Nikkor AF 180mm 2.8D ED

Started Aug 20, 2022 | Discussions thread
OP Igor Sotelo Contributing Member • Posts: 923
Re: Nikkor AF 180mm 2.8D ED

Michael Benveniste wrote:

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.

Too bad the 180 D isn’t an AF-S lens. But I still have to upgrade to the Nikon D850, so I think will stay with DSLR’s for my Nikon system for long time, God willing.

It seems AI-S are better than screw drive AF lenses for mirrorless since were designed for manual focus. Perhaps Nikon will release an FTZ adapter with a built in motor. I think Sony has one of those for their A screw drive lenses.

Another option are Techart AF adapters Z to M adapters with an additional M to F adapter, but that only works with lighter lenses.

The 180mm 2.8D has some advantages over 70/80-200mm 2.8 lenses, it could make sense to have one of those. Specially since the lens is highly regarded by many people.

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