Pancake Lenses

It seems that if you produce a small mirrorless camera then you also produce a small high quality pancake lens. After the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 along comes the Samsung 30mm f2.

I was (and still am) mightily impressed with the 20mm and imagined that it would be difficult to better. However it seems I was wrong. The Samsung 30mm f2 is, quite simply, a magnificent lens. Pin sharp, even wide open, with no chromatic aberration or fringing and almost unbelievable bokeh.

I couldn't quite believe the above shot when I first saw it. Photographers go on about "creamy bokeh" and this is a wonderful example of it. From pin sharp to a complete blur with a very smooth and very fast transition.

I have been extremely enthusiastic about this camera as you will have noted in previous posts and this lens adds another dimension. I spoke about the relatively larger zoom lenses giving the camera a small dslr feel, but with this lens fitted it becomes very compact and lightweight. Its a tiny lens, just 85g and is in fact 15g lighter than the 20mm lumix. Combined with the excellent viewfinder in the Samsung its easy to manually focus, which is useful since its a bit slow to auto-focus. I detected no front or back focusing wide open, which is essential because you have far less depth of field "leeway" with this lens due to the larger sensor.

Unfortunately Samsung have only indicated 2 more prime lens coming this year. A 20mm f2.8 pancake and a 60mm f2.8 macro, and nothing wider than the 18mm end of their zooms, which seems strange.

However they have done a very good job so far. I'm very impressed with the NX10 system in general & this lens in particular.

Finally would anyone have predicted a couple of years ago that Panasonic and Samsung would be at the forefront of innovative camera design and high quality lens production. There was a quote allegedly from a Nikon rep. recently - "I wouldn't take Panasonic and Samsung seriously in the camera market, they are more interested in microwaves" If I was Nikon I'd watch my back!

Set of NX10 images at:-


See also:-