A Complete 180

By , June 14, 2014 7:56 pm
This mimosa behind the garden started blooming just this week. This image was made at f/2.8 at just about the closest focus distance on my AF-Nikkor 180mm.

This mimosa behind the garden started blooming just this week. This image was made at f/2.8 at just about the closest focus distance on my AF-Nikkor 180mm.

As you can see, the 180mm is scarcely bigger than a 70-300mm zoom, yet the images from it are far superior.

As you can see, the 180mm is scarcely bigger than a 70-300mm zoom, yet the images from it are far superior.

The hay guy came by this morning to ask if he could cut and bail the pasture in July like he has every year recently, and it reminded me to grab a camera and photograph the pasture in the coming weeks before he cuts it.

I grabbed the Nikon D7100 tonight, and very deliberately chose one of my favorite lenses, as it has been for 30 years, the 180mm. I’ve owned four iterations of this lens over the years, including tonight’s guest, the AF-Nikkor ED 180mm f/2.8 D.

Tiny white flowers blow in a late spring breeze in a shady spot down by our pond tonight. The 180mm let me set them apart from the background nicely.

Tiny white flowers blow in a late spring breeze in a shady spot down by our pond tonight. The 180mm let me set them apart from the background nicely.

This lens has few vices. It is lightweight, bright, and sharp, and has fairly nice bokeh wide open. It’s only failings are its older autofocus system (non-AF-S) and an itsy bit of chromatic aberration.

It’s possible to get a decent bargain on a used 180mm on sites like eBay, particularly if it’s ugly on the outside but still has good glass.

It felt good in my hands tonight, and I remembered why I like it so much.

A bit of juxtapositional imagining, with the vines wrapping around barbed wire in the west pasture. The excellent selective focus qualities of the 180mm at f/2.8 make this possible.

A bit of juxtapositional imagining, with the vines wrapping around barbed wire in the west pasture. The excellent selective focus qualities of the 180mm at f/2.8 make this possible.

5 Responses to “A Complete 180”

  1. Xavier says:

    What’s the name for that type of memory?

    When your hands and or body are automatic in response to the pressure and weight of the familiar?

  2. Robert says:

    How does it compare to That big 105 of yours I so used to love?

  3. >>How does it compare to That big 105 of yours I so used to love?<<

    Apples to oranges. The 105 had amazinger bokeh at f/1.8, but was not very sharp at that aperture. The 180 is sharp wide open, but that’s f/2.8.

  4. Wil C. Fry says:

    I do occasionally miss a long/fast lens, but only occasionally since I’ve become almost exclusively a “what my children are doing” photographer.

    Always love the wispy/colory Mimosa thingies. :-)

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