A compact body is important, but it's only half the equation. The lens you mount on that nimble picture-taker makes or breaks the entire package. And for some time now, I've been hooked on pancake lenses.
Granted, the name isn't very attractive. But their slim designs more than make up for it. By only protruding from the front of the camera by an inch or less, these diminutive optics create a sharp picture-taking machine that fits practically in any pouch or jacket pocket.
My favorite pancakes include:
- Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 for Micro Four Thirds
- Olympus 17mm f/2.8 for Micro Four Thirds
- Pentax 40mm f/2.8 K-Mount for Pentax SLRs
- Zeiss Tessar 45mm f/2.8 for Contax and Yashica SLRs
- Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM for Canon DSLRs
- Canon 24mm f/2.8 STM for Canon DSLRs
- Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL-II for Nikon SLRs and DSLRs
- Sony 20mm f/2.8 for E-Mount digital cameras
In addition to their compact size, these optics provide sharp results and relatively fast apertures. They've literally changed my approach to photography. By working with just a single focal length, I've become more resourceful in finding the right distance and angle for a shot, and I've missed fewer opportunities because I always have one of these cameras with me.
Every Nimble Photographer deserves a pancake lens. And once you've tried one, I'm certain you'll never let it go.