Thought on 180 EDIF for landscapes

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by hugh_sakols, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. This looks like a great compact lens that is super sharp. Anyone use one of these for distant landscapes? Do you see any improvement over other lenses stopped down a bit? I've considered the 80-200 but I just don't want the weight. Also does this lens easily focus at infinity.
    Hugh
    www.yosemitecollection.com
     
  2. A nice, light-weight lens (compared to tha 80-200) with excellent quality. I'll never sell mine.
     
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    While it is certainly smaller than the 80-200mm/f2.8, I wouldn't exactly describe the 180mm/f2.8 as a compact or light-weight lens.
    If the objective is landscape only, I would consider a 200mm/f4, but the only Nikon options for 200mm/f4 are all manual focus.
     
  4. Yes, I use this in the AF-D version, it's a fantastic lens. It's great wide open and by 5.6 it's as good as it goes.
     
  5. I do own the Nikon 200 f4 AIS macro but find that I rarely use it for closeup work. It seems pretty good as an all around lens. However, I could see myself selling it for the 180mm. Thanks for the responses. I have a few days on my hands before I move Tuolumne Meadows for the summer. I look forward to just taking pictures and not obsessing over lenses.
     
  6. I use it for landscapes to some extent; the contrast & sharpness are excellent but of course framing convenience of the zoom is lost which can be a big deal for landscape photography. It gives cleaner images than the f/2.8 zooms at this focal length and I like it as it's just over half the weight and size of the big telezooms. I pair it with a 100mm macro lens to cover that focal length. The total weight of this combination is similar to the 70-200 which doesn't do macro. This savings in weight are to me significant.
    The autofocus 180mm is somewhat tricky to focus manually; the movement is too fast (the same problem exists with the 80-200 AF-D but the 70-200 AF-S is a bit easier to manual focus). I would just use autofocus for subjects near infinity. It works fine.
     
  7. From what I've read, another you should consider (if you can find it) is the micro-nikkor 70-180. Seems to work GREAT as a small and portable zoom, PLUS, it focuses ridiculously close for macro work. Moose Peterson loves his, so does Thom Hogan.
     
  8. I use mine for eveything including landscapes. I will be taking it to Arizona this week. For an all round prime tele its great. It does focus well on a D700 but a bit slow with a D200.
     
  9. It sure would be nice if Nikon reintroduced a lens similar to the micro 70-180. I've seen a few selling used but because of their scarcity and quality they fetch a high price. When out in the field my digital telephoto set-up is a 105 micro and the 200 AIS micro. I agree above that having a zoom is useful especially for landscapes.
     
  10. The 180/2.8 is an amazing lens...I recently picked up a used 1987 AF (non-D) model. Autofocus is definitely slower than my other lenses, but I was still able to get crisp action shots of a friend's dog running around in a huge field.
    I haven't yet tried it for landscape photography, but the lens is ridiculously sharp, especially around f/5.6 to f/8, so I would imagine it would do well. I might get a chance to try some landscapes with it this afternoon.
    As far as compactness and weight, it's slightly longer and slightly narrower than the 105mm VR macro, and about the same weight. It balances well on my D200, and felt weightless in my backpack (and I'm not a very muscley guy).
     
  11. For $200-$300 used the Nikkor 200mm f4 ais, (not the Macro version) is a great light weight alternative. About 1/3 smaller and half the weight of the 180mm f2.8 AFD. A very nice alternative. Sharp wide open. Sounds like a great place to spend your summer Hugh.
     
  12. Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro might be worth a look.
    Glowing reviews up close, but I've not read about its performance at or near infinity. Anybody?
     
  13. The 180/2.8 Nikkor is an outstanding all-purpose lens. I've used it for everything from portraits to isolating details in architectural studies to indoor sports to landscapes. It's even a useful close up lens with an extension tube.
    The main reason I haven't upgraded from my ancient 180/2.8 pre-AI version is because I've been waiting for an AF-S version, preferably with VR. Hopefully, Nikon will also make it more compatible with teleconverters. While not a lightweight lens, it's easier for me to manage than a 70-200/2.8 VR, which is right at the outer limit of my ability to handhold.
    I've never cared for ultra-wide lenses for landscapes. Most of the landscapes I've seen that use ultra-wides try to take in too much scope, with tiny details and no sense of the sweeping vista the photographers apparently intended to convey. These are highly specialized lenses and seldom used effectively. But in the hands of an experienced photographer who understands how to use them, sure, the results can be impressive.
     
  14. I just purchased one for just such use, as well as street and possibly portrait. I've got the 85 1.4 and can't wait to give it a run for its money.
     
  15. bmm

    bmm

    Interesting that Aaron mentions the 85/1.4 in this thread because I was about to as well by way of comparison. The only way to describe the 180/2.8 is that it has that same bit of magic as the 85/1.4... and together they stand as 'something special' beyond my other lenses.
    I can't put it simpler than this; if I had the misfortune of losing all my stuff, the first three lenses I'd buy - absolutely without hesitation or delay - are 35/2, 85/1.4, and 180/2.8.
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    This thread is about using the 180mm/f2.8 for landscape photography, so please stay on topic and only discuss lenses that cover the 180mm or 200mm range.
     
  17. bmm

    bmm

    Sorry Shun and understand. My point was simply that the 180/2.8 is one of the 2 best lenses that I own and I would unreservedly get it again if I ever lost it. Mentions of other lenses were really just to support this basic point even it it wasn't made very well :)
     
  18. I love my 180mm and would never consider selling it. I use it for distant landscapes often. And to quote john Shaw, nature's portraits. It balances well on my D300 and is easy to use. The AF version however manually focuses poorly. Given my shaky hands, I no longer MF as much as I would like to.
    I think that you would be very happy with your purchase. Enjoy . . .
     
  19. Hugh,
    Here's a link to the tests I just did with the 180mm f2.8 I just purchased:
    http://aaronlinsdau.com/gear/articles/lens_comparison180.html
    I have some (not so) useful cinder block test images as well as a full-rez image you can download to look at.
    Right away, I thought the f2.8 images were really good. Then I scrolled through and looked at the rest. Wow. The lens tracks well with AF-C active. I had no trouble quickly switching to MF, although I 99% never use MF.
     

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