Nice lightweight ultrawide

Started Dec 19, 2012 | User reviews thread
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Summi Luchs New Member • Posts: 6
Nice lightweight ultrawide

The Nikon AF-D 2.8 20mm is a nice, lightweight ultrawide for landscape, indoor etc. on FX cameras. On DX it is a boring lens, its focal length is covered by all DX standard zooms and it doesn't provide any significant advantage.

Optically it is a good lens, sharp in the center at full open aperture and sharp from corner to corner stopped down to f 5.6 or f8. I am quite happy with the results on my D600. Brick wall shooters might complain about corner performance at 2.8 but under real conditions corners are mostly out of focus anyway. Rendering of out of focus areas is acceptable for a lens this wide, but nothing to rave about. Where the lens really shines is its relatively high flare resistance - I have shot you can get high quality with the sun in the frame.

Mechanically the design shows its age (from 1994). Like most early Af Nikkors it feels cheap and very plasticky. AF is fast but nowhere silent. The focus ring turns with AF. OTOH the plastic build makes it very lightweight, much lighter than any of the zooms covering 20mm on FX.

I like the lens for its portability and its high optical quality in real photographic use. 20mm is a lot of wideangle and nicely complements a 24 or 28-x standard zoom without carrying tons of equipment. I would easily recommend it to everyone who doesn't long for the extremes (14 or 16mm).

Optically I would give it a 4 star rating, but its mechanical construction is 3 stars at its best. I hope Nikon will provide an updated version in the next few years, may be with some additional optical tweaks.

Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D
Wideangle prime lens • Nikon F (FX) • 1415
Summi Luchs's score
3.5
Average community score
3.8
Nikon D600
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