Steep Learning Curve:
180mm f/2.8 lens
Amazing after all these years
I bought my 180 f/2.8 lens in the late 1980s, while I was a 35mm film photojournalist. At the time, it seemed a risky purchase. Autofocus lenses were new then, and I still thought I could out-focus any AF motor. I probably could have out-focused this one then, but I'd heard and read about the remarkable quality of this legendary 180 for many years, and I wanted the latest version.
It's a classic lens, one of Nikon's best from any era. But it is not fast-focus. Over the years, I periodically checked prices paid for used Nikon lenses, and had given up ever being able to use it on a new digital camera. But I kept it, anyway, and I am glad I did.
For the first month using my brand new D200, this was the only AF lens I had, and I used it often. Once I got the 70-300mm zoom, I used the 180 less, because it lacks the reach of the zoom, but it's so sharp, I go back sometimes, especially if what I am shooting is not that far away.
It may be that images shot on the 180, even when they're far from filling the frame (meaning I have to use a small crop, as in the image above), are sharper than shooting them directly with the 70-300mm zoom. That's a scary thought, but it might be true. It is nice to be able to zomm in and out, but for sharpness, not much can compare with the trusty 180.
It's a big clunk of glass, nearly twice as heavy as the 70-300 I use more often.
weighs 27.1 oz.
min focus 5 feet
hood built in (unlikely to pop off)
Bill & Susan pix - happened to be there with only this one lens, so I juxtaposed hers and his art from as far away as I could get in the big gallery. There were aspects of both artists' work that was essentially similar although visually distinct, and the only way I could show it without sounding like an art goon was to put both works in the same photograph.