Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
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Thread: Pancake lenses
Stephen Coates 20:30 24th October 2014
Anyone here got any pancake lenses for their cameras? They seem to have been quite popular recently.

Canon introduced a pancake EF 40mm lens a while back which looks good, but I already have the EF 50mm/1.8 which is small and light, so I don't really have any use for a 40mm. I was pleased to see recently that they are releasing a 24mm EF-S pancake lens. This will be excellent for APS-C digital cameras, as it will give a field of view similar to a 40mm lens (full frame), so should be a good general purpose lens, and of course, being a pancake lens, it will be small and light.

I reckon the pancake form factor will be nice for digital SLRs to make them a bit smaller and lighter, as they are rather heavy compared to modern film SLRs.

Should be quite affordable as well at about 180.

I do have an old manual 28mm lens, with an EF adaptor. This is a nice lens, but being limited to manual focus can be a bit awkward on a modern DSLR due to the small viewfinder, and lack of focusing aids.

I'm quite tempted to get one of these 24mm pancakes when its released next month.
Attached: canon24pancake.jpg (14.7 KB)
Harrison 10:37 26th October 2014
I don't use pancake lenses as I prefer to have a slightly longer lens for better weight in the hand. But the Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM has been getting some really good reviews and is highly recommended for its good quality optics, and would be a huge step up compared to the cheap feeling and very plastic 50mm Canon prime, which does actually take very good images for the price, but always feels very cheap to use.

I also don't tend to use primes much these days as I'm normally taking pictures that require a lot of different ranges, so when out tend to use a 18-200mm lens most of the time these days.. unless doing macro work then I use my 100mm Canon L lens which I love.
Tiago 15:36 27th October 2014
I don't use them.
I have a 50mm macro just for macros, also have a 300mm for long distances and some other lens like 18-70 or 28-105.
most of this lens are manual as they came from my old D70 that has a motor in camera. My new D3200 don't have motor in body so it can only use motor in lens. So old lens i have to focus manually.

As SLRS are quite big and heavy, is not a pancake lens that will make the full pack lighter.
did you ever use a adapter ring to use 2 lens at same time? I did use a macro 50mm+300mm together with the 300mm inverted.
The result is a super macro. But very hard to focus as a 1mm distance to target can change everything.
Stephen Coates 16:02 27th October 2014
I've not used adapter rings to invert lenses, but I have sometimes done macro shots just by holding a lens backwards up against the mount. My Chinon 28mm lens is quite good for this.

I quite like my cheap Canon 50mm/1.8. It isn't as nice to use as a better built lens, but the cheap construction does give it the advantage of being very light .

I recently acquired a Canon EF 75-300mm lens. I carted it all the way up to Sheffield with my EOS 500D (putting strain on my shoulders)... and I forgot to bring an SD card .
Tiago 16:38 27th October 2014
You should try to use an invert ring.
Here is one i shoot some time ago: It's a 50mm macro + ring + 300mm inverted

It is very difficult to focus. The ant in the photo, lets say that it was not very alive... had +/- 3 or 4mm so i had to put the camera plus the 2 lens, with a total size of +/- 35 cm... in a table (tripod can't hold the 2 lens, very unstable) e put the and in front of final lens. Then instead of moving the camera, i had to move the ant... 1 mm more or less made e huge difference. Notice that head of ant is not totally focus, just one area, the head is about 1 or 2 mm in size...
Harrison 11:03 28th October 2014
Extreme macro photography is amazing to me and so fascinating to see a small world so close up.

I've only tried adapters and reversed lenses a couple of times and as you say focus is really fiddly to get just right. You also have to have really good lighting.

Canon make a macro lens that I would love to own, the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo. This takes amazing macro images. Canon have some demo videos somewhere showing this lens in use. Quite amazing.

The one I use is this one. I wanted this lens for a long time and it didn't disappoint once I obtained it.
Stephen Coates 14:48 30th October 2014
That L lens looks good . Do have any example photos?

Have any of you used a mirrorless camera? They look quite interesting. Would be good to try one, but I'm not sure yet if they would be any better than a DSLR.
Tiago 15:33 30th October 2014
I never used mirrorless cameras, but they look strange. the body is small and the lens is big compared with body size.
i do believe they are much better then a classic compact camera, but if you really like photography you will want a body that have all features in the less menus possible. It's much better to have buttons to do some functions then just have a menu and you need to choose the function you want from the menu. A direct button is always faster.
Weight for me is not a problem too, i don't care if the camera is 100gr or 500gr. I just want to have a camera that i can hold firm. one hand in body and the other hand in body+lens.
I do understand why people by a compact camera, they are really small, you can easily put it in a pocket. But with that mirrorless cameras you cannot do that, they don't fit in a small pocket. So they do loose the size factor.
I am not talking about quality, just in size and simplicity of use. There are good quality mirrorless cameras for sure.
Harrison 20:02 30th October 2014
I've played around with some mirrorless camera systems in the past, also known as compact system cameras, but don't own one.

The Olympus Pen cameras always win magazine awards and has more recently come down in price, plus has a wide variety of good lenses on offer... I've had a play around with them at trade shows and they are nice to use, and feel very retro and vintage, and I like the way they copied the original film Pen cameras of old with the manual dials to set every settings such as ISO and shutter speed as they really is nice to use, but I probably wouldn't buy one for the money.

The Panasonic Lumix G range is another good series of cameras as they are long established, used a lot by pros as a backup camera, and have a lot of lenses. And the Sony compact system cameras are really nice too with some nice lenses.

Personally I prefer bridge cameras for a smaller backup or companion camera. We currently own a Panasonic Lumix FZ100 (wife's mainly) and it's a great bridge camera with a huge zoom range, nice wide angle lens allowing a very low light F/2.8 at 25mm is great for wide angle shorts in tight spaces without a need for the flash.

However for most things give me a DSLR any day.. but not a lower end consuber unit with limited manual controls. I hate how on the entry level DSLRs they tend to move most functions and options to the menu system. It's good for more advanced features, but I like to have physical buttons and controls for the main features. F.ex. on my Canon 60D I mainly leave it in full manual mode and can so quickly change the aperture and shutter speed without taking my eye from the view finder as their controls are positioned on 2 rotary dials that fall under 2 different fingers. In addition things like ISO settings, focus mode etc are one button press away.

But actually on the Panasonic FZ100 in manual mode you have pretty good control, although you have to click the scroll wheel to switch between aperture and shutter adjustment. Still pretty fast to use though.
Tiago 14:44 31st October 2014
Originally Posted by :
I hate how on the entry level DSLRs they tend to move most functions and options to the menu system. It's good for more advanced features, but I like to have physical buttons and controls for the main features
Exactly what i think !!
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