Manual or AF 20mm nikon lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by sjg, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. sjg

    sjg Member

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    Another wide angle lens question... would I find it difficult using a manual focus 20mm lens on a nikon F100, as opposed to one with AF?

    My reasoning goes like this:
    with such a wide angle lens, most of the world is in focus, most of the time, so critical focus is probably not a big issue, and I'll save enough to almost afford a 50mm AF too.
    BUT I guess the F100 (I've not bought this yet) will have a plain matte screen and maybe an in focus indicator, similar to my digital - I'm used to the standard split screen on my OM2 and don't feel confident in manual with the digital.

    A little more background:
    I've a lovely nikon 70-300 G VR lens which I'd like to use with film and believe the F100 would support all the clever stuff this lens can do, however I would like my next nikon lenses to be able to operate with as wide a range of bodies as possible, so that I'd be able to consider an older nikon body at a later date.

    Does my reasoning make sense, or is there a high likelihood I'll regret the combination?

    Cheers, Simon
     
  2. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I use the 20mm f/3.5 Ais lens on my F100 frequently. Can't do matrix metering with that lens on the F100, but that doesn't matter much. Center weighted average metering with the camera set to aperture priority mode works well for me most of the time. When it won't, I simply make athe adjustment. As far as focus goes, the indicator can get a little dodgy if you're trying to lock on to something relatively far away. Again it doesn't matter much. You have so much DOF. As long as you're reasonably close to correct, it'll be fine.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Indeed, I never understood the point of AF on an ultrawide. But anyway, you might look at photodo and photozone.de to see if they have charts on the various offerings in this focal length. Best would be to try it out for yourself....
     
  4. Cainquixote

    Cainquixote Member

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    what would you be shooting?

    There is a focus indicator on the body.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I have a 20mm Nikon, focus is not a problem.
     
  6. sjg

    sjg Member

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    I'll be using it for landscapes and some interiors, nothing that is moving too quickly :smile:

    Keith : I'd love to be able to try the lens out - but it's in Grays at the moment... , and I tend to hold onto all my purchases, even those I'm regretted

    Simon
     
  7. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    I'm also not an AF fan and find that AF on an ultrawide such as a 20mm completely useless.

    Go for the best optical quality. AF will just focus on the wrong points anyway...
     
  8. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    I received a Nikon AF 20mm as a gift. Focusing is not a problem. Great pictures.
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    I think you'll find that for landscapes, the 20 mm is really wide - often too wide. Forget the idea of finely detailed, sweeping perspectives from 35 mm film. It's ain't happening. The negatives are too small and the images recorded on them are minuscule. It is kind of nice for interior shots though, and works really well if you can light up the interior nicely. Still, you need to be careful. Ultra wide lenses for SLR's tend to have quite a bit of barrel distortion and Nikkors are no exception. Additionally the f/3.5 lens is a bit slow for hand held work, and anything faster will come with a very high price tag and not stellar performance when used at very wide apertures.
     
  10. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    Another suggestion, if you're trying to keep costs down: Rather than buy a 20mm Nikkor, I bought a 19-35mm Tamron AF zoom for less than half the price. Yes, I would have prefered the light, compact 20mm that matches my other MF Nikkors and takes the same size filters, but at the time I couldn't afford the difference in cost (still can't, due to an impending wedding!). The Tamron is AF-D, and fully AI compatible.

    Ian
     
  11. RMP-NikonPro

    RMP-NikonPro Member

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    Yes!!

    I use a 28mm Ai-s lens on my F100, (20mm now sold) No Problems!

    F100 will support VR & G mount Lenses

    I bought the F100 for same reason, All the Lenses I have that fit on my D3 will work perfectly on my F100!
    :munch:
     
  12. xtolsniffer

    xtolsniffer Member

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    I wouldn't worry about focussing on the matte screen of the F100. The widest I have is a manual focus Nikkor 24mm F2.8. Yes, the focus indicator does work, but the screen is nice and bright and I have no trouble with detecting focus, even in quite dim light. I have swapped out all the screens on my other MF Nikons and replaced then with plain matte/gridded as I prefer it anyway. I did look at a 20mm, but for me it really was too wide, it was great for a very few shots, but I found the 24mm more versatile. Even that is a bit wide for me at times, but that's down to personal choice.
     
  13. sjg

    sjg Member

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    I've a 28mm f2.8 for my OM2 and wanted to try something different, thinking I wouldn't notice much of a difference just going to 24mm wide.
    But if I'm not going to get the use out of a 20mm, I'll look a little less wide, maybe,
     
  14. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    On my 17mm for my Canon FD I use hyper focal. (btw I use my 24mm for hyper focal also.)

    Jeff
     
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I have the 24/2.8 and love it. The 20/4 is too much for my taste, though as I recall Galen Rowell made a career on that very lens. The main point is that with a field of view that wide you usually have to be right on top of the subject to fill the frame, and shooting with 35mm you will not have a tremendous amount of frame (and detail) to spare for cropping.

    What many 35mm folks are doing nowadays is to shoot with a not-so-wide without field curvature (e.g. a good macro 50 or such) and then stitch. It's not a 100% analogue workflow but frankly it has many advantages.
     
  16. nyoung

    nyoung Member

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    I use the 20mm 2.8 AFD extensively on my F5 (I'm told its the same metering and focusing system as the F100). The auto focus works just fine provided I do my job and double check which focusing sensor I'm actually using and that its focused on what I want in focus.
     
  17. daxid

    daxid Member

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    i just purchased a voigtlander 20mm f/3.5 color skopar to use on my fe2 and occasionally my on f100. small, light, nice.
     
  18. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I agree with the others that 20mm is very wide. But you can have a lot of fun with one.

    Regarding focusing, you'll have such generous depth of field that you shouldn't run into focusing problems. That depth of field should more than compensate for small focusing errors.