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Newbie question: pancake lens


New to TalkEmount
Sep 2, 2011
Hi everybody,
I'm a point-n-shoot user and thinking of stepping up buying NEX-5N. I know there's only 18-55 kit for now but probably there will be a bundle with the 16 mm pancake. It is cheaper to buy it in a bundle then separate so my question is (may sound embarassing) - do I really need a wide format pancake lens? I know it is good for landscapes or inside photography. I'm planning to use the camera while travelling and for family pictures. How easy to change lenses? Do you use these lens often?


TalkEmount Regular
Aug 8, 2011
I have the NEX-3 with 16mm lens and I have mixed feelings about it. It's MUCH more compact than the 18-55mm lens but the image quality isn't as good as I'd like.

By that, I mean that the NEX-3 has a far superior image sensor than the image sensor in my Olympus E-PL1 but the E-PL1 with Olympus 17mm or Panasonic 20mm pancake lenses delivers sharper, more detailed images than my NEX-3 with the 16mm pancake. When I use legacy lenses like my old Pentax 55mm f/1.8 lens I get better image quality out of the NEX-3 than out of the E-PL1 ... so I know it's just a matter of the 16mm lens not being as sharp as the pancake lenses from Olympus and Panasonic.

That said, the Sony 16mm is dirt cheap ... you won't find a 24mm equivalent f/2.8 lens for the m4/3 mount for $250 or less.

Amin Sabet

Aug 6, 2011
It's very easy to change lenses, but I don't personally shoot as wide as 16mm very often. 18-55mm covers my range well, and the only reason I'd use the 16 often is to have a smaller combination. Other people love going that wide and wider, so your mileage may vary.

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