5 Tasty Pancake Lenses That Will Make Your Mouth Water

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Pancake lenses have a special place in the hearts of many street photographers and documentarians. They get their name from their small, thin form factor and their weight (or lack of it). With a pancake lens attached, photographers can pick up a camera and walk around with them almost like they’re a point and shoot. After the break, we’ll share five pancake lenses that are fun to use. They’ll also impress with their image quality and overall performance.

If you like to keep the weight of your gear down and don’t like compromising on quality, these pancake lenses could be for you. With pancake lenses being prime lenses, image quality is exceptional, and autofocus speeds are rapid. The best part is the price points of these lenses. Here’s a look at five of the best pancake lenses available today on various platforms.

Fujifilm 27mm f2.8

pancake lenses

In our review, we said:

“we believe that this is the lens that street photographers will truly reach for. Not only does the low profile look of it not attract attention but you’ll almost never need to stop it down. Due to the f2.8 maximum aperture, you’ll really never really find any really creamy bokeh and stopping it down beyond f5.6 is useless in many situations. Because of this, it might appeal most to the “F8 and be there” crowd–who number amongst some of the truest and rawest street photographers.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief

Buy now: $449

Canon 22mm f2 STM

pancake lenses

In our review, we said:

“Well, here’s the fantastic thing about the Canon 22mm f2 EF-m lens: it offers fantastic image quality. In fact, I wish every brand made a pancake lens this good. It’s sharp, contrasty, has beautiful bokeh, there’s no chromatic aberration, etc. It’s so perfect. Yes, I’m saying that it’s perfect.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
pancake lenses

Buy now: $199

Captured with the Fujifilm GF 50mm f3.5 R LM WR

Pro Tip: Make sure you carry extra SD cards with you when you go out to shoot. Sometimes SD cards fail, or you might leave the house without one in your camera. Cover yourself by buying some extras to keep in your bag, vehicle, or pockets. This SD card is reliable and is cheap enough to buy multiples.

Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II

pancake lenses

In our review, we said:

“The overall image quality from the 20mm f1.7 II lens from Panasonic is truthfully pretty damned good. There is a healthy amount of sharpness, contrast, and overall solid color rendition built into this lens. When you couple this with its great build quality and focusing abilities you’ve got yourself quite the winner.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief

Buy now: $267.99

Fujifilm GF 50mm f3.5 R LM WR

pancake lenses

In our review, we said:

“The Fujifilm GF50mm f3.5 is a stunner in almost every area. Images are sharp, there’s little to no distortion, and you’ll find no vignetting. This pancake lens is a joy to use.”

Brett Day – Gear Editor
pancake lenses

Buy now: $999

Captured with the Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM

Pro Tip: These pancake lenses lend themselves very well to both street and documentary genres, thanks to their small size. If either of these two genres interests you, or you’d just like to find out more about the essentials of street photography, this will help you out.

Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM

pancake lenses

In our review, we said:

“I tried to find something I didn’t like about this lens or some reason it wouldn’t be up to snuff, and I failed, I simply cannot find anything wrong with it.”

pancake lenses

Buy now: $179