Cake
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    • The venerable little pancake lens, shorter than it is wide, packable, turn your mirrorless to the equivilent size of a point and shoot and make your camera better than your phone.

      I put a post up a while back about if you could only carry three lenses, and most of the replies included a pancake lens...if the definition above works.

      The conversation was interesting to see how people view only having a limited choice of three lenses, usually there is a lot of compromise in some area of your shooting. The conversation was directed more for people getting into photography for the first time and as some sort of direction what lenses more seasoned shooters would choose.

      The flip side to that conversation was directed again at a newer photographer (purposely without pointing that out) that if the dSLR was too big and the phone camera wouldn't cut it what point and shoot camera would you choose?

      Well it appears the point and shoot isn't greatly loved by many, the phone is a better option for a quick snap, and @Munch made the group aware of a great app he has been using for years on his cell phone with great success.

      A lot of responders felt a mirrorless with a prime pancake lens would give much better image for a similar size and in some cases for less money.

      So...pancake lenses, primes or mini zooms, what's your take, love them hate them. For me in the Sony line up the only lens that can be considered a pancake zoom is the 16-50 kit lens and like most it ends up as a paperweight or being sold off.

      @Pathfinder had some great things to say about pancakes and small primes in general, hopefully he'll jump in here and tell us his favorites

      In my bag I have a 20/2.8 sadly I don't have mine with me right now but it's this one. I 'made' myself take just that lens and a a6300 on a two week ride and expected to be having a sense of loss at some point or another but kept telling myself my legs were my zoom.

      I knew that the majority of the week would be more landscape based shots and the little 20mm didn't disappoint for what I needed it for.

      With this particular lens even though it'll open up to 2.8, it is at its best at 5.6, just giving a very mild bokeh but remarkably sharp up close

      As we have shooters on Cake using a very wide range of brands of cameras it will be interesting to see what the preferred pancake lens is, as a single grab and go lens and of course images would be a bonus to see how your lens does in the real world

    • I was fortunate to spend a couple days at a workshop led by Jay Maisel a number of years ago in Toronto hosted by the Luminous Landscape. One point he hammered at us all weekend, was never leave your home, go out, or take a walk in the city, without your camara in your hand. I have tried to live by that credo, but have failed from time to time, but his point was you never know when you need a camera until the moment you do, and at that moment you can either raise it to your eye to shoot, or you can leave and go home to get it, but the show will be missed if you go home. I have a number of images I owe to Jay's relentless pounding his point home too.

      I also paid attention as we went out shooting, and his camera sported either a 24-105 mm zoom or a 70-300mm zoom, not a fabled 50mm prime or a 35mm prime. I made note of that.

      I own many nice fast sharp primes and enjoy using them, but I find that I choose them for specific purposes with intention in mind when I grab them.

      Like @Chris I strongly prefer good modern zooms. Modern computer aided lens fabrication creates lenses that are so good, that for most of my needs, the value of multiple focal lengths trumps the finer optical quality of primes for me, most of the time. Panasonic was first, but most OEM manufacturers now offer lens profiles for editing software that helps correct minor optical defects so well, that most lenses no longer display chromatic aberration or significant distortion. One of my favorite walk around lenses is a Tamron 16-300 zoom for a crop body camera, sneered at by the camera cognoscenti, but capable of very nice images if used carefully and appropriately. Another I rather like is Canon's RF 24-240, I used it a fair amount in Yellowstone for landscape shooting.

      That's why I own just one pancake lens, for a m4/3 body - a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 But I doubt I have used it

      It turns out I have used it - when I went to my Lightroom catalog I found hundreds of images shot with a Panasonic G 20mm f1.7 lens on a Panasonic DMC- GF1 - the first m4/3 body built by Panasonic almost 10 years ago. I still own that body, it is about the size of a deck of cards. I am beginning to repeat myself here I think...😄 A pancake lens on a small body mirrorless camera.

      I took it to the Galapagos Islands in addition to my long lenses and bodies, because it was so small and light.

      I photographed the twin lens reflex cameras used by Vivian Maier at her first posthumous gallery showing in Chicago in February 2011. My camera that day was small enough to fit in my coat pocket. Ms Maier did not use a pocket camera but a nuch larger twin lens reflex

      Here is the Tiffany roof at the library with the pancake Panasonic 20mm f1.7

      My camera gear gets carried on the back seat in my SUV or my pick up in a large back pack.. When I was riding on 2 wheels I carried a small P&S, or a small DSLR. but one of the reasons I stopped riding was I could not carry the camera gear I wanted to bring and to use.

      One of the lmitations of the Canon M mount bodies I have read, was the very limited number of lenses Canon offers in the M mount. But I wandered onto B&H looking for a Sigma lens in M mount and was blown away - B&H offers 7 full pages of lenses for the M mount, from very short 4mm Venus fish eye to 18-200 zooms, and a couple Venus optics I am very interested in. Most of them are all less than $500, and many are half that price. I need to look at that more.