Nikon AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED £650/$800

Sur­pris­ingly small and light for a 20mm lens

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

The two Nikon lenses on test are the light­est of the bunch, at 355g each. This lens is about the same size as the Samyang 20mm, but feels a lit­tle less ro­bust, although it adds a rub­ber weather-seal ring on the mount­ing plate. The Nikon also adds ring-type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus, whereas the Samyang is man­ual fo­cus only. The Nikon is there­fore a bet­ter op­tion if you pre­fer to rely on aut­o­fo­cus.

How­ever, de­spite the fo­cus dis­tance scales, the ro­ta­tional travel of both Nikon lenses is small, mak­ing ac­cu­rate man­ual fo­cus­ing tricky. Like the Nikon 24mm lens, it fea­tures two ED and two as­pher­i­cal el­e­ments, and Nano Crys­tal Coat­ing.


At f/1.8, vi­gnetting is the worst of any lens in the group, and cor­ner sharp­ness is quite dis­ap­point­ing. How­ever, you only need to stop down to f/2.8 to get de­cent pe­riph­eral il­lu­mi­na­tion, while f/4 im­proves sharp­ness across the frame. The Sigma 20mm lens of­fers bet­ter im­age qual­ity and a faster aper­ture, but the Nikon lens is much more com­pact.

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