Nikkor AF 20mm f/2.8 D (FX) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Review by Markus Stamm, published May 2011


The Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 is a very wide prime that has been around for quite a while. The still current AF-D version of the lens was introduced in 1994, however the basic design goes back to the Ai-S version, which was brought to market in 1984 already. Just like the optical formula, other properties remained unchanged through the years: it is rather compact and light-weight, and also quite affordable for a relatively fast prime. At the time of this review (May 2011) the lens retails for 550 EUR/600 USD.

In this review we will have a look at how the lens performs on our FX test camera, the Nikon D3x.

The build quality of the lens is very good and in line with most moderately priced Nikkors. The outer barrel is made of polycarbonate combined with a metal mount. The small rubberized focus ring is very smooth and only marginally damped, but rotates during AF operation.

Typical for lenses with a linear extension system the whole inner tube moves during focusing thus extending the lens a little when focusing towards closer focus distances.

A hood is not included with the lens and needs to be purchased seperately.

The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera, so AF is not available on the motor-free entry level Nikon DSLRs. As a result of the screw drive, AF operation will generate a moderate degree of noise.

The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is no problem.

Optical construction12 elements in 9 groups
Number of aperture blades7
min. focus distance0.25 m (max. magnification ratio 1:8.3)
Dimensions69 x 43mm
Weight270 g
Filter size62 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-4 (optional), barrel shaped, bayonet mount
Other featuresLens reports distance (D) information to camera