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Thread: I want a 180-ish focal

  1. #1
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    I want a 180-ish focal

    It's the only thing really missing from my bag. I have an excellent copy of the Sigma 120-300/2.8, but it's bigger than I want to regularly schlep. And I don't want to schlep a 70-200 2.8 zoom. So my current decision is either a 180/2.8 prime or the 70-200/4 zoom. For the f4 zoom, the Nikon G lens is a no brainer -- and in fact that is the lens I was pretty well set set on buying. However I know that I will mostly use it at near 200, so a faster 180 prime enters the equation at about the same size/weight. The older Nikon prime is okay, but I've tried it and it leaves a little to be desired on a 36MP body.

    What about the Sigma 180/2.8 macro? Anybody using it on an 800/E/810 that can share some insights?
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Jack as you mentioned, the Nikon 70-200 f4 is a no brainer. That aside I worked with the 180mm f2.8 Sigma macro and it's a fine lens but found it a bit behind the superlative Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro lens. .All recommendations are predicated on a really good copy. The 150mm I realize may be too short for what you are looking for, but most everything about it is just right. As good a macro as they come but equally at home at infinity and works well with Sigma ' s own 1.4x.

    I actually use the somewhat smaller and older non OS version which some report as being slightly better optically that thr current OS version . Hard to say. The 180mm Sigma is good but larger, heavier and no quite as strong as the 150mm.


    I have never been a fan of the venerable Nikon 180mm f2.8 and went through many copies to my dissatisfaction and wrote many times about here here on GETdpi. I also tested this Nikon vs the Sigma 150mm and it was no contest each time. The Sigma was superior. Of course there is the Nikon 200 f2 for which the hiring of a Sherpa for daily use would be highly recommended. .

    All my comments here assume you want your 180mm lens to be autofocus. If not, there are of course a whole range of manual focus choices that are excellent.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Hello Jack, few days ago I bought a AF Nikon ED 180mm 2.8 older AF version. I bought it cheap, is not usually my focal lens range. I can tell you this is one of the best lenses I have ever tried, at 2.8 is almost perfect, not even much CA. If you need a NEF I can happily provide it.





    ACH

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Dave, yes, I want AF. 150 might do it, but 180 is an "old favorite" length.

    Antonio, thank you for that image and info!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    To really match the sensor of D800e/D810, I would only recommend the 200/2 VR. To me, that lens is worth every penny. After using it, i never look back at other lenses, including the 70-200/2.8 VRII.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    If you can live with the relatively sluggish AF, the Nikkor 180/2.8 is a wonderful lens and very cheap too. The original Sigma 150/2.8 (non-OS) is sharper (even very sharp with a 1.4x TC), but there's something special that Nikkor. I haven't tried the newer Sigma versions, so cannot compare, but both the 150 OS and the 180 are larger/heavier, aren't they?

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    If you can live with the relatively sluggish AF, the Nikkor 180/2.8 is a wonderful lens and very cheap too. The original Sigma 150/2.8 (non-OS) is sharper (even very sharp with a 1.4x TC), but there's something special that Nikkor. I haven't tried the newer Sigma versions, so cannot compare, but both the 150 OS and the 180 are larger/heavier, aren't they?
    Yes, the OS versions of the 150 and 180 Sigma's are larger and heavier and even optically some prefer the non OS version of the 150mm. As you mentioned, the 150mm even does well with Sigma's own 1.4 x. As I mentioned above, I too found the Sigma outperformed the Nikon AF 180mm f2.8. Many like that lens and although quite good, the Sigma 150 ran rings around each sample of the Nikon 180mm f2.8 I've tried. I simply felt the Nikon 180mm was getting a bit long in the tooth and needs updating.

    Also fully agree, that once you see the images from the Nikon 200 f2, it's hard to go back to something lesser, except once you lug that beast around all day, other great 150 to 200mm lenses don't look too bad...LOL!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    I've owned the 200/2. Fantastic optically, a bit longish MFD, but the real nit is it's a tank, which is ultimately why I sold it.

    I should clarify that the main reason I want this lens is for travel/street type use so it needs to be smaller. I have an outstanding copy of the 120-300/2.8 Sigma, which actually replaced my wants for several lenses including the 200/2, but it's not a travel lens. The 150 Sigma is not quite long enough, I don't really need the macro capability, and while with the 1.4 which I own the net 210 effective would be okay, it's now an f4 lens and I feel I'd be better off with the 70-200 f4G.

    So it's really down to a 180-200 f2.8 prime v the Nikkor zoom. On the zoom, I know the look is clean, but vanilla, and from past experience I know I'll rarely use it at anything but the long end. The last version 180/2.8 AF-D, even with it's optical and mechanical shortcomings does appear to render a pretty nice almost vintage look. It's why I asked about the new 180 version of the Sigma. If it should perform as well as the 150, have some juice at normal working distances and has the added bonus of macro, then it could be an ideal candidate for my needs.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Hello Jack (and Happy Bday )

    I own the last NIKON 180mm AF f/2.8 D IF ED and it is a great lens. Seriously it is inexpensive by today standards and render beautifully. You might have some issues of sharpness hand-held on the D800. I use it mostly hand-held on my D700 and it might be the perfect long lens for the A7s

    AC wise, it have some. But easily fixed, even in View NX 2

    Those shoots have been made hand-held with this lens and the D700, I have numerous keepers with this awesome lens.

    ISO 1600 - 1/80s - f3.5

    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Well, did some more homework. By all accounts the new Sigma 180 is stellar, but it's another beast of a lens with an 85mm front filter ring and weighing 3 pounds, so that drops it out. This leaves the Nikkor zoom or the latest 180. The 180 is 1/3rd the price, a little lighter and smaller than the f4 zoom, so I ordered one to try out. If I get a decent copy and it suits I'll be done, if not it will go back and I'll get 70-200/4.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Oops a little late but the Sigma 150 2.8 with your Sigma 1.4 is pretty awesome. I loved my 150 2.8 but again its not light weight either
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Member bcf's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    I'm late as well, and you said you needed AF... And perhaps you need f/2.8?

    But... if you can find a Voigtlander 180mm f/4, it is tiny, and stellar quality.
    -- Bernard
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    I admit when i use my 70-200mm/4 it is generally at or near 200mm. With that said, even if the 180mm is a bit better optically-- the lack of image stabilization makes it a less viable option for general shooting. I also have the older Nikon 200mm/4 micro/macro lens. I have never really shot it for subjects other than macro. It is razor sharp. I might give it a try. It is not huge but a bit heavier than most lenses of that physical size.

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    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Me think the Nikkor 180 ED last edition is the best compromise. Old Nikkor lens, lens hood integrated, all metal but light ... Very good IQ and unique bokeh ... what else ?
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    thank you for that image

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    I agree that the 24-70 F4 Nikkor is vanilla, but it is really really good, very 'clean' and dependable and light enough for what it does. I have used it in the studio for portraits in the lower end of its range and been very please with the results for non 'look' style work.

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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    You should really try the Nikkor 200mm/4 Micro AIS. I took some shots against the 70-200mm. The prime is sharper and less distortion-- a bit more vignetting. Both f4 and the zoom has VR

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    Super Duper
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Oops a little late but the Sigma 150 2.8 with your Sigma 1.4 is pretty awesome. I loved my 150 2.8 but again its not light weight either
    Agreed! That's why some of us opted to stay with the Sigma 150mm f2.8 non OS version. It's somewhat lighter and smaller than the current OS version and may just be optically better too.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    Quote Originally Posted by bcf View Post
    I'm late as well, and you said you needed AF... And perhaps you need f/2.8?

    But... if you can find a Voigtlander 180mm f/4, it is tiny, and stellar quality.
    I have a Voigtlander 180/4 and can second this. It is tiny, sharp, draws very nicely and has virtually no CA. Lovely little lens. This can be found for a decent price too (compared to its 125macro sibbling).

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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    I agree with Mark, check out the 200/4 Micro. It's f/4 though.

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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    I was playing with it today and even more impressed. To really get the most out of it --- tripod with mirror lockup etc. But unlike many macros it is really great even with distance shots It is heavy but not really big. For routine shooting and/or all purpose traveling lens-- the 70-200 with VR is still a good choice. As a hand held lens-- this would be my preference over the 200mm micro.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    I agree with Mark, check out the 200/4 Micro. It's f/4 though.

  22. #22
    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    I used to have a 180mm Nikon and enjoyed it. the one thing I did NOT like however, was that the aperture blades were exposed at the rear, so you could end up getting dirt caught in them, thereby potentially ruining a shot due to over/under exposure.

    I don't know if the new lens is the same. Just my two cents.
    Bryan

    “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” — Ansel Adams

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: I want a 180-ish focal

    So the 180/2.8 arrived today and I took it for a quick test spin. It is a later model, looked good and was very clean, but of course what counts is how it performs. First impression on size and weight was good too -- small enough to be in the bag when I want it and relatively light for a 200-ish lens. AF is a tad slow by today's standards and it does show a bit of CA along shiny edges, but then it is surprisingly sharp centrally and holds well to the edges wide open. In fact, it looked so nice on the LCD at f2.8, I only bothered initial testing 2.8 and 4 -- and 4 was a tad nicer still. Very nice bokeh too. Color is a tad toward yellow compared to the current Nikkors, and contrast may be a tiny bit lower by comparison too, but overall for now -- especially at the price -- it looks like a keeper. Another surprise was my AF fine tune setting is "0" for this lens, it is spot on. I need to shoot it more, but I suspect it will get added to my bargain-priced gem list along with the similar vintage 105's.

    PS: I had hoped the 1.4x converter would mount, but sadly neither the Nikon or Sigma converters I own will. It seems there's not enough room in the lens' rear throat to allow the protruding front converter element to pass.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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