The best pancake lenses in 2024: super-slim primes for travel & street photography

Best Pancake Lenses
(Image credit: James Artaius)

Want to lighten your load? The best pancake lenses for Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and other camera systems will do just that! 

Small, lightweight and affordable, the best pancake lenses come as prime lenses as well as zooms – the latter of which need to be 'telescoped' out before shooting. As the name suggests, the lenses get their name from their flat, thin profile. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.