I have received an offer to buy a 180mm 2.8 AF ED. I have been really trying to get an 80-200 2.8 to shoot sports, and hopefully to be a gateway lens into wildlife photography. My main two sports to shoot are basketball and football, and I've had great luck with the borrowed 80-200 lenses that I've used. I shoot alot of landscapes, and general outdoor stuff, but I also do the occasional portrait types when the mood strikes. As far as what I own -- I've only managed to acquire a wide angle (24mm) and a typical normal 50mm, thus far. I just haven't found an 80-200 fast enough for my sports needs that I can afford, however, I'm not sure that a fixed 180 will quite meet those needs. I could use some input not only to this question, but also, what are some all purpose type uses for the 180mm? It seems to me like it's a kind of an in between lens (ideally I'd like a fast 105 and that 80-200), yet, since I don't yet own those two lenses I want, will this 180 be able to partially satisfy my need for a longer focal length, or should I focus on getting a more all purpose zoom? I would appreciate any enlightenment. Thanks. --Desertlobo323
Thanks Meerkat for the input. My N-80 only allows me to use the built in light meter with AF lenses. I almost NEED the AF version. Since you don't recommend the lens for sports, how much would the zoom speed affect say, shooting portraits or like people in the street?
Overall, do you think it's a good lens to have in the lowepro? Or would my money be better spent in wait for a faster zoom?
i have both 80-200 f2.8 AF-S & non AF-s plus the 180mm f2.8. i have used all for indoor sports (gymnastics). i have come to prefer the 180mm for not only its sharpness but also it is more hand-holdable. i can move around without dragging a tripod & i'm shooting at fast shutter speeds so don't have camera shake. besides i brace myself against a balance beam or bars or whatever's handy.the AF-S version of 80-200 f2.8 really does require a tripod unless you work out everyday. i have an F4 which makes the combo really heavy & awkward. the non-AF-S version is much lighter & cheaper & with current rebates is quite a bargain now. but, i would still recommend a tripod. the 180 is reportably one of the sharpest lenses in nikon's line-up. at wide open apertures, it really does isolate the subject. i've found that portability is more germane to my shooting than the zooming. i zoom with my feet. now, i would love to have the 300mm f4 AF-S so i could be less intrusive but, i've already received enough presents. good luck, judy from very snowy northwest
You really helped me with your information. I appreciate your shared experiences. Thank you. Also, hey, I just happen to be visiting the snowy northwest right now. Maybe we're in the same snowy northwest.
i don't know if this might help you but it give data, albeit, subjective: http://www.cmpsolv.com/cgi-bin/output.cgi which is a table with numbers not "great, excellent, etc. on AF speed the 180mm rates 54 while both zooms are in 90's. i don't know what camera was used, but i know the AF-S made a big difference on my F4s. maybe with newer bodies the focus would be faster. i don't use my zooms much as i like prime lenses & prefer to frame & get the right composition by walking around. now, if the 180mm had AF-S it couldn't be beat but would be bigger probably & not as portable. you have to switch to manual on both lens & body but is fairly easy to do & remember. meerkat, where are you in the N.W.? we got 12" in whatcom county, washinton. good luck. just from now rainy northwest
I am not a professional, and this may or may not help you, but years ago, when I was in college, I regularly used the 180 2.8 AI version (it belonged to the newspaper) with my FM for shooting football and lacrosse. It was a fabulous lens. The only improvement at the time that I would have wanted was a 300 2.8 for tighter shots and more out of focus backgrounds. But you won't get either with the 80-200, so that's not a reason to choose the zoom over the 180.
After I graduated, the 180 2.8 was one of those lenses that I always dreamed of owning. Years later when I already had a 50 1.8 and 105 2.5, I decided I needed a long telephoto and thought it was time to get the 180. By that time the prices of Nikon equipment just blew my mind, having not bought a lens in a long time. The 180 was very expensive compared with my budget. So I ended up with a 75-300 4.5-5.6 zoom. Not the same, but it does a serviceable job for my longer telephoto needs.
I have since added a 24 2.8, an F4 and a 35-70 2.8 to my bag.
I still think about the 180. Its one of those lenses that lingers in your head.
It's me, the original poster. Thank you for all of your input. I went with the 180mm AF 2.8 afterall. What a beautiful lens! I haven't had the opportunity to shoot much with it yet, but it's great so far. The focusing is a little slow, but for the money, I'm not complaining. It seems like a nice edition to my so far small bag of tricks. Thanks again for all of your input.