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180mm 2.8D - thoughts


TPF Noob!
Aug 11, 2014
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hi all,

I'm thinking about buying (a gently used)180mm 2.8D. The reviews seem to vary from "very sharp" to "dated and soft".

I may sell my 85mm 1.8G and pick one up if you guys give the lens a thumbs up.

Depends what you want to use the 180 for. It's not a really fast focusing lens, at least not reliably so. And it's slow to manually focus if the lens is in AF mode, since it uses a barrel-mounted switch that must be set to Manual in order to focus manually. It often shows purple fringing when shot around water that has brilliant highlights on it. I had an AF and an AF-D at the same time for a while, got both at ridiculously low prices! Ended up giving the AF model to a British fellow who had all, his kit stolen. Try not to overpay for one; prices on these have dropped pretty low.

The focal length is pretty handy though, for a prime tele. It's just enough shorter than a 200mm, and longer than a 135mm that it's very handy! And it does work pretty well with a 12mm or a 20mm extension tube added for closeup work. The lens is light in weight too! And relatively compact. I wouldn't call the lens "soft", but the color fringing is a well-known problem when the lens is used around subjects that have a lot of bright, strong skies, or bright, strong highlights on water. For slower-paced stuff, I think it'd be a good buy for many people, but it's not a "sports lens" really. As far as focal length, for portraiture, I often find that my EXIF reads 174mm or 178mm-a LOT...

Maybe I need to start shooting my 180mm lens again!
I had the older AF version and loved it.
Sold it when I got a newer 70-200.
One of those lenses I wish I had kept.
Thanks for the input guys and sweet photo manny212.

Sounds like you guys have had good experiences with the lens and a "non D" version is okay too (and a little cheaper).

I have to admit that I've been watching some videos by "the angry photographer" (yes I'm easily led by carnival barkers). His explanations of some things make sense - even if acidic and rude (love his idea of desiccants and zip-lock baggies for lenses/bodies).

He seems to own or have used every lens by Nikon and gushes endlessly about the 180 ......Why not give it a try?
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