First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED

Started May 27, 2012 | Discussions
El Matadurr
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First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
May 27, 2012

Keeping the review train of old Nikkors on the NEX-7 going at your alls request. I need to start getting more lenses that I may not particularly like, because as it stands, all the lenses I own I adore. I don't want to sound pro-biased, so I'm going to stick on eBay looking for some cheapos here in the near future (such as the 28mm f/2.8 E-series or any of the lenses from that series). Until then, here's my first impressions on this fantastic lens that you all may have heard about lately from the likes of eths: http://matthewdurrphotography.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/first-impressions-nikon-180mm-f2-8-ai-s-ed/

I must still admit, if I had the money, I would love to have the 200mm f/2 AI-s ED. Just saying.

Discussion welcome. And please, if you have some old, forgotten Nikkors that you would like to see tested, send me a PM. The more the merrier.

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eths
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to El Matadurr, May 27, 2012

I dunno. I used to lust after the 200mm/f2 too, but ever since I started using the 180mm/f2.8, I haven't had the feeling that I am missing anything. The differences in FOV and DOF are not that significant, IMHO. If I did more action photography, then I might well see this differently.

One of the coolest aspects of the Nex-7 is how well it works with these "old" lenses.

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El Matadurr
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to eths, May 27, 2012

eths wrote:

If I did more action photography, then I might well see this differently.

Bingo.

One of the coolest aspects of the Nex-7 is how well it works with these "old" lenses.

I am constantly amazed myself.

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kev777zero
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to eths, May 28, 2012

DOF also depends on how far away you are from the subject, not just FL & aperture. Here is something I can do with my FD 200mm f/2.8 but not with my Sony 55-210mm:

but most of the time I guess the 55-210mm @ the long end with f/6.3 can still get the job done:

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nzmacro
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to El Matadurr, May 28, 2012

El Matadurr wrote:

Keeping the review train of old Nikkors on the NEX-7 going at your alls request. I need to start getting more lenses that I may not particularly like, because as it stands, all the lenses I own I adore. I don't want to sound pro-biased, so I'm going to stick on eBay looking for some cheapos here in the near future (such as the 28mm f/2.8 E-series or any of the lenses from that series). Until then, here's my first impressions on this fantastic lens that you all may have heard about lately from the likes of eths: http://matthewdurrphotography.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/first-impressions-nikon-180mm-f2-8-ai-s-ed/

I must still admit, if I had the money, I would love to have the 200mm f/2 AI-s ED. Just saying.

Discussion welcome. And please, if you have some old, forgotten Nikkors that you would like to see tested, send me a PM. The more the merrier.

Nice again Matt. Before I opened this and just reading the title, I thought about the 200mm F/2 and the Canon FD 200mm F/1.8. Problem is the cost mate ;). The Canon goes for around $3,000 US on Ebay. Alupang and I were looking at one, but just to higher a cost.

Anyway, nice work as always Matt. I'll go back with a coffee mate

Danny.
...........................
Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3

http://www.birdsinaction.com

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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El Matadurr
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to kev777zero, May 28, 2012

kev777zero wrote:

DOF also depends on how far away you are from the subject, not just FL & aperture. Here is something I can do with my FD 200mm f/2.8 but not with my Sony 55-210mm:

Got some swirly stuff going on there.

but most of the time I guess the 55-210mm @ the long end with f/6.3 can still get the job done:

Agreed, though it can't be overlooked that a larger aperture on those telephotos also keeps the shutter speed up, which helps freeze movement, and helps keep ISO low (I have this personal vendetta to always shoot from 100-400 unless I absolutely have to go higher).

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El Matadurr
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to nzmacro, May 28, 2012

nzmacro wrote:

El Matadurr wrote:

Keeping the review train of old Nikkors on the NEX-7 going at your alls request. I need to start getting more lenses that I may not particularly like, because as it stands, all the lenses I own I adore. I don't want to sound pro-biased, so I'm going to stick on eBay looking for some cheapos here in the near future (such as the 28mm f/2.8 E-series or any of the lenses from that series). Until then, here's my first impressions on this fantastic lens that you all may have heard about lately from the likes of eths: http://matthewdurrphotography.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/first-impressions-nikon-180mm-f2-8-ai-s-ed/

I must still admit, if I had the money, I would love to have the 200mm f/2 AI-s ED. Just saying.

Discussion welcome. And please, if you have some old, forgotten Nikkors that you would like to see tested, send me a PM. The more the merrier.

Nice again Matt. Before I opened this and just reading the title, I thought about the 200mm F/2 and the Canon FD 200mm F/1.8. Problem is the cost mate ;). The Canon goes for around $3,000 US on Ebay. Alupang and I were looking at one, but just to higher a cost.

Anyway, nice work as always Matt. I'll go back with a coffee mate

Danny.

Exactly, since I don't have an unlimited budget for use and review, I have to keep the price/performance ratio forever in mind.

That said, I see that the Nikon series E lenses are pretty cheap. I'll be reviewing a lot of those in the coming months.

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Scotty
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to El Matadurr, May 28, 2012

Another nice write-up, Mathew! You inspired me to strap my Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AiS on the NEX-7. I haven't spent the time or energy you have with it, but the few shots I took today were encouraging. Here's one of my favorite lens test model, Sammy. This one's at f/4, ISO 800. I always have liked how that 180 renders OOF areas:

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kerpan
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to El Matadurr, May 28, 2012

We have a pre-AI 200mm F4 -- but I haven't yet tried to shoot anything with it. My son wants to get a Nex for his graduation -- I may never see any of my Nikon lenses again if he gets one. ; }

I think the 180mm is outside my budget -- but the results look good!

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LarryPhoto
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Light Stars
In reply to El Matadurr, May 29, 2012

I had this lens, used it on my Nikon D700, got some really special shots with it, made the greatest light stars I've ever seen.

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El Matadurr
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to Scotty, May 29, 2012

Scotty wrote:

Another nice write-up, Mathew! You inspired me to strap my Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AiS on the NEX-7. I haven't spent the time or energy you have with it, but the few shots I took today were encouraging. Here's one of my favorite lens test model, Sammy. This one's at f/4, ISO 800. I always have liked how that 180 renders OOF areas:

As much as I relatively dislike pet shots (despite owning a cat myself), there's something about yours that I do like, though I can't place exactly what it is.

Happy I've "inspired" you with just the impressions. Perhaps you may want to shoot even more after I lay out the real pros and cons in the upcoming technical review (which will go up after my 12x18 test chart comes in!)!

And the only reason I have time to do all this is because of summer break. Come Fall, I may have to take it easy.

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El Matadurr
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to kerpan, May 29, 2012

kerpan wrote:

We have a pre-AI 200mm F4 -- but I haven't yet tried to shoot anything with it. My son wants to get a Nex for his graduation -- I may never see any of my Nikon lenses again if he gets one. ; }

Thankfully whether it's pre-AI, AI, or AI-s it'll still meter just fine with the NEX's. Though I'm not sure about the weight of that when mounted. Regardless, I'd still give it a shot.

I think the 180mm is outside my budget -- but the results look good!

If you snoop around like I did for a while on eBay, you might be able to get one for the price I did (little over $300). For the money, I think it was a super buy, especially considering how well it does wide open.

That said, you may want to give yourself (and your son's) a shot at the e-series that Nikon used to make. I already have the 50mm f/1.8 E, just ordered a cheap 35mm f/2.5 E, and am working on getting a 135mm f/2.8 E (that I all plan to review). Apparently most of the E lenses used the same optical formula as their AI-s counterparts, their only difference were in the build materials (which are still better than the plastic lenses made today) and in the coating (typically single than multi coated). It's been confirmed that the 70-210 f/4 E's optical design was used by Nikon all the way up to some of their modern lenses (I think the autofocus version used the same).

Just food for thought.

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eths
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Re: Light Stars
In reply to LarryPhoto, May 29, 2012

This is true. The lens produces very nice "stars" indeed.

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eths
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to El Matadurr, May 29, 2012

I have a 70-210mm E-series zoom, and while it is a nice lens, I am not overly impressed by it. If you buy one, and you can get the very inexpensively these days, the zoom slider is often loose (mine is), which can be a real nuisance. I've always preferred sliding the focus ring instead of having an extra ring to change the focal length.

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nzmacro
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Besides all that
In reply to El Matadurr, May 29, 2012

;), I must say brilliant closeup shots Matt, darn good eye for a shot mate. Impressive work on those.

All the best up your way and very well done.

Danny.
...........................
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http://www.birdsinaction.com

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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kerpan
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to El Matadurr, May 29, 2012

I bought all the Series E lenses I could afford (for myself and my father) back when they were new. Somehow, someone lost the 35mm somewhere -- so I replaced it with the AIS version. Since we had both the Series E zooms, we never got the other teles back in the early 80s. I couldn't find a Series E 135, so got a very cheap older 135 -- but did get the Series E 100 (which I figured would be more useful to me than the much more expensive 85mm and 105 AIS ones).

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El Matadurr
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Re: Light Stars
In reply to LarryPhoto, May 29, 2012

LarryPhoto wrote:

I had this lens, used it on my Nikon D700, got some really special shots with it, made the greatest light stars I've ever seen.

I read a review talking about using this for star-gazing, wonder if it'd still be good on APS-C...hmm...

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El Matadurr
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to eths, May 29, 2012

eths wrote:

I have a 70-210mm E-series zoom, and while it is a nice lens, I am not overly impressed by it. If you buy one, and you can get the very inexpensively these days, the zoom slider is often loose (mine is), which can be a real nuisance. I've always preferred sliding the focus ring instead of having an extra ring to change the focal length.

There's a scratched and fungi'ed copy for $30 on eBay, a good one for about $60. I may keep an eye out still, that's not bad really.

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El Matadurr
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Re: Besides all that
In reply to nzmacro, May 29, 2012

nzmacro wrote:

;), I must say brilliant closeup shots Matt, darn good eye for a shot mate. Impressive work on those.

Hehe I do wonder if I every really need a macro lens sometimes.

All the best up your way and very well done.

Likewise down your way Danny.

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eths
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Re: First Impressions: Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED
In reply to El Matadurr, May 29, 2012

My cup hath runeth over this month...

This is with the 180mm lens wide open: http://500px.com/photo/8041623

Will post a couple more to 500px soon.

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