Nikkor AF 180mm f/2.8 IF-ED - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
Page 1 of 3
Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Ulrich Grothaus!
The Nikkor AF 180mm f/2.8 IF-ED is one the older medium tele primes in the
Nikon lens lineup. At a price just below the 1000US$/€ barrier it
isn't exactly a cheap lens. For about the same money you could also have
a Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8 D ED zoom lens which is an excellent performer
making it hard to justify a fix-focal lens of the same speed and similar shape factor.
Released back in the early '90s it is obviously a full format lens. In the tested
APS-C scope (Nikon D200) the field-of-view is equivalent to classic 270mm. When thinking
of 300mm f/2.8 lenses on film SLRs the size an weight advantage is
immediately obvious so tele photographers can be happy about the APS-C
The build quality of the lens is exceptionally high. The outer barrel
is made of metal with a crinkle finish typical for professional grade
Nikkors. The rubberized focus ring operates very smooth and slightly
damped. The lens features a build-in telescope hood. Personally I
prefer this kind of hood simply because it's so much more convenient
compared to twist-lock or even screw-in type hoods. On the downside
some may argue that such hoods aren't overly deep thus less efficient
but frankly I think it's certainly good enough.
The AF 180mm f/2.8 is a true IF (internal focusing) design so its length
remains constant regardless of the focus setting and the front element does
not rotate. Using a polarizer is therefore no problem.
The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw
operated by the camera. As a result the AF generates a moderate
degree of noise. However, the AF speed is very fast - also an advantage
of the internal focusing mechanism.
|Equiv. focal length||270 mm (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||f/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||8 elements in 6 groups inc. 1 ED element|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|min. focus distance||1.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:6.6)|
|Dimensions||79 x 144 mm|
|Filter size||72 mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||barrel shaped (build-in)|