The Nikon Z 20mm f1.eight S is an extremely wide-angle prime lens for Nikon’s Z-series mirrorless cameras of DX or FX format: on a cropped physique just like the Z50 the lens is equal in angle-of-view and depth-of-field to a 30mm f2.eight lens. On a full-frame physique the Z 20mm f1.eight S is the widest Z-mount prime lens with autofocus you may get on the time of writing, giving a 10 levels broader angle-of-view than Nikon’s Z 24mm f1.eight S. The broader protection allows you to seize extra of structure or landscapes whereas the brilliant aperture allows you to shoot longer below diminishing gentle and higher isolates nearer topics from the background in comparison with f2.eight or f4.Zero zooms. However because of Nikon’s FTZ adapter, current F-mount lenses can alternatively be simply used on the brand new Z our bodies. So the brand new Z 20mm f1.eight S faces competitors from a bunch of different huge angle lenses with the F-mount, most notably Nikon’s personal AF-S 20mm f1.8G.
Because the Z 20mm f1.eight S is a member of Nikon’s high-end “S” line it’s anticipated to carry out on a really excessive degree. To seek out out whether or not the brand new Nikon Z 20mm f1.eight S rightfully carries the “S” moniker I examined its optical qualities on the 45MP Z7 physique towards its F-mount sibling, which received a advice in my the Nikon AF-S 20mm f1.8G ED assessment and in addition in contrast it to the Sigma 20mm f1.Four Artwork and Nikon’s Z 14-30mm f4.Zero zoom. So for those who’re curious about how Nikon’s widest prime lens (up to now) for his or her new Z system performs, you’ve come to the suitable place! PS – for those who’re within the different Z lenses in Nikon’s line-up try our in-depth evaluations: Nikon Z 14-30mm f4.Zero S assessment / Nikon Z 24-70mm f2.eight S assessment / Nikon Z 24-70mm f4 S assessment / Nikon Z 24mm f1.eight S assessment / Nikon Z 35mm f1.eight S assessment / Nikon Z 50mm f1.eight S assessment / Nikon Z 58mm f0.95 S Noct assessment / Nikon Z 85mm f1.eight S assessment.
Details from the catalog
As typical I’ll take a look on the technical knowledge of the brand new Nikon Z 20mm f1.eight S first. I’ve rated the options with a [+] (or [++]), when it’s higher than common and even state-of-the-art, a  if it’s commonplace or simply common, and [-] if there’s a drawback. For this comparability I take advantage of the Nikon AF-S 20mm f1.8G (“F Nikkor” for brief) and the Sigma 20mm f1.Four Artwork (“Sigma”). Please remember that the Sigma has a 2/Three of a cease brighter focal ratio which influences measurement and weight of that lens.
Dimension (diameter x size): 84 x 109mm (3.Three x 4.3in.) plus 34mm for the lens hood which is 107mm in diameter. Which makes it the most important f1.eight Z Nikkor up to now, even bigger than the Z 85mm f1.eight S. The F Nikkor is smaller at 82 x 80mm + 35mm lens hood. On account of its origin as a DSLR design from 2015 the Sigma is the behemoth on this comparability at 91 x 130mm together with the non-detachable lens hood. For an apples-to-apples comparability one has to permit for the variations of flange distance between the Z-mount (16mm) and the F-mount (46.5mm). In the event you add these 30.5mm (1.2in.) to the F-Nikkor it has virtually the identical size because the Z-Nikkor when utilizing it through the FTZ adapter on a Nikon Z digicam – see picture under. And the Sigma grows to a complete size of 161mm. 
Weight: 503g (17.7 oz.) plus 27g for the lens hood. The F Nikkor is 353g (12.5 oz.) + 23g lens hood, the Sigma 944g (33.Three oz.). Including one other 133g (4.7 oz.) for the FTZ adapter to apply it to a Nikon Z digicam the F Nikkor continues to be barely lighter than the brand new Z Nikkor and the Sigma is nearly 1.1 kg (38 oz.). However while you examine the burden of a Nikon Z 20mm f1.eight S plus Nikon Z7 digicam towards the Nikon AF-S 20mm f1.8G plus Nikon D850 you continue to save 200g with the mirrorless gear. 
Optics: 14 components (together with Three particular dispersion and three aspherical components) in 11 teams which is analogous to the F Nikkor and Sigma. The brand new Nikon Z 20mm f1.eight S makes use of Nikon’s Nano-Coating to scale back flare, glare and ghosting. [+]
Closest focus distance is 0.19m (0.6ft.) in guide focusing with a magnification of 1:4.6 and a working distance of solely 7cm (3in.). A magnification of 1:10 is achieved at 0.29m giving a working distance of 13cm with lens hood hooked up. The F Nikkor achieves a barely higher magnification of 1:Four in guide focus, the Sigma 1:6.5. 
Filter-thread: 77mm identical because the F Nikkor. The Sigma has no filter-thread. [+]
Picture stabilization: The lens affords no optical stabilization. However the Nikon Z6 and Z7 present built-in sensor-shift stabilization over 5 axis – plus an non-obligatory digital stabilization in video mode. The F Nikkor and the Sigma don’t have any optical picture stabilization in-built however the body-based picture stabilization of a Nikon Z6 and Z7 physique supplies roll, pitch, and yaw correction. 
Auto focus: Sure, with built-in AF drive. Handbook-focus override is by merely turning the main target ring – for those who didn’t assign one other operation to this multi-function ring. The main target ring has a variable gearing that enables for very exact guide focus when turned slowly. Sadly this function can’t be switched to linear gearing which makes clean focus pulling for videographers virtually inconceivable. Deal with the F Nikkor and the Sigma have the normal immediately coupled DSLR-style AF-drive with linear gearing and a spotlight ring does solely that: focusing. Which comes with the good thing about a distance- and dof-scale. [+]
Covers full body/FX or smaller. Similar with the alternate options. [+]
Worth: The lens is fairly costly at an inventory worth of 1200 EUR (incl. 19% VAT) / 1050 USD. The F Nikkor goes for 730 EUR / 720 USD, the Sigma may be had for 840 EUR / 900 USD. [-]
Comes with a smooth pouch and the lens hood is included, reversible for transport. That’s just like the F Nikkor however the brand new pouches for the Z lenses are disappointing: the fabric is flimsy and the pouch has no strings to drag it shut. So for those who put the lens in your bag it’d simply slip out of its pouch and bang round unprotected. The Sigma has a pleasant well-padded case. 
Aperture ring: the multi-function management ring of an S-lens may be assigned to function the aperture, publicity compensation or focus. It routinely falls again to its customary focus management when the lens is switched to guide focus. Though the lens management ring has not the identical profit as having a spotlight ring plus a devoted aperture ring on the lens it offers you extra flexibility to manage one of many extra necessary capturing parameters immediately from a pleasant ring on the lens. The F Nikkor and the Sigma don’t have an aperture management ring. [+]
Sealing: sure, a rubber grommet on the lens-mount plus additional particular weather-sealing all through the development. The F Nikkor has a sealing on the lens-mount, the Sigma not even that. [+]
The rating within the “features-department” is 1[-]/5/6[+]. So the lens has a combined function set: It’s neither very small nor very gentle however it affords the nifty function of the multi-purpose management ring and is sealed towards the climate like Nikon’s professional lenses. It prices a reasonably penny however the worth could be justified if the lens performs as anticipated.
My greatest gripe is the size of this lens which had the good thing about being designed for a mirrorless system with a really quick flange distance of solely 16mm. Nonetheless it’s so long as the older DSLR design (with adapter). Sony exhibits that you may constructed an optically superb 20mm f1.eight which is way more compact: Their mirrorless system with the Sony 20mm lens is 34mm shorter than the Nikon mirrorless combo. Take a look on the following comparability:
The marketplace for ultra-wide prime lenses just isn’t too crowded and no different producer affords a 20mm lens for Nikon’s Z-mount up to now. So for alternate options we now have to have a look at F-mount lenses which can be utilized through Nikon’s FTZ adapter – including one other 31mm in size and 133g in weight:
- Nikon has the AF-S 20mm f1.8G ED from 2014 for 730 EUR / 720 USD. For extra data see my Nikon 20mm f1.8G assessment the place it received a advice.
- From Sigma there’s the 20mm f1.Four Artwork from 2015 costing 840 EUR / 900 USD. It got here Extremely Advisable in my Sigma 20mm f1.Four Artwork assessment. It affords a 2/Three of a cease brighter focal ratio however is a really huge and heavy lens with the extra drawback that it can not use commonplace filters.
- Samyang/Rokinon has a guide focus 20mm f1.eight ED AS UMC for 480 EUR / 450 USD which is a design from 2016.
In the event you’re flexibel concerning the focal size there are two different ultra-wide angle lenses with Z mount up to now:
- The Laowa 15mm f2.Zero Zero-D has a 16 levels wider angle of view and is guide focus solely. It prices 1000 EUR / 850 USD.
- The 24mm Z Nikkor has a 10 levels narrower angle of view and got here Extremely Advisable in my Nikon Z 24mm f1.eight S assessment.
Lastly you may additionally think about the Nikon Z 14-30mm f4.Zero S as a substitute. It has the good thing about a 2.1x zoom vary masking a variety of very helpful focal lengths beginning at an ultra-wide 14mm providing an immersive 114 levels viewing angle albeit at a meagre f4.Zero focal ratio. It’s shorter (no less than in its collapsed state) and a bit lighter than the Z 20mm f1.eight S, it’s so far the one 14mm full-frame lens which may use commonplace filters, and it affords superb optical efficiency which received it a Extremely Advisable in my Nikon Z 14-30mm f2.eight S assessment. At 1150 EUR / 1300 USD it’s equally priced because the Nikon Z 20mm f1.eight S. So the selection is: flexibility in focal size or 2.Three EV extra gentle gathering energy.
Focus accuracy and repeatability is vital to persistently produce sharp photographs particularly with giant aperture lenses. Repeatability (the accuracy of give attention to the identical topic after repeated focus-acquisition) of this lens is superb (measured 98.2% in Reikan FoCal) with no outliers over a sequence of 40 photographs. There isn’t any focus variation whether or not the lens focuses from a more in-depth distance or from infinity.
The lens focuses in round 0.Three sec from infinity to 0.29m (1:10 magnification), which may be very quick. Searching didn’t happen below the well-lit take a look at situations. The main target/management ring is 49mm huge. Its floor just isn’t rubberized however because it strikes tremendous clean and might simply be operated even along with your pinky the finely knurled steel floor is effectively as much as its job. However the ring now covers a dominant portion of the lens’s floor – as in comparison with the 30mm huge focus ring of the Sigma or the 24mm width on the Nikon AF-S 20mm f1.8G. This will increase the danger of inadvertently turning the ring and altering focus, publicity compensation or aperture. I’m not overly proud of this.
AF-operation of the lens is barely audible from the skin. However for those who document video with the built-in microphone the AF-drive nonetheless produces a slight buzz. This lens is clearly not as quiet because the Nikon Z 24-70mm f4S. In the event you use the management ring on the lens to alter the aperture this works easily and with out noise.
The lens just isn’t fully freed from focus respiratory: when I adjusted the main target from infinity to 0.29m on the brand new Z Nikkor, I measured a small 3% lower in magnification. However this could not displease videographers.
Subsequent try my high quality outcomes!