Test run of the Nikon 20/1.8G at the Carlton Gardens.

Discussion in 'Nikon DSLR Forum' started by Livnius, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. Livnius

    Livnius SC Veteran

    475
    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Picked up the Nikon 20mm 1.8G the other day, a good wide was on the cards for some time now and it was a toss up between this and the CZ 21/2.8....a cracker of a lens. Ultimately decided to opt for the Nikon as it was a cool $600 cheaper on the local market and readily available, unlike the CZ21 which is as rare as hens teeth over here.

    Didn't have much time or anything particular to shoot so went for a 10 minute drive to a park in town, the Carlton Gardens. Nice place with grand trees, a magnificent building of historical significance (The Royal Exhibition building which housed the very first sitting of the Australian Parliament and now boasts the Aboriginal flag above its main entrance)...in recent years however, this has been tastefully complemented by the ultra modern iMax Theatre and the Melbourne Museum buildings. All in all, a nice place to take an ultra-wide for a little test run.

    The lens itself? Brilliant. Sharp, contrasty, minimal nasties such as distortion, flare etc and with an aperture of f1.8 and a minimum focusing distance of about 7 inches...it really opens up some interesting possibilities. I like it a lot and look forward to putting it to good use.

    All with the D610.



    3 - Carlton Gardens
    by Joe Krizan, on Flickr

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    1 - Carlton Gardens
    by Joe Krizan, on Flickr


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    2 - Carlton Gardens
    by Joe Krizan, on Flickr


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    5 - Carlton Gardens
    by Joe Krizan, on Flickr


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    4 - Carlton Gardens
    by Joe Krizan, on Flickr


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    6 - Carlton Gardens
    by Joe Krizan, on Flickr
     
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  2. mnhoj

    mnhoj gee aahrr

    259
    Jan 27, 2012
    Looks amazing Joe. Great samples.
    Nikon has done a great job with it's F1.8G series.
    I've only had the pleasure of using the 50mm and 85mm but really enjoyed them.
    My son has the 28mm and loves it.

    It almost makes me wish I still shot with an FX body.
     
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  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    that place was designed for a wide-angle lens. Hard to pick a favorite in this strong set, but I think I'll go with #2....any more shots of that building from different angles?
     
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  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Very nice set Joe. And a great lens. I had one for a little while, but ended up with the Zeiss 21. If I'd never tried the Zeiss, I'd be happily shooting with that Nikon, but I seem to be a sucker for Zeiss rendering...

    Enjoy!

    -Ray
     
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  5. Livnius

    Livnius SC Veteran

    475
    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Thanks guys.


    Yeah the f1.8G lenses are great and even excellent value. I have the 85G and it's no exception, in fact, its probably the shining light of the 1.8G family of lenses when it comes to optical quality versus price paid.


    Cheers Luke. No more angles unfortunately, and I agree, this location is great for wide lenses...but I had no choice really as my usual furry test subject for new lenses wouldn't like how in his face I'd have to get to shoot him with a FF 20mm.


    Thanks Ray. The Zeiss 21 was my preferred choice, full retail it is close to a $1000 more than the Nikon full retail...I monitored the local used market for 3 months and not a single copy of the Z21 appeared...several were available from the US market via eBay but given the way the Aussie has fallen and the scandelous 15% tax on any item over $1000 the US market was out of reach. But as far as compromises go, the Nikon 20mm is about as good as it gets...purely in terms of optical performance I believe it probably gets me about 90% of the way there at half the cost and importanly, readily available....but having said that, that extra 10% makes the Z21 a very special lens indeed and it is no surprise to me that local owners are loathe to sell them on.
     
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I don't think it gives up much, if anything, optically to the Zeiss. I've read discussions among lens junkies who rate it basically as technically equal to the Zeiss with slightly different tradeoffs. If I hadn't shot with the Zeiss first, I'm quite sure I'd be very happily shooting with that Nikon today. It easily matches the Fuji 14mm, which had been my reference standard for that focal length.

    But the Zeiss just renders differently - not better or worse - just differently, and I seem to be a sucker for that look. Every Zeiss I've ever shot with produces images that I just, purely subjectively, like more than a lot of really good competition. The RX1 started me off and to say I fell totally in love with that lens would be a gross understatement. And now I have the 21, 25, and 100 for my Nikon. The 21 and 25 are my most used focal lengths, so those make sense. The 100 doesn't, but I love having one version of that look in the portrait range. Had a 35 for a while, but didn't use it enough, so sold it. I think I'm done after those three, but I can take those three lenses out with the DF in a small bag, maybe add a Nikon 50 or Voigtlander 40, and never need anything else...

    -Ray
     
  7. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    Quite amazing & seems perfect for buildings
    No 2 is surreal (with a bit more tilt to right) & my fav
     
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  8. Livnius

    Livnius SC Veteran

    475
    Jun 3, 2012
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    Thanks Red.

    You've really taken to the MF lenses, i bet you didn't see that coming! For the time being I've stuck to the never AF lenses...with the Sigma 35A as my main glass and 3 modern nikons in support (20, 50, 85) I'm basically done...although i do hope that nikon does a 110/135 G lens, I'd probably swap out the 85 in that case. About the only thing i can see myself adding would be something telephoto for that rare occassion when I need long glass...both the Nikon and Tamron 70-300 lenses although unspectacular could certainly do the job and neither lens would break the bank. I am however also looking at the slightly older 180/2.8 ED...a lot of very positive reviews out there for that particular lens and its an OK size too, but, a telephoto is not high on the list at this stage...happy to wait for a really good bargain from a local seller.
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Absolutely didn't see the MF thing coming. For wider and neutral focal lengths, I don't care about AF at all. At longer focal lengths, I enjoy playing with MF, but also like having AF available for some uses. For longer manual focus I have the Zeiss 100 (not cheap) and a couple of old Nikons (75-150 f3.5 E and 135 f2.8 AI) which were both VERY inexpensive. Fun for sure, but I want AF for some uses. Those street fair shots I took of the skateboarders and zip-line were all done with the 180 f2.8 (non-D version) you were mentioning. I got it for under $400 used and it's my favorite telephoto. I also have a Nikon 70-300 VR that I also got used for about $400 and it's not a great lens, but it gets the job done well enough when I need the reach and/or zoom - my least used lens by a wide margin.

    Your 20, 35, 50, and 85 combination sounds really good. The only reason I'm not shooting more stuff like that is I've come to really dislike shooting lenses without aperture rings and none of those have 'em! I think I have three lenses without aperture rings (Tamron 90mm macro, 24-120, and 75-300) and they're my least used by far, all three of them. But that's just my personal insanity - those are all great lenses. My only gap (and only in an auto-focus sense) is the 135 neighborhood, as you'd mentioned. I'd really like something in that length (or 150 like I had with the Olympus 75), but I'm not ready to spend the money for the 135 f2 DC. I may someday, but there keep being rumors or Nikon and/or Sigma working on a new version at that length, so I'm holding out and getting by with manual focus there for now... Of course they'll probably come out with an amazingly great 135 f2 G, price it right, and THEN I'll end up with the old DC version - because it has an aperture ring of course... :biggrin:

    -Ray
     
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  10. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    Jun 10, 2013
    A beautiful series. Now I know where to go when I am in Melbourne early September. I will definitely bring the 20mm with me.
     
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  11. Lovely
     
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