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Best Nikon 20mm ?

Arnulfo Rosas , Sep 01, 2004; 09:24 a.m.

I am planning to buy a second hand Nikon 20mm and after reading several reviews and rankings it seems to me that the best choices are:

a. 20mm 2.8 AF or MF, price: +/- $300-350, ranking: 4/5 (general) b. 20mm 3.5 MF, price: +/- $170-220, ranking: 3/5 (at infinity), 5/5 (close up) c. 20mm 4.0 MF, price: +/- $150-200, ranking: same as b.

As I am interested in both landscape & close distance photography (for dramatic effects) options b & c may not be as good as option a; however, the performance at close distance may be superior (and the price is tempting).

I will appreciate if you could share your experiences with any of these lenses.

Thanks!

Responses


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Ellis Vener , Sep 01, 2004; 09:54 a.m.

I've had a seres of 20mm Nikkors for the 20mm f/3.5 Nikkor UD to the current 20mm f/ 2.8D AF Nikkor. The last has been the best of them.

Eric Friedemann , Sep 01, 2004; 10:39 a.m.

I have owned at least one of every 20mm Nikkor made since the late 1970s. I'm in agreement with Ken Rockwell and Galen Rowell that, optically, the best overall 20mm is the 20mm f/4.0 AI Nikkor from 1977:

http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/20f4.htm

That having been said, 20mm f/4.0 AI lenses are somewhat difficult to find in good condition and are a little pricey. Also, they are not particularly convenient to use with newer Nikon cameras from an electronics/metering standpoint. And, some people want or need lenses faster than f/4.0. As such, for ease of use- at least with newer cameras- I like the current 20mm f/2.8 AFD Nikkor:

http://www.bythom.com/20lens.htm

Vivek . , Sep 01, 2004; 11:36 a.m.

I own the 20mm UD nikkor and the 20mm f/3.5. I love the the 20mm f/3.5 (52mm filter thread) because of the fantastic multicoat on it which prevents flaring. For landscape (infinity) and close-up (with one or two K1 rings)this lens is superb.

Vivek.

Michael R. Freeman , Sep 01, 2004; 12:16 p.m.

a., b. or c. - buy whichever one fits your budget. I don't think you will be disappointed with any of them as they all have an excellent reputation.

I have b. Nice and compact. I have never tried a. or c., but have never been disappointed with b either. Shoot with the sun in the frame with reckless abandon. The 52mm filter size is a bonus for me as I have a lot of other Nikkors with that filter size. YMMV.

Mike

Will Strain , Sep 01, 2004; 12:24 p.m.

I ended up getting the excellent Sigma 20mm 1.8, it is close to the same price as the 2.8 Nikon, and has close focus ability up to 4 inches. Only drawback is the large (85mm) filter size.

It's been (far and away) my favorite lens for a few years now.

Eric Friedemann , Sep 01, 2004; 12:29 p.m.

"Only drawback is the large (85mm) filter size."

You, sir, are The Master of Understatement. The filter size is actually 82mm, which is still insane for a 20mm lens:

(link)

Brian Caldwell , Sep 01, 2004; 12:43 p.m.

17-35/2.8 at 20mm.

Roland Larson , Sep 01, 2004; 01:27 p.m.

Response To Best Nikon 20mm ?

The Question :

I am planning to buy a second hand Nikon 20mm and after reading several reviews and rankings it seems to me that the best choices are: a. 20mm 2.8 AF or MF, price: +/- $300-350, ranking: 4/5 (general) b. 20mm 3.5 MF, price: +/- $170-220, ranking: 3/5 (at infinity), 5/5 (close up) c. 20mm 4.0 MF, price: +/- $150-200, ranking: same as b. -- Arnulfo Rosas

The Answer :

17-35/2.8 at 20mm. -- Brian Caldwell

The Moderator :

I think we should set up a rule in the Nikon Forum that when somebody wants to buy a (used) camera and if you suggest one that costs more than twice as much, you are responsible for the price difference. :-) -- Shun Cheung

Nikon 20mm, anyone ?

Eric Friedemann , Sep 01, 2004; 01:32 p.m.

And regarding the 17-35mm f/2.8 @ 20mm, the ED glass makes the zoom sharper wide open than other f/2.8 20mm Nikkors I've used. On the other hand, the 17-35mm has more linear distortion at 20mm than any 20mm fixed focal length Nikkor I've used.


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