Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S vs Nikon 20mm f/1.8G ED
Let’s first take a look at how the Nikon 20mm f/1.8 S compares to its older Nikon F sibling, the 20mm f/1.8G ED:
While the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G is no slouch, you can clearly see the difference in sharpness between these two lenses. The Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S is basically as sharp at f/1.8, as the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G is stopped down to f/4. That’s just crazy! Note the drastic difference in corner sharpness as well, with the Nikon 20mm f/1.8G being nowhere as good in comparison, even stopped all the way down to f/5.6. Clearly, Nikon has done an amazing job designing the new Z-mount 20mm f/1.8 S, which is one of the sharpest lenses we have tested so far.
Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S vs Nikon 24mm f/1.8G
What about the slightly longer Nikon 24mm f/1.8G? Although these lenses are vastly different in terms of their angle of view, our readers might be interested in how the two lenses differ in terms of sharpness:
Once again, the Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S shows much better sharpness across the frame, especially at wider apertures. While the Nikon 24mm f/1.8G is visibly better than the 20mm f/1.8G in the extreme corners, it is still no match for the new Z-mount 20mm f/1.8 S.
Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S vs Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S
It is clear that the F-mount lenses are getting a bit dated on high-resolution sensors, so let’s now compare the lens to the Z-mount 24mm f/1.8 S:
And even here, the Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S shows visibly better sharpness performance – from wide-open center sharpness, all the way to the extreme corners. We can see that the 20mm f/1.8 is much sharper in the center at f/1.8, and by f/2.8, it is simply superb. The Nikon Z 24mm f/1.8 S is an impressive lens at f/4, but it still does not reach the same levels of sharpness here. To get the corners looking similar, you will need to stop it down to f/5.6, where both lenses perform pretty much identically.
As you can see from the above comparisons, the Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S is an optical marvel. It beats its predecessor by a big margin at all apertures, and even when compared to its Z-mount 24mm f/1.8 S counterpart, it still comes out on top as a sharper lens. Kudos to Nikon engineers for making such a fine lens!