| NOTE: In an attempt to revamp & rearrange content in this website, there is now a newly developed section featuring various MF Nikkor lenses, please bookmark the new site for future updates. As for SLR bodies, please refer to: - Nikkormat, Nikon EM/FG/FG20, FM series, FE Series, Nikon FA, Nikon F, Nikon F2, Nikon F3 & Nikon F4 |



Nikkor 20mm F2.8 Image


The last version of the 20mm F2.8 ? I hope not.
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Nikkor 20mm f/2.8

Ultra-wideangle lens can be very tricky in field work. But once you master its characteristics, it excels with quite a broad scope of application. Basically, the rectilinear characteristic (It renders straight lines as a straight line in the final image, it also determines the quality of the lens build) when combined with the expansive picture angle that it offers, can be an ideal lens for general indoor photography. Besides, it also generates a greater depth of field compared with general lenses of longer focal length, and distinctively exaggerates space between the fore and background. To restrict the creative application for a lens like the 20mm F2.8 Nikkor featured here to only indoor or interior photography is quite unfair. When used intelligently it can yield breathtaking images in all purpose application like: architecture, travel, landscape or scenic, and perhaps - even portraiture !
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F3T 20mm.jpg (13k) Loading...
The manual focus Nikkor 20mm f2.8 is a very well constructed lens - typical of Nikkor famed build quality. I don't actually use or owned an AF version of the 20mm, but that is not an important factor as the immense depth of field with a moderate aperture of f5.6 or smaller, can handle most equivalent "AF" capabilities. (e.g. at f5.6 focus at 5 ft, depth of field starts roughly from 3.5' to 15'.who needs to focus anyway ? - check your DOF scale on the lens).

Actually, if you have already owned an manual focus version, it is not necessary to invest into a 20mm AF version. BUT other than autofocus function when used with an AF camera, there are more these AF Nikkor can provide you if you think they are indispensable to you. Such as you will have the additional advantage of utilizing the full capabilities in a modern AF SLR, features such as Multi-Program AE, shutter priority AE, new exciting metering capabilities with ambience light or extend to TTL flash exposure control.

I could have raise some protest making this statement here....


Recently, we tried to
used this lens to create a Quicktime scenario for a client. I use this lens quite extensively for my personal photography. In fact, this lens mounted on my camera more than any other lenses among all my Nikkors. Earlier, we mentioned the lens can exaggerate space and dimension, this characteristic feature is one of the main reasons why some photographers prefer to use ultrawides for some specific photographic sessions. I have seen some really stunning images when combined well with elements like shadows and vibrant colors to enhance space, dimension and visual impact (Just take a visit to Eric Meola's site and see the famous Nikon advt. - the "American Dream", he used a old 20mm f4 to captured that image). I would not recommend anyone to jump into ultrawide photography without first getting accustomed with a feel of ultrawideangles. The 20mm focal length can be a perfect entry to the medium. Get yourself comfortable first (Borrow one first if possible).Get used to the various aspects of how to tackle the characteristics and usage of the lens before you get involved with even broader angle of view of lenses like 18mm, 15mm or even 13mm (If you can afford one, coz' this lens is a special order lens and is very expensive)... Nikkor wideangles have always been regarded as one of Nikon's strengths and the 20mm and many others has helped Nikon established a very good status in some specific photographic applications like news and reportage.

The 20mm & 24mm are two of many photographers' favourite lenses, even in this era of all zoom lenses - at least, I am one of them.
It is good to see Nikon eventually introduced some exciting ultra-wide zoom such as the AF 20-35mm f2.8 and most recently, a 17-35mm zoom. Well, only complaint is, they are still very pricey for general comfort. It looks like just have to chew the old faithful featured here for a longwhile...

Duckfarm(64k) Wildfruits (66k) Fern (83k) May13th(41k)
General application Vertical format Horizontal composition Closing in with CRC System


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Some general tips: Always working in closer to your subject of interest and try keeping the film plane parallel (Unless you want to exaggerate and manipulate perspective). I know it is a bit troublesome,just try to knee down to half length when photographing people (unless you want to try some creative act with its distorting nature when work in close), use their waist or chest height as your center - especially IF you are taller than the subject of interest (What else ?.. your favourite 'sexy creature').
Nikon FA 20mm f2.8.jpg
The Nikkor 20mm mounted on a Nikon FA (Hey, taught my nephew's EeWyn's on his first trial on effective scanning with a low end scanner, not bad huh ? But need a lot of attention to yield pleasing results).

Optically, this manual lens incorporates Nikon's Close Range Correction system to greatly improve image quality when shooting close range, as opposed to the earlier version of the f3.5, thumbs up for Nikon's effort. With 12 lens elements in 9 groups (Same for both AF and the manual version, see images at the top of the page), the angle of view is 94°, takes 62mm filters and with minimum aperture of f22 (You need not to have smaller than that, most Ultra-wideangles have immense depth of field when you are well versed with its depth of field scales) and lastly, sized compactly, merely 260g in weight.
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Version F4 of the 20mm
A view of a very old Nikkor 20mm f4 - though it is not impossible to find one in the used market. But may be for those who has never seen how the older version looks like, here it is.

Subsequently an upgrade for the 20mm, to f3.5 which I used to own for a while and disposed off when the f2.8 version was introduced.
Old 20mm f3.5 img
The f3.5 version of the 20mm Nikkor
 

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