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08-24-2011, 10:31 AM   #1
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A thought on Pancake Lenses ...

Is the recent emphasis of Pentax on pancake-style lenses perhaps due to the potential of next generation cameras heading towards mirrorless?

It makes sense .... who would want a nicely compact mirrorless camera with huge lenses?

These lenses could set things up well for Pentax. Just a thought ... wonder what others think?

08-24-2011, 10:38 AM   #2
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There's quite a few threads on this forum regarding pancakes and mirrorless cameras. The consensus seems to be that, although the pancakes are small, the distance between the lens and the sensor is so big it would make it difficult to design a properly compact camera to suit them. Sadly, I agree... Although there is potential for them to be easily used with an adapter, or with Ricoh's GXR if Ricoh produce an appropriate unit for it.

Personally, I would love them to come up with something that looks like an old K1000 of LX film camera, but I still think this is unlikely...
08-24-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I'll try to search for those threads.

I'm toying around buying the DA 15 F4 ... it would be an easier decision if I knew it would be suitable for cameras 5+ years from now. I probably would not mind using an adaptor and having it jut out a bit.
08-24-2011, 11:11 AM   #4
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One thing to note is that, with all Pentax lenses, to properly maintain infinity focus the distance between the mount and the film plane (sensor) needs to be 45.46mm, or about an inch and a half.

There are still ways to make cameras smaller, but that's one thing that has to be constant--so we're not going to see a PK mount camera that's a half-inch thick.

08-24-2011, 11:12 AM   #5
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I'm not so sure this emphasis is really any change for Pentax. The original 40mm pancake came out in 1976.

M 40/2.8

The M series 135mm f3.5 and 200mm f4, though not pancakes, are amazingly small for their focal lengths and they came out in 1977.

M 135/3.5
M 200/4

Even the FA series 77mm, which came out in 1999, is surprisingly compact.

FA 77/1.8 Limited

So, it seems more of just a continuation of an old design philosophy instead of a shift to a new format.
08-24-2011, 11:15 AM   #6
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K-mount lenses can't be used on mirrorless because of sensor distance, so no, this has nothing to do with that IMO. Pentax has always liked small stuff, though.
08-24-2011, 11:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
One thing to note is that, with all Pentax lenses, to properly maintain infinity focus the distance between the mount and the film plane (sensor) needs to be 45.46mm, or about an inch and a half.
Curious, is that calculation independent of sensor size? I don't have any expertise, but in my head I'm thinking a smaller sensor would require the light to bend less ... or perhaps it is unlikely sensors on 'high-end' cameras would be smaller 5 years from now.
08-24-2011, 11:33 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stills999 Quote
Curious, is that calculation independent of sensor size? I don't have any expertise, but in my head I'm thinking a smaller sensor would require the light to bend less ... or perhaps it is unlikely sensors on 'high-end' cameras would be smaller 5 years from now.
Flange focal distance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

08-24-2011, 11:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stills999 Quote
Thanks for the response. I'll try to search for those threads.

I'm toying around buying the DA 15 F4 ... it would be an easier decision if I knew it would be suitable for cameras 5+ years from now. I probably would not mind using an adaptor and having it jut out a bit.
No problem.

And, don't worry about cameras 5 years from now. As long as Pentax make SLRs they'll use K-Mount... If SLRs become redundant then everyone will be in the same boat with their lenses - Canon, Nikon etc. Of course, Pentax may go bust, but... you've got to take some risks!
08-24-2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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Got it.

A separate though I should have mentioned earlier. Even in the worst case scenario that pentax goes out of business and stops producing cameras, these lenses should still be compatible as someone surely would make an adaptor for a competitor model. The only minor issue (not a big deal to me) is that the lenses would probably have to stickout somewhat.

Of course, the much more likely scenario is Pentax staying in businss and continuing to support K-mount as it has for decades with no issue.
08-24-2011, 12:42 PM   #11
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K mount Adapters for NEX for example...

The argument about adapting within limits of Flange distance. As I understand it Nikon Folks have it worst, and Sony folks have it best with respect to adapting competitive glass to fit their bodies.
08-24-2011, 01:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
K mount Adapters for NEX for example...

The argument about adapting within limits of Flange distance. As I understand it Nikon Folks have it worst, and Sony folks have it best with respect to adapting competitive glass to fit their bodies.
As RioRico likes to point out NEX is almost short enough to use C-mount lenses.
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