Nikkor-UD 20mm f/3.5 Quick Review Nikon Nippon Kogaku

Nikkor-UD 20mm f/3.5 Quick Review Nikon Nippon Kogaku

This is a large ultra-wide from the film days, which translates into a nice wide angle on APS-C. Does it get lost in translation?

Since this lens is for a 135 format film camera, it is fairly large for a wide angle on APS-C, especially when you add the adapter. The lens has 11 elements in 9 groups, and has an 7 slightly curved bladed diaphragm. The minimum focus distance is a short 0.3 m (1 ft), and is dense at 390 g (13.8 oz). Filter threads are 72 mm.

Optical Characteristics

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Comments on the Results

This lens performs acceptable for a wide angle lens, especially if you stop down. Center performance is great at all apertures, but corners aren’t good until around f/8. This lens performs maybe a bit better than the Sony 16mm f/2.8, but not a lot, and the Sony has a huge size and weight advantage.

Distortion is noticeable, but not extreme at -1.7% barrel (numeric average for all apertures).

Lateral CA is not well controlled and is visible on shots.

Coma is very noticeable wide open, and improves by f/5.6. Astigmatism is visible in the corners. The bokeh circles are oddly shaped near the edges wide open.

There is some purple fringing wide open, but it is mostly gone by f/5.6.

Measured focal length at 1:53 magnification: 22mm

Pros and Cons

Bottom Line

This lens has a nice build quality, but is showing its age on a pixel dense APS-C sensor. It might be a better fit for the much lower pixel density D700, which would also be able to take advantage of the wider angle of view.