Olympus Launches a Quirky 15mm Lens that Doubles as a Body Cap

In addition to its pretty standard cameras and lenses introduced this morning, Olympus also announced something quite unique: a body cap lens. It’s a pancake-style MFT-mount 3-element 15mm f/8 lens that is designed to replace your body old body cap. In 35mm terms, the focal length is equivalent to 30mm — not bad for casual snapshots.

This is what the body cap lens looks like when attached to a camera. It adds just 9mm to the thickness of the camera:

Some leaked photos of the lens have been floating around in the blogosphere recently. I stayed out of the rumor mill on this one due to an NDA I signed a while back:

Here’s a photo that was shown alongside the lens in a confidential presentation that was distributed recently. I’m not sure whether it was actually taken using the lens, but it at least reflects the kind of photo you can expect:

The lens will go on sale starting in October for £70 (~$113). No word yet about what its official price will be in the United States.

Since photographers generally keep a lens attached to their camera at all times — unless you have multiple bodies, but does anyone keep more than one mirrorless camera? — people who purchase this body cap lens will probably want it more for the lens functionality than as body cap replacement. After all, it has a not-so-light price tag comparable to the Canon 50mm f/1.8.

  • brob

    so it turns your camera into a point and shoot?

  • JapanCamerahunter

    Looks exactly like a triplet perar type. I wonder where they got the idea for that from…

  • bob

    what’s wrong with that?

  • jdm8

    It does have a manual focus. That’s not a common feature on point and shoots that I’ve seen.

  • junyo

    This + a cheap GF3 body could be an interesting P&S.

  • brandon

    am i the only one to notice that it’s an f8 lens? while this lens sure is small, at f8 it’s not going to be all that useful for anything but sunny days, and tripods.

  • wickerprints

    “f/8 and be there.” That is exactly the philosophy embodied by this lens. With it, you’re always ready. No fumbling with lens caps, no worrying about switching lenses. And at f/8, you barely have to focus. This is a photojournalist / street photographer’s lens.

  • G

    “I stayed out of the rumor mill on this one due to an NDA I signed a while back..” so Olympus users, for the future you can assume that any wild rumour not mentioned on petapixel is indeed true ;)

  • Dean Gray

    good spot, Bellamy.

  • Mr Gubrz

    its ok to copy belly… so long as you dont copy from a/p;p.l?e
    i had to code that, so their servers dont track me down…

  • G

    Doesn’t really remind me of the triplet perar.. but apparently it is a triplet design. The focus tab-thing reminds me of the Olympus XA cameras.

  • Steve

    £70 seems expensive. I presume it will be much cheaper after a few months but I’ll wait and see what the image quality is like.

  • Renato Murakami

    Neat, but not $113 neat. Specially at f/8.
    But lets hope this becomes a trend, and the price drops.

  • Ripley

    Looks like we can expect photos of Duckfaces.

  • Peter Croft

    I can’t figure out what fits what. I have a Pen E-PL2 4/3rds body. Can I use a Micro 4/3rds lens on it? ie this lens? If not, is there an interlock that stops me fitting a lens that might damage my cameras?

  • G

    That sample image is also cropped (in camera or post) as that is not the m43’s native aspect ratio.. Or could it be that it is taken with another camera and another lens? I’m not totally convinced that picture represents the DoF you would get with a 15mm f8 on 2x crop.

  • Ben

    The Pen E-PL2 *is* a micro four thirds body. If you DID have a four thirds body, you wouldn’t be able to attach a micro four thirds lens without an adapter.

  • rsgeek

    Yup, but Loreo’s cap lens isn’t available for micro 4/3.

  • rsgeek

    You don’t have what you think you have. The Pen cameras (including E-PL2) are all micro 4/3. So this lens would fit your camera just fine.

    As to interlocks, they’re there, but never fool-proof (after all, nature keeps coming up with better & better fools). Don’t try forcing things, and you won’t damage your cameras.

  • rsgeek

    $113 is in the post, but it’s not an accurate price in the U.S. I just checked, and Adorama is selling them (well, they’re accepting orders for them) for $60.

  • Peter Croft

    Oh, thanks guys. Now I’m really confused :-) Er, maybe it would help if I read the instruction book.
    Actually, this is great news. It expands the range of lenses I have available. At the moment I only have the 14-150mm that came with the camera.

  • Philip Han

    I don’t think you understand the primary use of this lens and the gigantic additional bonus that it offers, not to mention your use of logic is insanely fallible.

  • Peter Croft

    OK, now I realise that you are correct. It’s the absence of a reflex mirror that’s the key. I’ve checked the specs on DPReview. I should have realised. How ’bout that? I think I have a 4/3rds camera and find I have a u4/3rds. This is good news. More lens choice. Cheers.

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    I’d love one of these for Nikon. I wonder if I can make one…

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    I have no idea why your post was down voted, I find it very helpful. I had forgotten that Loreo had such a product.

  • Ska

    The Pen E-PL2 is a Micro 4/3rds, not 4/3rds!

  • Martin Baumgarten

    It would be nice if this lens came in the OM mount so us remaining FILM shooters could use it.