Nikon 20mm f/1.8G AF-S Review: At long last, the 20-yr-old full-frame fast prime gets a modern refresh


posted Friday, October 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM EDT


Nikon released an updated version of its 20mm prime lens back in September 2014 -- the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G ED AF-S -- offering a very fast f/1.8 aperture, plus a new design to match the look and build of their other "G" lenses, along with modern amenities such as ED glass and Nano Crystal Coat. The new lens isn't a replacement for the classic 1994-era 20mm f/2.8D AF, though, which (at the time of writing) has not been discontinued. The manual focus 20mm f/2.8 AIS also continues to be available.

We've just published our full review of this new full-frame fast prime, and the results are impressive -- very sharp with well-controlled CA, distortion and vignetting. There's some corner softness on full-frame cameras wide-open, but stopping down a bit quickly fixes that. And, as expected, results on a DX-format body look extremely good.

Physically, the new Nikon 20 f/1.8 lens shares the same design styling as other G-series Nikkors, with a sturdy, solid plastic barrel with black, speckled matte finish. The lens mount on this higher-end lens is metal, however. The lens was designed to fill the FX sensor (or 35mm film) frame. When mounted on a DX body, the 20 f/1.8 provides an equivalent field of view of about 30mm.

Head on over to SLRgear to read the full Nikon 20mm f/1.8G ED AF-S review, complete with our in-depth report, final conclusion as well as our full range of test results and sample images.

The Nikon 20mm f/1.8G ED AF-S is currently available now for $796.95, and can be purchased at one of our trusted affiliates: Amazon, Adorama and B&H. Purchasing this lens, or any other item, at one of these retailers helps support this site and keeps the reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our senior lens technician Rob Murray using the full-frame Nikon D800E. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.

D800E: 20mm, f/10, 1/100s, ISO 100
D800E: 20mm, f/1.8, 1/800s, ISO 100
D800E: 20mm, f/10, 1/250s, ISO 100