Nikkor AF 20mm f/2.8 D (DX) - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
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Review by Markus Stamm, published April 2013


The Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 is a 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 wide prime. At the time of this review the lens retails for around 550 EUR.

The AF-D 20/2.8 is designed for full frame cameras, but can of course be used on DX DSLRs, too. In this review we'll have a look at how the lens performs on our current DX test camera, the Nikon D7000, where it is the equivalent of roughly a 30mm f/4 lens.

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.

Equiv. focal length30 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction12 elements in 9 groups
Number of aperture blades7
min. focus distance0.25 m (max. magnification ratio 1:8.3)
Dimensions69 x 43 mm
Weight270 g
Filter size62 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-4 (optional), barrel shaped, bayonet mount
Other featuresLens reports distance (D) information to camera

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