What is the NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S really like?

Nikon Team 90-Second NIKKOR02 feb. 2024Citire timp de 4 min
For Nikon Magazine's 90 NIKKOR articles

This pro-grade ultra-wide can place your viewer at the heart of any image

The NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S is a fast, ultra-wide lens that will give your landscapes stunning clarity of detail and sharpness from edge to edge. But it has a few more strings to its bow. Read on for some great ways to use this fantastic lens in creative ways.


1. Stay indoors

Ultra-wide lenses such as the NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S are fantastic for interior shots, when you want to immerse your viewer in the space. You can try them at home and get great results but, for the full effect, take a trip to a stately home or castle – somewhere with large internal spaces filled with detail – and you’ll be rewarded with expansive images that really give a sense of scale, with lots of interest for the eye.

Nikon Team
What’s in our kitbag?
2. Create epic portraits

There’s a reason a lot of top wedding photographers have a 20mm prime in their bags as a secret weapon. Yes, the 85mm will do a lot of work during a wedding shoot, but a lens such as the NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S is a creative powerhouse for putting a couple in an epic scene. Try it outdoors with a frame that’s filled with similar tones and a subject dressed to provide a sharply contrasting pop of colour, perhaps off to one side.


3. Get close. Really close

The key to ultra-wide lenses is using them to pull your viewer into the picture. Too often they are used to create a sideways panorama, but don’t forget the third dimension. Get in close to something in the foreground and create an image that doesn’t just sweep from side to side but also from front to back, placing the viewer right there. The minimum focus distance of the NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S is just 20cm, so you can be sure the whole scene will feel really immersive.

4. Accentuate emotion

The perspective distortion you get from an ultra-wide lens is a brilliant creative tool. Portraits where a subject is really close to the camera can accentuate strong emotions such as anger, crying or laughter and can give off a real ‘in your face’ feel. Try someone thrusting their arm towards the camera holding something. The distorted, large-in-the-frame object takes on a huge importance to the subject of the portrait.

5. Treat yourself to a print

With the edge-to-edge sharpness of the NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S, your sweeping, immersive landscape pictures look great. And with ultra-wides being all about showing scale – and with all that incredible detail on show – it’s a case of the bigger the better when it comes to viewing them, so head to the printers. Prints are not just a way of seeing ultra-wide images in all their vast glory, they are also very saleable works of art.


The key stats: NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S 

Type: Nikon Z mount

Format: FX

Focal length: 20mm

Maximum aperture: f/1.8

Minimum aperture: f/16

No. of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded aperture opening)

Minimum focus distance: 0.2m (0.66ft) from focal plane

Weight: 505g approx.


Want to see it in action? Check out our 90-Second NIKKOR video below.

For Nikon Magazine's 90 NIKKOR articles

90-Second NIKKOR: NIKKOR Z 20mm f/1.8 S in action

Click the button to play

Partajare opțiuni

Celebrating 90 years of NIKKOR

Introducing a new video series from Nikon Europe. In each episode, we’ll take a NIKKOR Z mirrorless lens and tell you everything you need to know in 90 seconds


More in outdoor shooting

11 min read
Călătorii & peisaje17 ian. 2023Marion Payr

Develop your creative eye with Marion Payr

Citire timp de 9 min
CreateYourLight Theme 6 "Urban Wildlife" asset
Natură & natură sălbatică30 mai 2023Richard Peters

Photographing wildlife in your garden — a guide to lighting

Citire timp de 4 min
Persoane & evenimente15 iun. 2023George Karbus

Family collaborations — a candid shoot with the Nikon Z fc


Unlock greater creativity