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Funleader Cap Lens 18mm f/8 review

How much does it cost to get an 18mm prime lens for your full frame mirrorless camera? With the Funleader Cap Lens, not much!

Funleader Cap Lens
(Image: © Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Our Verdict

The Funleader Cap Lens is very small, very nicely made and ultra-simple to use. Unfortunately, its optical quality is pretty poor, but you may still fall in love with its heavily vignetted soft-focus look, in which case it’s an interesting novelty that can give your images a look that’s unlike anything you’ll get from a regular lens. And did we mention it’s cheap!

For

  • Nicely made
  • Ultra-simple to use
  • Cheap!

Against

  • Heavy vignetting
  • Soft detail

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Funleader Cap Lens is very small, very nicely made and ultra-simple to use. Unfortunately, its optical quality is pretty poor, but you may still fall in love with its heavily vignetted soft-focus look, in which case it’s an interesting novelty that can give your images a look that’s unlike anything you’ll get from a regular lens. And did we mention it’s cheap!

Pros

  • + Nicely made
  • + Ultra-simple to use
  • + Cheap!

Cons

  • - Heavy vignetting
  • - Soft detail

Body cap lenses aren’t new – we have an Olympus Body Cap fisheye lens that performs beyond all reasonable expectations. The Funleader offers an angle of view almost as wide, at 18mm, but captures a corrected rectilinear (non-fisheye) image. It really is barely thicker than a body cap, though its aluminium construction means it is somewhat heavier. 

But does it offer a serious alternative to a regular ultra-wide lens? Probably not. The Funleader is more of a quirky novelty than a serious lens. It will give you an interesting ‘look’, but it won’t match the features, flexibility or performance of a regular lens.

Specifications

Focal length: 18mm
Mounts: Sony E-Mount, Canon RF-Mount, Fujifilm X-Mount, Nikon Z-Mount, Leica L-Mount
Aperture: f/8.0
Field of view: 100°
Closest focusing distance: 0.8m
Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
Coating: Multi-coated
Body material: Aluminium
Weight: Approx. 80g
Size: 62x15mm)

Key features

Funleader Cap Lens

The Funleader Cap Lens is indeed barely thicker than a body cap. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

One key feature of the Funleader Cap Lens is that it’s just 15mm thick. Another is that it weighs only 80g. The real key features, however, are that this is a lens with a fixed f/8 aperture and fixed focus. Funleader says the focus range is 0.8m to infinity, which seems pretty optimistic for a full frame camera even with such a short focal length, but it does make this lens simple to use. You do really just point and shoot because there’s nothing to adjust.

The lens construction is 6 elements in 5 groups, which is perhaps a little more complex than we might expect in a novelty lens, and that’s married up with an aluminium construction and multi-coated lenses.

Build and handling

Funleader Cap Lens

There are no electrical connections, there's no aperture mechanism and you can't even change the focus. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

This is quite a dense and heavy little lens that feels well made. It locked on to our Sony body with a firm, solid click and with no play or looseness once in place. There are no moving parts, so there’s really not much else to say about the handling!

The only thing is, there’s no front or rear cover for the lens. It does come with a soft case, but when it’s mounted on the camera, there’s nothing to protect the front element when it’s in your bag.

There’s no aperture control, or any physical or electronic connection between the lens and the camera body, but you can sill use the camera in manual mode, aperture-priority or even program AE mode. The camera can simply measure the light coming through the lens and set the shutter speed accordingly.

Performance

Straight from the camera, the Funleader Cap Lens's images don't look promising, with heavy vignetting and soft-looking detail. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Funleader Cap Lens sample image

A couple of minutes' editing work, however, reveals its images can look pretty good. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

There’s nothing to say about the autofocus performance because there is no autofocus, so it all comes down to the image quality.

This falls way short of what you would expect from a regular lens, with strong vignetting from uneven illumination into the corners of the frame, and the detail rendition is soft.

It’s not disastrous, though. A few moment’s work on our RAW files with Capture One’s Light Fall off adjustment, sharpening and structure tools revealed quite good images – you could make the same adjustments in other programs.

Or you can embrace the Funleaders’ soft and dreamy, heavily-vignetted look for what it is. As lo-fi looks go, this one is quite pleasant.

Funleader Cap Lens sample image

The Funleader is ideal for lo-fi looks and mean and moody mono treatments. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Verdict

Funleader Cap Lens

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

You have keep in mind the Funleader Cap Lens’s price and simplicity. This is  an ‘alternative’ lens that’s not going to challenge the image quality of a regular lens, but instead offers a different lo-fi rendition. When you first take it out of its box, its weight and finish might raise your expectations a little, but your first batch of images will quickly dispel any illusions.

The Funleader Cap Lens is actually quite appealing, but more for artists and experimenters and certainly not for technical perfectionists. Is it worth the price? It's pushing the top end of what it's worth optically, that's for sure.

Currently the Funleader Cap lens costs $149/£109 and is available only from the Funleader Shop. We'll add other resellers when it becomes more widely available.

Read more:

Best Lomography lenses
Best Sony lenses
Best wide-angle lenses
Best pancake lenses

Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.