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Focus speed on the 180/2.8?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Huff09, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Huff09


    Feb 25, 2007
    Carmichael, CA
    I was in one of my local camera shops this weekend and they had a used 180/2.8 for $370. It looked great, cosmetically, so I had them take it out so I could mount it on my D80.

    This is the first time I have ever tried this lens so I'm not sure what I should expect, but it was slooooowwwww to focus. If it was close to in-focus, it would it pretty quick. Going from, say, infinity to 3', however, was not good in my opinon. It felt as if I could have focused it manually more quickly.

    Here's my question. Is this normal for this lens? This doesn't seem right, but when I mentioned it to the staff they said an "Old Nikon Buff" had been in and told them this was common with older versions of the 180.

    Anybody have any experience to back this up? It just seemed like the lens wasn't "quite right".
  2. Chris,

    The 180 f/2.8 doesn't have a motor built into the lens thus no AFS designation. Focus is provided by your D80 body and I believe the "torque" necessary to drive the gearing in the lens is more limited than in Nikon's Pro bodies like the D2H, D2x, and to a degree the D200. I think what you are experiencing is normal. Of more concern would be to check the condition of the Iris blades since they are positioned in the rear of the lens and there is no glass to cover them. They are known to get "dirty" and can effect the "stopping down" of the lens.
  3. Agree. Tony has it right I think. When I first got mine a few years ago and put it on a D70 it seem a bit sluggish but I really bought it for its IQ. WHen I put it on a D1X and now a D200 ... WOW. It isn't AF-S but it is fast. I'd bet the D80 motor is similar to the D70 (maybe the same one).
  4. Chris,

    I owned the 180 for a time, but in the end I sold it. I too found the AF a bit slow for the type of candid shots that I wanted to take with it. That said, the lens otherwise is a gem.
  5. Huff09


    Feb 25, 2007
    Carmichael, CA
    Jeff, Mike & Tony,

    Thanks for the responses, I appreciate the information.

    Mike, your thought is along the same lines as mine. I would like the image quality this lens provides and since I am seriously considering an upgrade to a D200, this might be a good purchase after all.

    Thanks again guys.
  6. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    IIRC the D80 has a very similar AF module to the D200 (both CAM1000, but with the D80 only having the centre AF spot as wide), you'll probably need a D2 to get a significant amount of extra AF speed.
  7. Tosh


    May 6, 2005
    I've used the 180 with a D50, D70, D200 and D2HS.
    The D2HS is noticeably faster than the D200 with this lens. Slowish AF is perhaps this lens's only weakness.
  8. FWIW. I was using my 180 on a D2x
  9. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    I Short Close Range Birds in Flight

    And while the AF isn't fast at all by todays standards, I personally never had an issue with it.
  10. It is logical that an AF-S lens would be much faster, but I never had any problems with my 180 on my D2X anyway.
    (That said, the stuff that I shoot is not so demanding about focusing speed)
    The IQ of this lens is second to none though! :eek: 
  11. FWIW, using the focus limit switch when you can significantly improves the focusing speed. I find that a minor trade off for the other benefits that lens offers.
  12. There is no focus limit switch on the 180/2.8.
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