Nikon AF-D 20mm f/2.8 Reviews

Jan 10th, 2007williamkaz

Price Paid
$475

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

This is a very compact lens and fits easily into a Tamrac lens pouch. The flare levels are higher than my 35mm F2 and the lens shade is of little use when pointed toward the sun. If you need a wide, you live with its characteristics. AF is very good even when the lights go dim. Don't place people on the edges as they will distort. Some users report excessive CA when used on a digital camera but that is pixel peeping to me and does not outweigh the need for a wide. What else is out there in a prime wide? Just live with the 35mm F2 if you don't like this lens.
Apr 20th, 2007Iso3200

Price Paid
139

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
Less than a year

This lens is fine if you can get it on the cheap, but even then I sold it.

While the centre is very sharp at f5.6, corner performance and CA remain really poor. In fact the 20/2.8 has the worst case of CA I've seen in any lens of any make owned by me. I noticed this by myself and then did some research on the net to find many similar stories. The CA would've been passable if the corners were not smeared like pastels, but they are, and this is on a cropped sensor. You don't have to pixel-peep to notice the CA or the low-resolution in this lens.
Apr 20th, 2007ElioD

Price Paid
575

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

Some test photos with the D80 and the 20 2.8 AFD lens in controlled situations were reported in the link (in Italian, sorry):. It turns out that that the 20 AFD has excellent resolution at the borders/angles on this CCD even at f/2.8 (manual focused with a trimmed camera!), is almost perfect at f/5.6 and enters in diffraction region at f/8. The CA is resonable, very soft and better than the 18-135 DX: it is largely due to sensor aliasing because of the high lens resolution.
I have this lens since three years, together with many of the best Nikkor and Zeiss ZF wide-angle and normal lenses and this is the very best at full aperture as regard for homogeneity between center and borders even at full aperture at all distances. With Velvia, which has better resolution and microcontrast than a DX CCD (when projected, viewed with a loupe or scanned at least at 5400 dpi by an experienced user) the 20 AFD is stunning for sharpness and colour rendition (on a FE and a FM 3a). Weavy distortion and vignetting are average to good and generally better than pro-zooms.
In the same site, a quick comparison with the 17-35 AFS (equal or better than the 17-55 DX AFS G) demonstrates how well the 20 AFD performs on digital.
I suspect that dissatisfaction with this lens can be only attributed to damaged samples, improper use or out-of-alignment cameras, terrific for any high resolution lens. I also suspect that samples distributed in Europe at higher prices are better controlled for quality than cheap US samples.
Apr 20th, 2007Lensmaster

Price Paid
Not Specified

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

I didn't want to pull apart this lens, but I think I'm brave enough. My 20/2.8 seems OK on the D70, but on my D200 and D80 and my friend's D80 the quality at the edges is noticably poor, even from far away the borders look blurred. Chromatic aberrations are really terrible, even showing up on quite moderate and low-contrast shots and even quite far from the edge. If my one has a defect then there's obviously lots of defective 20mm f2.8's going around, which is not good enough. This lens is currently a paperweight.
Jan 3rd, 2008contaxfan

Price Paid
$420

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

It is my number one lens for underwater photography when I need 94 degree angle coverage. I use it on both of my Nikon F5 and Nikon N80(F80)cameras with excellent results (NX Sea&Sea housing with Fisheye dome port, Sea&Sea 120 strobes). The best results occur at f5.6 and F8 aperture with magic colors on Velvia 100 or Reala film. On land I began to give preference to Carl Zeiss 21mm/2.8 Biogon (Contax G rangefinder), which is sharper and nearly distortion free. Nevertheless, Nikkor AF 20mm/2.8D is a very good lens and my favorite for underwater photography, perfect for reef panorama, big sharks and whales.
Aug 30th, 2008jimmomary

Price Paid
200

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

Quite sharp on the whole but CA on edges is poor on D200, but it looks pretty decent on my F4. Some light fall off until two stops down on film body. Compact size but it is flare prone even with shade. I've pretty much gone over to using my 18-35mm F3.5 zoom to replace this ... albeit slight size increase and more weight. The 20mm is an OK lens, but there are better.
Jun 4th, 2019wallerc

Price Paid
$400 AUD

Product Understanding
Good

Time Owned
More than a year

One of my favourite lenses for full frame DSLRs. Very good as a lightweight carry around lens when photographing interiors of old buildings in low light.

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