Nikon 20mm f3.5 - any good?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by perkeleellinen, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I have a Nikon 18/3.5 which is nice but quite big and heavy. I tend not to use it because if this so I'm wondering if I should trade it for a 20/3.5.

    The 18mm is 350g and extends 61.5mm
    The 20mm is 235g and extends 40.4mm it also uses 52mm filters.

    I know the 18mm has CRC but the 20mm doesn't but I don't think that's going to bother me.

    Does anyone have any experience with the 20/3.5? Please bear in mind I print no larger than 10x8.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    I think that you will be very happy with either 20/3.5 or 20/4.
    They are small and perform very well.
     
  3. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I don't think your paper size has much to bear on your lens size. The difference between 18mm and 20mm is reasonably great, not stupidly great, but great enough to be noticeable in the way certain images are constructed.

    I have the 18mm 3.5 Sigma with Nikon mount that has been modified to take 72mm filters. A good friend had the same but a Nikkor unit, it also takes 72mm filters.

    He also had the 20mm and I can tell you that the CRC feature in the 18mm is amazing by comparison to the 20mm without CRC.

    Eventually he picked up a later 20mm with CRC, I don't know which one it was, but it certainly was a huge difference.

    Mick.
     
  4. billbretz

    billbretz Member

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    My 20 3.5, an older version, is probably my favorite 35mm slr lens. I was always pleased by its sharpness.
     
  5. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Mick -
    I'm not sure at what focus range CRC works, but I don't do close-up photography with the 18mm, it's just scenes normally focused at the hyper-focal point. The reason I mentioned print size was that often lens imperfections are only noticeable with huge enlargements or pixel peaks.

    I think I'll lose 6° of view by changing from 18mm to 20mm, bit I still have the 16mm which gives me 180°!

    Size and weight are big concerns for me, I think a small 20 that gets used is better than a big 18 that doesn't. Unless, of course, it's a real stinker: would lack of CRC be noticeable in general scenes at 10x8?
     
  6. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    I never thought much about the 20mm... flair. funny ghosts... I owned 3 different one old ai the others AF
    I now use the 18-35mm ... this lens is very sharp... It got stolen last year and immediately bought another.
     
  7. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    The Tamron SP 20-40 f/2.7-3.5, is every bit as sharp as primes in that focal range. Yes, I didn't believe too, until I procured two of them.
     
  8. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Sharper than which primes?
    :blink:
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    All the Nikon 35's are very good. My favorite is the f/4.

    But if you want small, and slightly "better" optically, the Voigtländer is the way to go. It is a lot of money for what it is, though. Personally, with as little as I use a 20mm, I would just try to find a Nikon f/3.5 or f/4. If I really relied on that focal length, I would splurge and get the Voigtländer.
     
  10. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    The f4 seems quite rare and I think commands as higher price as Galen Rowell raved about it (as does Ken Rockwell). The 3.5 is easier to find at least here in the UK. I've looked at that Voigtländer and it does look nice although I haven't found anywhere that would consider a 18/3.5 as a trade/part exchange.
     
  11. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    A cheap alternative could be the 20mm f/2.8 Arsat H.
    290g & 62mm filters.

    I haven't used mine much, but first impressions were seriously good (sharp corners, low distortion & vignetting), much better than the MIR 20mm lenses.
    (My "seriously good" standard for ultrawides is Leica & Zeiss).

    As with all Soviet & POS equipment, sample quality may vary...
     
  12. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have a Nikkor 20mm 3.5.
    I've never used a microscope to look at the prints from it, nor made a side by comparison with something made by a lens that might be considered better.

    But I have made many very solid pictures with it, that can be enlarged as much as you like.

    I like its compactness, and especially like that it takes 52mm filters.
     
  13. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Nikon 20mm f3.5 - any good? No it's very good . . . ;-)

    [​IMG]

    I am highly skeptical but would consider your proof of this.
     
  14. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    I had a Nikon 20mm f/3.5 but traded it for a Nikon 18mm f/3.5 because at that time, 20mm was my widest wide-angle lens and I needed something a little wider.

    Both were very good lenses.
     
  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    That is a typo, which I am sure you all gathered. I meant to say 20's, not '35's.

    And my favorite is the f/4 solely for the reason of size. Because I don't use 20mm lenses that much, I tend not to bring them with. But every now and then, there is a shot that would be great with a 20mm lens, and I cannot take the shot. The very small size of the lens would allow me to bring it along without adding much weight or bulk to my bag.