Good pancake lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by ultrakomm, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. ultrakomm

    ultrakomm New to TalkEmount

    Nov 4, 2013

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of a vintage lens that would work well as a pancake lens for my NEX-5R? It should be as good and small as possible (including adapter). Price is not incredibly important but cheap is very good.

    Best regards and thanks,
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    If you add an adapter to any lens, you've already expanded beyond "pancake" size IMO. But if you're looking for "as small as possible," then I think many of the Voigtländer rangefinder lenses may be your best bet. What focal length are you after?

    Oh, and welcome!
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Don't rule out the Sony 20mm f/2.8. It's not the fastest lens, but it's one of the smallest you can get with decent quality. If you want faster, with an adapter, M-Mount lenses are your best choice, but regardless of how small they are for their aperture, you won't find any 'pancakes'.
  4. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    If small size is what your looking for with a pancake then as WoodWorks said the adapter is going to take up a bit of space by itself, which in a way negates the benefit of a pancake. Having said that there are a couple of choices that may bring the size down for you.

    The most obvious is to use a Leica M adapter which is one of the smallest adapters available for the NEX line. With this adapter you have the choice of a Voigtlander Color-Skopar 40/2 or the Minolta M-Rokkor 40/2, both very capable pancake lenses. The Voigtlander sounds fancy but is actually made by Cosina. That is not a bad thing necessarily since Cosina also makes Zeiss lenses and has been a pretty good third party lens maker for many, many years. The Rokkor has the benefit of actually being made by Minolta, who historically produced some of the best lenses ever made. As proof, when Leica needed a Japanese partner they chose Minolta. And Leica actually bought some lenses from Minolta and rebadged them as Leicas. I think that says it all. So if you want an actual old legacy lens go with the Minolta, whereas I think the Voigtlander can still be purchased new.

    Another option is to buy a Metabones Speedbooster for C/Y mount. This is smaller then a normal adapter and you can mount up Zeiss Tessar 45/2.8 in Contax/Yashica mount. This will still be a darn tiny package. I know this because I use the Speedbooster with a Yashica ML 50/1.9 which is NOT a pancake lens but it is the smallest adapter/lens package I have been able to find for my NEX 7. I refer to it as my snub nose .38 special. Since the Zeiss Tessar is way smaller then an ML 50/1.9 it will be a very small combo for sure.

    The added benefit of using the Speedbooster is that the Tessar will keep its original focal length (45mm, sort of) and be one stop faster to boot. Truly, I do not lie. The Speedbooster is a miracle device and works as advertised, no gimmicks. If you use the Voigtlander or M Rokkor with the Leica adapter then they will become 60mm lenses due to the crop factor. The Tessar will only become a 48mm for all intents and purposes (Im not going to go into the math), as well as dropping to an f/2 from f/2.8. This Zeiss by the way was not made by Cosina, but rather Tomioka. Tomioka Zeiss lenses are some of the best lenses in the world in my opinion.

    So a 60/2 or 48/2. Good choices either way. Hope this helps.
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