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The Perar 17mm f/4.5 pancake lens is meticulously handcrafted for your Leica M camera

Miyazaki Sadayasu — aka Mr. Miyazaki — is back at it again with an all new lens handcrafted in his Honcho, Japan office. This time, it’s the Perar 17mm f/4.5 pancake lens made for Leica M-mount cameras.

The lens weighs only 60 grams and measures in at only 10.2mm thick and 70mm in diameter. Inside the lens are four multi-coated optical elements in four groups. The lens has a minimum aperture of f/16 and focuses from as little as 0.3 meters to infinity.

As seems to be the case for most MS Optics lenses, the Perar 17mm f/4.5 pancake lens sacrifices a decent bit of quality for size. In the example image below, it’s difficult to ignore the blatant vignetting that occurs, especially at f/4.5, which this image was captured with. For some, this aesthetic is a desired one. For others, it’s considered a byproduct of poor lens design. Either way, it’s up for you to decide.

Vignette aside, the lens is said to offer “excellent” color rendition and high contrast. It also minimizes distortion to plus or minus two percent, which is impressive considering how wide it is.

MS Optics directly compares the Perar 17mm f/4.5 pancake lens to the Zeiss Distagon 18mm f/4 lens, saying that it is “is neither superior nor inferior, but taking into consideration the fact that the Zeiss lens is a 10 element optical design, 70mm in diameter, 51.5mm long, and weighs 350 grams, I think the good points of [the Perar 17mm f/4.5] lens are pretty clear.”

The lens is available in limited quantities from Japan Camera Hunter and Taos Photographic. It retails for between $700 and $1,000.