Nikon AF NIKKOR 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED

Nikon AF NIKKOR 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED

Lens Summary

Brand: Nikon

Also Known As: Nikon 180mm f/2.8D

Lens Type: Prime Lens

Format: Full Frame / FX

Focus: Autofocus

Lens Mount: Nikon F

Release Date: 2007-07-31

MSRP Price: $966.61

Made in: Japan

Infrared Rating: Poor

Production Status: In Production

Lens Description: This high-performance, medium telephoto is ideal for sports arenas and concert halls. Also fantastic for portraits, action and astronomical photography.

Nikon AF NIKKOR 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED Specifications

Lens Specifications
* Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area 
Lens TypePrime Lens
Focal Length180mm
Mount TypeNikon F
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
Compatible with TeleconvertersNo
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.15x
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)No
Aperture Information
Aperture RingYes
Maximim Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/22
Maximum Angle of View (APS-C or smaller format)
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)13°40'
Optical Information
Lens Elements8
Lens Groups6
Diaphragm Blades9
Extra-Low Dispersion Glass Elements1
Super Integrated Coat (SIC)Yes
Focus Information
Built-in Focus MotorNo
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance5.0 ft. (1.5m)
Distance InformationYes
Filter Information
Filter Size72mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingYes
Mount MaterialMetal
Dimensions(Approx.) 3.1x5.7 in. (Diameter x Length) 78.5x144mm (Diameter x Length)
Weight(Approx.) 26.8 oz. (760g)
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack
Supplied Accessories72mm snap-on front lens cap LF-1 rear lens cap CL-38 flexible lens pouch

Lens Construction

AF Nikkor 180mm f2.8D IF-ED Construction

MTF Chart

AF Nikkor 180mm f2.8D IF-ED MTF Curve

Reader Interactions

User Reviews

  1. Alex
    June 17, 2020 at 8:31 am

    I use it on my D850, and I think it is pretty sharp with a great quality even wide-open. I don’t understand how Damien can say it can’t keep up with the demands of a D800 or even a D700 if he finds it good on a D300, “pixel level acuity” is as demanding on a D300 than on a 28MP FF.
    However I agree with the CA issues especially wide-open, but it can be fixed by PP relatively well. I think my older AI-S version is better.
    A great lens for portraits or some sports, but for landscapes and really fast action I prefer my 70-200mm f/4 with a faster AF and the VR.

  2. Steve Razzetti
    November 12, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve used this lens for over 20 years and it is stellar. Portraits on my D610 and telephoto landscapes in the Himalaya and wildlife on my old D300. Even on a camera like the D300, on a tripod at f8 the results are astoundingly sharp. Bokeh is gorgeous. It’s light. I also use it for gig photography and get fabulous results. If I had the cash I’d have the 70-200 f2.8 E for sports and action, but for everything else the 180 rocks.

  3. Lee
    March 31, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Just recently came across this lens and after reading the reviews I really want one. Only been doing photography for a relatively short period and would like to know if a D500 would suit the lens. Does anyone see any issues before I purchase it.
    Thanks In Advance.

  4. Fred
    May 24, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Best lens ever made, besides the AF Nikon 18-55mm.

  5. DavidB
    April 19, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I’m interested in using this lens for long-exposure astrophotography. The issue that I see is the lack of a tripod collar. Any suggestions for a third-party collar?


    • Cameron Jack
      January 1, 2018 at 2:42 am

      Replying to DavidB: I use this lens for astrophotography. It’s pretty good at F/5 but the chromatic aberration in this lens is quite nasty in general. The 135mm Sigma f/2 is far superior lens than intend to trade this one for someday. Don’t worry about the lack of a tripod collar on the lens, it’s really very light and doesn’t place much strain on the tripod. Look me up on Facebook if you’re on it and I’ll share some of my pictures with you.
      Cameron Jack

      • DavidB
        May 26, 2018 at 9:37 pm

        Sorry, Cameron Jack — didn’t notice your reply until now.

        I suppose being an older lens is partly responsible for the CA issues — although most modern software can do a pretty good job correcting it. I use a Nikon 85mm f/1.8G for some astro work and am impressed with the sharpness at all apertures. So I was looking for something approximately double in focal length.


    • Gerard Breiner
      March 8, 2019 at 4:22 am


      I use Canon D Type Foot Collar for EF 100 Macro f / 2.8 L IS USM
      I added a strip of venillia felt and the tightening is perfect.
      Here is a photo of the set mounted on tripod.…msg2168100

      Best regards.

      Gerard Breiner

  6. John H
    August 21, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    All of the 180/2.8 lenses good…the AF-D version sends distance information to the camera which helps calibrate flash (if you’re using flash). Otherwise all of the AF versions are supposedly optically identical. The older manual focus versions of the 180/2.8 have a different optical formula, but are also excellent.

    Despite the ED glass, I do see purple-green fringing wide open on high contrast subjects, though it is less apparent on film and is easy to handle in post-processing in digital.

    Unlike a previous comment, I have not seen any loss in sharpness with the 36 MP sensors in good light. Note that these only have 1.73x more linear resolution relative to 12 MP sensors, a bit less than double. Still, if not tripod-mounted one has to shoot at ~2x shutter speeds under identical circumstances to compensate for a given level of camera shake. Or be twice as still. Subjects in the frame must also be twice as still. And the 36 MP sensors do not perform as well as flagship pro bodies with 16 or 20.8 MP, where an extra stop or two in ISO allows shooting at faster shutter speeds to compensate. Thus…nailing focus and eliminating camera+subject movement are certainly more challenging with 36 MP sensors using any lens.

    Unsurprisingly, the 180/2.8 is optically superior to the 70-200/2.8 pro zoom and produces more stunning imagery. However, the 70-200 comes equipped with VR and faster focus and is much more versatile…thus a working pro would almost never bag a 180/2.8 over a 70-200/2.8, unless they were shooting portraits under controlled conditions…but while the 180mm/2.8 does make a very nice portrait lens, there are other better options for this purpose (e.g., the Nikkor 135/2DC).

    • Bruce Maddox
      January 6, 2017 at 12:20 am

      The 180 is far easier to shoot with than the quirky 135 DC. There’s a reason this lens has been produced for near 30 years.

      • alain
        March 12, 2018 at 5:23 am

        It’s also twice as light and compact as 2.8 pro zoom : it’s in my travel pack (along with a 28-105 afd and 20 2.8 af)
        it’s cheap : I bought my AF-n version for 350EUR a few years ago
        you can buy a 30 years old one without worries : they don’t fail

        I am using mine with a D700 for shooting my kids outdoor, and I get stunning shots
        I don’t miss VR : kids are always moving, I shoot in S mode at 1/1000, mostly at f 2.8
        I don’t miss AFS : AF noise is not a problem in these situations, AF speed is good enough

        If you want to shoot FX and if you are on a budget, don’t pass on this 180 2.8 :)

        • John Truty
          March 23, 2018 at 4:33 pm

          I agree. Use mine on D750 to shoot grandkids football and indoor dodgeball. Does a great job and with evening games indoors the wide aperture helps with keeping the ISO a stop lower while still keeping shutter speed reasonable (1/500, 1/640).

  7. Axel Witt
    April 6, 2016 at 9:18 am

    There various versions of the 180/2.8
    others ?
    Which of the one is most recommenable one?

  8. RobertKaydoo
    March 21, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I agree with the others the 180 2.8 is a great lens that balances very well on my D810/MB-D12. My only issue with this lens is that the focusing is loud when compared against more recent lens designs. The 180/2.8 is due for an upgrade to a silent wave motor (SWM) and a helping of that magic nano crystal coating. When that happens I will not hesitate to upgrade as the 180/2.8 has been an excellent lens – in all of its forms – for decades.

  9. Jakes De Wet
    January 14, 2014 at 3:16 am

    I just bought the lens in perfect condition with its leather holder. I cannot agree with Damien above. I use it on my D800 and D600 and on both the IQ is very good. It is slightly better on the D600 and I prefer to use it with the D600 as the combination is just perfect. I love prime lenses and this has become one of my favourite lenses in a short time. I use it for landscapes, portraits and even a few nature and wildlife shots on animals and birds at close distance. at the price I paid, $300, it is a magic lens.

  10. Nawaz SP
    June 18, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Am using the Nikkor 180mm on the D600, and its an amazing lens with a fair focus speed. The image are sharp and the Bokeh is amazing. The weight distribution with the D600 is excellent and balance well.

    Great portrait Lens.

  11. Damien Feldspar
    April 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    The Nikon 180mm f/2.8D is a nice and compact telephoto lens. On DX bodies like the D300 it is nice and sharp even wide open and by f/4, performance is top notch. This lens produces sharp, high-contrast images on the D300 and bokeh is excellent, with a soft and pleasing out of focus area rendition.

    The lens starts to show it’s age on full frame cameras however, including the D700 and especially the D800. Pixel level acuity is marginal on the 36MP sensor of the D800 and while downsampled images look fine, the 180mm f/2.8D just can’t keep up with the demands of the newer high resolution camera.

    Purple fringing is a significant problem with high contrast subjects and extends out from the edges of transition areas for 5-8 or more pixels. I found this to be unacceptable and very distracting and therefore will no longer attempt to use the lens on the D800. On the D700, the situation is better, though still not perfect as there is softness that never quite goes away outside the central image area, even when stopped down.

    Others have complained about the M/A focus mode switch, but in my opinion, the lens is a mechanical marvel considering the older design and lack of a built in focus motor. The lens is very solid and has a wonderful manual focus action – the best manual focus of any autofocus lens I own, with a very precise and positive action. Build quality is exceptionally high. Autofocus is slower than a modern AF-S or shorter focal length AF-D lens, but totally acceptable for most shooting situations. Internal focus keeps the length consistent.

    Another great `feature’ of this lens is its relatively small size and light weight. It is much less obtrusive (and sharper IMHO) than the 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D, making it a great high-quality carry-around telephoto. For perspective, it’s about as long as the 18-200 DX VR (with hood attached) and so fits nicely in a medium sized bag.

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