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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Evaluate: Nikon AF 180mm 2.8D IF-ED


Introduction

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 by way of adapter on Sony A7rII

With the rise of the 80-200mm f/2.8 zooms it appears the 180-200mm f/2.8 primes fell out of vogue, as for greater than 20 years no producer bothered to design a brand new lens like this (not counting just a few third occasion macro choices). Whereas Canon final up to date their 200mm 2.8 in 1996, Nikon by no means up to date the optical design of their Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 since 1986. Is that this nonetheless a worthwhile lens immediately? Let’s discover out on this assessment. 

Pattern Photos

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8

You will discover many of the pictures on this assessment in full decision right here.

Specs / Model Historical past

There have been three totally different variations of this AF lens with totally different casing designs that usually all share the identical optics, however the coatings have been up to date in some unspecified time in the future. It may additionally be worthwhile to take a look at our Nikon AF 180mm 2.8(D) Teardown/Model Historical past visitor submit.

This can be a assessment of one of many later AF-D variations, it has the next specs:

    • Diameter: 78 mm
    • Area of view: 13°40′ (diagonally)
    • Size: 145 mm
    • Weight: 765g
    • Filter Diameter: 72 mm
    • Variety of Aperture Blades: 9 (largely straight)
    • Parts/Teams: 8/6
      nikon af 180mm 2.8 ed review sharpness contrast review 42mp 61mp bokeh vignetting autofocus a7rv z7 z6 z8 flare build quality
    • Shut Focusing Distance: 1.5 m
    • Most Magnification: 1:6.3 (measured)
    • Mount: Nikon-F

This lens has lengthy been discontinued, you may normally discover the AF model on ebay.com | ebay.de beginning at ~$200 (affiliate hyperlinks) the later AF-D variations are usually dearer

Dealing with / Construct High quality

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Nikon AF 180mm 2.8

I’m not so certain in regards to the early non-D samples with that polished plastic casing, however the later non-D and D samples do really feel solidly made. Just about every little thing is constructed from prime quality polycarbonate right here although with solely minimal utilization of metallic. You possibly can take a look at this teardown for additional reference.

The aperture ring is situated near the bayonet and options the identical design as all of Nikon’s aperture rings with equidistantly spaced full-stop click-stops.

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
AF/MF change

The large focus ring rotates 180° from the minimal focus distance (1.5 m) to infinity. The resistance is nice, however inferior to a purely guide focus lens. Nonetheless, I nonetheless want the inner focus operation of this 180mm 2.8 AF to that of the unit focus design of the Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8.

It additionally includes a small A/M lever to have interaction (for guide focus) or disengange (for auto focus) the main target ring.

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 with hood prolonged

The Nikon 180mm 2.8 options my favourite sort of lens hood: a retractable one. It additionally has black felt on the within – correctly.

nikon af-s 70-200mm 2.8 G VRI VR1 if-ed zoom telezoom tele 42mp sony nikon z 61mp z6 z7 z8 z9 a7riv a7rv contrast sharpness bokeh vignetting portrait
Nikon 200mm 2.0 IF-ED | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8D | Nikon AF-S 70-200mm 2.8G IF-ED VR

Some individuals say the dimensions and weight benefit of those 180-200mm primes shouldn’t be sufficiently big over the 80-200mm or 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms, however seeing this 180mm 2.8 and the primary era 70-200mm 2.8 aspect by aspect, I believe there’s nonetheless room for these compact and light-weight primes.

This AF lens depends on a motor in digicam for the auto focus to function and never all Nikon SLRs help this. The Nikon FTZ adapters additionally don’t, so on Z-mount cameras this might be a guide focus lens.

Sony customers could make use of the Monster LA-FE2 adapter although, which is able to permit the autofocus to work on Sony E-mount cameras. With that adapter the autofocus is surprisingly quick and dependable.

Vignetting

mild falloff

nikon af 180mm 2.8 ed review sharpness contrast review 42mp 61mp bokeh vignetting autofocus a7rv z7 z6 z8 flare build quality

f/2.8 1.2 EV
f/4.0 0.8 EV
f/5.6 0.5 EV
f/8.0 – f/22 0.3 EV

Vast open the vignetting quantities to round 1 EV within the corners which is manner lower than what I’ve seen from the Tamron 70-180mm 2.8 lenses and the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm 2.8G VRI. Stopped down there’s hardly any vignetting.

nikon af 180mm 2.8 ed review sharpness contrast review 42mp 61mp bokeh vignetting autofocus a7rv z7 z6 z8 flare build quality
Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 ED

It is strongly recommended to take a look at this text first to get an thought how this brightness graph works.

optical vignetting

Very quick lenses normally present a big quantity of optical vignetting. With out going an excessive amount of into technical particulars optical vignetting results in the truncation of sunshine circles in direction of the borders of the body.
Within the middle of the body virtually each lens will render an ideal circle, however solely lenses with very low optical vignetting will hold this form within the corners.
So within the following comparability we transfer from the middle (left) to the intense nook (proper) and see how the form of the sunshine circle adjustments.

Sony A7rII | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8D

At f/2.8 this 180mm 2.8 lens exhibits a comparably low quantity of optical vignetting. It really does higher than the f/1.8 to f/2.0 180/200mm lenses. The form at f/2.8 seems additionally pure with out distinct cat’s eyes, however within the excessive nook it seems just like the circle is barely lower by both the adapter or the rear mild baffle.
The Tamron 70-180mm 2.8 lenses and the Nikon AF-S 70-200mm 2.8G VRI present manner greater optical vignetting at their lengthy ends at f/2.8.

Already by f/4.0 the largely straight aperture blades result in fairly edgy nonagons although, right here the fashionable zooms handle to maintain highlights rounder.

Sharpness

Focus Shift

33% crops, A7rII

With some lenses the aircraft of optimum focus shifts when stopping down, this may be a problem with (D)SLRs, as they normally focus at most aperture, however fortunately there isn’t any related focus shift to be discovered right here.

MTF-Graphs

nikon af 180mm 2.8 ed review sharpness contrast review 42mp 61mp bokeh vignetting autofocus a7rv z7 z6 z8 flare build quality

In line with these MTF graphs this Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D is meant to be an ideal performer with a really even throughout body efficiency. Let’s see how these translate into actuality.

infinity (42mp Sony A7rII)

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7rII | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 | f/11

Warmth haze is all the time an issue when wanting on the infinity decision of tele lenses and this was no exception right here, even on an overcast day. At f/2.8 middle and midframe do look good, however stopping down one to 2 stops positively improves adge acuity. For the corners to look good, stopping right down to f/5.6 to f/8.0 is required.

There are some rumors floating round that the earlier Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED is a greater performer than this newer AF lens. Based mostly on the samples of each lenses I had, I can’t verify that.

shut focus 1.5 m (42mp Sony A7rII)

100% crops from middle, A7rII

A minimal focus distance of 1.5 m is kind of okay for an older 180mm 2.8 lens and the Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED solely supplied 1.8 m.

The picture high quality may be very usable broad open with barely lowered distinction and improves to excellent ranges on stopping right down to f/4.0. Additionally right here the I don’t see the predecessor performing any higher.

Flare resistance

As is the case with most tele lenses that is definetly a weak spot. Catching ghosts with the solar contained in the body isn’t the primary subject, however with the solar exterior the body veiling flare turns into an issue and even the hood – which was prolonged for the next footage – didn’t actually assist.

Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8D IF-ED | f/2.8

This can be a frequent subject with tele lenses, however the newer ones do higher in some conditions. In these scenes for instance I didn’t anticipate to catch such large veiling flare and I’d anticipate a few of the current lenses to do higher:

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8

Distortion

The lens is virtually distortion free.

Bokeh

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8

A 180mm lens with a most aperture of f/2.8 really permits for lots of background blur.

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8

Typically, this lens attracts a pleasant, pleasing bokeh and there isn’t quite a bit to complain about. Apart from veiling flare once more, which regularly has the potential to damage the occasion:

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8

Coma

Sony A7rII | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 IF-ED | 100% crops from excessive nook

Some individuals additionally like to make use of theses lenses for deep sky images, the Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED was particularly well-known for this. This Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D additionally corrects this aberrations moderately properly, however on this class the outdated guide focus lens would possibly really carry out a tad higher.

Sunstars

Sony A7rII | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 IF-ED | slight crops from middle

This pattern of the Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D creates distinct sunstars with 18 rays from f/5.6 to f/22. By my private expertise Nikon’s aperture diaphragms weren’t constructed to the tightest tolerances although, so I’m fairly certain there could be some variance right here.

Chromatic aberrations

lateral

  • nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
  • nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance

Sony A7rII | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | f/11

We see a medium quantity of lateral CA right here, a efficiency much like that of the predecessor, the Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED. As could be seen from this comparability, the one-click-correction in Lightroom is doing a superb right here.

longitudinal

Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8D IF-ED

There’s positively some bokeh fringing right here at f/2.8. Not a foul efficiency, however many of the f/2.8 telezooms which were launched after this lens do no worse, usually higher.

Sony A7rII | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8D IF-ED | 100% crops from middle

There’s some purple fringing, however it isn’t overly pronounced, so I don’t assume it’s going to usually be a problem within the discipline.

Conclusion

good

  • good bokeh
  • good sharpness and distinction (aside from corners at infinity)
  • low distortion
  • low vignetting
  • construct high quality
  • worth
common

  • Coma correction
  • CA correction
  • measurement/weight
not good

  • flare resistance
  • AF solely on greater finish Nikon (D)SLRs and by way of the costly Monster LA-FE2 adapter on Sony E-mount cameras

It have been a few years since somebody made a brand new 180/200mm 2.8 compact non-macro lens and the primary purpose for that is that the 70-200mm 2.8 zooms have turn out to be so good, rendering these unflexible primes a bit ineffective.

If we keep within the Nikon F-mount world, there’s at the very least one profit in comparison with these f/2.8 telezooms: the smaller measurement and weight of this 180mm 2.8 prime. The zooms are round 500g heavier and in addition longer.

However it’s 2024 now and the 2 Tamron 70-180mm 2.8 lenses for mirrorless cameras showcase how far we now have come. These lenses are about the identical measurement and weight as this prime whereas providing vastly superior picture high quality. And so they will let you cowl not solely 180mm, however the full vary from 70 to 180mm.

So in immediately’s world, this Nikon 180mm 2.8 AF(-D) is generally a relic from the previous. It is extremely inexpensive although, attracts a pleasant bokeh and works on Nikon’s older analogue cameras, so for some individuals this may occasionally nonetheless be a fascinating lens.

This lens has lengthy been discontinued, you may normally discover the AF model on ebay.com | ebay.de beginning at ~$200 (affiliate hyperlinks) the later AF-D variations are usually dearer

Options

As stated earlier than there aren’t any precise trendy alternate options. The Canon EF 200mm 2.8L USM II presents an analogous optical efficiency however you don’t want such an costly adapter because the Monster LA-FE2 to get it to autofocus on mirrorless cameras, so it’s in all probability a better option for many.

For the value of a Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D in good situation together with the Monster LA-FE2 adapter you can too discover a used first era Tamron 70-180mm 2.8, which brings some versatility to the desk. If you’re F-mount lenses solely and you aren’t that measurement aware, a primary or second era Nikon AF-S 70-200mm 2.8G VR or a Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 will also be discovered used at inexpensive costs lately.

In case you don’t care about AF, the predecessor Nikon Ai-s 180mm 2.8 ED presents an analogous efficiency, however due to being an excellent entrance heavy unit focus design and infrequently being dearer on the used market, I’d in all probability want the AF model being reviewed right here.

Pattern Photos

nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/2.8
nikon af af-d 180mm 2.8 ed if sharpness review contrast resolution 42mp 61mp 24mp vignetting coma bokeh build quality flare resistance
Sony A7III | Nikon AF 180mm 2.8 D | Monster LA-FE2 | f/5.6

You will discover many of the pictures on this assessment in full decision right here.

Additional Studying

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My identify is Bastian and I’m your knowledgeable right here with regards to extremely broad angle lenses, tremendous quick portrait lenses (starting from a 50mm f/0.95 to a 200mm f/1.8) and I even have reviewed manner too many 35mm lenses.
Do not ask me something about macro or wildlife capturing although.

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