Repair: New-Nikkor 20mm f/4

Hello, everybody! I was excited when the new Macbook 16″ was announced a couple of days back. The sad part is it’s still missing the function keys and the trackpad is still the new, larger one which requires more effort to swipe across compared to the older, smaller one. I still use the old, original Retina Macbook and I wish that the next one will be just as good as that release. It’s reliable and it still has an SD card reader and the good, older-type charging connector. There are many parallels to this in the real world, a new product that failed to supersede the older one because some people lost a few things in the name of an upgrade. This happens very often with cameras, too. I will show you an example of it when it comes to Nikkors.


The New-Nikkor 20mm f/4 debuted in 1974, replacing the popular Nikkor-UD 20mm f/3.5 Auto which is a fine lens but it’s big, takes bigger filters and a lot heavier than this. The impetus for designing this lens is to make a compact 20mm for the F-mount and Nikon succeeded in doing that with this lens. It’s amazingly compact and light compared to the older lens, a big advantage if you are traveling or hiking because every gram counts at the end of the day. It’s also a great performer optically and it has a cult-status amongst those of use who shoot high-magnification photography. When mounted in-reverse, it is able to achieve an unbelievable 12x magnification ratio which makes it a favorite for bug, coin and technical photographers. It was even mentioned in the user manual or brochures if I am not mistaken.

Despite its size, it’s well-made and will last you more than a lifetime. You’re going to need a step-up ring in order to avoid mechanical vignetting when you use filters with this. I haven’t tested this lens with any filters yet but it’s safe to assume the worst based on my experience. Notice that hole with the broken screw? That caused me a lot of headache when I was repairing this.