Additional Information on
Nikon's AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF ED telephoto lenses - Part III

File size: 68k HTML file Loading now....

Part IV Current version of the AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED telephoto lens
Year Introduced: end of 1994; Discontinued: Current (as at 12.2006)

While the 2006 shocking announcement by Nikon on discontinuation / exit on film based business products, some lenses were inevitably also being phased out (examples are excellent Nikkor classic such as AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF ED, AF Nikkor 18mm f/2.8D ultrawideangle and the fast speed AF Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D wideangle etc.). The AF 180mm f/2.8D IF ED was spared from this unfortunate broad scale cleaning up exercise. So, it means the focal length 180mm to 300mm is left with a vacuum now that missing an alternative for a prime telephoto lens (except for the ultra-fast speed AF Nikkor 200mm f/2.0G IF-ED VR telephoto lens which costs a bomb in USD).

Nikon's AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF ED telephoto lens by Adorama photographers The lens data plate of the  AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF ED telephoto lens whcih shows the D designation lens type

: Image courtesy of "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@adorama> URL:, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Adorama Inc. also can be contact at: Used & Collectible Ebay Department Adorama® Inc. 42 West 18th Street New York, N.Y. 10011 1-212-741-0052 1-830-223-2500 Option 55 Ext.119 FAX: 1-212-675-8715

Optically, the AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF telephoto lens shares most of the features with the non-D predecessor As you can note, this update was occurred in 1994 and the lens was introduced as a D-Spec AF Nikkor during that time where it simply involved integration of a distance chip within. So technically, the lens is virtually the same with the previous MK III version, but for those who can't live without camera aided metering / exposure control, the inclusion of the distance chip inside the lens may means a world of difference to aid for a more positive result. The lens was introduced in conjunction with the three dimension exposure and flash reading metering control first deployed on the Nikon F90(x) series bodies. For Nikon SLRs such Nikon F5 or F6 (and/or other Nikon mid range spec models as well as other variants such as Kodak DCS-7XX series, Nikon Digital SLRs etc.) which may be using far advance Matrix meters such as 3D RGB Color Matrix Metering*); communication between lens and camera body will then requires feedback of focusing distance information for camera's computer circuitry to perform a more precise metering calculation. In order for enabling all the sophisticated process to take place, the lens would require a distance chip incorporated within. So, the most significant difference between this AF-D 180mm f/2.8D EF-IF with the previous version was the incorporation of the distance chip; other than this, the lens virtually is the same with the non-D counterpart. In fact, physically, the D-chip powered AF 180mm f/2.8D IF ED virtually looks identical with the earlier Non-D version except the weight has been slightly increased by about 20g (0.7 oz). * Note: RGB Color Matrix was not available on most early series of Nikon SLR camera models.

Jiu Hua Shan,  sacre Buddhist spot in China
Cave temples built at the distance mountain range of Jiu Hua Shan, a sacre Buddhist and Taoist hot spot in the mainland China where many of the legend were told by locals. Telephoto pulls in the distance detail and isolate a portion within the compositing frame in your finder.

Leofoo® 2007

Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing image to replace this.

Location of the Serial Numbering of  the AF Nikkor lens
To differentiate the previous version from the D-Spec lens, just locate an alphabet "D" after the lens data plate that sits above the aperture ring. Next, the serial number of the lens has been placed slightly lower near the rear lens mount section, and we assume ALL the D-version of the AF 180mm f/2.8D IFED bear a starting serial number of 400001 onwards.
It is a beautifully designed telephoto. Good looking at exterior and performs truly like a classic Nikkor optically which has made its name since the old days. Unless you are in credibly fussy, one just simply cannot pick on anything from its very high built quality as well as excellent lens handling it provides on the field. The f/2.8 aperture remains constant throughout its entire focusing distance and to many photographers who has keen interest on telephotography, makes it a perfect telephoto lens for a wide varieties of picture usage. I always prefer lenses with straight forward design. I do know many would rather prefer the versatility of a fast speed tele-zoom such as the Nikon's classic zoom AF-S Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF, but a prime lens is a prime lens, it has its appeal as a prime telephoto lens for photographers who still prefers a fixed focal length optic. I would like to raise a debate but personally I belong to this group of user as well. Basically, what it cannot compete with a zoom lens is only confined to versatility in permitting photographer with an easy changing of picture angles and continuous changing of perspective, but from a view point of practicality and mobility - it excels. Just take the example of the hefty dimensions of the AF-S Zoom Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF, it measures approx. 88mm dia. x 207mm length; while the AF 180 measures 78.5mm dia. x 144mm (approx. 5.6") and weighs much lighter at approx. 760g while one of the comparing AF-S Nikkor zoom weighs approx.1,580g (3 Ibs 8.7 oz body only; 1,440g (3 Ibs 2.8 oz without tripod Collar). This makes handheld photography a much easier task with more assuring results, minus the fact you won't feel so fatigue over a long session shootings.

Abdullah Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia during a press conference at International meet
The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Badawi, in a casual mood during a press conference after an international meet.

Scrambling to take photos on political figures in a press conference is not an easy task.
JOHN W. Ishii, took this with a telephoto from a distance away from the crowd in available lighting.

The lens offers GREAT system compatibility between new and older Nikon SLR camera bodies. Take the example of a Nikon D80, the 3D color matrix metering ONLY will work with a G-series AF Nikkor OR an AF-D type Nikkor ONLY. And when D type lenses is used, the depth of field preview button enables depth of field preview which partly compensates the lack of depth of field visual reference on the lens. In short, virtually all functions are supported with a typical Nikon Digital SLR camera currently offers in the market now. That is not all, it works with older AF Nikon SLRs in their respective metering function and bridging itself across to manual focus Nikon bodies as an Ai-s Nikkor lens as well. So, in terms of a broad scale system compatibility, an AF-D version of this lens group should always be your priority should one day, you migrate yourself up to a newer Nikon SLR camera.

Further, use of a D-type Nikkor also maximizes the potential of Nikon's Creative Lighting System when used with specific Nikon flash such as Nikon SB-800, SB-600 or the Wireless close-ups Speedlight Systems. The non-D AF 180mm f/2.8s IF ED we discussed earlier may miss some of the features in the newer Nikon F/D-SLR models (such as color matrix metering II) but most of other basic functions should work equally well. NOTE: AF Nikkor other than D-/G-type: 3D Color Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash is not possible

With magnification that fills the 35mm frame with an area 1/18th of that covered by a 50mm lens, the 180mm figuratively reaches out to create eye-arresting images. This optical behavior provides the lens with a moderate reach that is good for isolating a particular section in a wide filed of view. NOTE: picture angle of the 180mm delivers approx. 13° 40' (Nikon DX digital SLR format cameras narrow it down to a tighter 9°). Further, the native optical characteristic of the lens provides a tighter compression of perspective which is pronouncing; making it a strong creative tool for taking compelling images where typically the foreground and background appear to be drawn together. Both of these can be potentially good for visual expression if you know how put them to good use. The ED glass, typically renders sensitive color spectrum red and blue are most reactive as the chromatic aberration is commonly found on longer focal length lenses. For scenes that contain these elements, pictures usually exhibit very rich and distinctive colors. Next, the maximum aperture of f/2.8 for this AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is reasonably good enough for low light shooting, thereby making it a very good lens choice for stage, fashion, portraiture, sports, news, travel, journalism or other kind of available light photography.

The close focusing ability which delivers a magnification ratio of approx. 1/6.6. I know it may not be particularly impressive in this area esp. if compares it with a dedicated tele-MACRO lens such as AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4.0 IF-ED or the AF Micro-Nikkor Zoom 70-180mm f/4.0~5.6 ED-IF but as a non-dedicated close-up telephoto lens, the reproduction ratio and its overall close focusing performance should present as an alternate way for you to explore its potential. Well, I guess no matter what kind of optic or lens type, it requires the user to interpret his own visual expression in a creative way. This AF 180mm tele-Nikkor lens possesses many strong elements to serve a thinking photographer. So, if you still don't take good photographs, don't blame it on the lens. To me - this is simply a fabulous telephoto lens in the Nikkor lens group and it is very inviting to people like me.

Ghosty Cruise at Sydney Harbour by Agro, Australia
Ghosty Cruise at harbour, Sydney, Australia

Credit: Image courtesy of Mayka G (Agro) from Australia, where I found this lovely shot from his online PORTFOLIO. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

The rear section of the lens barrel and aperture ring of the AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF ED telephoto lens
OFF TOPIC:- Is there anything with this lens that I am not too happy about ? Err .. almost none. Well, there are some points that be improved upon such as the aperture ring should have been improved with a better choice of material used. It looks a little fragile and the less rigid click stop is a little irritating (and this applies to all other Nikkor lenses in general as well). Somehow, it doesn't gel itself very well with the overall top grade built quality of the lens. Next, the limiting depth of field scales of f/22 and f/16 should have been added with another two mid aperture values. Although some of you may think I am being too fussy and may say " leo...where the hell people use this now ?..". Well.. probably you are technology dependent and so you don't but I do. Well, to be fair, it is all depend on the type of photography you are more engaged to. Just for an example, when shooting at close range, the depth of field is at its maximum effect and may cause the AF system hard to detect focusing. So, most people would rather revert back to manual focusing. And since NOT all Nikon bodies offer a DOF preview feature, a well illustrated depth of field scales printed onto lens often be used as a quick visual guide on the approximate to determine the zone of focus. Well, as this lens is designed as an AF lens and thus, very few people complaint but it helps and doesn't cost another hundred more USD to offer this, right ? peace...

seperator line
Beautifully captured front section of the lens element of the AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IFED
Technical Specification for AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF ED telephoto lens:-

Type of lense: Autofocus Nikkor fixed focal lens with built-in CPU and Nikon bayonet mount
Focal length: 180mm; Maximum aperture: f/2.8; Minimum Aperture: f/22
Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups; Internal Focus Design
Picture angle: 13° 40' Nikon DX digital SLR format cameras: 9°; (approx. 270mm based on 1.5X lens factor)
Diaphragm: Fully automatic,
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet/inches from 1.5m (7.5') to infinity (OO)
Distance information: Output into camera body with CPU interface system
IS POSSIBLE with this version; Option for manual focus provided
Aperture scale: f/2.8 to f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Mount: Nikon bayonet mount with CPU contacts; Attachment size: 72mm (P=0.75mm);
Meter Coupling Prong: NONE;
Infrared compensation scale: Provided
Depth of Field Scales: provided for f/16 and f/22 only
Reproduction ratio: 1:6.6X maximum
Minimum aperture lock: Provided; slide switch type
Lens Coating: SIC (Nikon Super Integrated Lens Coating)
Lens Hood: Built-in, pull and slide type
Exposure measurement: Via full-aperture method for Ai cameras or cameras with CPU interface system with distance information relay system to Camera body for metering, exposure and flash Matrix metering system deploy on compatible Nikon SLRs
Dimensions: Approx. 78.5mm dia. x 144mm (approx. 5.6") ; 153.5 from the lens mounting flange; Weight: Approx. 760g

Credit: Image courtesy of Digitize Future@EBAY®. who operates their online EBAY STORE. Image(s) copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Scanic old country house, Averted Vision at AOL dot com
A country House

Credit: Image courtesy of AvertedVision®, who maintains his PORTFOLIO@Pbase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Rear lens mount  of of third version of AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF ED telephoto lens A side overall view of theNikon's AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF ED telephoto lens The lens has a built in lens shade, simply pull it out and the extension is not particularly good but should be adequate

MTF for AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF ED

Nikon confidently published their MTF graph to let users evaluating its optical excellence.

Optical Contruction of the AF Nikor 180mm f/2.8D

8 elements in 6 groups; Internal Focus Design. The ED glass element is placed as the second element.

Standard accessories: 72mm front lens cap; Rear lens cap LF-1; flexible lens pouch CL38S. No. 63; Lens case: older Hard case for MF version CL-32S may be usable, lens pouch CL-S4 may also be used.

Usable Tele-Converters: -
TC-201S; TC-14A usable but occasionally vignetting may occur

* Others: System compatibility:- Circular polarizing filter: Usable; Circular polarizing filter II: Usable (also with built-in lens hood)- Usable; AF-3: Usable. (5); AF-4:- Usable. (5): Indicates maximum number of usable hoods (HN-36 for AF-3/HN-37 for AF-4).AF Nikkor 180mm /2.8 IF-ED came with an all metal black crinkle finish lens barrel, hard rubberized manual focusing ring: Serial number traced could indicate it started from 400001 < 400669-418916 > as of Dec. 1994 Reference: Roland Vink's lens data sheet.

Rear section illustration of various function and features of the AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IFED telephoto lens
<<<--- The rear section of this beautifully crafted tele-Nikkor lens still features an all metal lens attachment mount. The AF Contacts are quite delicate and should always be taken care of during lens changing. Various features at the rear (outlined in red) sections are genetically making it as an AI-S lens in nature. So, the lens can be used for any manual focus Nikon SLR since 1977 and without any backward compatibles issues or whatsoever.

Conclusion: This is a lovely high performance telephoto lens in top quality finishes. Similarly, when use it creatively, it can offer top quality photographic results. Consider it modest retail price, and easily can be regarded as a poor man ED prime lens. The biggest advantage is with its fairly large constant aperture of f/2.8, the Distance information relay capabilities make it fully compatible with any of the current Nikon SLRs and retaining full functions in camera control, exposure reading and even the latest flash technologies the Company offers in their camera models. The decision point on investment is whether you believe a prime has its optical excellence over a comparing high performance and more versatile zoom lens type such as the
AF-Nikkor Zoom 80-200mm f/2.8 IF-ED.

Nicole Hu, China at her renovation site
Candid. Nicole Hu, China carefully scanning reference materials at her house renovation site, 2007.

Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing images to substitute this.

| Back | 3/3 to the Non-D version of the AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8S IF-ED telephoto lens

Version history, Original and MK II version | AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8S IF-ED New (MK III) | AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED

RELATIVE:- Early generation of AF Nikkor lenses; Ai-S Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 ED; Ai-Spec Nikkor 180mm f/2.8; Non-Ai Nikkor-P 180mm f/2.8 Auto; Micro-Nikkor Zoom 70-180mm f/4~5.6 IF-ED; AF-Nikkor Zoom 80-200mm f/2.8 IF ED lens group;

External LINKS:- Discussions at Photonet forum on this lens Segment A (compatibility with DSLRs | Segment B (Macro Application); CPU Nikkor lenses listed by LensID; Photozone Reviews: Earlier Non-D version | D-Spec lens; Kenrockwell, Australia own opinion on the lens; Nikon Imaging Site formal listing; A quick price search on AF Nikkor 180mm at Epinion Price Comparison; New or Used prices at Ebay of various AF 180mm lenses

Sigma 180mm f/3.5 MACRO LINK

Contax mount Carl Zeiss T* Olympia Sonnar 180mm f/2.8 LINK

Canon 180mm f/3.5L MACRO Link

Leica 180mm Elmarit


Carl Zeiss T* Olympia Sonnar 180mm

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM MACRO

Leica Elmarit-R 180mm f/2.8 APO

Main Index Page - Autofocus Nikkor lenses

| Message Board | for your Nikkor Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for new/used Nikon/Nikkor photographic equipment

weblibrary.gif   Nippon Kogaku Rangefinder Resources | Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM Series | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

Nikon MF RF-Nikkor lenses for Rangefinder cameras:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:-
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

Nikkor Link.jpg   Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses | about this photographic web site

Search.gif | Back | Main Index Page of Nikkor Resources | Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

MIR Logo.gif   Home - Photography in Malaysia


Credit: To all the good people who has contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough granting us permission to use their images appeared in this site Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Nikon over the years and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.