For this post we compared 52 interchangeable pancake lenses with Street & Travel Photographers in mind.
The less size and weight a street and travel photographer has to carry, the more energy he/she has left to explore and photograph the world. This simple fact is already a good reason to get interested in pancake lenses. Another point is that a small lens and camera combination does appear less serious to a non photographer. This can turn out favorably when going closer and photographing candidly. It also can make people curious and become a conversation starter by itself.
With few exemptions pancake lenses are build as prime lenses with a single focal lenght (between 15-105mm, Full Frame equiv.). To save space and weight most of them are based on simple optical formulas, using fewer glass elements than an average sized prime lenses. This makes some of them more prone to optical aberrations such as fringing. Nonetheless the simple construction designs still provide exceptional, sharp image results when used correctly.
Together with a nice sized camera body a well picked pancake lens has the potential to become the “everyday”, “always on” lens. Something street and travel photographers seem to long for in the long run.
Widest & Longest Pancake Focal Lengths (FF.equiv)
From the comparison data we summed up the number of available focal lengths (Full Frame equiv.) and plotted the chart below
- The pancake lens with the widest focal length is Samsung EX-F10ANW 10mm f/3.5. The FoV is 15mm (Full Frame equiv.)
Note it is a Fisheye lens!
- The pancake lens with the longest focal length is Pentax SMC-DA Limited 70mm f/2.4 is. The FoV is 105mm (Full Frame equiv.)
- The typical field of view for a pancake lens is between 40mm and 45mm – 19 out of 49 pancake lenses provide a “normal” field of view.
Fastest & Slowest Pancake Apertures
From the comparison of 49 pancake prime lenses we added up the number of available apertures. and plotted the chart below.
- The pancake lens with the fastest aperture is Panasonic Lumix G ASPH 20mm f/1.7
- The pancake lens with the slowest aperture is Asahi Pentax Takumar Fisheye 18mm f/11
- The typical pancake lens aperture is f/2.8. 21 from 49 pancake prime lenses have a f/2.8 aperture.
Lowest Pancake Length & Weight
- The lightest pancake lens is Pentax SMC-DA XS 40mm f/2.8. It weights 52g only.
- The shortest (non-folded) pancake lens is MS Optical Super Triplet Perar 28mm f/4. Its lenght measures 5mm only.
Pancake Lenses Comparison Table
The table below lists 52 interchangeable pancake lenses, basic characteristics including Fov, Aperture, Available camera mounts, weight, lenght and links to (video) reviews.
When is a lens a pancake lens?
To sort out the sheep from the goats we looked at a broad set of lens sizes and decided to call lenses pancake, only when their physical lenght is equal or less than 30mm.
The table columns are sort-able!
- Click on a column title to sort the entries (A-Z) or numeric.
- Use the search field on the upper right side of the table to filter out and display only entries with specific terms.
- For example enter “Full Frame” in the search field and only Full Frame compatible lenses will be displayed in the list.
|Manufacturer||Lens Name||Field of View||Aperture||Available mount(s)||Focus||Weight (g)||Height (mm)||Sensor||(Video) Reviews||Picture|
|Asahi Pentax||Takumar Fisheye||18mm||f/11||M42 (screw mount)||MF||098 g||12 mm||FF||Review on Pentaxforums|
|Wide||28mm||f/3.5||M39 (screw mount)||MF||099 g||17 mm||FF||Review on cameraville|
|Canon||LTM||28mm||f/2.8||M39 (screw mount)||MF||160 g||20 mm||FF||Mini Review on 35mmc|
Review on legacycamera
|Canon||EF STM||40mm||f/2.8||Canon EF||AF||260 g||22 mm||FF||Review|
on Imaging Resource
|Chinon||Auto Revuenon||45mm||f/2.8||Pentax K||MF||110 g||19 mm||FF||Review on Pentaxforums|
|Contax Zeiss||Tessar T*||45mm||f/2.8||M42 (screw mount)||MF||090 g||19 mm||FF||Review on Photography Review|
Vivitar & Porst
|Cosinon Auto MC||40mm||f/2.5||Pentax K||MF||110 g||20 mm||FF||Review on Pentaxforums|
Discussion Thread on MFlenses
|Fujifilm||Fujinon XF||27mm||f/2.8||Fuji X||AF||078 g||23 mm||APS-C||Review on Findingrange|
|Industar||50-2||50mm||f/3.5||M42 (screw mount)||MF||065 g||25 mm||FF||Review on Vintage Camera Lenses|
|Industrar||69||28mm||f/2.8||M39 (screw mount)||MF||064 g||21 mm||FF||Review on Imagination-works|
|Konica||Hexanon AR||40mm||f/1.8||Konica AR||MF||140 g||25 mm||FF||Review on The Weekend Lens|
|Leica||Summaron||28mm||f/5.6||Leica M||MF||195 g||18 mm||FF||Review on macfilos|
|Leica||Summicron-C||40mm||f/2.0||Leica M||MF||126 g||22 mm||FF||Review on 35 MMC||
|Leitz||Hektor||28mm||f/6.3||M39 (screw mount)||MF||110 g||13 mm||FF||Info on ldtomei|
|Minolta||Rokkor-X||45mm||f/2.0||Minolta MD||MF||125 g||25 mm||FF||Review on ERPhotoreview|
|Minolta||Auto Rokkor TD||45mm||f/2.8||Minolta MD||MF||127 g||15 mm||FF||Discussion Thread on Photo.net |
Photo Examples on Big Big Lens
|MS Optical||Perar||17mm||f/4.5||Leica M||MF||060 g||10 mm||FF||Review on Japan Camera Hunter|
|MS Optical||Super Triplet Perar||21mm||f/4.5||Leica M||MF||055 g||05 mm (folded)||FF||Review on 35 MMC|
|MS Optical||Super Triplet Perar||28mm||f/4||Leica M||MF||055 g||05 mm||FF||Review on Leica Liker|
|MS Optical||Apoqualia-G||28mm||f/2||Leica M||MF||070 g||05 mm||FF||Review on Japan Camera Hunter|
|Neewer||E||28mm||f/2.8||Sony E||AF||102 g||29 mm||APS-C||Video Review by Arthur R|
Customer Reviews on Amazon
|Nikon||Nikkor||10mm||f/2.8||Nikon 1||AF||077 g||22 mm||CX||Review on Photographyblog|
|Nikon Nikkor||Ai-P||45mm||f/2.8||Nikon F||MF||120 g||17 mm||FF||Review on Ken Rockwell|
|Olympus||M.Zuiko||17mm||f/2.8||mFT (m4/3)||AF||071 g||22 mm||m4/3||Review on Photography Blog|
|Olympus||Zuiko Digital||25mm||f/2.8||mFT (m4/3)||AF||095 g||24 mm||m4/3||Review on Imaging Resource|
|Olympus||E.Zuiko Auto-S||38mm||f/2.8||Olympus PEN F||MF||070 g||14 mm||FF||Info on Allphotolenses|
|Olympus||AUTO-S ZUIKO OM||40mm||f/2.0||Olympus OM||MF||140 g||25 mm||FF||Info on Mir|
Review on Photography Review
|Panasonic||Lumix G||14mm||f/2.5||mFT (m4/3)||AF||055 g||21 mm||m4/3||Review on Imaging Resource|
|Panasonic||Lumix G ASPH||20mm||f/1.7||mFT (m4/3)||AF||100 g||26 mm||m4/3||Review on Imaging Resource|
|Panasonic||Lumix G Vario||12mm-32mm||f/3.5-f/5.6||mFT (m4/3)||AF||070 g||24 mm||m4/3||Review on Ephotozine|
|Panasonic||Lumix G Vario X||14mm-42mm||f/3.5-f/5.6||mFT (m4/3)||AF||095 g||27 mm||m4/3||Review on Imaging Ressource|
|Pentacon||Prakticar MC||50mm||f/2.4||Praktika B||MF||160 g||27 mm||FF||Discussion on Zeisskonveb (in German)|
|Pentax||SMC-DA Limited||21mm||f/3.2||Pentax K||AF||119 g||25 mm||APS-C||Review on Photozone|
|Pentax||SMC-M||40mm||f/2.8||Pentax K||MF||110 g||18 mm||FF||Review on Casual Photophile|
|Pentax||SMC-DA Limited||40mm||f/2.8||Pentax K||AF||090 g||15 mm||APS-C||Review on Photozone|
|Pentax||SMC-DA XS||40mm||f/2.8||Pentax K||AF||052 g||09 mm||FF|
|Review on Imaging Resource|
|Pentax||SMC-FA Limited||43mm||f/1.9||Pentax K||AF||155 g||27 mm||FF||Review on Pentax Forums|
Review on Ephotozine
|Pentax||SMC-DA Limited||70mm||f/2.4||Pentax K||AF||130 g||26mm||APS-C||Review on Pentax Forums|
|Ricoh||XR Rikenon||28mm||f/3.5||Pentax K||MF||055 g||19 mm||FF||Review on Medium|
|Ricoh||XR Rikenon||45mm||f/2.8||Pentax K||MF||052 g||19 mm||FF||Review on mannyquinto|
|Samsung||EX-F10ANW||10mm||f/3.5||Samsung NX||AF||072 g||26 mm||APS-C||Imaging Resource Review|
|Samsung||EX-W16NB||16mm||f/2.4||Samsung NX||AF||072 g||24 mm||APS-C||Review on Photozone|
|Samsung||EX-W20NB||20mm||f/2.8||Samsung NX||AF||089 g||24 mm||APS-C||Review on Photozone|
Review on The Phoblographer
|Samsung||EX-S30NB||30mm||f/2.0||Samsung NX||AF||081 g||22 mm||APS-C||Review on Photozone|
Review on Imaging Resource
|Sony||SEL16F28||16mm||f/2.8||Sony E||AF||070 g||23 mm||APS-C||Review on Imaging Resource|
|Sony||SEL20F28||20mm||f/2.8||Sony E||AF||069 g||20 mm||APS-C||Review on The Phoblographer|
|Sony||PZ OSS||16mm-50mm||f/3.5-f/5.6||Sony E||AF||116 g||30 mm||APS-C||Review on Ken Rockwell|
|Voigtlander||Color Skopar SL II||20mm||f/3.5||Canon EF|
|MF||205 g||29 mm||FF||Review on Photozone|
|Voigtlander||Color Skopar LTM||28mm||f/3.5||M39 (screw mount)||MF||163 g||26 mm||FF||Review on 35mmc|
|Voigtlander||Color Skopar SL II||28mm||f/2.8||Canon EF|
|MF||180 g||24 mm||FF||Review on ePhotoZine|
|Voigtlander||Color Skopar P II||35mm||f/2.5||Leica M||MF||134 g||22 mm||FF||Review on 35mmc|
|Voigtlander||Ultron SL II||40mm||f/2.0||Canon EF|
|MF||200 g||24 mm||FF||Review on F-Stoppers|
Pancake lens not listed?
Share a comment if you find your favorite pancake lens missing in the list, thank you very much!