Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF

Most digital SLR cameras are found to be a lot more expensive than the ordinary point-and-shoot digital cameras and the Nikon cameras are no exception. However, the investment is more than worth it providing the right camera is purchased. However, not all of these expensive cameras come with their own lens and once the shopping goes down to the lenses, even more money needs to be spent especially if the lens is geared towards a special purpose and have special features along with tough durability.

This isn’t the case with the Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF NIKKOR Lens which represents the telephoto lenses because it comes out at a price lower than $400 since it’s been around in the market for quite awhile, yet the performance, durability, and dedicated features still doesn’t fail to impress when compared to the newer ones out there.


Design & Construction

The Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF is built like a tank where the entire barrel is made of metal and is finished with a nice black paint finish that is both retro-looking and attractive. One of the best things about how it is designed is how easy it is to use the manual focus ring in order to get a very accurate focus adjustment.

It also has a convenient sliding lens hood built into the lens taking the form of a simple metal ring wrapped around the tip of the lens barrel. Once it is pulled, it extends to perfectly shade the lens. This design aspect isn’t found in many of the other lenses and it’s strongest points that other camera lenses do not have both in and out of its price range. The weight is also remarkably light which is why it is an ideal camera for photojournalism.

Actual user review:
“This lens is legendary, but due to its sloooooooow focusing, doesn’t have much value to sports shooters these days. It is a great lens for landscapes and portraits on FX and could make up for any issues with the 70-200 on FX, which frankly, I feel are way overblown. At any rate, if you need a fast medium tele and can’t afford the 70-200, this is worth a look. No VR and no AFS make it very antiquated, however. The sharpness and bokeh are superb, however. Look for a used one.” – C.E.Feather (OH,USA)

Features & Specifications

The Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF lens dominates when it comes to image sharpness, bokeh, and color rendering. Some people may not find the sharpness to meet professional standards, but as with other lens, the sharpness can drastically be improved after stopping down a little bit. Still the image sharpness demonstrated when it is wide open is excellent for a camera in its price range. The same can be said with the way it handles contrast.

Distortion and shading are both controlled very well and minimized just enough for any photographer to have nothing to complain about. When used with a sub-frame camera and other longer primes, the exposure uniformity is great and the worst case scenario when it comes to light falloff goes under 0.2 EV when the lens is wide open and further goes down to 0.1 EV at f/4. As for the distortion, there is a tiny pincushion located at the ends of the frame at 0.15% maximum averaging at just 0.06% spanning the frame.

Just like the other telephoto lenses, the average chromatic aberration is low in the Nikon 180mm f/2.8D when both large and small apertures are used. A good majority of the chromatic aberration takes place in the corners and does not extend to the more important parts of the image.

The autofocus is average since it falls under the screwdriver type making it a bit noisy, but the performance remains consistently quick no matter which body the lens is mounted on. All digital SLR owners should be contented with the autofocus just like the other features. It also makes use of internal focus for optimal performance.

Bottom Line

The Nikon 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF NIKKOR lens is an excellent all-around lens that is highly recommended for people that are into photojournalism or sports photography. Just like the other telephoto lenses, it is also reliable for portraiture photography as well and the ED elements make sure that the images stay crisp and sharp across all aperture settings. It is also a long lasting camera that is well-built to last for ages without any major wear and tear on the performance. Perhaps the best thing about this lens is the price making it a great professional choice for any person who is tight on the budget.

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