AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D

sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
edited July 2014 in Nikon Lenses
I can find some stuff on the old forum but Is there a thread on this lens in the new forum ?

Comments

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I have the manual focus version of this lens. The optics are identical. I have only had it for a short time. Combined with my 28mm manual focus, they will work with filters (my 14-24 2.8 won't without a custom filter set) and I use them for landscapes.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    At the moment I use the 16-35 f 4 on a D800 for landscapes
    but I am looking for something a bit lighter for pole photography
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    From the reviews that I've seen is supposed to be decent stopped down. It is said to perform very similarly to the 20-35mm f2.8D (which I used to own) at 20mm. If that is true, then I'd advice against getting it to use wide open at F2.8. I don't think there is any doubt that the 16-35mm F4 is sharper at 20mm, but if a small light package is what you need for a shoot, just get it.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    You have to know what you want and what you are doing to derive the benefit from this lens. I will also stipulate that the 24mm, 28mm (which I also have) and 35mm (with reservation) have similar pros and cons. The 28 is the best of the three optically and is an outstanding lens).

    I did not buy this to compete with my 14-24 2.8, which is sharper at 2.8. I assume that the same can be said for the 16-35 4.0 and perhaps even the 17-35 2.8.

    I purchased this as part of a landscape set (being the three MF lenses in my signature). Why?

    1.
    Just as sharp as the zooms at f/8.0-f/11 which is the ideal landscape f-stop. Regardless of the lens, more open and you sacrifice depth of field and more stopped down you lose sharpness due to diffraction. Besides, most lenses of any quality are sharpest between f/5.6 and f/11.0.
    2.
    The three COMBINED weigh less or similar and take up less space than the zooms.
    4.
    20-50mm is a better landscape range for me. 20 is about as wide as I need. I would rather have 28 (instead of the 24 on my zoom) than wider than 20 like my zoom. 28 seems the most useful for landscapes. The 20 is handy when the 28 is not wide enough. As an aside, in two weeks I am going south through the Cascades and north up the California/Oregon coast. I will be taking my 20, 28, 50 (mf), 85 and 200 and expect to use them all for landscapes (the 85/200 will also come in handy for bokeh/macro). I calculated that sitting on Scott Mountain, I will be able to get all of Crater Lake in with the 20. The deal was sealed and I just had to wait for B&H to ship it to me.
    5.
    With step-up rings, they take all of my 77mm filters, which I have invested about $2,000 in. There really is no option with equivalent glass quality available for my zoom (I think of my 14-24 as a prime 14 that is also handy at 24 - Nikon, shame on you for selling a second rate 14mm 2.8 prime that cannot even compete with the zoom - tsk, tsk...)
    6.
    I bought the manual focus because I am not really giving up much losing the auto-focus (auto-focus for landscapes - are you kidding me!!!). And the manual focus lenses are at the pinnacle of Nikon's mechanical engineering (the auto-focus has the same optics, but is plastic). These things are really sweet to use in manual focus mode, with the 50mm 1.2 being the sweetest! They will look really good on my DF when I buy it next year and I will enjoy shooting the DF in m-mode with these manual focus lenses.

    Remember that these lenses were introduced in 1981-1984 and it took Nikon almost 30 years to best the performance with a zoom (maybe I am not giving the 17-35 2.8 enough credit). The only lens that is a clear winner over these is the 24mm 1.4G, and then only wide open.

    So would I recommend to most people to buy these lenses? Probably not. But if you agree with more than half of my points above, either the MF or AF versions are worth taking a look at depending on which of my points you see merit in.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited July 2014
    Many thanks

    So Prime aren't always sharper than zooms
    and KR is right, all lens are the same a F8 :)
    ( the 24 f1.4 is sharper at f 8 than any zoom at 24mm)

    For pole photography, I shoot at f8 and don't need AF so I will have a look round for a S/H manual focus version

    But it would seem unsuitable other jobs as I do shoot hand held at f4 to f5.6


    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited July 2014
    Many thanks

    So Prime aren't always sharper than zooms
    and KR is right, all lens are the same a F8 :)
    ( the 24 f1.4 is sharper at f 8 than any zoom at 24mm)

    For pole photography, I shoot at f8 and don't need AF so I will have a look round for a S/H manual focus version

    But it would seem unsuitable other jobs as I do shoot hand held at f4 to f5.6


    I would say that when comparing primes and zooms from the same generation and similar price, primes will be sharper (the 14-24 vs the 14 is an exception). These lenses are more than 30 years old and less than half the price of the zooms that I am comparing them too - they were sharp in their day.

    The differences definitely start to become minor at f/8.0.

    At f/4.0 to f/5.6 they are still pretty decent. In fact, the 28mm is best at f/5.6 and is a very sharp lens by today's standards even. The 50 1.2 mf beats Nikon's current 50s from f/2.0 to f/4.0. The 20mm is a step behind these. However, compared to wide angle lenses in its day, it was very good.

    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    given the f 2.8 needs stopping down to f 5.6 to f 11
    and I don't need AF
    might I be better of with the Nikon 20mm f/4 ?
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    sorry to sidetrack. Is pole photography when you mount the camera to a pole up high in the sky to get a view from a higher vantage point?
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited July 2014
    I didn't think about the 20mm f/4. That would be a good choice if you are comfortable with used. Perhaps even better optically than mine and I bet you can pick one up for a couple of hundred bucks.

    The 20mm 3.5 is probably a good choice to.

    If I was designing a "landscape line", I would have a range of wide f/4 primes priced at about $2,000 each with emphasis on being ultra sharp. They would not be as flexible as a 2.8 though.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • YetibuddhaYetibuddha Posts: 388Member
    Seven, I have the 20 mmf2.8. I use it quite a lot, particularly when traveling, because I usually take landscapes and am a ultrawide freak. This lens is not only good, I usually shoot at f8 or higher, it it is relatively inexpensive.You can look at my Flickr site (https://www.flickr.com/photos/yetibuddha/sets) and look at my albums titled Plitvice Lakes, Kolmanskop, and Amazon 2014. Many of these photos were shot with the 20 mm.

    One thing I don't think was mentioned is that this lens has quite a bit of distortion; I use it often for group photos at meetings I attend, and have to be careful not to have people close to the edge of the frame. Much of the distortion can be eliminated in Lightroom, but not all.

    Have fun!
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Yes, regarding the distortion, I usually avoid shooting straight lines with it, using my 28 if I can.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited July 2014
    Is pole photography when you mount the camera to a pole

    Yes; it is indeed (sadly nothing to do with Izabella Scorupco)

    I would have a range of wide f/4 primes priced at about $2,000 each with emphasis on being ultra sharp
    -
    I guess we are not talking Nikon

    this lens has quite a bit of distortion;

    most ultra wide seen to have distortion. I am happy with correcting in post

    I bet you can pick one up for a couple of hundred bucks.

    They seem to be "collectors items" , listed on UK e bay at nearly $500
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • spongkiliciousspongkilicious Posts: 2Member
    Given that I have for the meantime the 24-85 kit that came with the D610, I was thinking of getting a used AF-D 20mm f/2.8 as well. Or should I just go with my original plan of saving the money to get the 16-35mm f/4?
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,298Member
    I too have the 20mm 2.8 Ais version and love it almost as much as the 14-24. The straight aperture blades give off amazing star bursts.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Given that I have for the meantime the 24-85 kit that came with the D610, I was thinking of getting a used AF-D 20mm f/2.8 as well. Or should I just go with my original plan of saving the money to get the 16-35mm f/4?
    Get the used one. Then if you decide you need to upgrade to the 16-35, you will be able to resell it for the same price to put toward the 16-35.
  • GodlessGodless Posts: 113Member
    I am looking for something a bit lighter for pole photography
    That sounds so kinky. Pole photography. ;D
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 455Member
    @sevencrossing thanks for the link. Very interesting photos.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,605Member
    @sevencrossing very nice, thanks also for the link. Nice alternative to a drone.
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  • hawkdl2hawkdl2 Posts: 56Member
    I have both the 16-35 f/4 and the 20 f/2.8 AF-D. I use the 20 as a light, and very good, WA lens for mountaineering and backpacking along with a couple of additional primes in belt pouches or in neoprene bags in my pack. Great solid performing and inexpensive rugged lens that you can buy and sell used for the same price. For around town and travel, I prefer the 16-35 for its versatility.
  • IanGIanG Posts: 79Member
    @sevencrossing many thanx for introducing this subject - I for one had no idea this kind of thing existed and it's quite an eye opener.

    This said, all the geeks at the camera clubs were talking about lenses when they were debating whose was the longest - imagine the fun now when they can add poles to the equation... :-)
    Cameras, lenses and stuff. (I actually met someone once who had touched a real Leica lens cloth.)
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