With the impending announcement of Canon's pancake lens, I thought it would be a good time to revisit this svelte class of prime glass.
So, what's the big (eh, small) deal?
Thin is In
There's something cool about a lens that isn't much thicker than the body cap that replaces it. You feel like you're getting away with something. And the thinner the camera is to begin with, the more thrilling the pancake is mounted on it.
Light is All Right
Big zoom lenses add much weight to our camera kits. But put a pancake prime on there, and it feels like your camera has been on a diet. You can barely feel it tugging on your neck.
Bright in Low Light
The typical maximum aperture on a pancake is f/2.8. It's probably not the fastest glass in your bag, but it's a whole lot brighter than the kit lens and most of your zooms.
And in addition to all of this, pancakes are usually sharp and affordable. No wonder photographers like them so much.
If you want to learn more about these thin primes, take a look at this excellent article on B&H about pancakes.
And yes, I'm interested in the Canon version that seems to be waiting in the wings...