Review (+ video review) Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor MKIV

According provided by Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor lens huge thanks to the store you can find a huge number of different used photographic equipment, including this model.

Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor MKIV review

Review of Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor MKIV (Serial Number US 603630)

Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor (aka MKIV version) - an updated model of an older lens Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor (MKIII).

The differences between the MKIII and MKIV cat cried:

  1. MKIII was produced from 1987 to 1995, and MKIV is produced from 1994 to this day.
  2. The MKIII version does not know how to transfer the focusing distance to the camera and is'Non-d'lens (this is the main difference in lenses). This property is important for accurate exposure when shooting with modern flash units operating in TTL auto modes. MKIV gained the ability to transmit distance and became a lens'D type'.
  3. MKIV updated optics enlightenment. The MKIV front lens tinted green more and the MKIII more purple. By the way, I met versions of MKIV, which have the same enlightenment as the MKIII, most likely only the latest copies have a new enlightenment.
  4. The design of the case has slightly changed, so, in the new version, the diaphragm ring has 3 rows of ribbed surface, while the MKIII has only two. Also, the MKIV comes with a modern-style lid, while the MKIII uses Nikon's old 'classic' lid with side buttons. Without a very careful examination, you won't notice the difference between the lenses.

Here link to the archive with the originals - 541 MB, 41 photos in .NEF format (RAW) from the camera  D700 (FX).

It is a pity that MKIV did not finalize the shortcomings of the previous version: they practically did not improve the focusing speed, did not make an 'adequate' focus mode switch and did not complete many other trifles. I suppose that no one will wait for good modern fixes with similar characteristics from Nikon :(. Still, as for the Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor MKIV, you can fall in love from the first frames :).

Video review can be viewed at my youtube channel:


  1. Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-H 1: 2.5 f = 18cm (Nikon RF, aka Nikon S, and M39 version), from about 1953. It could also be used on SLR cameras using an 'N->F' adapter. It has several sub-versions with minor differences regarding distance marks and serial number.
  2. Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-HC 1:2.5 f=18cm, since about 1955. The same optical design. After this model, Nikon had a long pause of almost 20 years to release a further line of similar lenses.
  3. Only in 1970 was the first version of the '180 / 2.8' class lens for SLR cameras introduced - Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.8 f = 180mm Nippon Kogaku Japanbased on 5 lenses in 4 groups. The 'P' stands for 'Penta' - that is, 5 lenses in the optical design. Produced before 1971, very few of these lenses were produced.
  4. In 1971 the name was updated - Nikon Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.8 f = 180mm, but in fact it was exactly the same 'Nikkor-P' with 5 elements in 4 groups. Produced through 1974. Overview here.
  5. In 1975, the lens received special enlightenment and became known as Nikon Nikkor-PC Auto 1: 2.8 f = 180mm ('C' stands for 'Coating'), has the same optical design, and was produced until 1977.
  6. In 1977 came the classic AI version - Nikon Nikkor 1: 2.8 180mm (AI), which was produced until 1981. The same optical scheme was used. There are two sub-versions that are distinguished by a comfortable grip ring at the front of the hood.
  7. And in 1981, the legendary Nikon Nikkor ED 1: 2.8 180mm (AI-S). This lens has already begun to use the updated optical scheme with 5 elements in 5 groups, 1 element was made ED glass. This version was produced for a very long period along with autofocus options. It is believed that this version of the 180s was most successful at all times. Produced until 2005. My review of this model can be found here.
  8. The first autofocus 1986 / 180 was released in 2.8 -  Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8 ED AF Nikkor (IF MKI), which, due to a large number of complaints from photographers, was very quickly replaced by the second version. Complaints related to the focus ring and the general depravity of the design compared to the old manual options. The optical scheme has already begun to use 8 elements in 6 groups. Easily distinguished by the plastic focus ring and sleek body.
  9. In 1987, the lens was updated to version Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8 ED AF Nikkor (IF MKII) and was produced until 1987. The optical design is unchanged. Easily identified by the rubberized focus ring and sleek body.
  10. In 1987, the lens finally acquired a modern look. The version is called Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8 ED AF Nikkor (IF MKIII), was produced until 1995. The optical design is unchanged. It is easy to distinguish by the rough coating of the case. Review here.
  11. Latest version got letter 'D' in its name and has been produced from 1994 to the present day -  Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor (IF MKIV). The optical design is unchanged. Easily identified by the 'D' in the lens name. An overview can be found here.

A visual view of autofocus lens options can be found in the 'Portrait lens for Nikon cameras'.

If we group all the lenses according to optical schemes, then we can distinguish 4 groups:

  • rangefinder 180 / 2.5 with optical scheme 6/4 (1953-1963)
  • with optical scheme 5/4 (1970-1981)
  • with optical scheme 5/5 (1981-2005)
  • with optical scheme 8/6 (1986-2018)


Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

More information about the lens can be found in the review. Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor (MKIII).

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 67, on the topic: Overview (+ video review) Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8D ED AF Nikkor MKIV

  • Nik

    What do you think is better for a full frame this 180 2.8 even if IV or Sigma 85 1.4?

    • Ivan

      You are comparing completely different lenses, with different characteristics, for different tasks and different manufacturers.

      • Nik

        Sorry. I ask Arkady, not you.

        • B. R. P.

          If Arkady wants to answer you, then most likely the question is - what is the lens for shooting?

        • Denis

          If you are interested in Arkady, why don't you address him by name? That's why another reader answered you.

    • Victor

      It's like asking "which is better for a novice carpenter - a jigsaw or a chisel?" :-)

      • Specialist

        Nik, choose a chisel.

  • Nik

    Trying on. Yes. Sigma 85 1.4 - you won't have to run far).
    And the average 180 is better than the average 80-200 ...
    Well, thanks for the lack of an answer.

    • Rodion

      Some questions can only be answered by yourself :)

    • Anton

      What is the question, such are the answers

  • Andy

    Test photo with 180mm 2.8D.

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