Nikon NIKKOR Z 20/1.8 S Lens (20mm f/1.8)

Review of the Nikon NIKKOR Z 20/1.8 S Lens (20mm f/1.8).

Overall Rating:


This lens is 2 years old and made in China. It features three ED elements and three aspherical elements. It has a stepper autofocus motor which is silent for video usage. This is an S line lens which means it gets Nikon's weather sealing to protect it against the elements. It's a modern lens design made for today's high resolution sensors. It is expensive at $1050 USD (2020). This lens was introduced when 45MP cameras were modern.

This lens is great for pet portraiture.

dog, f/1.8
dog, f/1.8
dog, f/1.8
a run-of-the-mill grocery store (detail)


This is the best 20mm lens Nikon have ever made.

There is no color fringing. There is vignetting wide open, which is nearly cut in half by f/2.8-f/4. Barrel distortion is high and should be corrected in post if photographing distortion sensitive objects like those commonly found in architecture photography.

corner at f/2.8
corner at f/5.6

In the above two images notice that the vertical reflective pattern is picked up by the lens. This lens has incredible resolving power in the corners which is atypical for an ultra wide angle lens. The lens is sharp with good contrast across the frame.

There is a little focus breathing, but it should be fine to use with a depth of field calculator. Coma is relatively well controlled making this a great lens for astrophotography.


Infrared performance not tested.


The bokeh is nice particularly wide open.

bokeh, f/1.8 (notice the vignetting at this aperture)
bokeh, f/2.8

Ghosting & Flaring

This lens exhibits some ghosting when photographing a subject on a bright background like into the sun. It has no flaring and produces a nice star at f/16.

some ghosting, f/4
star, f/16


Because this is a Z-mount lens designed for Nikon's latest mirrorless cameras, it is not compatible with older DSLR cameras.


Focal length 20mm
Maximum aperture f/1.8
Minimum aperture f/16
Lens construction 14 elements in 11 groups
Angle of view 94°
Maximum reproduction ratio 1:5.3 (0.19×)
No. of diaphragm blades 9 (rounded)
Filter-attachment size ø77mm
Accessories HB-95 hood
Diameter × length Approximately 84.5 × 108.5 mm/3.4 × 4.3 in.
Weight Approximately 505 g/17.9 oz.
Price $1050


Nikon Nikon Nikon
Nikon Nikon Nikon Nikon
Nikon construction legend


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