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

The Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is a high-performance telephoto lens designed to fulfill the demands of experienced hobbyists as well as professional photographers.

This lens delivers great picture quality and the ability to use for a wide variety of photography applications thanks to its remarkable focal length and its quick maximum aperture. It doesn’t matter if you’re photographing animals, sporting events, or portraiture; this lens’s sophisticated features and solid construction ensure that you’ll get excellent pictures every time.

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 180mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Format: FX/35mm
  • Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 9°
  • Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 13°40′
  • Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.15x
  • Lens Elements: 8
  • Lens Groups: 6
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • ED Glass Elements: 1
  • Super Integrated Coating: Yes
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Internal Focusing: Yes
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 5.0 ft. (1.5m)
  • Focus Mode: Auto, Manual
  • Filter Size: 72mm
  • Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
  • Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 3.1 in. (78.5 mm) x 5.7 in. (144 mm)
  • Approx. Weight: 26.8 oz. (760 g)


In terms of performance, the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens shines, since it is capable of producing images that are crisp and detailed and have exceptional clarity and contrast. Its optical design features components made of Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass, which effectively minimizes chromatic aberrations. As a consequence, the pictures it produces have accurate color reproduction and minimal fringing.

The large maximum aperture of f/2.8 enables exceptional performance in low-light conditions as well as control over a shallow depth of focus, which enables superb subject isolation and background blur. You’ll also be able to swiftly and accurately catch moving subjects thanks to the focusing function of the lens, which is both quick and accurate. The autofocus technology guarantees that the photographs that you take are clear and in focus, regardless of whether you are photographing a fast-paced sporting event or elusive wild animals.

Autofocus System

The autofocus technology of the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is exceptionally dependable and quick to react, which makes the lens an excellent choice for shooting subjects that are in motion. The Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology offers a smooth and near-silent autofocus operation, which is especially advantageous while shooting in calm surroundings or during video recording. This technology also reduces the amount of vibration that occurs during autofocus.

The lens also has a manual focus override option, which enables you to make precise adjustments to the focus manually even while autofocus is active. This capability is included in the lens. This function is particularly helpful in circumstances where you require precise control over the focus point or when the autofocus system may struggle, such as in low-contrast or low-light settings. For example, if you want to take a picture in low-contrast or low-light conditions, you may utilize this feature.

Vibration Reduction

The Vibration Reduction (VR) system is not included in the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens that you have purchased. Although VR is a useful feature that may be found in telephoto lenses to reduce the effects of camera wobble, this lens makes up for the fact that it does not have it by having outstanding handling and being compatible with Nikon’s high-performance camera bodies.

Additionally, the lens has a fast aperture of f/2.8, which makes it possible to use quicker shutter rates. This decreases the possibility of blur caused by camera shake, which is especially helpful in low-light circumstances when paired with higher ISO settings.

Build Quality

The Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is designed to operate reliably even in challenging photographic environments. It is built to last using high-quality components and a sturdy structure, which together ensure its dependability and endurance. The lens barrel is constructed out of a durable metal alloy, giving it the appearance and sensation of being substantial and sturdy.

It is additionally sealed against dust and moisture, which not only increases its durability but also enables you to use it with complete confidence in a wide range of climatic situations. A lens hood that can be removed is included with the lens, and it serves the purpose of preventing unwanted light from entering the lens and resulting in a flare or a reduction in contrast. Overall, the build quality of this lens inspires trust in its capacity to survive the rigorous use that is required in the professional setting.

Handling and Ergonomics

Ergonomics were taken into consideration throughout the development of the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens, which results in a more natural and straightforward experience behind the camera. The lens has a large focus ring that is covered in rubber, allowing for manual focus adjustment that is both smooth and accurate. Because it is sufficiently dampened, the focus ring enables precise adjustments to be made while preserving a pleasant grip. Additionally, the lens incorporates a focus distance scale that is positioned in a handy location. This scale facilitates rapid and precise focusing.

The lens’s manageable dimensions and weight make it simple to handle and transport, and it maintains a natural equilibrium when attached to Nikon camera bodies that are compatible with it. When shooting with the lens mounted on a tripod, the presence of a tripod collar provides additional enhancements to the lens’s stability. This is especially helpful when photographing stationary scenes or when utilizing slower shutter speeds.

Image Stabilization

There is no image stabilization technology included in the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens. However, its fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 compensates to some extent by allowing for quicker shutter rates, which in turn reduces the possibility of motion blur produced by camera shake. This is expressed as an f-number. When combined with Nikon’s high-quality camera bodies, which often include in-body image stabilization technologies, the use of this lens can result in even greater improvements to the camera’s overall stability.

The lens’s large aperture and dependable autofocus mechanism help offset the need for optical image stabilization, particularly in scenarios in which higher ISO settings may be employed to maintain quicker shutter speeds. Optical image stabilization would have been a great addition to the lens, but it wasn’t included for whatever reason.

Shooting Experience

The shooting experience that you get when you use the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is one that is quite rewarding. Photographers are able to take breathtaking photographs with ease because to the lens’ superb image quality, as well as its quick focusing and wide maximum aperture. The lens produces fine details, gorgeous bokeh, and colors that are true to life regardless of whether you are shooting portraits, animals, or sports.

You’ll be able to capture critical moments with pinpoint accuracy thanks to the quick and precise autofocus mechanism that assures you’ll be able to lock focus on your subject immediately. The lens has a telephoto focal length of 180 millimeters, which gives a broad reach. This enables you to picture distant things without having to get too near to them, which may be very helpful when photographing animals or events.

Image Quality

Because of its cutting-edge optical design and use of high-quality glass components, the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is capable of producing images of exceptional quality. The use of Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass components in the lens helps to successfully limit chromatic aberrations, which ultimately results in pictures that have improved color fidelity and significantly less color fringing. Even when the aperture is opened even more, the lens keeps its overall sharpness and detail across the frame.

You have superb control over the depth of field with the wide maximum aperture of f/2.8, which enables you to produce exquisite subject isolation and background blur. Your photographs will appear more three-dimensional because of the lens’s appealing bokeh, which consists of out-of-focus regions that are silky smooth, and creamy. The Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens, in general, is capable of producing photographs of extraordinary quality time and time again.

Teleconverter Compatibility

The versatility and range of the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens may be expanded by using Nikon’s teleconverters, which are compatible with the lens. The focal length of the lens may be effectively enlarged to 252 mm, 306 mm, or 360 mm, depending on which teleconverter is attached to it. Some examples of teleconverters are the Nikon TC-14E III, TC-17E II, and TC-20E III.

Because of this compatibility, photographers are able to obtain even greater magnification and reach without drastically degrading the quality of their images. When utilizing teleconverters, it is essential to keep in mind that there may be a little slowdown in the maximum aperture as well as the speed at which the autofocus operates. However, the fact that the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is compatible with teleconverters makes it a handy tool for photographers who need more reach without the need for a separate telephoto lens.

Comparison with Competitors

When compared to other lenses in its class, the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED maintains its position as the industry standard thanks to its superior optical performance, build quality, and handling. Its fast aperture of f/2.8 distinguishes it from many other lenses in its class that are equivalent in other respects, namely that it enables improved performance in low-light conditions and more control over depth of focus.

The focusing function of the lens is exceptionally dependable and precise, allowing it to produce clear photos even in difficult lighting circumstances. The Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens compensates for the fact that other rival lenses may provide image stabilization or more sophisticated autofocus functions with its overall good performance, durability, and compatibility with Nikon’s large range of cameras and accessories.


Mount TypeNikon F-Bayonet
Focal Length180mm
Maximum Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/22
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format)
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format)13°40′
Maximum Reproduction Ratio0.15x
Lens Elements8
Lens Groups6
Diaphragm Blades9
ED Glass Elements1
Super Integrated CoatingYes
Internal FocusingYes
Minimum Focus Distance5.0 ft. (1.5m)
Focus ModeAuto, Manual
Filter Size72mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Approx. Dimensions (Diameter x Length)3.1 in. (78.5 mm) x 5.7 in. (144 mm)
Approx. Weight26.8 oz. (760 g)

Pros And Cons


  • Superior visual quality with excellent sharpness, clarity, and color fidelity throughout.
  • A large maximum aperture of f/2.8 for improved performance in low light and greater control over the depth of focus.
  • System of autofocus that is both dependable and quick
  • Compatible with teleconverters, allowing for extended range.
  • Quality construction that is both weatherproof and long-lasting
  • Comfortable handling and ergonomic design


  • Integrated picture stabilization is not present.
  • When utilizing teleconverters, autofocus speed could be a little bit slower. Certain camera bodies only allow the manual setting of the aperture.

Price and Availability

The Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is readily available for purchase at a variety of authorized Nikon dealers as well as on other internet platforms. As for the price, it normally ranges from the middle to the upper end of the spectrum, which is reflective of the fact that it possesses features and capabilities suitable for professional use.

The precise cost might be different in different areas, particularly if there are discounts or special deals now being offered. The lens’s quality, adaptability, and endurance make it a worthy purchase for photographers who seek great image quality and dependable performance, despite the fact that it may require a substantial financial outlay on their part.


The Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is an outstanding telephoto lens that excels in performance, build quality and image quality. Its focal length is 180 millimeters and its aperture is 2.8. This lens has a relatively quick maximum aperture, a precise autofocus mechanism, and an extraordinary level of sharpness, all of which make it an excellent choice as a trusted instrument for both professional photographers and photography amateurs.

The fact that it is compatible with Nikon’s teleconverters adds an additional layer of adaptability to the product since it enables the user to expand their reach without drastically degrading the image quality. The lens does not include an internal image stabilization system, but it makes up for this shortcoming with superb handling and ergonomics, which make it a pleasure to use in a variety of shooting conditions. In general, the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is a very competent lens that offers outstanding results. Because of this, it is an investment that is well worth considering for individuals who are looking for superior telephoto performance.

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

Q. Is the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens compatible with Nikon DSLR cameras?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens is designed for Nikon F-mount cameras, making it compatible with a wide range of Nikon DSLR cameras.
Q. Does the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens have image stabilization?
A. No, the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens does not have built-in image stabilization. However, it compensates for this with its wide maximum aperture of f/2.8, allowing for faster shutter speeds and reducing the likelihood of camera shake-induced blur.
Q. Can the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens be used for close-up photography?
A. While the lens is primarily a telephoto lens, it does have a minimum focus distance of 5.0 ft. (1.5m), allowing for reasonably close focusing. However, for dedicated macro photography, you may want to consider using specialized macro lenses.
Q. Does the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens come with a lens hood?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens comes with a removable lens hood. The lens hood helps prevent stray light from entering the lens and causing flare or loss of contrast in your images.
Q. Is the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens suitable for portrait photography?
A. Yes, the Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D IF-ED lens can be a great choice for portrait photography. Its telephoto focal length of 180mm allows for flattering compression and subject isolation, while the wide maximum aperture of f/2.8 enables beautiful background blur and low-light performance. The lens’s high-quality optics ensure sharpness and excellent image quality, making it well-suited for capturing stunning portraits.


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