Ever since Nikon filed for a patent in Japan in early 2012 for an 18mm f/1.8 and a 20mm f/1.8 FX lenses, I started to get excited at the possibility of having more low-light and high optical quality ultra wide angle options.
While waiting to see if such a patent would become a lens on the shelves, I kept occasionally shooting with my 20mm f/2.8D AF when moving around light and mostly with the extraordinary 14-24mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S Nikkor.
It was eventually announced and it came to market. Being a big fan of prime lenses I felt I had no choice but to order one immediately when it became available.
As soon as I received my new 20mm f1.8G AF-S prime lens I spent most of an afternoon walking around taking photos but, before that, I did some side by side resolution testing of the 20mm f/2.8D AF, the 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S and the new 20mm f/1.8G AF-S, using the classic USAF chart and protocol.
Above, the charts of all three lenses at f/2.8 using the Nikon D800 and LiveView focusing for all photos at ISO 100, shot from a sturdy, heavy aluminum tripod and a pro-class ball head.
The lines per millimeter resolution numbers from the 20mm f/1.8G AF-S were the most consistently high numbers from f/1.8 through f/16 I had ever seen from a wide angle lens.
Being a previous design, the older 20mm f/2.8D AF lens couldn't match the resolution of either the new 20mm f/1.8 lens or the 14-24mm zoom at any aperture. This became more obvious when checking for edge resolution.
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