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How can one set up a non-emitting environment map in cycles? If I set strength to 0, it is black. I tried doing something with Light Path node, but didn't succeed so far.

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Use a light path node, so that only the camera sees the environment texture but is not affecting the objects in the scene:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ just for information, is there a difference between this node setup and the diffuse ray visibility ? $\endgroup$ – lemon Aug 9 '16 at 17:15
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    $\begingroup$ @lemon Diffuse would only affect... diffuse. A glossy object would still reflect the environment $\endgroup$ – cegaton Aug 9 '16 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ ok... I meant in the principle if you keep only camera ray in the cycles world panel ? $\endgroup$ – lemon Aug 9 '16 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @lemon sorry I misread, but the answer is the same. If you disable diffuse only, it will still affect other rays: i.stack.imgur.com/m7CKi.jpg $\endgroup$ – cegaton Aug 9 '16 at 17:26
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    $\begingroup$ The result will be the same, but the way Cycles arrives at is slightly different. Using the ray visibility switches prevents secondary rays from being sent to the world background. This node setup will still spawn the ray, then cause it to return 0. So the ray visibility switches are more efficient, although in this case the difference is minimal. $\endgroup$ – JtheNinja Aug 9 '16 at 18:28

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