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MF 180mm f2.8

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by lexiticus, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. I impulse bought a used 180mm f2.8 (Auto P), Which truthfully I know nothing about, But I figured I couldn't go wrong with this either for film B&W portraits, OR just for messing around on my D50 or D70s (I know it won't meter).

    Might use my Sigma 1.4x teleconvertor if it fits to make it a 252mm f4 aswell.
    But what I'm basically asking is if anyone knows much about this lens? I won't have it till the end of next week anyway, But Everyone raves about the newer versions of this lens. And from the little I've read online it sounds like the glass on this is basically just as good.

    Any comments or suggestions?
     
  2. Are you having it AI-modified? You should not mount pre-AI lenses on a DSLR without having them AI-modded first, as you can damage your camera.
     
  3. Oh ya its an AI-s lens, At least thats what the Guy who is selling it told me, who had previously used it on a D200 (I read up there is possibly a few version of the lens out there some AI some not, so I made sure to ask that)

    Can you tell from a picture? It has the old Non Ai metal thing, but i've seen a lot of Ai lenses with that aswell.
    heres the pics he sent me of it

    [​IMG]

    2.jpg
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    4.jpg
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  4. CAJames

    CAJames

    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    Based on the serial number it is the original non-AI 180 P. It looks like it has been AI modified, but I can't tell for sure. I had the later ED AI-S version, which was very nice. Don't know anything about yours, post some pictures and tell us what you think. I assume you know the lens won't meter with a D50/70.
     
  5. When I get it is there any way of telling if its Modified? I don't want to risk damaging my DSLR camera's (Not too worried about my FM10)
    I checked on Pbase to see the other versions and the Ai ED one seems to not have the little grip ring at the top of the Extendable lens hood.
     
  6. CAJames

    CAJames

    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    I'm not an expert, but fact that the coupling prong "rabbit ears" a have little hole in each side, and the tiny aperture ring inside it mean it was AI modified. The real changes that matter are to the lens mount itself, but I don't know the details. I wouldn't worry about it, but if you are picking it up from the seller, you could ask him to bring his D200 just to see for sure. Good luck.
     
  7. While the rabbit ears and the aperture ring numbers are also good hints, the best way to tell is that there is now a lip that catches the aperture coupling lever. Pre-AI lenses have no "lip" or ridge. AI lenses do.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ahh sweet that puts my mind at ease. Thanks!
    I'll post some pics when I get it. I've heard good things about this lens, and this is my impulse buy for the month!
     
  9. Igor

    Igor

    May 15, 2005
    Ukraine, Europe
  10. Ya that site is great, I used it to find out most of the information on that lens

    Can you take off the rabbit ears without worrying about damaging the lens? I don't like them on there, so would rather take them off
     
  11. Igor

    Igor

    May 15, 2005
    Ukraine, Europe
    Sure, you can remove them, you won't need them anyway :smile:
     
  12. OK got the lens, tested it out today, NASTY CA, and the 6 blades can make some strange out of focus areas of the picture. BUT other than that its sharpness is very impressive even with a Sigma 1.4x teleconvertor on it

    Heres some samples from today, (None cropped)
    with sigma 1.4x teleconvertor
    geese.jpg
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    No teleconvertor
    notelf2.8.jpg
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    no teleconvertor
    notelf2.8_2.jpg
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    teleconvertor (i think)
    telf2.8.jpg
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    with teleconvertor f4
    telf4.jpg
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    with teleconvertor f5.6
    telf5.6.jpg
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  13. rvink

    rvink

    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    Ok, I'm a little late here, but a few things about your lens:

    First, it is a very early 180/2.8 lens, only a few thousand were made with the "Nippon Kogaku Japan" engraving before it was changed to "Nikon". Production started with #312011, so your lens #312538 is the 528th made. Your lens was probably made in late 1970. The condition appears quite good, clean up the finger prints and grime around the mount and it may even be worth something as a collectible.

    Your lens has been Ai converted using an official Nikon Ai conversion kit - it has the Ai ridge along the lower edge, two rows of aperture numbers and the prong has holes to illuminate the lower row of numbers. It's perfectly ok to use it on your DSLR (as you have already found out).

    The "Nikkor-P" engraving shows the lens has 5 elements (P = Penta = 5). ED glass was not available in 1970, so it will suffer from CA (as you found out). Your lens is not multicoated so contrast is likely to be lower than later lenses (use the built-in hood). Multicoating was introduced with the Nikkor-P.C version, which is otherwise the same. The Ai 180/2.8 also has the same optics.

    These lenses all have 7 aperture blades, out of focus highlights show as polygons. Modern telephotos usually have 9 blades which are curved, giving a more rounded opening when stopped down. Being an odd number, 7 blades still gives much nicer OOF effects than 6 or 8 which appear to "regular" for my taste. It also gives rise to lovely 14-point stars when small apertures for pictures of night lights etc.

    In spite of the lack of ED glass, the lens is fairly sharp, with a smooth rounded rendition (good bokeh) and the lower contrast makes it very suitable for portraits. The AiS 180/2.8 ED is sharper, and the ED glass controls CA much better. If you can live with the slower aperture the Ai/S 200/4 has a similar optical design as the 180 ED. It's very sharp but lack of ED glass means CA is evident.
     

  14. Wow great info Thanks a lot!
    It looked like it had 6 blades, My bad!

    Should be good on my film camera for portraits! But man the CA is really bad on digital! (thankfully the teleconvertor actually seems to prevent a bit of that)
     
  15. rvink

    rvink

    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    There is an article on the Nikon web site about the AiS 180/2.8 ED. Near the bottom are some interesting comparisons with the older 180/2.8 and the AF versions.
     
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