live together peacefully.

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You don’t want to drink that CocaCola!   Those are Litres of Gasoline for Motorcycles.  There appear to be 2 grades, one of which I believe  is for the 4 cycle engines and one that is an oil and gas mixture for 2 cycle engines.   Stands such as these exist all along the roadways and provide a lower cost option to trike operators and motorcyclists compared to the gas stations.

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Stacks of what I don’t know, but I liked the perspective.  In this image at the upper left, you can see the occasional problem with flare far corner image softness.

This is my car sitting in the drive-way at home as I went walking about. Again, the lighting is quite contrasty but the RAW files allowed for a great deal of recovery.   Notice even the clouds reflected in the windshield.

The 9mm body cap lens is not a lens everyone will use a lot, but it is tremendous fun to play with and will open your eyes to new perspectives.   Oh, and it is very inexpensive at less then $99.99 retail price in the US, it can be readily found on sale at $80-89.  At that price it is hard to know consider buying it, just for the sheer fun of it.

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