Is it worth investing in a pancake lens for my Canon EOS-M?

8 replies
Found 15th Feb
Hi, I have a Canon EOS-M which is the mirror-less type of DSLR and want to take the kind of photo where you have a blurry background. I'm looking to take photos of landmarks which wouldn't be up close. I've read ways to take blurry background photos like the Creative function that's already in the camera but I've tried this out on objects far away it doesn't work. I wonder then if a pancake lens is the way to go but I don't want to get one and find that that's not what I needed?

8 Comments

You need a lens that has a very low F number...

If you had a normal not full frame SLR, cheap lens of choice would be the canon nifty fifty ..the 50mm F1.8

The other way to get the bokeh blurryness is to take pictures from further away and zoom in to get the right framing, that isolates the subject from the background well.

The blurry background you talk of is simple out of focus space. So for example if your subject is 50mm away and you use a 50-100mm lens you focus at 50mm and everything beyond and in front of that is out of focus. So as long as your focal length is shorter then the maximum length of the lens you will get blurry backgrounds no special features needed digital-photography-school.com/how…ts/

And to answer you question no.

Original Poster

I have an 18-55mm lens so would I need a longer lens rather than the pancake? I want to take photos of say, Tower Bridge where it's at such a distance that I can't go up any closer to blur the background

Try this article:
exposureguide.com/foc…htm

Aperture, focal length and distance to object all have an impact on depth of field. The reality is though that if you're looking at taking pictures of big things (like tower bridge) you are going to struggle to get a narrow DOF with affordable kit.
A pancake (28mm? 50mm?) is going the wrong way even if it does have a nice wide aperture.

I'm not a canon user, but I'd look at picking up a few long manual lenses, with adapters if needed (the normal canon DSLRs will take a wide variety of lenses with adapters - I just dont know anything about the mirrorless ones, do they have the same mount as the dslr?)
You can pick up a 200mm F4 manual lens very cheap. That will get you nearer than a pancake.

Original Poster

mas99

Try this … Try this article:http://www.exposureguide.com/focusing-basics.htmAperture, focal length and distance to object all have an impact on depth of field. The reality is though that if you're looking at taking pictures of big things (like tower bridge) you are going to struggle to get a narrow DOF with affordable kit.A pancake (28mm? 50mm?) is going the wrong way even if it does have a nice wide aperture. I'm not a canon user, but I'd look at picking up a few long manual lenses, with adapters if needed (the normal canon DSLRs will take a wide variety of lenses with adapters - I just dont know anything about the mirrorless ones, do they have the same mount as the dslr?)You can pick up a 200mm F4 manual lens very cheap. That will get you nearer than a pancake.



​Thanks. My Canon can have a mount attached that can hold various lenses that don't need to be canon. I guess I wasn't sure if it was a pancake or telephoto lens that I needed for this kind of photography? I'll look into the 200mm one you mentioned though. I'm mostly looking at landscape photography I guess rather than portraits which I guess is what the pancake is good for.

If manual focusing, put the object at the far hyperfocal point, so anything beyond that will begin to blur.

The wider the aperture, and the longer the focal length, the narrower the depth of field is. You may also need a ND filter if you cannot reach a suitably wide aperture with the fastest available shutter speeds

On any zoom lens...... simply zoom in then background blurs

Also bigger zoom will bring you closer.... 200mm zoom is closer than 100mm
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