Pancake lenses

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Name
stuart
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#1
Why does Nikon not make pancake lenses? It may be a question that has no
answer outside of a board room somewhere in Japan. I like pancake lenses
on dslrs. I have looked at lenses like the 28mm but it is not as discreet as a
dedicated pancake lens, such as Canons 40mm stm and Fuji's 27mm
(I own the Fuji). This just puzzles and disappoints me.
 
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Name
Kyle
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#2
Nikon did make one for many years (45mm f2.8 Ai-P), it just didn't prove all that popular when you could buy the 50mm f1.8 which was only a little bigger for a lot less money. It seems that the market for them isn't big enough. It'd be nice if the manufacturers slower more compact lenses weren't all second rate in the IQ department as they focus all of their attention on the monster sized fast aperture kit. The old nikon Ai primes are a good example of how compact lenses should be, almost the entire range had 52mm filter threads and all the f2.8 lenses were tiny, heck even the f1.4 / f2 primes were tiny. Olympus OM lenses were even better in this respect, 49mm filter threads and barely longer than 45mm.

Modern vs old. Yes the modern lens is sharper, has less CA and less coma etc, but it comes at quite a size penalty. (It's not even the fastest aperture lens in this lineup)
AF-S 20mm f1.8 compared
by Kyle, on Flickr
 
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Name
Alan
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#3
Don't they? If not I suppose they think the numbers don't stack up to make it financially worth it. Either that or they think pancakes will sully their reputation.

I like them. I had the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and 14mm f2.5 but the nearest things I have to pancakes now are probably the Sony 35mm f2.8 and Minolta Rokkor 45mm f2 which are more just compact lenses that true pancakes.
 
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#4
(It's not even the fastest aperture lens in this lineup)
I see you have the 17mm Tamron on the left of that line up: my second favourite lens when I used full frame. Still got the lens but would have to put film in one of my Canon FD bodies to use it. :sulk:

Great for special effect shots...

Canon 5D_two 8GB 12 IMG_0063.JPG
 
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4,688
Name
Dave
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#5
Why does Nikon not make pancake lenses? It may be a question that has no
answer outside of a board room somewhere in Japan. I like pancake lenses
on dslrs. I have looked at lenses like the 28mm but it is not as discreet as a
dedicated pancake lens, such as Canons 40mm stm and Fuji's 27mm
(I own the Fuji). This just puzzles and disappoints me.
The older screw driven AF lenses (20/24/28/35/50) are quite small. Maybe not 'pancake' small, but smaller than newer lenses.
 
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Esvee
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stuart
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#6
Thanks everyone. The older lenses do appeal and I have the 50mm 1.8d, which is my only foray into older designs.
I think I might have to move to FX to make the most of the smaller lenses you lined up and photographed (a used
D700 is now within range of my puny finances.) When I bought my old Fuji X-E2s I added their pancake lens because
I enjoy photographing old paths, doorways and overgrown places as b&w scenes that I then ponder before attempting
stories and paintings. I am a nervous photographer and I noticed passersby no longer gave me 'the look' when using
the pancake lens. It is just the spot-metering that is bewildering on the Fuji. I have fitted my D90 with the 50mm 1.8d
and aim possibly to carry both on a trip Edinburgh with a friend, where there is no shortage of the old and atmospheric
by all accounts. I am also considering a return to film, although I am a very hit and miss photographer, being a painter
really. The Nikon FE catches my eye when I pass by the window of my local used gear shop.
 
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Name
thomas
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#7
Nikon did make one for many years (45mm f2.8 Ai-P), it just didn't prove all that popular when you could buy the 50mm f1.8 which was only a little bigger for a lot less money. It seems that the market for them isn't big enough. It'd be nice if the manufacturers slower more compact lenses weren't all second rate in the IQ department as they focus all of their attention on the monster sized fast aperture kit. The old nikon Ai primes are a good example of how compact lenses should be, almost the entire range had 52mm filter threads and all the f2.8 lenses were tiny, heck even the f1.4 / f2 primes were tiny. Olympus OM lenses were even better in this respect, 49mm filter threads and barely longer than 45mm.

Modern vs old. Yes the modern lens is sharper, has less CA and less coma etc, but it comes at quite a size penalty. (It's not even the fastest aperture lens in this lineup)
AF-S 20mm f1.8 compared
by Kyle, on Flickr
Lol I have own the 20mm 1.8G and it is a pretty small and light lens!
So your point is very true all these lens are smaller that a small modern lens.
I have own a sigma art 50mm 1.4 and that really was a beast for a prime with no image stabilisation!
 
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thomas
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#8
I don't see why nikon don't do pancake there? Is there a physical reason due to their mount or something?

Myself I jumped from nikon full frame to panasonic MFT. I have to say that shooting with my GX9 (450g), with either the 15mm 1.7 (115g and 3.6cm long) or with the 42.5mm 1.7 (130g and 5cm). I can't see why I would like real pancake this is small enough as it is.
 

West Camera

Can I be Frank?
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frank west
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#9
I am a bit confused by this thread. Maybe someone can explain my concerns away. Please do.

What is the point of using a large body camera and then attaching a small size lens? It remains a large body kit which is no more capable of being carried in a pocket whether with a pancake lens or a standard lens. The only advantage of a pancake lens would be to place it on a camera which permits the kit to be carried in a pocket. My Oly PM2 with the Pany 14mm f2.5 makes for one of the few ILC's that easily fits well into a pocket. When attaching the larger pancake Pany 20mm f1.7 pancake to the PM2 it is a tight squeeze into a pocket. So, there are larger sized pancakes and smaller sized pancakes. Just being a pancake does not mean it will work to a purpose, easily.
 
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Dave
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#10
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