Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pentax-M 40mm f2.8 Pancake - Sample Pictures

My first SLR was a Pentax Program Plus with the Pentax-A 50mm f1.7, and that camera was with me for more than a decade. It captured some of my life's most memorable moments and will always occupy a small niche in my heart, though I don't shoot Pentax any more. Still, I hold on to a few Pentax lenses, and the 40mm f2.8 pancake is one of them.

The lens is about the same size as the Canon 40mm f2.8 STM and I am sure they share a similar optical formula of the Tessar variant. Mounting it on the 5D Mark II looks kind of funny, but it looks perfect on smaller cameras like the Pentax MV, MX, etc. I really have no complains about its optical performance. Stopped down a bit, the lens is sharp from corner to corner, on full frame. Even the bokeh is quite nice. It's a little hard to focus with the very thin focusing ring, but it's a pancake lens, after all. One thing bothers me, is that like so many manual focus lenses, this one hits the 5D II's mirror, even at minimum focus distance.  I was forced to use the live-view, in very strong sunlight, but it was nearly useless.

If you are a Canon shooter, I would recommend the EF 40mm f2.8 STM. It's sharper than the Pentax, for not much more, for a new one, and it auto focuses, and does not hit the mirror.

All pictures below taken with the Pentax-M 40mm f2.8 Pancake, and the Canon 5D Mark II.


  1. >and does not hit the mirror.

    potentially making it cost a lot less ;-)

    lovely images, nothing wrong with that lens !

    I had an MX for a while (until it was stolen in a house break-in) and so Pentax also shares a part of my photographic heat too ... as does the OM1 which was my first SLR (the LED's on the MX attracted me)

    I bought an OM1 again recently ... just to go with my OM lenses (that I bought for m4/3 go figga :-)

  2. The EF 40mm f2.8 is a great lens, but not as much fun to use as the Pentax. I love the OM Zuiko lenses, but they are now very expensive.