Why no 40mm pancake (or similar)?

Started Feb 9, 2018 | Questions thread
Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 4,285
Re: Conclusion: I seem to be the only one ;-)

arbux wrote:

Eric Nepean wrote:

arbux wrote:

TomFid wrote:

alex2b wrote:


You nearly all agree that I should not want a pancake, as the multiple suggestions to just be happy with non-pancakes seem to imply. But I am not happy that there is no pancake 35-45mm pancake, as I made clear (why would I request for one...). At the same time I understand that lenses are usually not developed for small minorities.

I am still not convinced it can't be done, but if Panasonic and Olympus do their market research well, then they obviously have concluded already that there are far more of you than of me ;-/ .

Still, it's a pity; the compact m4/3 system would really benefit from this IMO.

The one serious analysis above suggests that it might be hard to do, not that you shouldn't want one.

Serious analysis of who? Professional lens designer?

Nikon makes 300mm f4 that for ff that is half the weight and 2/3 the lenght of olympus 300mm f4. What does this serious analyst says about that?

You're clearly no kind of an expert, or you would have mentioned that the Nikon 300mmF4 contains a phase fresnal lens. This is the first, and so far only, lens in Nikon's portfolio with such an optical element. And then you would also be aware that without such a lens the limitations of the ray diagram shown by David 247 on this thread are in fact limitations unless the designer uses a phase fresnal lens.

Obviously I'm not an expert. I admit what has been already achieved, instead of claiming (after the fact) that it didn't happen.

btw - "one and only" - except canon has few other designs of this type, including consumer zoom.

Interesting - which ones? The articles I found state that Nikon was the first to use this in a consumer lens. A search on "Canon Phase Fresnal" produces no hits.

I hace tiny and extremly capable 30mm f2 on samsung nx i.e. covering aps-c (or pancake fisheye 10mm 3.5, that actually delivers quality)

I have the tiny and extremely capable 12-32, 20mm F1.7 and 14-42PZ.

good for you.

I suppose I should have used that nonsensical response on your identical comment.

so where is small 40mm pancake?

Where is the 55mm pancake for the NX500? For Sony E-mount?

Small and pancake are redundant by the way. "Large pancake??"

As explained in other postings, once the focal length of the lens goes significantly above the flange to sensor distance (22mm for M43) a pancake become impossible. Ever hear of an 100mm pancake for Full Frame?

I have the Hexanon 40mm F1.8, which was pancake for an SLR. Add the Hexanon to M43 adaptor and its not a pancake any more. Oddly enough, close to the size of the Olympus 45mm F1.8.

And also the small and capable Laowa 7.5mm F2, 15/1.7 and Oly 25/1.8

these are not remotly pancakes.

They are however small and have very good image quality.

Lack of really smal lenses for m43 is ridiculous

That lack exists in your mind only. As you can see by this link , there are at least M43 camera lens combinations which have a smaller front to back depth than the NX500+30mm F/2.

My galaxy S8+ is smaller than any m43 body+lens combination.


The point of a pancake lens is to make a camera lens with short front to back depth so that the user can easily carry it in a pocket or purse. The M43 cameras and pancake lens meet this more effectively than your gear, which you are holding up as an example.

If we all want to replace our M43 and APSC cameras with camera phones, we will always have something even slimmer than a compact camera with pancake lens. But I'm not about to dump my M43 gear for my iPhone phone and you're not about to dump your NX500 and Nikon gear for you 8+

Moot point. nx500 is 28mpix aps-c camera, you need to stack 2m42 bodies to get similar mpix count. 2 m43 bodies, even with lens cap, are larger than nx300 with pancake.

Most folks just take a multi-shot panorama if they want to increase the number of megapixels.

The discussion here is about lens size. The number of Megapixels is a whole other discussion, and is independent  of lens characteristics.

At the end of the day, I can slip an M43 camera and pancake in my pocket which is slimmer than the camera you can slip into yours.

The Panasonic 12-32, 14/2.5, 14-42Pz, 20mm F1.7, and the Olympus 17mmF2.8, 14-42EZ are all good quality pancake lenses,

olympus 17 2.8 is a worst packae ever produced by anyone, except maybe sony 20mm 2.8

Why would you say that?

I looked for some reviews on this lens, and many say its a decent lens, although the AF can be slow. I found one particularly appropriate comment from a review by Robin Wong11/20/2015 10:29:00 AM

This is the message i have been trying so hard to tell but still people always conclude with lens choice. It does not matter what lens you use, if you want good images, pay attention to lighting, composition and subject content. Asking me to use which lens more won't make anything better.

14-42ex is medicore at best.

and there's another half dozen or so that are small, including the Panny 42.5 /1.7 and the Oly 45mm/1.8

small <> pancake.

But your original, rather negative, comments were about  small:

original text "Lack of really smal lenses for m43 is ridiculous"

, as are attempts to justify it by internet experts. If anything, this is next gap to address by m43 manufacturers.

It seems that Nikon hasn't yet developed another lens product with a Phase Fresnal optical element.

canon did.

Really? which one?

This might have something with the fact that special Nikon SW is required is required to remove some of the strange optical effects due to the Phase Fresnel element, or perhaps manufacturing or design issues.

Aparantly this is not simple. Why would I care about what is simple?

Clearly you don't care.

I would not want a 40mm pancake lens with a phase fresnel optical element that makes reduced physical length possible, and that requires special SW to handle the diffraction effects of the fresnel lens.

I'd be unwilling to pay the extra cost, I wouldn't want the hassle of the special SW, and there are other things I'd rather see. For example, small 7.5mm and 10mm rectilinear primes (pancake would be nice), Small cameras with 24MP sensors, an affordable and good quality 45-200 zoom. A 30mm F2.8 pancake would be nice and is likely smaller and much more achievable (Meike has just released a 28mm F2.8)

For the same effort of designing a 40mm pancake with phase fresnal lens, Panasonic and/or Olympus could probably design two or three of these other lenses.

I agree that it's a pity. I'd love to see more compact f2 to 2.8 options. I can't fathom why there's so much enthusiasm for spectacularly large/expensive f1.2 lenses, but not for more innovative ideas.


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