d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

Started Jan 7, 2013 | Discussions
Gasser Regular Member • Posts: 154
d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

Has anybody used this combination. I am having trouble getting it to focus beyond 20 feet to infinity.

I also cannot seem to determine the best way to focus with this lens. I have tried the internal focus confirmation but that does not seem to work. Tried to use the focus indicators on the lens focus ring and no luck there either.

Help would be appreciated.

Ben Gasser
Overland Park, KS

Nikon D800
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ponderosabob
ponderosabob Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

Gasser wrote:

Has anybody used this combination. I am having trouble getting it to focus beyond 20 feet to infinity.

I also cannot seem to determine the best way to focus with this lens. I have tried the internal focus confirmation but that does not seem to work. Tried to use the focus indicators on the lens focus ring and no luck there either.

Help would be appreciated.

Ben Gasser
Overland Park, KS

If you are using it for landscapes, it would be best to use the distance/depth of field markings on the lens barrel.

 ponderosabob's gear list:ponderosabob's gear list
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) Nikon D3X Leica M-P (Typ 240) Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 14mm f/2.8D ED +19 more
Dodi73
Dodi73 Senior Member • Posts: 2,053
Re: d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

ben

by recalling you that with wide angles so extreme focus is just an estimate, have you tried to determine if it's a field curvature or if you can fine tune the lens? keep in mind a d8OO will be mercyless toward any mistake you do. better looking for other lenses where focusing ring is more accurate and longer... best of luck though

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All the best from northern Italy, Dino.
I'm on the NIK side of photography.

jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,814
Re: d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

Gasser wrote:

Has anybody used this combination. I am having trouble getting it to focus beyond 20 feet to infinity.

I also cannot seem to determine the best way to focus with this lens. I have tried the internal focus confirmation but that does not seem to work. Tried to use the focus indicators on the lens focus ring and no luck there either.

Help would be appreciated.

Ben Gasser
Overland Park, KS

Ben -

My experience with wides and super-wides on the D800 is that the af confirmation dot is just not accurate enough for critical focusing.  Also, focus indicators on the lenses are not accurate enough either and vary from lens to lens.  In addition, the DOF scales, if they exist, are throw-backs to film days and are not accurate enough for a D800 pixel pitch either - if I use them I am conservative and stop down one extra stop above what I think my DOF needs to be.

What I've done is use live view to find the best focus location at infinity and then note where this is on the lens focusing scale.  I then use this for the infinity focus point and any use of the DOF scale.

Hope this helps -

John

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic LX100 Nikon D800 Sony a7R II Panasonic G85 +27 more
OP Gasser Regular Member • Posts: 154
Re: d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

John:

My experience so far proves exactly what you are saying. I am going to have to take the time and figure that out.

My other option would be to move to the 20mm f2.8 af lens. I have just heard that this lens is very sharp, very good at holding a rectilinear image and does not have the flare issues when shooting into the sun.

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Ben Gasser
Overland Park, KS

jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,814
Re: d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

The 20/4 AIS is on my short list of primes to buy if I ever run across one in person . . .

John

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic LX100 Nikon D800 Sony a7R II Panasonic G85 +27 more
heulwen
heulwen Regular Member • Posts: 277
Re: d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

I have, but not extensively (my own body is a D700, have rented a D800 a couple of times). Didn't detect any problems with focusing or anything else, and was actually a bit surprised at how well it performed even wide open. No samples I can share right now though.

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rolubich Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

I have used the 20mm f/4 AI a lot on my D700 (mainly during travels for its size and weight) and I have been quite satified by its performance but corner sharpness that is weak also stopped down.

I just moved to D600 and I tested the 20mm f/4 AI quite extensively for distant subjects (landscape), I realized that it is affected with field curvature that bring borders and corners out of focus if you focus closer than infinity for extended DOF.

For landscape pictures at f11/f16 my copy is sharpest in the center if focused at 3m and sharpest in the extreme corners if focused at infinity, I ended up using it focused between infinity and 3m at f/16 (it looks like the 20mm f/4 handle diffraction a little better than other lenses I've tried) and I would say the image quality is very good in the center and satisfactory in the corners.

However for landscape pictures the 20mm f/2.8 AIS is a better option.

Hope it helps and that you find a way to use this little nice Nikon lens.

NikonsForLife
NikonsForLife New Member • Posts: 12
Re: d800 and Nikkor 20mm f4 ai lens

I've decided to keep the lens after all as it is a sentimental connection to Galen Rowell, my favorite adventure photographer. If you want perfection for a D800 series camera, I'd suggest the 14-24 f2.8 (which I also own). Good luck.

Bruce Fichelson

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BFichelson Photography

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Sony RX100 V Sony RX100 VII Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +7 more
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