Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E VR By Nasim Mansurov 178 CommentsLast Updated On July 2, 2020«1. Overview and Specifications2. Focusing3. Optical Features4. Lens Comparisons5. Summary and Recommendations6. More Image Samples7. Reader Comments»Table of ContentsOverview and SpecificationsFocusingOptical FeaturesLens ComparisonsSummary and RecommendationsMore Image SamplesReader Comments
Thanks, this review convinced me to buy it for my D7500. Shipping tomorrow!
Nasim, I was wondering if the “Imatest Score” scale used in this revue is the same scale as you use for newer, sharper, Nikon Z lens tests? There seems to be a huge difference in maximum values.
The VR on the Nikon is outstanding, as is the weatherproofing. I was out photographing Red Deer stags in typical Scottish Highland rain in very overcast low light, shutter speed around 1/25, still managed amazing sharpness on my old unforgiving D800………a superb lens in every respect.
Thanks for this comparison, i’ll get the nikkor 🙂
This lens is almost perfect price/performance wise, if it weren’t for the sample variation, the lack of weather sealing and the lack of an arca-swiss compatible lens collar. The Tamron 150-600 G2 does have weather sealing and arca compatible lens collar, but the downside is that it is much softer near the edges and has significant vignetting on FF.
Just one comment. Combined with the Z50 the 500-200 works excellently with the TC1.4 and TC2.0 converters. I did notice some tendency for back focussing and AF-Fine Tuning might be important to get the best out of the system. Actually after the AF-Fine-Tuning I use my system mostly with the 1.4 times converter getting really pleasant results. I take of the converter only in difficult light conditions. With the 2.0 converter I have mixed feelings – cropping into the picture of the 1.4 converter gives often better results.
Hi Michael, I am really fascinated to hear that you can combine the 1.4 converter with Z50 and the 200 – 500mm. Sounds great!
This is absolutely no problem – I get very sharp images after doing the AF-Fine Tuning. I would call my 700 mm combination pixel sharp. The AF works reliably in all modes. VR of course as well. With the 2.0 times converter AF still works. However, the sensitivity towards light reflexes etc increases, the contrast decreases and the resolution as well. I also AF-Fine Tune at 500 mm only and I see clear improvement when stopping down the lens to F8, F11, and even F16 for the combinations with 500 mm, 700 mm, and 1000 mm, respectively. Nevertheless its possibly the fastest and most light weight solution to 1000 mm with AF and VR capabilities. With the crop factor of the APS-C sensor you get some amazing magnifications. Furthermore, as the sensor size is smaller the loss of resolution at the edges of the image is less. I do not know if I can upload images in the forum otherwise I would send you some test images.
I’m planning on moving to mirrorless and I was wondering if I could use a F lense with the FTZ and a TC 1.4 on a Z50 or Z6 II.
It´s the only way, us, Nikon users can get reach on a Z system. Either that or switching brands!
Thanks a lot and keep on “shooting” photos
I understood you cannot do af-fine tunning on mirror less cameras, only on dslr
Both my Z6 & Z 9 have AF fine tuning but is rather pointless because the AF is done on the same plane – the sensor itself. AF fine tuning comes into its own on DSLRs where the AF is taken off the mirror, pentaprism then the AF sensor so there’s more room for alignment error.
Not sure if any Nikon camera allows for AF fine tuning at different focal lengths on zoom lenses. Some will argue that Nikon included fine tuning on its mirrorless cameras for good reason – I tried it on the Z6 but the resulting difference was minimal so never bothered again.
Oops — newbie with discussions — re: Nikon 200-500. I have been using it for a couple of years now, on a Nikon D7200, for nature (birds, wildlife) as well as Air Shows, quite often handheld — and it has given me wonderful results. As a newbie here, I don’t know how to post some examples — Birds, Foxes, Blue Angels, the Moon etc.
Love the website, comments and excellent advice.
Hi Nasim, As always masterful analysis of the famed 200-500mm 5.6.
Among the sample images which are of course great, I dint see any picture of a bird in flight that can give a fair indication of speed of focus acquisition of this lens. A bird like kestrel or a swift requires very quick focus for sharp picture, specially when they have just taken off from their pirch.
I am reasonably confident many super telephotos can’t handle such speed, assuming the camera is capable.
Do you think I make sense?
I will be honoured to see your response.
Has anybody notices that the 200-500 lens does not fit tight on the camera body? I put mine on my d850 and noticed it kind of wobbles on there not like any of my other lenses they fit tight and dont move.