Nikkor AF 180mm 2.8D ED

Started Aug 20, 2022 | Discussions thread
Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 6,728
Re: Nikkor AF 180mm 2.8D ED

Igor Sotelo wrote:

It has a different much more complex optical formula and was wondering if it’s worth trying it?

I don't remember if I used the 180mm f/2.8 AI-s or the AI version.  Either way, it's literally been decades.

I do still own the 180mm f/2.8D.  Unlike the manual focus lenses, it's an internal focus lens, which accounts for the different optical formula.  in 100% crops from a modern dSLR, it shows the expected behavior from a film-era design.  It's a bit soft wide open and at least my copy shows noticeable chromatic aberration.

Is it worth trying?  I'd say yes, under the following conditions:

  • You plan on staying with a dSLR for the foreseeable future.  On an adapter you won't retain autofocus operation, and the manual focus action on the 180mm f/2.8D is sloppy compared to most dedicated manual focus lenses.
  • You won't incur a lot of extra shipping charges should you decide it's not for you and "flip" it.
  • You enjoy shooting with a 180mm prime.  Perhaps that's obvious, but sales of 180mm primes fell off a cliff soon after the 80-200mm f/2.8 AF was released.  In the 25 year run of the 180mm f/2.8D, Nikon only sold about 100 a month.
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