When will we see another pancake

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by StefanKruse, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Jan 28, 2015
    Denmark
    Stefan
    A lot is going on in the m43 world, new bodies and a number of new lenses - all great and appreciated. But where are the new pancakes? I my opinion this is one of the things that really works for m43, small quality lenses like the pany 20mm. I dont know about the physics of lenses, but as we already have 3 pancakes 14,17 and 20 there should be some room for making small quality pancakes.

    I would love following pancakes
    - a 17mm f1.7 with fast AF
    - a 14/15mm f1.7 with fast AF
    - a 25 mm f1.7 with fast AF

    Basically I would just like a series of pancakes with iq similar to the pany 20mm, but with slightly improved AF - I doesn't need to be blazing fast, but a bit faster in low light would be great.

    Why aren't Panasonic/Olympus building on one of the strengths of the system I.e one of the things that really separates m43 from other systems I.e. Size.

    Small pancake primes should also go well with the pen-f segment I would think?
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Jun 9, 2011
    I think there are already small (though not pancake,) options very similar to what you listed, so I doubt they will happen.

    I think a reasonably priced wide rectilinear prime would be a nice addition. Even 10mm and f4 wouldn't sound bad to me if the cost was reasonably low and sized small.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Jan 28, 2015
    Denmark
    Stefan
    Yes we have a lot of small options e.g. Oly 25mm or 17mm, but the ability to combine my e-pl5with the 20mm and put it in my pocket is just brilliant.
     
  4. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Jun 9, 2011
    Yeah, I'm not disagreeing. Just with all the lenses in that normal range of 17 to 30mm already out or announced it seems unlikely to me.

    Considering the newest pancake lens was released with the gf2 though, we are overdue for a new one. (and I am aware of the version 2's that came out, but I don't really count them)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Well we have had 3 pancake zooms since then and a handful of very compact non-pancake primes.

    I agree we probably won't see any more in this well covered range. And honestly, the compact primes we have already are very close to pancakes. I had a 20mm before I got my 15 and 25mm f1.8. Yes the pancake is slimmer, but with any of these options you are fine for a jacket pocket, but not really your pants pocket. I don't think it adds too much in terms of real world portability to have a 55mm thick camera+lens combo vs a 70-75mm one with the non-pancakes. Weight is within 50g for most of these, too.

    Compact Camera Meter
     
  6. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    This question comes up now and then. It must not be physically possible to make good fast small pancakes like 20mm with inner motors. That must be why the smallest Panasonic and Olympus have been making are larger lenses like the 15/17/25mm ones. Looks like 20mm will remain the one of a kind classic :)
     
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yes, you'll find that all of the pancakes made for other systems are in the range where they are similar to the system's flange distance, and almost all of them are unit-focussing lenses (i.e. the entire lens group moves forward and back to focus). So while I'm sure the AF of the 20mm/1.7 could potentially be improved somewhat with a newer type of motor, I'm not sure you'll ever see a pancake prime that has blazing fast AF like some of the other lenses that only need to move a lightweight internal focussing element.

    The 30mm/f2 pancake for Samsung, and the 20mm/2.8 or 16/2.8 pancakes for Sony are not really known as speed demons compared to modern M4/3 lenses, as far as I know.
     
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I wonder how the market would respond to a prime lens that pops out when powered on like the PZ/EZ zoom lenses (Or Ricoh GR). That way you could have it travel like a pancake, but pop up to a thickness of a regular prime lens with a fairly normal lens design.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  9. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    That's a good point. Its also true of the premium fixed lens compacts like the FujiFilm X100 series and X70. Perhaps the RX1 as well? (I can't remember)
     
  10. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Jan 28, 2015
    Denmark
    Stefan
    As I recall the AF on the Pana 14mm is descent, but as stated I would be happy with less than blazing fast AF.

    I am just surprised that a success like the 20mm pany is not followed by another fast lense around f1.7. a 14 mm f1.7 sized like the 20mm would be a great update.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Jan 28, 2015
    Denmark
    Stefan
    Interesting idea
     
  12. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    Except there is already a 14/2.5 and a 15/1.7 that's still pretty small. I doubt the market is there for another competing lens in that focal range unless it offers something significantly different. I don't think 'a little smaller' or 'a little faster' are differentiating enough.

    Both Olympus and Panasonic seem to be focusing their recent development efforts on offerings that appeal to the pro and semi-pro markets: high quality lenses with fast apertures for their focal lengths moreso than absolute portability. Though with the GM series and lenses like the 15/1.7, the 42.5/1.7 that don't overlap the mount/baseplate, maybe we'll see another pancake suited to that camera.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  13. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    I think that we may see some more pancakes next Shrove Tuesday.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  14. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Jan 28, 2015
    Denmark
    Stefan
    Agree but the 15 is still double the size of the 20 and the 14 is around 1 stop slower. With Olympus going super fast with pro 1.2 primes I think there might be an opening for Panasonic to deliver something small and fast based on the 20mm formula. A 17mm f1.7 would also make sense as the 2 Olympus offerings are both not without challenges.
     
  15. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    301
    Oct 12, 2013
    I agree there should be more pancakes. There have been three pancake zooms offered, but no new primes in ages (like 5+ years!). In my mind, an Olympus 14/1.8 would make perfect sense, since they don't already have a lens at that focal length. Either company doing a 27.5/2 or 30/2 or so would also be really nice.

    I think the ongoing popularity of the 20/1.7 (my favorite lens) despite its slow focusing is proof of market.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    It also helps that it's a crazy sharp lens, and the cheapest fast lens in the system by a good margin (except for the brand new P25/1.7)
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I just got another Panasonic 20mm and the Olympus 14-42EZ to replace my Olympus 25mm f1.8. Because the E-M5 with the 25 did not fit in my "don't leave home without it" belt case (a soft, leather case originally released with the old C5050Z, I think) I just have not been using it much, and it's a camera a like a lot. Traveling light unless I'm leaving the house with a specific photo project in mind has become important to me. I like having a camera on me at all times (except when I jog, and even then I have my phone - in case my old carcass keels over), so the cameras I tended to take were the Lecia X1 or the nifty and versatile little Olympus Stylus 1. But I like being able to add my E-M5 to the qualified to take anytime cameras, and pancakes are the only way to do that. The lens I dream of is the one on the old Olympus 35SP - a stunning 42mm 7 element in 5 groups optic that I would love to see a digital version of, although I'd prefer it come out on a digital version of that old rangefinder, one of my all time favorite film cameras.
     
  18. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I agree with a lot of what has been said already in this thread, but I'd actually be happy to get pancakes even if they had to be a third or even two thirds of an EV slower: 17mm f/2.0, 20mm f/2.0, 25mm f/2.0 - with state-of-the art AF and, possibly (though I don't really need that), O.I.S. The 12-32mm pancake zoom proves that this is doable - if you took out the actual zoom mechanism, you'd end up with enough space for a sufficient amount of good glass.

    That said, I'd personally take the 20mm f/1.7 all over again: If a new version performed like the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 in terms of AF, I'd buy it immediately. The 17mm is a nice lens, and it isn't big either, but it's no pancake and its rendering just isn't as crisp and contrasty as the 20mm's, so if I didn't appreciate the reliability of the Olympus' AF so much, I'd revert back to the 20mm f/1.7 as my go-to small prime without hesitation. In fact, I still shoot the 20mm on the GF1 where it performs well enough (the AF system seems to suit it), but on my Olympus bodies, it not only feels a little sluggish, but also a bit too unreliable, especially in low light - just enough to make me feel uncomfortable ... It's a shame really, because it'd make a fantastic pair with either the E-M10 or - even better - the E-PL7.

    I'm glad it works for you, Larry.

    M.
     
  19. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    349
    Jan 28, 2015
    Denmark
    Stefan
    I think I wold also be willling to trade a third of a stop for a faster AF as long as it would still keep size down as long as image quality does not suffer.
     
  20. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 Top Veteran

    619
    Feb 23, 2014
    France
    I agree with the OP.
    I love true pancake lenses (I mean pancakes in "shooting conditions", not like the 14-42ez or the 12-32 that have to be extendended to shoot).

    However, I'm not sure there's a lot of room for pancakes in Pananonic's lineup.
    (I already have the 14 & 20)

    There's more room for Olympus, the 17 f/2.8 is not very sexy, it would be great to have a new version of the lens, for example a 17/2.0 Pancake.

    And I would love an 10 mm pancake, even if it's an MF lens.
    Similar to the 24x36 lens Voigtlander 20 mm.
    Voigtlander Color Skopar 20mm f/3.5 SL II Aspherical (Canon EOS) - Lab Test / Review

    I'm not so sure it's possible in m43 given the much lower flange distance.