In addition to the exciting new D750 and its MB-D16 battery grip, Nikon has also announced what is in my opinion and equally or even more exciting new lens, as well as a new flash.
The Nikon 20mm f/1.8 G ED N
In my opinion, this is a ground-breaking lens. Or at least it could be, if it stands up to the current reputation of incredible sharpness that all other Nikon f/1.8 G lenses have held up to. Considering this is the fifth lens in the lineup, and considering its $799 price tag, I’m willing to bet that we have a huge winner on our hands!
What Competition Does This Lens Face?
If you’re more of a general shooter, 20mm will be tough to use compared to something like the Nikon 28mm f/1.8 G or the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G. (Review for the 28mm is here, and review for the 35mm is here!) You should definitely consider those two lenses first. If you’re more of a general landscape / street shooter, try the 28. If you’re more of a portrait / candid shooter, try the 35.
However, if you’re a serious landscape / adventure shooter, and/or want to delve in to the world of astro-landscape photography, this could be the ultimate lens for you!
Sigma had a trio of f/1.8 wide angle primes, the 20mm, 24mm and 28mm, however all of them were seriously soft when used on today’s high-resolution full-frame DSLRs. For a Nikon D610 or D810 astro-landscape shooter, for example, I simply cannot recommend any of those older Sigmas.
I can, however, highly recommend two other things: either checking out the existing Rokinon 24mm f/1.4, or waiting to see if Sigma announces a 24mm f/1.4 Art soon. (Which they might actually be doing right now as I type this up!)
The Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 will cost you at least $200 less than this Nikon 20mm f/1.8 G, if you’re willing to give up a bit of wide angle-ness in favor of a slightly faster aperture. The same trade-off would comes with a Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art of course, but probably at a much higher price due to the robust, pro-grade build quality Art lenses offer, plus the inclusion of autofocus.
So, there are your options! Based on Nikon’s reputation with f/1.8 G lenses, in my opinion, this is one chicken you can count before it hatches. That’s why I went through the trouble of explaining all your options already, so you can hurry up and decide, and pre-order the lens you want now instead of waiting for reviews to come out.
I don’t always recommend buying new cameras or lenses blindly; but when I do,
I prefer Dos Equis. …you can bet it’s a sure-fire thing!
Pre-Order The Nikon 20mm f/1.8 G
The Nikon SB-500 Hotshoe Flash
The Nikon SB-500 is a $249 (budget model) hotshoe flash designed to fit somewhere in between, well, the SB-400 and SB700, of course. It only requires two AA batteries, and is probably less bright than the SB700, however the exciting part is that it also offers a built-in LED video light that can be used as a stand-alone light, or simultaneously with flash! I might just pick up one for myself, when I get that ultra-light Df I’ve been coveting. I don’t think the SB-500 looks hipster enough though, I might need to “camera-punk” it up a little bit…
We’ll let you know when the SB-500 becomes available for purchase!