Why no 40mm pancake (or similar)?

Started Feb 9, 2018 | Questions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 37,304
It might all be about the economics
1

Alex,

I have no idea why there is no pancake 40mm lens made for M4/3 but I can try and supply an economic reasoning - whether this is the issue or not with the manufacturers I simply don’t know.

I ahve already mentioned that the 42.5-45mm focal length is well served by fast, compact (sometimes) lenses.  I presume that a pancake version of close focal length might have to be a slower lens.  Therefore the economics might be on whether a slower pancake lens might sell well and create new market in an already well catered for market segment.  Or would it simply split the existing market and need more stock to be carried wthout increasing overall sales?

That some people might feel a need for that lens might not justify the cost of designing, tooling up, making, warehousing and distributing for what would only result in limited extra sales and a possible decline in the sales of other products of similar focal length.

There is probably a chance that this type of lens will be made “some day” but if it had looked an immediately attractive market niche then it would have been made before now.

Only two factors would drive a lens marketing decision - popular type with considerable sales potential at lower margins.  Or, slower selling type of high quality that can be sold at high margins.

My thoughts are that a 40mm pancake might fail on both counts.

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Tom Caldwell

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