src="http://www.mirrorlessons.com/wp-content/themes/mirrorlessons Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory with the M.Zuiko 8mm fisheye and 7-14mm
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Date: 25/05/2015 | By: Mathieu

Wide butterflies – An Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 and 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye gallery

AGING CORP., 1/200, f/ 8/1, ISO 640

Wide butterflies – An Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 and 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye gallery

Usually when you put insects and photography together, the first piece of equipment that comes to mind is a macro lens. I admit that macro isn’t my favourite genre, but Heather is a great fan of macro butterfly photography and often uses the M.Zuiko 60mm. However when we stopped at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory (Ontario, Canada), we challenged ourselves to use only the two new Olympus extreme wide angles lenses: the 7-14mm f/2.8 and the 8mm Fisheye f/1.8.

Update: also check out our 7-14mm f/2.8 and 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye complete reviews!

olympus 7-14mm
E-M5 II, 1/320, f/ 2.8, ISO 200 – 7mm

The motivation behind this idea was the very short focus distance of these two lenses. At the conservatory, they have a wide variety of South American butterflies that are far bigger than the ones Heather usually chases in the fields. This means that by shooting very close to these butterflies, they are big enough to occupy a large portion of the frame and therefore create an interesting wide-angle composition.

olympus 7-14mm
E-M5 II, 1/320, f/ 4, ISO 200 – 14mm

Many of the butterflies were constantly in flight so we had to look for the ones that were resting on a leaf or on the ground. The light was challenging because often the butterflies weren’t in the right position and we also had to take care that our own shadows or those of the lenses didn’t enter the frame because of the very narrow focusing distance.

olympus 8mm fisheye
E-M1, 1/400, f/ 2, ISO 400 – 8mm Fisheye


Another thing is of course depth of field. Since you are focusing so close at the fastest aperture, the entire butterfly won’t be in focus unless the wings are perfectly parallel to the sensor. But by using a smaller aperture, the shallow depth of field decreases rapidly and the butterfly is less isolated from the background. We tried to find the optimal settings according to the light and composition.

olympus 8mm fisheye
E-M1, 1/80, f/ 3.5, ISO 800 – 8mm Fisheye

We tried to compile a gallery with a different perspective than the usual macro pictures. It was more an exercise than anything else but we did come up with some interesting results. I used the 7-14mm on the E-M5 mark II and Heather used the 8mm on the E-M1.

Enjoy the gallery and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Reminder: our 7-14mm f/2.8 and 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye complete reviews are online!

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About the author: Mathieu Gasquet

Mathieu Gasquet is a professional photographer with French and Italian origins. Besides running his own video and photography studio 3Dit Lab, he is also the official photographer for the National Cinema Museum in Turin. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • soundimageplus

    I think you’re getting hooked on that fisheye!!

  • Ulysses

    Thank you for these, Mathieu and Heather! Butterflies are surprisingly challenging, aren’t they? But they are a lot of fun to photograph. :)

  • http://www.bestmirrorlesscamerareviews.com/ Heather Broster

    Not a problem. It seems to happen quite often! 😛

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Glad you liked the pictures. The 40-150mm is a great lens as well, I guess you’ll have everything you need then :)

  • fj1100

    My apologies to Heather, I called her Helen- my mind was somewhere else I think.

  • fj1100

    Still waiting for these two lenses to arrive in Australia. Just as well I think as I’m going to pick up the 40-150 this weekend, with 7-14mm the Olympus “Holy Trinity” will be complete.

    Thanks for the photos Mathieu and Helen- I always prefer real world shots to the technical ones.

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Thank you Michael. The lenses are definitely versatile and actually all the Pro lenses by Olympus have similar close focusing capabilities.

  • Michael

    Very nice & interesting too , I have a 105mm f2.8 macro & by far it’s my least used lens. Only adds to the versatility of what the lenses can be used for & the argument for m4/3. Enjoy your trip!

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