Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G: Example Images

The Milky Way stretches over Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. You can see the Andromeda galaxy at center right (click to enlarge).
The Milky Way stretches over Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. You can see the Andromeda galaxy at center right (click to enlarge).

I spent last  weekend leading a photography workshop to one of my favorite places, Carhenge. We specifically set out to shoot star trails and the Milky Way, and I thought it would be a great test for the new Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor lens. Here are some example images. After looking at my files, I’m exceptionally pleased with the performance of this lens. And for less than $800, it’s a great value, in my opinion.

More samples after the jump…

Here’s an example of the shallow depth of field that can be had with the 20mm f/1.8 Nikkor:

Nikon 20mm f/1.8 lens. 1/1600s @f/1.8, ISO 64 (D810)
Nikon 20mm f/1.8 lens. 1/1600s @f/1.8, ISO 64 (D810)

When stopped down (in this case, I used f/16), the 20mm f/1.8 Nikkor produces nice sunbursts:

Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G shot at f/16 (D810)
Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G shot at f/16 (D810)

The Nikon 20mm f/1.8 lens is available from B&H Photo here.


5 thoughts on “Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G: Example Images”

  1. It’s a beautiful lens and, in my opinion, the best of the new f/1.8 line of primes Nikon makes. The sunbursts of this lens are a great bonus, and really versatile…. I’ve shot some environmental portraits/ candids capturing sunbursts between people, for example, and they seem to be best between f/8-11 in particular. The sharpness of this lens – especially for an ultra-wide prime – is stunning, even when unsharpened (straight from camera), and the coma correction is terrific: pretty much all gone at around f/2.5, which makes this a superb astro lens. Sharpness seems to optimise at around f/4-5.6, towards the latter being the sweetspot, I think, but even wide open at f/1.8, centre sharpness is terrific and not a great deal less than smaller apertures. Distortion is also well controlled in this lens. The only downside I can see: vignetting is pretty pronounced at f/1.8 (but, I kind of expected as much on an ultra-wide fast prime – my Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art has similar traits wide open), but is easily corrected in latest software RAW convertors. All in all, this lens represents a bargain: sure, not ultra-cheap but, optically, a triumph for Nikon. It really does make the f/2.8 D version look positively poor in comparison, no joke on that. Another bonus is the ultra-lightweight (about 350-360 grams), which makes it a pleasure to carry around, and not at all imposing or conspicuous. It has a very handy 77mm filter size (just like most of the other pro-Nikon glass), and I really am in love with this lens: thoroughly fun to use. I recommend it to any Nikon shooter as an essential tool in the arsenal for those who love ultra-wide shooting.

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