Make Your Own Pancake Lens

Today’s post by Mark Toal

A pancake lens is photographer’s term for a thin, flat lens, generally a normal or wide angle prime lens. One example that both Joe and I enjoy is Olympus’ 9mm Fisheye Body Cap lens. Pancake lenses are valued for their ability to provide quality optical design in a compact package, so small as to be pocketable—a design feature which is usually impractical with traditional, big SLR bodies and lenses. Pancake lenses can be very short and flat because they don’t need large amounts of optical correction or extra lens elements. Instead of buying one, I’ll show you how to make one in your own kitchen.