Lens review

Nikon Nikkor Z 20 mm f/1.8 S

17 July 2020
Maciej Latałło

11. Summary

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  • solid, weather-sealed, mostly metal casing,
  • very good resolution in the frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • sensible image quality on the edge of full frame already from the maximum relative aperture,
  • low longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • negligible lateral chromatic aberration,
  • lack of serious distortion problems,
  • moderate vignetting on the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • pleasant out-of-focus areas for this angle of view
  • silent and quite accurate autofocus,
  • excellent performance against bright light.


  • distinct vignetting on full frame,
  • a lot of coma-related problems,
While the Nikkor Z 24 mm f/1.8 S didn't impress us tremendously, although, overall, it was a good piece of equipment, the 1.8/20 model was a very nice surprise. We found just two flaws, one of them quite obvious and only to be expected – after all nobody would think a lens with such parameters might correct vignetting in a perfect way. Coma problems were quite a painful slip-up for a change but we felt they were also completely forgivable, taking into account the number of advantages provided by this lens.

Taking care of an even image quality across the frame up from the f/1.8 aperture, is particularly visible. The tested lens is able to put to shame not only the Nikkor 1.8/24 but also the 1.8/35 model, praised by us to heavens and a lot easier to correct. It is really a huge achievement and a feature you might expect only from an excellent ultra wide-angle lens.

Finally a few remarks concerning the price. Asking almost $1050 for this lens is a lot, especially that its reflex camera equivalent can be bought for $800, but you can't call that sum unearthly. Nowadays the situation on the maket is a bit different, you deal here with a novelty and – what's most important thing – an excellent lens that is a joy to use. With so many assets the high price tag seems to be a tad easier to swallow. You can also hope that, after some time, you'll be able to get 10-20% discount. Of course you can always hunt for cashback deals and Nikon features them quite regularly too.