Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens

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effer New Member • Posts: 12
Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens
12

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in wanting a very compact lens. With such a nice compact body as A6X00 a good pancake lens could satisfy many photographers looking for pocketable street shooter. There is plenty of love going for Fuji X100 series for example. Sure Sony cannot deliver styling and controls of X100, but size shouldn't be a problem. With current mediocre 16mm (2010 release) and 20mm (2013 release) offerings, unfortunately Sony can't compete in this segment with Fuji or Canon's EF-M 22mm F2. Why can't we get one good, fast and sharp pancake in 20 to 24 mm focal lens, like Canon's 22mm F2? It sure won't take away any business from Sony's FF, but could steer some customers away from competitors.

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blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,871
Re: Why?
2

effer wrote:

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in wanting a very compact lens. With such a nice compact body as A6X00 a good pancake lens could satisfy many photographers looking for pocketable street shooter. There is plenty of love going for Fuji X100 series for example. Sure Sony cannot deliver styling and controls of X100, but size shouldn't be a problem. With current mediocre 16mm (2010 release) and 20mm (2013 release) offerings, unfortunately Sony can't compete in this segment with Fuji or Canon's EF-M 22mm F2. Why can't we get one good, fast and sharp pancake in 20 to 24 mm focal lens, like Canon's 22mm F2? It sure won't take away any business from Sony's FF, but could steer some customers away from competitors.

The E16 aside, the E20 and E1650 would already fit the bill, if on the A5x00 series cameras.

https://camerasize.com/compact/#562.369,535.360,831.117,ha,t

For most A6x00 cameras, I think that the compromise between size and quality favors the quality angle.

Compared to the Canon, the Sony's are smaller already:

https://camerasize.com/compact/#599.349,562.369,535.360,ha,t

Canon with 22/f2 left, Sony with 20/f2.8 right

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Cheers,
Henry

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OP effer New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Why?
4

blue_skies wrote:

effer wrote:

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in wanting a very compact lens. With such a nice compact body as A6X00 a good pancake lens could satisfy many photographers looking for pocketable street shooter. There is plenty of love going for Fuji X100 series for example. Sure Sony cannot deliver styling and controls of X100, but size shouldn't be a problem. With current mediocre 16mm (2010 release) and 20mm (2013 release) offerings, unfortunately Sony can't compete in this segment with Fuji or Canon's EF-M 22mm F2. Why can't we get one good, fast and sharp pancake in 20 to 24 mm focal lens, like Canon's 22mm F2? It sure won't take away any business from Sony's FF, but could steer some customers away from competitors.

The E16 aside, the E20 and E1650 would already fit the bill, if on the A5x00 series cameras.

https://camerasize.com/compact/#562.369,535.360,831.117,ha,t

For most A6x00 cameras, I think that the compromise between size and quality favors the quality angle.

Compared to the Canon, the Sony's are smaller already:

https://camerasize.com/compact/#599.349,562.369,535.360,ha,t

Canon with 22/f2 left, Sony with 20/f2.8 right

I wouldn't mind the size of Canon's 22mm. The issue is that Sony doesn't offer F2 and even if I accept the slower F2.8, it is not a sharp lens. It sure is not a competition to Fuji's 23mm F2 or Canon's 22mm F2 in low light, subject separation or sharpness.

SEL1650 is a different animal.

Advent1sam
Advent1sam Veteran Member • Posts: 8,177
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens

effer wrote:

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in wanting a very compact lens. With such a nice compact body as A6X00 a good pancake lens could satisfy many photographers looking for pocketable street shooter. There is plenty of love going for Fuji X100 series for example. Sure Sony cannot deliver styling and controls of X100, but size shouldn't be a problem. With current mediocre 16mm (2010 release) and 20mm (2013 release) offerings, unfortunately Sony can't compete in this segment with Fuji or Canon's EF-M 22mm F2. Why can't we get one good, fast and sharp pancake in 20 to 24 mm focal lens, like Canon's 22mm F2? It sure won't take away any business from Sony's FF, but could steer some customers away from competitors.

The Samyang 24 2.8 is 95g, the 18 2.8 145g, with ibis, might not be quite as small as others these are 2 top notch options!

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migus Senior Member • Posts: 1,124
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens
2

i fully agree, and yet this issue has been raised time after time for nearly a decade on this forum...

Thus far w/o any competitive pancake prime or zoom from Sony. Tiny lenses with great IQ for APS-C don't seem to be on Sony's agenda

Yesterday i just x-posted this below (with due apologies):

While I don't plan to switch my too many Alphas to another system, yet looking at the humble Fuji X-A7 i admit that its 15-45kit seems embarrassingly* better than any of my best Sony kits [and pancake primes].

My subjective evaluation: I do have 5 Sony E-mount zoom kits, 16-50* (sold today with a6x00 bodies well north of 1K$) and 18-55; all usable, yet none competing with Fuji's 15-45 kit [Ditto for the 16 and 20mm pancakes, lovely tiny and yet under average in IQ].

I'm envious on my older NX lenses (wrong/defunct system) and the newer pancakes from Fuji, Nikon Z and Canon, but i'm too deep into Sony to switch.

Can't Sony produce a compact pancake kit similar to Samsung's, Fuji's in IQ (also fully open), and manual like the nikon z ? Must we buy hulky G lenses?

(Some folks may also argue about Canikon's newer APS kits as also superior to the SEL1650 - and that's quite easy to believe.)

https://www.dpreview.com/samples/7533214403/fujifilm-x-a7-pre-production-sample-gallery?comment=7220184048

IMHO Sony's E-mount kits, as well as the 2 pancake f/2.8 primes today arguably are the worst in the industry wrt. IQ - in some cases by quite a margin.

The best AF in the industry can't compensate this (though it's a different market segment), nor the best sensors and bodies - oracularly assuming that Sony will eventually restart to innovate beyond its last few Canon-like upgrades.

migus Senior Member • Posts: 1,124
Re: Why?
1

Henry, none of these compact lenses have an IQ adequate for Xmas'19. I wouldn't go as far as comparing them to a Pixel3, P30 etc., and yet they're not competitive anymore - not even in the pancake class 2019.

Granted, they're wonderfully compact and easy to use, but their output is not any joy to behold, particularly open and SooC JPG.

Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 1,924
Re: Why?
3

Indeed, Sony needs a good small prime lens (like the Canon 22/2 perhaps) and a good cheap zoom - it is no shame to have more than one current model. Fuji has two entry models (15-45 and 16-50).

Panasonic MFT has 12-32, 14-42, 12-60, all from Panasonic.

(Olympus has only one, I think. So do Nikon APS-C, and Canon EF-M).

Sony could do an 18-55 mk2 or something like it, for an affordable smaller zoom on for example the A6400.

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Joachim Wulfers
Joachim Wulfers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,496
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens
1

I happen to have the A6000 with 16-50 kit lens. I had the Sony 16/2.8 with UW adapter making it a 12/2.8. I also happen to have a Fuji X100T with its 23/2.0 fixed lens.

The Fuji is great in good light. If you want to shoot in a museum or an exhibit like auto shows, H-D Museum, Henry For Museum, the X100T is almost useless (in my own experience with my own camera). Using the flash will help some.

The A6000 with Kit lens is more compact than the X100T and much more versatile. I am able to get better results in low light situations or even night shots. The attached night shot was done with the NEX5N and 16/2.8 lens.

NEX 5N with 16/2.8 at 2.8 Aperture

With built-in flash

I trust your comments are based on your personal experience with the cameras and lenses you are mentioning.

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Max Polonski Regular Member • Posts: 284
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens

Pancake is a compromise, it can't make a good picture and will lost a battle with top smartphones.  Lenses those can resolve full APS-C matrix can't be small.

Max Polonski Regular Member • Posts: 284
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens

The Fuji is great in good light. If you want to shoot in a museum or an exhibit like auto shows, H-D Museum, Henry For Museum, the X100T is almost useless (in my own experience with my own camera). Using the flash will help some.

Agree. I compared X-T30 and A6500, and X-T30 is 2\3 stop darker

Advent1sam
Advent1sam Veteran Member • Posts: 8,177
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens
1

Max Polonski wrote:

Pancake is a compromise, it can't make a good picture and will lost a battle with top smartphones. Lenses those can resolve full APS-C matrix can't be small.

Let’s see, the Samyang 24 2.8 weighs 95g, apparently it’s a superb optic, along with the 18 2.8, also 145g only, so these are not flat pancake designs but they aren’t huge lenses either by any means!

Pair them with the a65/6600 and you have a fully stabilised compact system, who else offers this outside m43?

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Max Polonski Regular Member • Posts: 284
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens
1

Advent1sam wrote:

Max Polonski wrote:

Pancake is a compromise, it can't make a good picture and will lost a battle with top smartphones. Lenses those can resolve full APS-C matrix can't be small.

Let’s see, the Samyang 24 2.8 weighs 95g, apparently it’s a superb optic, along with the 18 2.8, also 145g only, so these are not flat pancake designs but they aren’t huge lenses either by any means!

Pair them with the a65/6600 and you have a fully stabilised compact system, who else offers this outside m43?

You are talking about fixes, this is another story.

OP effer New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens

Joachim Wulfers wrote:

I happen to have the A6000 with 16-50 kit lens. I had the Sony 16/2.8 with UW adapter making it a 12/2.8. I also happen to have a Fuji X100T with its 23/2.0 fixed lens.

The Fuji is great in good light. If you want to shoot in a museum or an exhibit like auto shows, H-D Museum, Henry For Museum, the X100T is almost useless (in my own experience with my own camera). Using the flash will help some.

The A6000 with Kit lens is more compact than the X100T and much more versatile. I am able to get better results in low light situations or even night shots. The attached night shot was done with the NEX5N and 16/2.8 lens.

NEX 5N with 16/2.8 at 2.8 Aperture

With built-in flash

I trust your comments are based on your personal experience with the cameras and lenses you are mentioning.

Unfortunately no, I do not speak from my own experience with mentioned X100 cameras and lenses. I, like many here, watch/read many reviews and browse galleries before making my purchase decisions. I don't know much about X100T. I mostly checked out X100F and Canon 22mm F2. If Sony's 20mm was dirt cheap, maybe I would've given it a try and added it to my kit. But at current price, even used, I don't like what I see in all the reviews. I sure rather have 16-50 and pray that I get a good copy. But that 16-50 also is not a fast lens. It is good for many reasons, but far from ideal if you just want a fast pancake lens at ~20mm aperture.

The pictures that you posted don't really look that convincing to me, especially in 1MP size. I'm not saying that available 16mm and 20mm pancake lenses are unusable. They just leave me wishing for something better.

sgangker New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Why?
1

I agreed! I will definitely like to have a small F2 prime lens which is reasonably sharp, like the Canon EF-M 22mm F2.

To be realistic, there will definitely be a compromise between the size and image quality. I will not expect a lens like that to have an IQ similar to the Sigma F1.4 primes. But anything close the Sigma 30mm F2.8 will be nice.

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bloodlmt Regular Member • Posts: 142
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens

Advent1sam wrote:

Max Polonski wrote:

Pancake is a compromise, it can't make a good picture and will lost a battle with top smartphones. Lenses those can resolve full APS-C matrix can't be small.

Let’s see, the Samyang 24 2.8 weighs 95g, apparently it’s a superb optic, along with the 18 2.8, also 145g only, so these are not flat pancake designs but they aren’t huge lenses either by any means!

Pair them with the a65/6600 and you have a fully stabilised compact system, who else offers this outside m43?

is there anyone that already tested and use the samyang 24mm 2.8 and 18mm 2.8 extensively on sony A6XXX camera?

Joachim Wulfers
Joachim Wulfers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,496
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens

The pictures that you posted don't really look that convincing to me, especially in 1MP size. I'm not saying that available 16mm and 20mm pancake lenses are unusable. They just leave me wishing for something better.

You do not need 20 MP photos to determine what a camera can do. In particular not in this case where I gave you samples from an NEX5N and X100T which are both 16 MP cameras.

Whether the pictures I posted convinced you or not is immaterial, Look at the exifs of all the photos and consider that they are all handheld and it should give you a clear indication as to which camera is more versatile. Try a fairly clean shot with an X Fuji at ISO 3200 and please post it here.

No question the Fuji produces beatiful shots when available light is good. But see what you get when you try to make photos of fall foliage.

Nothing beats personal experience. There are many examples of excellent photos made with the SEL 16/2.8, 16-50, 20mm pancake and no one claims that these lenses are "best in class". They are all compromised designs and I would be crazy to compare the results of a Sony 16/2.8 with a Sigma 16/1.4

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PhotoFactor Veteran Member • Posts: 3,222
Re: Why?
1

sgangker wrote:

I agreed! I will definitely like to have a small F2 prime lens which is reasonably sharp, like the Canon EF-M 22mm F2.

To be realistic, there will definitely be a compromise between the size and image quality. I will not expect a lens like that to have an IQ similar to the Sigma F1.4 primes. But anything close the Sigma 30mm F2.8 will be nice.

Yet somehow micro 4/3 has quite a few pancake lenses that all do better than Sony's offerings:

Panny 17mm f1.7

Panny 12-32 kit zoom

Oly 14-42 EZ kit zoom

The first one better than the Sony 20 f2.8

The second two much better than the Sony 1650 kit.

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migus Senior Member • Posts: 1,124
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens
2

Pancake is a compromise, it can't make a good picture and will lost a battle with top smartphones. Lenses those can resolve full APS-C matrix can't be small.

Somehow this "law of physics" seems to apply only to Sony...

How come that my old APS NX pancakes, Canon's, Fuji's and more recently nikon's Z can defy such myths?

Some i know from my own experience, others from galleries - all exceeding what my Sony kits and pancakes can extract in IQ. Just have a look at IQ in daily subjects from the recent samples Fuji X-A7 (w/ 15-45 kit), Z50 etc...

That's the reason --the ocassional 'critical work'-- why i'm still holding on to my old NX and nikon systems, while i use my Alphas (6 bodies) for good weather walkarounds/travel and for adapting exotic glass.

In some cases even my $120 Xiaomi phone --or my old NX100/kit, or my Canon P&S-- take more usable shots than the Sony kits. Particularly in finely-printed paper reproductions  -whereby Sony's extreme field curvature is practically impossible to compensate for.

Net: Irrespective of how many great shots are still attainable with proper subjects/light/skills, Sony's kits and pancakes have plenty of room to improve in IQ. They were arguable a decade ago (hence my adoption of NX), forgivable for their other merits (size, street price), yet undefensible today.

The world has moved on also in the humble compact kits - not only the FF GM...

migus Senior Member • Posts: 1,124
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens
2

"There are many examples of excellent photos made with the SEL 16/2.8, 16-50, 20mm pancake and no one claims that these lenses are "best in class". They are all compromised designs and I would be crazy to compare the results of a Sony 16/2.8 with a Sigma 16/1.4"

naturally... but... like the "physics laws" (preventing decent IQ in compact glass), the "good enough IQ" (given a great subject + skill) is another myth defending the undefensible.

These here are two orthogonal topics:

a) Given enough talent and craft, excellent (ie., esthetically pleasing) photos are achievable even with technically inferior lenses. Indeed. This was amply proven before, including your own samples posted here - nice!

b) However, the above images could only profit from superior (yet compact) lenses, which OTOH don't always need to be in Sigma size (they choose IQ+cost vs. size, from the lens design trilemma), nor in G-class of price (Sony's Premium Pricing).

Advent1sam
Advent1sam Veteran Member • Posts: 8,177
Re: Sony needs at least one really good pancake lens
1

Max Polonski wrote:

Advent1sam wrote:

Max Polonski wrote:

Pancake is a compromise, it can't make a good picture and will lost a battle with top smartphones. Lenses those can resolve full APS-C matrix can't be small.

Let’s see, the Samyang 24 2.8 weighs 95g, apparently it’s a superb optic, along with the 18 2.8, also 145g only, so these are not flat pancake designs but they aren’t huge lenses either by any means!

Pair them with the a65/6600 and you have a fully stabilised compact system, who else offers this outside m43?

You are talking about fixes, this is another story.

These are designed only for fe mount, hardly a fix

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