CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Where to get a 180mm or 200mm


New Member

I'm a new member desperately looking for any suggestions on where to buy any of the following two lenses:

200mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor IF AIS
180mm f/2.8 ED AIS

The problem is that I'm trying to find them *new* (grey would be nice because of money issues right now). I know that I can find excellent used lenses and I probably sound like a nut or a fool, but I just feel like I somehow bond with my lenses when I get them as a "baby". And now that they'll be harder to find, I really want to bond so I won't be tempted to ever sell them regardless of where I go in the digital arena.

Any alternative opinions are welcomed (please just be nice 'cause I'm feeling a bit fragile since the "announcement").



Well-Known Member
You don't say where you are located. If you are here in Canada, Vistek has a good reputation. In the USA, B&H and Adorama seem to get the fewest complaints for on-line stores. I really don't know about European or Asian dealers.

For the past couple of years, lenses for film have not exactly been flying off the shelves, and dealers have not been too eager to reorder less popular items. Thus even though Nikon recently pulled the plug, the pipeline may already be dry for many items. The best thing is to monitor their web-sites or actually contact them to let you know if they get one in.

I am amused by the "bonding" thing - it is all just hardware to me - but OK. In this time, you may have to compromise. Better to buy used from a reputable dealer than to deal with Brooklyn scam artists or the equivalent where ever you might live. If contemplating going beyond the above mentioned dealers, please first read
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Very, very scary.

Reading between the lines, I suspect that you have your heart set on those specific lenses, but now it just might not be possible to get them new. Certainly used is a viable choice - even though you might bond with a new lens and not one used, the lens itself does not care a whit - either way and will serve you just as well.

Another alternative is to go with a new third party lens. Sigma, Tamaron, Tokina and others supply fine optical glass, though generally their lens mounts may be a bit less robust. In fact, the lenses you want may indeed be actually manufactured by one of these companies. A lot of lens and camera manufacturing is contracted out. Cosina makes at least one Nikon body, for ex&le along with a number of other brands. I know it has built for Canon, Olympus and Rollei, and makes Voigtlander and the Epson digital rangefinder camera, presently and will be working with Zeiss on the new Zeiss Icon super camera. They rarely sell under their own name, though they are one of the biggest camera makers in the world.

Carl Zeiss is also getting into manufacturing lenses for the Nikon F mount. Having shot with Zeiss glass on medium and large format cameras, I find this very attractive. I would expect these lenses to equal or surpass the best of Nikon. They will probably be priced similarly to equivalent Nikon lenses - just don't expect to see f-4.5->6.3 cheapie zooms. Whether they will produce lenses of equivalent specifications to those you list, only time will tell.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
ICQ 76620504


New Member
Hi Larry,

Thanks for taking the time to share the information. I live in the Los Angeles, California area. Everything you said makes perfect sense (in my mind). It's the emotional part that I'm working on. I had a beloved Nikon body and a couple of lenses stolen quite a while back and that knocked me out of photography for a while. I worked so hard to afford those and then they were gone.

Anyways, I've known that we're speeding towards a "digital future", and over the past year I've been trying to build-up small "old-school" system before the inevitable end came. I just didn't know it would be such a knock-out punch! I usually go through B&H or a couple other of the more reputable on-line vendors and have also spoken with them, but much of what I'm looking for is "back-ordered" or "out of stock". I've seen a couple of USA models at about $200 more than import price so I guess I'm trying to play the odds vs. my current financial situation. Fortunately, I did get my 20mm before the walls stared to fall.

I'm sure the Zeiss lenses will be great, I guess it's more on a sentimental thing with Nikon/Nikkor...

[Or maybe since I used to work in the high-end IT industry I just saw too much and don't trust it one "bit".]


Active Member
Just for the record: if you can't find the Nikkor 180mm 2.8 (which is a fantastic lens), the Sigma 150mm 2.8 macro is a very good alternative. It's a macro, but works very well as a medium long telephoto lens as well. The Sigma also has a detachable tripod mount. The price is about the same as for the Nikkor.


Well-Known Member

> It's the emotional part that I'm working on. > [Or maybe since I used to work in the high-end IT industry I just saw > too much and don't trust it one "bit".]

I greatly appreciate fine tools for the creative empowerment they give me, but I find it hard to get emotional. My first superfast Seagate 1GB SCSI drive was a wonder to behold in my machine (limitless storage), but when it crashed, it was days restoring off floppies. With the terabyte RAID in this machine, I somehow lack nostalgia. In fact, as I typed this, I realized that I did not even know what brand of drives I had installed. It is a purpose-built graphics workstation fine tuned to Photoshop and multi-media content creation and presentation. All the criteria were grounded upon "fast". It is networked to a slightly older and slower machine, and they often work together interactively, network rendering.

Sharp contrasty prints are also appreciated from a fine lens, no matter who makes it. I have lenses from Nikon, Canon, Leitz, Olympus, Vivitar, Bronica, Schneider, Zeiss, Rodenstock and some with the Linhof brand, of whose origin I have no idea. I don't think Linhof ground them, but had enough confidence in their quality to sell under their own name.

Each was purchased to solve a specific photographic problem, and they have done so admirably. Each one is a "favourite" when put to its specific use. None - absolutely not one single lens - was bought out of lust. Each was carefully chosen for its intended task, and is the best choice for that task. I have about the same level of emotion to lenses and RAID arrays.

> Anyways, I've known that we're speeding towards a "digital future",

No, we are in a "digital present", and that is why you have so much trouble finding these lenses. The film camera industry ended over the last few years. No more Yashica, Contax, Minolta, or Konica. Agfa is pretty much out of the film and camera business - or photographic business in total. Ilford is trying to recover from bankruptcy. Kodak is struggling desperately make the transition. Bronica has ceased making SLRs, making only the rangefinder now. Leitz is just barely hanging on, with alarming reports of a drop-off in quality.

Now over 90% of Nikon's revenue is from digital photo equipment. That is clearly not "speeding toward" but rather "arrived and settled in". My F3 and arsenal of lenses has sat dormant now for half a dozen years. I recently discovered that I had not even taken the last roll of film out of it! My Bronica ETR system has been idle for at least a decade. These were my daily workhorses!

It takes a situation where a 6x7 medium format frame is needed to make film still practical for me to shoot, but once it is processed, all the darkroom work is digital. My colour fume-room has been closed since the mid-80s and I recently gave all my enlarging and processing equipment away.

The only 35mm film I anticipate shooting in the future will be panoramics with my WideLuxe. Three exposures will do a 360° image that is simply layered together in Photoshop. Much simpler that stitching from digital images. I can scan all three as a batch for perfect seamless matching of colour and lightness.

Other than that, I can do much better with direct digital shots. While there is digital equipment on the market that can better my 6x7 stuff, it would be at a price I can not justify. I already have a bunch of medium format equipment, so shooting with it is a small compromise to get 16MP to 22MP equivalent quality using film. I doubt that I will ever put a roll of film through the Nikon or Leica again - they simply can not match my digital stuff. In so many ways, 35mm has become a totally obsolete format.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
ICQ 76620504


> I have the Sigma 180 macro and find it to be a really good alternate lens when Nikon is unavailable. But, it is very heavy and also larger than I anticipated when I ordered it from B&H.


New Member
Hello again,

Thanks to those who responded.

I am happy to report that I am now the proud owner of a new Nikkor Micro 200mm - it may be obsolete but it's beautiful and it's mine! I had added myself to B&H's "notification list" a while back so when I got an email that the 200mm was in-stock, I bit. Call me stupid, but...

Just to clarify, I appreciate technology and its contribution (both real and imagined) to our quality of life. Most things I'm not attached to: my cell phone, laptop or desktop computer, etc. I *expect* that these things will be on the scrap-heap over the next year/years, just as they were *designed* to be. In these items I *expect* this ultra-rapid obsolesce and plan my purchases accordingly. [That's right, no new $400 mobile-phone for me just because the new screen is .001mm larger and has 3 new ringtones!]

What I miss is a certain quality and/or pride of craftsmanship associated with items that are designed to last more than a few years. To me, it may only represent stability in an unstable world, but whatever. I'll stop here as this could very easily evolve into an entirely different subject...

Anyhow, got my lens!