FunLeader Caplens 18mm f8 Pro – Always ready to shoot
We all know the function and purpose of a camera body cap. It is to cover and protect the sensor when it is not in use. That’s simple.
Some of us might even be aware of some interesting body caps such as Fujifilm XM-FL 24mm, 7artisans 18mm f6.3, or other pinhole body cap lenses. The purpose is to enjoy the fun of shooting and create very Lomography kind of photo results.
Before I continue further, I would like to thank the good guys at FunLeader for sending this cap lens to me for review without any hesitation. I am grateful to them for supporting and believing in me. Nonetheless, this post is not biased and purely shares my experience with the cap lens.
FunLeader launched their first FunLeader Caplens 18mm f8.0 (a Kickstarter product) back in December 2019. It is still available on FunLeader’s website today! And now, FunLeader has launched their upgraded cap lens, and is called FunLeader Caplens 18mm f8 0.3m-∞ Pro. From the name, we can tell there must be something different from their 2019 cap lens, and of course, the name has already given out a hint.
This 27mm (in full-frame equivalent) wide-angle focal length is one of the popular focal lengths among street photographers. As the name suggests, f8 is its brightest aperture. In fact, f8 is the only aperture, and no other aperture options are available to choose from. So how is it going to perform as an f8 lens? Continue to scroll down.
Note: This cap lens comes with 2 mounts, E-mount and X-mount.
It is an aluminum build cap lens. It is well constructed with unexpectedly sleek and decent built quality. It weighs 71 grams and is 17 mm thick! It seems light in numbers, but you can feel the weight of the cap lens when you hold it in your hand.
Being a cap lens also means that there is no filter thread for you to mount your filters in, and it does not come with a lens cap.
Like all cap lenses, it is a fixed aperture and non-electronic contact. The similarity stops here. The FunLeader 18mm f8 Pro comes with an adjustable focus dial with distances between 0.3m, 0.5m, 0.7m, 1m, 2m, and infinity. If you are aware, the usual body cap lenses do not provide such functionality.
The idea of having an adjustable focus distance is excellent. It allows photographers to have close to manual lens shooting experience.
And very similar to changing the aperture on some manual lenses, changing between the focus distances gives excellent clicky feedback.
I do not have the first-generation cap lens from FunLeader. Hence, I am unsure how much this pro version’s image quality has improved. In my opinion, the image quality is within my expectation. That doesn’t mean the image quality is excellent, but acceptable for a cap lens.
I noticed that the photos look better with any focus distance except for infinity. For most focus distances, the results look good, adequately sharp, and have decent contrast.
At infinity, the shots sometimes look unexpectedly soft, lacking a certain level of sharpness and contrast. Vignetting is pretty strong with this cap lens. On the other hand, thanks to the small aperture value, I do not observe any chromatic aberration.
By the way, if you are looking to create a sunny star shot from this cap lens, you should probably look out for another lens because this cap lens does not come with any aperture blade.
Minimum Focus Distance (MFD)
Honestly, for a cap lens to have an MFD of 30 cm is impressive. It is a tiny, extremely compact “lens” than any other lens out there in the market. For comparison, the XM-FL 24mm has an MFD of 1 meter, 7artisans 18mm f6.3 is 35cm and the original cap lens is 80 cm.
As I mentioned earlier, the results at 30 cm are pretty usable. The sharpness and contrast are pretty good here.
FunLeader is a thoughtful company. Knowing that most photographers will stick the cap lens to their camera, FunLeader still includes a pouch for it when it is not in use. “Lens” protection, in a way.
Something to note, and maybe it is only me (user problem). I do encounter some dust trapped around the cap lens, especially the gap between the focus dial and the non-movable area. Some of the dust can be easily removed, but some are just stubbornly stuck there.
Secondly, due to its slim design, the focus dial is slim too. Hence, it is a little hard to grab with big fingers. But I got used to it after a little familiarization.
Although it is not able to create a sunny star shot, it does have some flares when you are facing the sun.
The price of 139 USD is not cheap as there are many fully functional manual lenses around this price or even more affordable. But if you want it, you will get it, right?
Who is this for?
This wide-angle cap lens covers quite a good coverage of photography genres such as landscape, cityscape, and street.
Like all cap lenses, this cap lens comes with one and only one aperture, f8. If you are looking for challenging yourself shooting street with a fixed aperture lens, for the “Lomographic” fun and enjoying straightforward results, then this cap lens might be suitable for you.
Also, the holiday season is coming, and I think it is an excellent gift for your fellow photographer friends.
From this Caplens 18mm f8 Pro, I can see innovation from the company. FunLeader had made some good improvements from the first-generation cap lens, such as improved MFD, lighter weight, and most important of all, focus dial. This focus dial is the first of its kind and no one else actually did it, except FunLeader.
I hope to see more interesting lenses coming out from FunLeader, especially for the APS-C world.
If you are interested in getting this cap lens, the good guys at FunLeader have given me the coupon code “ALWINKOK”, and you can enjoy 5% off with your purchase at checkout.
Thank you for reading.
Alwin is a 37 years old engineer, husband and Fujifilm fanboy from Singapore. His first encounter with Fujifilm was the launch of the X10 in 2012. It was love at first sight. It was a joyful compact camera and it also introduced film simulations to him. But what brought him deep into Fujifilm was the X-T2 and the love grows further. He loves to experience and discover many genres.