Author Topic: Supposed "Transition Lens" Between the Nikon 180mm/2.8 ED and 180mm/2.8 AF  (Read 2960 times)

Macro_Cosmos

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 311
    • Flickr
A friend of mine has recently told me that there exists an extremely rare Nikon 180mm f/2.8, it was a transition lens -- as he calls it, and was released between the 180/2.8 ED (gold ring) and 180/2.8 AF.

He claims that this lens is extremely rare. I can't find any information on it whatsoever. I've looked at Mir and dug deep into google images, nothing to be found.

I would appreciate some information on this lens, or verification that it may not exist at all. I wouldn't doubt it however, Nikon does have some of these very rare lenses that has little to no information about them. A transition 180mm sounds pretty plausible to me.

Roland Vink

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1372
  • Nikon Nerd from New Zealand
    • Nikon Database
ALL the Nikon 180/2.8 lenses are listed here: http://photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html#180

The "transition lens" probably refers to the early AF 180/2.8 which has a plastic barrel and narrow plastic focus ring, similar to other very early AF lenses. This focus ring was not popular so was soon changed to a slightly wider focus ring with a rubber grip, otherwise unchanged. Total production of these early AF models is a little over 11000, so it's not common, but hardly rare.

The lens barrel was later upgraded to a more professional looking "crinkle" finish and a wider focus ring with better damping for improved manual handling. There is a switch on the focus ring for disconnecting it during AF. The lenses was upgraded to "D" but was otherwise little changed, and continues to be made today.

All the AF 180/2.8 models have the same optical design, although coatings improved from the older NIC coating to the current SIC coating around year 2000.

chambeshi

  • Woody
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 704
  • Woody
    • Chambeshi Photography FCotterill Photographic Explorations
The 180 Nikkors are discussed by Simon Stafford in his New Nikon Compendium. A useful book even if obsolete today for digital gear

the first AF 180 is illustrated here
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/180mm-history.htm
#chambeshiphoto
D850, D780, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E PF, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

Erik Lund

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 6029
  • Copenhagen
    • ErikLund.com
It is shown on Mir as well;

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/AFNikkor/AF180mm/index.htm

Scroll down a little bit:

Part II AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8s IF ED MK I* (original version) telephoto lens
Introduced: Nov. 1986; Discontinued: 1988
Erik Lund

Bjørn Rørslett

  • Fierce Bear of the North
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 8250
  • Oslo, Norway
I had that "transitional" version of the AF 180 for a very short while. Its handling was unpleasant to say the least and I quickly replaced it by the AF 180 New that had the crinkle finish and altered exterior design.

Although the optical performance was very good, I eventually couldn't stand the imprecise manual focusing and the AF speed was glacial. Thus I went back to the 180/2.8 ED manual Nikkor instead. With a CPU added, it interfaced well with any of my Nikons.

richardHaw

  • Cute Panda from the East...
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3014
  • Your lens loverboy
    • Classic Nikkor Maintenance and DIY
the 180/2.8 has a lot of makeover :o :o :o



not into collecting the 180/2.8 series but if I was then this is a must-have ::)

Erik Lund

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 6029
  • Copenhagen
    • ErikLund.com
I shoot a 180mm AF-D ED IF 2.8 latest incarnation, on the new cameras like the D810 AF speed is surprisingly fast,,, No distortion at all, very pleasant colours, CA is handled well in ACR.
Erik Lund

HCS

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1315
  • The Netherlands
I shoot a 180mm AF-D ED IF 2.8 latest incarnation, on the new cameras like the D810 AF speed is surprisingly fast,,, No distortion at all, very pleasant colours, CA is handled well in ACR.

Don't know about this elusive "transition" lens, but i fully concur with Erik on the performance of the latest incarnation on the D810.
Hans Cremers

John Geerts

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7555
  • Photojournalist in Tilburg, Netherlands
    • Fotoverhalen
I had both AF versions. The later ED version is optically a bit improved, the coatings shows also fresher and deeper colour. Handling wise the later AF is ten times better.

bjornthun

  • Guest
Maybe the closest to "transition" lens(es) could be the F3AF lenses, AF Nikkor 80/2.8 and the AF Nikkor 200/3.5? The 200/3.5 is then as close as you get to a 180/2.8.

chambeshi

  • Woody
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 704
  • Woody
    • Chambeshi Photography FCotterill Photographic Explorations
Here's another overview of the AF models of the 180mm Nikkor

http://www.throughthefmount.com/articles_rev_180.html
#chambeshiphoto
D850, D780, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E PF, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

Macro_Cosmos

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 311
    • Flickr
Thanks for all the responses!

I showed him the photo of that AF smooth version (AF mk1?) with the tiny focusing ring, a version which I haven't seen before, and he told me that wasn't it.

Well, the search continues, unless he is just making things up at this point. He specialises in optical designs and have handled a lot of the rare things we see around here, including the micro-nikkor 70mm lens. I'll stay sceptical until I see actual photos of the lens itself.

Wish you all a happy New Year! I'm going to enjoy a 70-200 f/2.8E soon.  ;D
'