Could This 35mm F2.7 Be the Ultimate Pancake Lens for Street Photography?

If you’re a street photographer looking for a handy pancake lens for your camera, here’s a 35mm f2.7 that boasts of being the smallest in the world.

Pancake lenses are revered primarily for the superb optics they provide in such a small package. If you’re both a street photographer and a pancake lens fan still looking for one to pair your camera with, here’s a Kickstarter project that could just pique your interest: possibly the smallest pancake lens in the world!

Berlin-based ExperimentalOptics, the team that previously and successfully crowdfunded a crazy 50mm f0.75 full frame portrait lens, is back with another interesting contraption. It’s a 7mm-thin pancake lens that they claim can fit most cameras, covers full frame, produces excellent sharpness, and is always ready to shoot when you are. Sounds like things street photographers could be looking for in a lens if you ask us!

While not exactly solely marketed towards street photography, the creators are touting it as the “ideal travel lens” — that is pretty close. Still, it’s easy to see why this so-called Smallest and Fastest Pancake Lens in the World could also pique the interest of street photographers. With a focal length of 35mm, it’s just right for most street work, and the fast aperture of f2.7 offers many creative possibilities as well (bokeh-licious street portraits, anyone?).

While this native M39 and Leica M mount lens will cover 35mm full frame, the creators say it “shines” on APS and smaller cameras. You can equip it on Sony E-mount cameras using one of their adapters. On APS-C and APS-H cameras, it produces an equivalent of 50mm, which is still not bad for street photography. On micro four thirds, it has an equivalent of 70mm. It also promises to render your images in rich colors and with high color reproduction accuracy without adding a “look” or “style” the way many “creative” lenses do.

Here are the specs of the 35mm f2.7 pancake lens:

Curious about this lens? While the campaign is already fully funded, there are still many days left to go and slots to claim if you want to grab one. Check out the Kickstarter page to find out more.


Images taken from the Kickstarter campaign by ExperimentalOptics