Think your pancake lens is small? Then you haven’t seen the new Perar 24mm f/4 for Leica M yet

by Felix Esser

posted Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 4:25 AM EST

Image courtesy of Japan Camera Hunter.

To the Leica aficionados among our readers, the name MS Optical is sure to ring a bell. It's the one-man company run by a certain Mr. Miyazaki from Honcho, Japan, which previously brought us such M-mount gems as the Sonnetar 50mm f/1.1 as well as the Perar-series of ultra compact lenses that started with the 35mm f/3.5 and was concluded with the 28mm f/4.

The first two Perar lenses, which are both based on a three-lens design (called a 'Triplet'), were already incredibly small, measuring mere millimeters beyond the lens mount. With his latest creation, however, Miyazaki-san topped his previous two designs when it comes to sheer size. The new Perar 24mm f/4 is hardly larger than your standard M-mount body cap, yet features a complete set of lenses, a tiny ten blade aperture (which, just like that of the 28mm f/4 is located in front of the lenses) as well as full rangefinder coupling.

Image courtesy of Japan Camera Hunter.
Image courtesy of Japan Camera Hunter.

But that's not all. The lenses Miyazaki-san uses are multi-coated with his personal, special coating (he makes all of his stuff by hand, you know) and according to Japan Camera Hunter, one of his official distributors, the color reproduction of the lens is very vivid and contrast is good -- which says a lot about Miyazaki's knowledge about optics. The lens also focuses down to 0.8 meters, which is close to the near-focusing limit of most M-mount rangefinder cameras, and weighs in at only 43 grams -- that is a mere 1.5 ounces for those of you thinking in imperial units.

As mentioned, Miyazaki makes all of his lenses by hand, so it always takes a while until a batch of lenses is completed. That, and the cult status that his creations enjoy with the Leica crowd, lead to MS Optical lenses usually selling out very quickly. So if you fancy one of these -- you're not limited to using it on a Leica, you can also put it on your Sony A7, for example -- you should take a look at Japan Camera Hunter's website. If you're lucky, he still has them in stock. If not, you may have to wait for a while or try your luck on the used market.

The other official distributor for MS Optical lenses is Japan Exposures, so when JCH is out of stock, you might want to take a look over there.