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Thread: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

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    Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Has anyone used both or either of these? I can get either for about the same price and in similar "EX" condition... Just was curious as to haw they compare.
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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    I haven't used the Nikon, but have used all the Leica 180mm. The 2-cam 180mm was pretty big and didn't perform quite as well as the newer E67mm Leica.

    Doug Herr is the expert on these as he came from Nikon to Leica and is familiar with both. I suspect in pure image quality, even the older Leica would be better than the Nikon, but the Nikon may be more usable if you are shooting on a Nikon body.

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Shooting it adapted to the Sony A7/r more than likely... Just was checking performance
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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    The Nikon 180 2.8 ED Ais is a sharp lens. I had one for several years but moved it out because the focal length doesn't really work for me.

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrew View Post
    The Nikon 180 2.8 ED Ais is a sharp lens. I had one for several years but moved it out because the focal length doesn't really work for me.
    It is a very sharp lens. But it has yellow/green tint in its color rendering compared with the newer Nikon AF-D 180/2.8 ED-IF.

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Niko 180mm ED is my "travel" longest lens for M. Crazy good lens, period! I have that one packed beside Zeiss C/Y 135/2.8 in my "laundry bag" when on the road... All M lenses stay on me...

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    I used the 180/28 Nikkors (all kinds) on film cameras, and was generally very happy with them. Then I tried an ED AIS lens on an Olympus EM-5 and on the M240 and was rather disappointed. In modern terms, it's rather low contrast and a bit soft wide open as well as having CA, and needs stopping down; preferably two stops.

    I now use a Cosina/Voiglander 180/4 APO that was made in small numbers until recently. Short of the Apo-Elmarit it's probably the best 180, and is a lot smaller and focusses to 4'. The 180/3.4 Apo is better at infinity (very slightly) but not nearly as good at shorter distances, is a lot bigger and doesn't focus close at all.

    In any case, the Nikon 180 ED AIS is rather poor on digital cameras.

    Henning

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Thanks for all of the replies.
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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Quote Originally Posted by henningw View Post
    I used the 180/28 Nikkors (all kinds) on film cameras, and was generally very happy with them. Then I tried an ED AIS lens on an Olympus EM-5 and on the M240 and was rather disappointed. In modern terms, it's rather low contrast and a bit soft wide open as well as having CA, and needs stopping down; preferably two stops.

    I now use a Cosina/Voiglander 180/4 APO that was made in small numbers until recently. Short of the Apo-Elmarit it's probably the best 180, and is a lot smaller and focusses to 4'. The 180/3.4 Apo is better at infinity (very slightly) but not nearly as good at shorter distances, is a lot bigger and doesn't focus close at all.

    In any case, the Nikon 180 ED AIS is rather poor on digital cameras.

    Henning

    Not mine 180 ED...

    BTW, I use my two AIS micro Nikons (55/2.8 & 105/2.8) with great success on my D800... None of the issues you mentioned...

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Used to have Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AI-S, excellent with F/F2/FM/FE2. Had the Nikkor 180/2.8 AI version that I used with Panasonic L1/Olympus E-1 for a bit. It performed well.

    Then I bought the Olympus ZD 50-200/2.8-3.5 ED. At 180mm focal length setting, it outperformed the Nikkor 180/2.8 handily on the E-1, E-5, and L1, same with the Panasonic G1, albeit at a half stop slower.

    I was out of FourThirds and Micro-FourThirds for a while. In that time I acquired a Leicaflex SL kit including the Elmarit-R 180/2.8 (an older model, pre E67 filter mount). On film, it performs similarly to but has a different feel and rendering quality compared to the Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AI-S. I fitted it to the E-M1 and it works very nicely.

    Then I bought another copy of the ZD 50-200. I haven't taken a photo with the Elmarit-R since.

    Such it is.

    G

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    I think we are comparing apples, oranges and kumquats here. AF and MF lenses, zooms and primes... I carried around the ZD 50-200 in its pre-SWD form (same optical design, slower AF) with my E-1 from 2004 to 2007 or so, using it only rarely. The results were quite nice:





    Since these were shot with the 5 MP Kodak CCD sensor of the E-1, with a fairly weak AA filter, you can think of them as down-sampled 4x from today's sensors.

    The Leica Elmarit-R 180s come in several flavors. The earlier ones, according to Puts' Compendium, are best stopped down a bit and not particularly high contrast at high spatial frequencies. The last model, the APO Elmarit-R 180 is in a class by itself (also in a price range by itself). I posted an example a while back in which you could see the details of every seat in a stadium and the furnishings inside a new building from about a kilometer away.

    scott

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    LOL! Apples, oranges, and kumquats! :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    ...
    ... Since these were shot with the 5 MP Kodak CCD sensor of the E-1, with a fairly weak AA filter, you can think of them as down-sampled 4x from today's sensors. ..
    Um, the E-1 has what I have always heard referred to as a fairly strong AA filter. It needs it for the 5Mpixel resolution sensor.

    The E-M1 reputedly has no AA filter on its 16Mpixel sensor. I posted this picture of a microwave dish recently:


    Olympus E-M1 + EC-14 + ZD 50-200/2.8-3.5 ED
    ISO 200 @ f/5.6 @ 1/500s @ 194mm focal length
    hand-held

    That's the full frame (horizontal, cropped vertical for the 16:10 ratio), but it's much sharper than the web downrez suggests:


    A bit noisy as I underexposed so as not to completely blow out the sky.

    Then there's this test photo I made looking for the IS limits:


    Olympus E-M1 + ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED
    ISO 800 @ f/3.1 @ 1/15 second @ 137mm focal length
    hand-held

    ... full rez version:


    ... which shows some of the lovely bokeh and detailing available from this lens—hand-held at 1/15 second with the E-M1.

    But yes, it's a kumquat since it can't be used on a Leica M at all. Between the two lenses in the subject—Leica Elmarit-R 180/2.8 and Nikkor 180/2.8 ED AI-S—having used both I'd likely pick the Nikkor at this point due to the weight difference, since they both produce lovely sharpness and rendering. The Elmarit-R is 1330g (2.9 lbs), the Nikkor is 880g (1.9 lbs) ... Given that I'd want to be able to use either of them hand-held, that pound less weight to manage is significant.

    (The Olympus ZD 50-200 check in at about 920g (2 lbs) without the tripod foot attached, very close to the Nikkor's weight, and it is significantly easier to lug around and shoot with hand-held compared to the Elmarit-R 180/2.8 due to that lighter weight, despite being rather a lot longer physically when zoomed to 180mm focal length. With the Elmarit fitted to Leicaflex SL, I use a monopod or tripod nearly all the time, it's just too heavy a rig to do otherwise. I'm not as good at holding a nearly six pound camera and lens setup steady as I was 30 years ago.)

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    The 180 elmarit was a perfect focal length for Tennis and I ve every version over the years . The 2cam version is surely the very very heavy lens referred to by several posters . I would strongly recommend against this lens …it is way to heavy for any type of walking around and the optical performance is well below the newer versions .

    The sleeper in the group is the 180/2.8 Pre Apo ..67mm filter …this was developed for reportage ,sports and fashion . It has a fairly short throw making it easy to focus quickly . Its not quite as sharp as the modern APO versions wide open but by 5.6 you have a superb optic . This lens can be found for under $1000 because of the popularity of the newer APO versions . Its compact and light . Makes a 70-200/2.8 look like a monster .

    The APO 3.4 is a superb lens for anything at distance …its optimized for infinity and was developed for the US Navy . Very long throw and slow focusing . But still an excellent travel lens . Light …

    The newest 180/2.8APO is one of the very best lenses ever made ..with the launch of the new M and the EVF ….prices are well over $4K and most around $5K ..probably not worth the premium for most photographers .
    Roger Dunham
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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    LOL! Apples, oranges, and kumquats! :-)

    Um, the E-1 has what I have always heard referred to as a fairly strong AA filter. It needs it for the 5Mpixel resolution sensor.

    The E-M1 reputedly has no AA filter on its 16Mpixel sensor.
    I wish there was an AA filter blog or website that you could rely upon for inside dope on this, since the manufacturers don't seem to want to tell us. The questions of whether software corrections for CA, distortion and whatever else are achieving great MTF curves and Imatest numbers, and at what cost in image integrity, is equally shrouded in mystery.

    When I had an E-1, I did quite a lot of pixel-peeping as I was doing beta testing of Capture One 3 or 4 and later, Raw Shooter (which was sold to Adobe and folded into LightRoom). Images could be sharp or, for small red objects like distant anemone blooms or a field of poppies, maddeningly fuzzy, and I never figured out why. There was frequently mosaic or pattern noise, which Phase One worked hard to get rid of. And Moire.

    Kumquats can be tasty.

    scott

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    I wish there was an AA filter blog or website that you could rely upon for inside dope on this, since the manufacturers don't seem to want to tell us. The questions of whether software corrections for CA, distortion and whatever else are achieving great MTF curves and Imatest numbers, and at what cost in image integrity, is equally shrouded in mystery.

    When I had an E-1, I did quite a lot of pixel-peeping as I was doing beta testing of Capture One 3 or 4 and later, Raw Shooter (which was sold to Adobe and folded into LightRoom). Images could be sharp or, for small red objects like distant anemone blooms or a field of poppies, maddeningly fuzzy, and I never figured out why. There was frequently mosaic or pattern noise, which Phase One worked hard to get rid of. And Moire.

    Kumquats can be tasty.

    scott
    ... None of which says that it had a heavy, a light, or no AA filter. ;-)

    By and large, lower resolution sensors require more AA filter to minimize aliasing than higher resolution sensors. I've never seen mosaic or pattern noise out of the E-1 (still have it, still use it ...) but I've never used Capture One or Raw Shooter for my E-1 files either.

    (Adobe's raw conversion engine is not "folded into" Lightroom, btw ... I have that on very good authority from the engineering team that do the Camera Raw engine. Some of the Raw Shooter patented features that Adobe acquired were, but not the raw conversion engine. Adobe's Camera Raw and Lightroom are all that I've used with E-1 files aside from Olympus' own raw conversion software—as I say, I've never seen mosaic or pattern noise out of these files, unless the image is severely underexposed.)

    IMO, the surest measure of the relative strength of the E-1 AA filter compared to other Olympus and Panasonic FT/mFT models is the amount of input sharpening required to obtain crisp perceptual detailing using the same lens as a test basis. I've owned and used Panasonic L1, G1, and GF1 as well as Olympus E-1, E-5, E-PL1, and E-M1 models. For the same test image made with the same lens, the amount of input sharpening required runs like this on Lightroom's Detail scale:

    E-1 (5Mpixels) : 40
    L1 (7.5Mpixels) : 30
    G1, GF1, E-PL1 (12Mpixels) : 25
    E-5 (12Mpixels) : 20
    E-M1 (16Mpixels) : 15

    This matches the "common wisdom" I've read about relative strengths of the AA filters in these models as well, so it seems to be an accurate relative measure.

    I have seen severe moire in E-5 images, but that was with Lightroom 3. Reprocessing the same files in Lightroom 5.3, it's all gone. This makes me happy.

    When I had both the E-1 and the E-5, once I saw the moire show up with the E-5, I shot the same subject under more controlled circumstances with both cameras and, yup, zero moire with the E-1, and unresolvable lots of it with the E-5. The same subject target (a briefcase with a tweedy pattern) produces unresolvable moire with the M9 as well ... only way to remove it I've found is to shoot a second exposure slightly out of focus and then blend them. Not something I'm likely to do very often. ;-)

    Kumquats can certainly be tasty:


    Olympus E-1 + 11-22/2.8-3.5
    ISO 100 @ f/5.6 @ 1/80 second @ 22mm

    Bit of a digression from the subject of the thread, but eh? conversation drifts. Back to the regularly scheduled program....

    G

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Has anyone used both or either of these? I can get either for about the same price and in similar "EX" condition... Just was curious as to haw they compare.
    Is this Leica?

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/alternat...-200-2-vr.html


    If it so, from the review linked above the performance is more akin to the 200mm f2.0 VR one of the few Nikons that use exotic glass, and it shows, with resolution to spare (you can see the performance on DxO or look at the personal experience review at nikonians ) and low distortions.


    In few words, if it's the leica tested by Graham is superb,

    Best regards,

    J. Duncan

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    Re: Leica 180/2.8 (2-Cam) or Nikon 180/2.8 (ED AIS)

    It's the elmarit.
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