Fisheye Zoom for Micro Four Thirds

Looking at Nauticam port chart the only option for a fisheye zoom is to combine the Panasonic PZ 14-42 with a fisheye add on lens. This is a solution that is not that popular due to low optical quality.

So micro four thirds users have been left with a prime fisheye lens from Panasonic or Olympus…until now!

Looking at Nauticam port chart we can see that there is an option to use the Speedbooster Metabones adapter and with this you convert your MFT camera to a 1.42x crop allowing you to use Canon EF-M lenses for cropped sensor including the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye. This is certainly an option and can be combined with a Kenko 1.4x teleconverter giving you a range of 14.2 to 33.8 mm in full frame equivalent or 7.1 to 16.9 mm in MFT terms fisheye zoom of which the usable range is 8 -16.9 mm after removing vignetting.

A further issue is that the Speedbooster gives you another stop of light limiting the aperture to f/16 while this is generally a bonus for land shooting in low light underwater we want to use all apertures all the way to f/22 for sunbursts even if this means diffraction problems.

Wolfgang Shreibmayer started a trend time ago in WetPixel to use full frame lenses and in this post I want to do a deep dive on what is for me the most interesting lens option the Canon 8-15mm fisheye.

This lens on full frame can be used for a circular and diagonal fisheye but Wolfgang has devised a method to use it as an 8-15mm fisheye zoom on MFT.

Part list – missing the zoom gear

What you need are the following:

  • Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L fisheye USM
  • Metabones Smart Adapter MB_EF_m43_BT2 or Viltrox EF-M1 Adapter
  • A 3D printed gear extension ring
  • Nauticam C-815Z zoom gear
  • Nauticam 36064 N85 to N120 34.7mm port adapter with knob
  • Nauticam 21135 35mm extension ring with lock
  • Nauticam 18810 N120 140mm optical glass fisheye port

The assembly is quite complicated as the lens won’t fit through the N85 port. It starts with inserting the camera with no lens in the housing.

GH5 body only assembly
Camera in housing without port

The next step is to fit the port adapter

Attach N85 N120 Metabones adapter

Then we need to prepare the lens with the smart adapter once removed the tripod mount part.

Canon 8-15 on Metabones Smart Adapter IV

As the port is designed for the speed booster the lens will be few mm off therefore the gear will not grip. Wolfgang has devised a simple adapter to make it work.

gear extension ring
Zoom gear on lens

This shifts the gear backwards allowing to grip on the knob.

3D design is here

Lens inserted on housing

Looking at nauticam port chart an extension ring of 30mm is recommended for the speedbooster and now we have extra 5mm in length Wolfgang uses a 35mm extension. however looking at the lens entrance pupil I have concluded that 30mm will be actually better positioned. Nauticam have confirmed there won’t be performance differences. You need to secure the ring on the dome before final assembly.

Fisheye dome and extension
Full assembly top view
Side front view

The rig looks bigger than the 4.33 dome but the size of the GH5 housing is quite proportionate. It will look bigger on a traditional small size non clam style housing.

The disassembly will be made again in 3 steps.


I am not particularly interested in the 1.4x teleconverter version consider that once zoomed in to 15mm the lens is horizontally narrower than a 12mm native lens so there is no requirement for the teleconverter at all.

This table gives you an idea of the working range compared to a rectilinear lens along the horizontal axis as diagonal is not a fair comparison. The lens is very effective at 8-10mm where any rectilinear would do bad then overlaps with an 8-18mm lens. The choice of lens would be dictated by the need to have or not straight lines. The range from 13mm is particularly useful for sharks and fish that do not come that close.

Focal lengthHorizontalVerticalDiagonalHorizontal Linear EqWidthHeightDiagonal

Wolfgang has provided me with some shots that illustrate how versatile is this set up.

8mm end surface shot
Caves 8mm
15mm end close up
Dolphins at 15mm
Diver close up at 8mm
Snell windows 8mm
Robust ghost pipefish @15mm

As you can see you can even shoot a robust ghost pipefish!

The contrast of the glass dome is great and the optical quality is excellent. On my GH5 body there is uncorrected chromatic aberration that you can remove in one click. Furthermore lens profiles are available to de-fish images and make them rectilinear should you want to do so.

I would like to thank Wolfgang for being available for questions for providing the 3D print and the images that are featured here on this post.

If you can’t print 3D and need an adapter ring I can sell you one for £7 plus shipping contact me for arrangements.

Amazon links UK

Canon EF 8-15 mm f/4 fisheye USM lens

Viltrox EF-M1 Mount Adapter

Note: it is possible to use a Metabones Speed Booster Ultra in combination with a Tokina 10-17mm zoom fisheye and a smaller 4.33″ acrylic dome.

UK Cost of the canon option: £3,076

Uk Cost of the Tokina option: £2,111

However if you add the glass dome back

UK Cost of Tokina with glass dome: £2,615

The gap is £461 and if you go for a Vitrox adapter (would not recommend for the speedbooster) the difference on a comparable basis is £176 which for me does not make sense as the Canon optics are far superior.

So I would say either Tokina in acrylic for the cost conscious or Canon in glass for those looking for the ultimate optical quality.

16 thoughts on “Fisheye Zoom for Micro Four Thirds”

  1. Can I ask your view on using the Nauticam WW1 wide wet lens. Aimed to be very high quality on a 14-42 Oly M43 lens. I have been using a inon H100 / dome on kit lens. I have however just bought a Oly 8mm Fe, but very limiting. Regards Andy Willett

    1. Hi Andy I have been a tester of the WWL-1 and I use it extensively for video look for the related posts here. The optical quality is great but in terms of field of view will not give you more than the Inon. The solution in this article instead covers that critical range between 130 and 180 degrees plus the WWL-1.

      1. Thank you, For Stills on my EM1mk2, Not being fully sure, i think im better of using my oly 8mm FE in 100 zen dome for wreck, and sticking with 14-42mm oly kit+wet InonH100/dome for general wide use. Would that seem a sensible start point? I havent had a chance to use both together on same dive site to see for a like for like image (ish) if the 8mm FE would be much sharper generally or just better in corners? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

      2. The 8mm fisheye has better IQ but no zoom. There will be shots where you need to get really close or things will look small. Hence the need for a fisheye zoom. The Inon with dome is great in terms of field of view but overall lower IQ. If this bothers you there are few solutions. The ultimate is a fisheye zoom using a full frame lens or the tokina 10-17

  2. Thank you. Would a alternative or compromise to Full frame zoom FE be, replacing the inon/dome with the Nauticam version WW1? or would the improvement with Nauticam not be so much?

      1. Thank you for your expert advice, I have the oly 8mm FE, i was thinking the inon was a bit soft, the Tokina seems ideal, however as i have a new 8mm and new zen100mm dome already, the idea was to use the 8mm for when i know i need FE, and a possible plan WAS inon/dome for general wide angle/zoom. Understanding that it is a lot cheaper to just replace the inon with a nauticam WWl-1, it might be the compromise i need to keep IQ up?. I was concerned I will disappointed using inon/dome after having better IQ with the 8mm FE. Is the better iq with the WWl-1 worth it? or would i just be replacing similar with something similar?
        Thanks again

      2. I have been there not knowing I could adapt full frame lenses. In hindsight I would get rid of everything and get a fisheye zoom but it didn’t go that way!

  3. So same here! I should have dug deeper, I have seen posts that the WWl-1 is pin sharp with the 14-42kit, So perhaps my bail out without selling it all off, is to keep 8mm FE and for general wide stick to my 14-42 kit and replace Inon with WWl-1. Another grand! arrrr

  4. I am using the wwl-1 whith pan 14-42 mkII for video on my gh4 and i am happy whith that on video but wonder if this option whith canon lenses works whith the gh4 aswell

      1. Ok, would you say the image quality of the canon is better on photos than the wwl combo

      2. The canon gives you the range of the 8mm fisheye down to midrange of wwl-1 with zoom. Quality wise look at the examples yourself. Its a much bigger lens of course and for high end shooters

  5. So to summarize, if you were mostly doing stills you would go with the Canon EF 8-15 but if you were doing video you would use the Pana 14-42 plus WWL-1 mostly because you are using the center portion of the lens and you have the Keldan filters to improve color?

    1. It has nothing to do with the centre of the lens. I would use the WWL-1 because it is more flexible the lens can be removed and so can the filter. With the canon once you are set no changes are possible

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