Few Pancake Lenses briefly compared

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verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 4,212
Few Pancake Lenses briefly compared

In another thread, a member has been asking about Carl Zeiss Tessar T* 45mm f/2.8 for the C/Y mount cameras.

Since I have a few small lenses, two of them being so-called pancakes, I decided to make a very brief comparison for myself, being curious to see which one is easier to work with, has stronger contrast, how the ability to separate subjects comes along, how the blurred background look and which one and where is sharper.

I pick these lenses.

I am still waiting for the Nikkor GN 45/2.8 which is probably the smallest of these and just a little bit bigger than its younger sibling Nikkor 45/2.8 P.

All of them look cool, especially if you like small mechanical things as I do. Unfortunately, when mounted on a digital camera, adapters kill all the fun, making all of them as big as a native mount modern standard lens will be.

Not the same order as above - from the left - Pentax, Contax 40, Contax 50, Oly, Minolta, Konica

That's where film cameras come handy. Very cheap but also very nice (imho) Yashica FX3 2000 Super with a Zeiss Tessar 45/2.8 looks just adorable. Set like this can easily be cheaper than some fancy compact such as Mju II and not that much bigger, but that's another story.

I did this comparison for myself so no fancy composition, just an image that can help me to see how is the rendering in a sort of realistic scenario. But since I did it anyway, maybe someone will find it useful too.

This is the scene:

Images below weren't extra processed except for the graphics added and resizing to 3600px wide. The best viewing experience will be to click and enlarge images individually. The first set is at f/2.8

Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50/1.7 is already much bigger than the others, but I included it since someone mentioned it, and if reality it isn't that big and is also very light. But it doesn't make much sense comparing it to the others (we can then add another 100+ 50/1.7-1.8 lenses).

In the next post, I compared lenses at f/8.0

 verybiglebowski's gear list:verybiglebowski's gear list
Sony a7R Sony a7R II Sony a7R III Sony a7R IV Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 +3 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3
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