Upload & Sell: Off
I am returning to FM after a hiatus of several years, some may remember my name, some may not, but that's beside the point.
I just received a 20mm f2.8 Ai-s in the mail from an ebay auction. I've been eagerly awaiting this lens, as I've wanted a small, lightweight wide prime. The reviews I've read on this lens peg it as one of the best wide primes Nikon has made. While I had no expectations of anything that would rival the 14-24 f2.8 in terms of image quality, the reports I have read suggested that the lens is fairly sharp in the centre wide open, with some softness to be expected in the corners, which is fine. The reports also went on to suggest that things improved @ f4 and by f5.6 the lens was sharp across the field with optimal sharpness @ f8/f11 before deteriorating @ f16/f22. The images I have seen on the net from the lens (not THIS sample) looked terrific.
Here's the thing though. My lens appears to be abnormally soft everywhere but the centre of the frame. Stopping down doesn't improve things much. The auction description said that the lens was "NEW IN ORIGINAL BOX" and "Nikon 20mm manual focus f/2.8 New in original box Purchased for $650 from B&H as a back up lens Never used in field, only for studio testing". There was no indication of any damage, and indeed the condition of the lens itself would suggest this as well. The lens looks like new, very clean. But the images look off,
Here are a few samples, with more (full resolution) on my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/geoff_robson/sets/72157635170796226/
I'm happy to entertain any thoughts or comments. Is this anything that anyone has seen before? Any possible remedies? What course of action would you recommend I take from here?
Thanks for any thoughts and comments.