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Bragging rights - who's got the smallest pancake?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by John M Flores, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Until the release of Panasonic's diminutive 14mm F2.5, Pentax's DA40mm F2.8 was the undisputed Mini-me of the camera world. I've got both and finally got round to showing how they stack up...

    6785325815_11d8a3fdcb_b.
    Bragging rights - who's got the smallest pancake? by john m flores, on Flickr

    6785325053_8c6605818d_b.
    Bragging rights - who's got the smallest pancake? by john m flores, on Flickr

    6785326395_a47cc2e53f_b.
    Bragging rights - who's got the smallest pancake? by john m flores, on Flickr

    My findings:

    • They are nearly the same depth. The Panasonic lens extends farther from the lens mount while the Pentax lens extends farther into the camera body
    • The Panasonic is smaller in diameter
    • The Panasonic is lighter. It's a well-built plastic lens. No distance scale and electronic AF.
    • The Pentax is better built. It's an all-metal jewel befitting the "Limited" title. It has a distance scale (no DOF markings) and mechanical AF, but the AF ring is ridiculously narrow.
    • The Panasonic IQ is nice but the Pentax IQ is nicer.

    This isn't really an apples-to-apples comparison, as the Panasonic is 28mm equivalent focal length while the Pentax is 60mm equivalent focal length. But as I said from the start, this is pancake-to-pancake!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Zuiko 25mm f/2.8 pancake is also ridiculously thin. Of course it is wider in diameter than the Micro Four-Thirds lens. The Zuiko doesn't use the distance scale, which gives it a bit more focus ring breadth, but I think the focus ring is halfway between that of the Pentax and the Lumix.

    Of course, none of that really matters when you have to mount the lens on a much larger body with a big mirror and long register distance. Micro Four-Thirds wins the compact race with any native pancake. :D When the Zuiko pancake came out though, it was very popular as it also mounted to what were the smallest DSLRs of the time (Olympus E-620, E-410, E-420, E-450, etc.).
     
  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  4. How about the Industar 50/3.5 (M42 mount)? That's gotta be close :smile:
     
  5. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Whenever I see that, I makes me think they just gutted an old Pentax 110 lens to build one.
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The only problem with the Industar is that the m43 mount ends up making it huge relative to there pancakes.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'd love to see that! The linked lens goes a bit further than just being small...

    MS Optical is practically a one man operation with a very good reputation to back it. The optical triplet design is very classic (I think the least number of elements you can get by in a design) but they've updated it (supposedly) with some nice modern touches. I've seen some samples and I like it... especially considering the size. Let's not forget that unlike the 110 and MFT format, the triplet was designed for a full frame 135.

    Unfortunately, small production can make it difficult to get..

    hmmm... makes me wonder... I've got a couple pentax 110 lenses that I've been meaning to get an adapter for. No aperture right?
     
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    The title should read, "Who's got the smallest pancake?"

    Who's - A contraction of "who has" (in this case at least. The other 99% of the time, it is a contraction of "who is."

    Whose - A possessive form of "who." The title could use this word, if it were phrased in a way such as, "Whose pancake lens is the smallest?"
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. The same would happen with the Pentax 40mm, and since John was doing a straight lens-to-lens comparison, I thought I'd throw the Industar into the mix.

    I've always kinda wondered what was the point in making pancake lenses for SLRs (besides bragging rights, of course). The bodies are big enough that I'd take a bigger lens with better specs over a pancake any day.
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    It depends a lot on the body. The Olympus E-3 with Zuiko 25mm f/2.8 would be rather counter-productive, but the Zuiko 25mm f/2.8 on the E-620 opened up new worlds of compact system cameras for the time (before the Micro Four-Thirds system). You couldn't get a smaller package with DSLR performance back then. For me, I used the 25mm pancake as a "lens cap that takes pictures" on my E-510. It allowed me to have a standard-range lens mounted in the bag for quick use, while still allowing a lot of space in the bag for a fast telephoto and flash. I can't say I've ever mounted the pancake on my E-3 to take anywhere, though.
     
  11. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Thanks for the edit.
     
  12. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I'm not sure lenses get better than the Pentax DA 40. Some are faster. Some are easier to manually focus. But, on the whole, there aren't too many better lenses IMHO.
     
  13. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've deleted all inflammatory posts and reactions to them so this thread can get back on track.

    However, I want to be clear that there is a difference between insulting a camera and insulting a person. The former often leads to trouble and I'd prefer if everyone would try to keep that in mind. The latter is clearly against the site terms of service.
     
  14. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    As you know, Pentax has a pancake which is close to the same angle of view as the Panasonic 14, the DA 21/3.5. I compared those two lenses here and overall preferred the Panasonic lens although there are some clear advantages for the Pentax.

    The DA40 is a great lens at a focal length I've never found very desirable.
     
  15. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Horse for courses I guess. I've taken better photos with the Pentax DA21 vs. the Panasonic 14/2.5. Here's the lens breakdown of my top 11 photos from 2011:

    Panasonic 20mm F1.7: 3
    Pentax DA70mm F2.4: 2
    Pentax DA21mm F3.2: 2
    Panasonic 14-140: 1
    Panasonic 100-300: 1
    Pentax M50mm F1.7: 1
    Pentax DA* 50-135mm F2.8: 1

    I chose these photos on the merits of the photograph, not the camera/lens used. Interesting to see a near even split between Panasonic and Pentax, but no shots with the Panasonic 14/2.5, despite it being used three times as much as the Pentax DA21/3.2.

    From the DA21/3.2

    6133335808_b6f6e4b2c6.
    Butcher Shop by john m flores, on Flickr

    6239022187_95f06771ac.
    Jon Stossel/FOX Business @ #OccupyWallStreet by john m flores, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    That photo of the reporter is amazing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Hah... now there's no doubt who has the smallest pancake, and it's still Pentax...

    pentax_40mm_side-11074789.
    The new Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 XS
     
  18. Blastop

    Blastop Mu-43 Regular

    92
    Jun 20, 2011
    Y'know, for the under $300 projected, I'd buy a lens that small regardless of focal length. Probably not if it was worse that f/3.5.
     
  19. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    No fair. That's not a pancake, it's a damn crepe!
     
  20. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    From what I understand, it's the same optical design as the current version, just made smaller, mostly by removing the distance scale.