Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR review

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Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR review

Postby StanyB » Sat 19 Sep 2015 15:48

Topic directory:

:!: NEW :arrow: Nikon 200-500mm for VERY fast action
:!: NEW :arrow: Nikon 200-500mm VR settings on tripod

:!: NEW :arrow: Dragonflies with nikon 200-500 on D500

:!: NEW :arrow: From this morning, a kestrel with D500 & 200-500

:!: NEW :arrow: D500 with Nikon 200-500 for close-up photography...

Introduction

Bought my Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm this morning at Art & Craft in Ghent (B). Expectations are high... :?
At this moment I have also the Sigma 150-600 "C" and the Tamron 150-600 to my disposal.
I was trying the Sigma 150-600 "S" a couple of weeks ago. Fantastic lens but too heavy to my taste, at that moment.... Weight difference between the Nikon and the Sigma "S" is "only" 560 gram.

First impressions after approx 100 pictures on my D750:

  • Very solid, well built lens. I did not expect that in relation to it's price setting.
  • 2,3 kg is just around the limit of what I consider as comfortable to carry around. :D If weight would not have been a factor in my choice, I would have gone for the Sigma 150-600 "S"
  • Amazing sharpness at near to closest focus distance(makes my tamron 150-600 look poor, sharper than my 80-400 AF-S VR at 400mm)
  • Great image stabilisation
  • A bit disappointing AF speed. Not really fast, but significantly faster when using the 6meter- setting, but still slow compared to a 70-200 AF-S
  • F5.6 at 500mm is a significant improvement over my tamron 150-600 which is F6 from 330mm and F6.3 from 450mm.
  • The lens is very sharp from F5.6.


Going to try to find some birds now...

Updated with this picture, taken with my 200-500 AF-S VR on Sep 25th.
Image

Images will follow later this weekend.

Kindest regards,
Stany

:arrow: related topic: Sigma 150-600 HSM OS S, first impressions

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Technically...

Postby StanyB » Sat 19 Sep 2015 21:44

  • This Nikon looks and feels very solid, a feeling I did not expect for a lens with this attractive pricing.
  • The nikon 200-500 mm is a bigger and heavier lens than both tamron and sigma "c" 150-600mm lenses. The Nikon is approx 2400 grams (including tripod collar & suncap), the Tamron 2050, the Sigma C 1950.
  • It has an excellent, sturdy tripod collar which also feels very comfortable when carrying this lens upside down.
  • The VR (which works outstanding) has three settings over 2 buttons: normal, sports and off.
  • AF performance is not very fast like the 70-200 AF-S VRII but it's acceptable fast in full focal setting, and significantly faster in the 6m- setting.
  • ...

Everything you want to know more on the technical side of this great glass can be found here and on the Nikon website of your location and language.

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To understand the technical abbreviations better :arrow: NIKKOR Lens Glossary
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First images near to the closest focus distance on D750

Postby StanyB » Sat 19 Sep 2015 21:55

As a macro shooter I like to test these kind of lenses also at closest focusing distance and although closest focusing distance is 2.2 meter the result is excellent!
At closest focus distance, the Nikon 200-500 is soooo much better than both tamron 150-600 and sigma 150-600 :o

:!: All underneath images have been taken handheld.

:!: Please notice that these images have zero post processing with exception of the © mark.
No sharpening, no contrast increase, nothing.

Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area:

Image

Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area:

Image
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First images near to the closest focus distanceon D7200

Postby StanyB » Sat 19 Sep 2015 21:56

:!: Please notice that these images have zero post processing with exception of the © mark.
No sharpening, no contrast increase, nothing.

:!: All underneath images have been taken handheld.

Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area:

Image


Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area:

Image

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BIF with Nikon 200-500 AF-S VR

Postby StanyB » Sat 19 Sep 2015 23:44

One of the main reasons several people will buy this lens is to capture birds in flight (BIF)

Tried a couple this afternoon on my D7200 and it works very well. AF can follow even when it's going rather fast.

:!: Please notice that these images have zero post processing with exception of the © mark.
No sharpening, no contrast increase, nothing.

Image

Image

Image

Image
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VR findings with the nikon 200-500 AF-S VR

Postby StanyB » Sun 20 Sep 2015 00:08

VR test

From the first pictures I took I had the feeling that the VR of this lens is just amazing.

To test the VR I did an extreme experiment:
Even though AF doesn't function anymore with the 2 x TCe -yes, it tries but it's not useable- I took some picture HANDHELD at 1000mm and a shutter speed as slow as 1/6 sec indoors and 1/15 sec outdoors

Indoors under artificial light at 1000mm on D750 at 1/6 sec, handheld:

Full exif:
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Image

Outdoors under early morning light at 1000mm on D750 at 1/15 sec , handheld:

Full exif:
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samples images where VR is important:

:!: Please notice that these images have zero post processing with exception of the © mark.
No sharpening, no contrast increase, nothing.

The VR of this lens is magic. Underneath a picture of the moon, HANDHELD at 500 mm on D7200 (750mm)

click on the image to download the full size jpeg
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exif of the above image:
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AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR with TCs

Postby StanyB » Sun 20 Sep 2015 00:18

TC test
  • Nikkor AF-S 200-500mm VR ED with 1.4 x TCIIIe
    I'm sure that the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR works very well with the latest version 1.4x TCeIII, but I don't own that TC right now. I have the latest sigma version and this works so-so...
    On behalf of this lens I will buy a nikon 1.4TC III and publish test results later.

  • Nikkor AF-S 200-500mm VR ED with 2x TCIIIe
    correction after further testing: TMHO the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR is not useable with the 2xTCeIII. On shorter distance it seems OK, but with the subject at further distance, IQ is unacceptable.

    With the subject at long distance, on tripod, LV and exposure delay, this was the best result I could capture... :( :?
    This might be partly the result that I am not good in manual focusing... :?
    Anyhow, unacceptable to my taste...

Image
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More images with AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Postby StanyB » Sun 20 Sep 2015 08:04

More images will be published this week.

Thanks for visiting and kindest regards,

Stany
http://www.nikonuser.info

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Re: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR user review

Postby Leen Koper » Sun 20 Sep 2015 19:46

Congratulations on your latest acquisition! I hope it will serve you as you expected.
There was a time when I would consider buying it myself but its weight would make me think twice nowadays. But as far as I can see the images are what you expected.
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BIF tracking with Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Postby StanyB » Wed 23 Sep 2015 22:22

BIF tracking with Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

This afternoon I was testing the 200-500 on my D750 for tracking of BIF.
On a blue sky the % of pictures in focus is very high. With some attention and preparartion work I get easily 80% or even more.

In much more tricky AF circumstances with a disturbing background at relative close distance behind the bird the 200-500 is doing also surprisingly well.

Some samples:
:!: :!: :!: Please notice that the underneath samples are straight out of the camera, without any modification about sharpness, contrast, WB, picture style or whatever

click on the image to download the full resolution jpeg.
Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area of the above picture:
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:idea: :!: :arrow: With 3 clicks of post processing in Nikon Capture NX2 you get this:
Image


Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area of the above picture:
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Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area of the above picture:
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Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area of the above picture:
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:idea: :!: :arrow: With 3 clicks of post processing in Nikon Capture NX2 the above image looks like this:
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The latest picture is the most interesting of the 5 because the bird was:
  • relative far away, flying rather fast
  • :!: ... and close to the (back-)ground.
    Still the 200-500 seemed to keep tracking the bird effortless. Kudos to Nikon.

Image

and a 100% crop of the focus area of the above picture:
Image

:idea: :!: :arrow: Again with 3 clicks of post processing in Nikon Capture NX2 the above image looks like this:
Image

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:!: :idea: :?: If you have questions, thoughts, your own findings, critiques or remarks related to this or other topics on this forum: Join this forum starting by your registration now!! Everybody is welcome. :D Read about how to make a registration here.
Sincerely.
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kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
http://www.nikonuser.info
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Re: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR user review

Postby ADeVos » Fri 25 Sep 2015 06:48

Good review,nice images.
Greetings from Belgium
Andre
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Re: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR user review

Postby StanyB » Fri 25 Sep 2015 22:11

Some images from today with D750 and 200-500 AF-S VR

:!: Please notice that the underneath samples are without any post processing which improves sharpness, contrast, WB, picture style or whatever

An image at 500mm and wide open (F5.6), taken handhold

Click on the image to download the full size jpeg
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and a 100% crop of the AF area:
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An image at quite long distance of the intended subject, taken handhold:


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and this is what a 100% crop of the above image gives.

Image

And two birds in flight...


Image

and a 100% crop of the AF area:
Image


Image

and a 100% crop of the AF area:
Image
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Close up with 200-500AF-S VR F5.6

Postby StanyB » Fri 25 Sep 2015 22:12

:!: related topic :arrow: Dragonflies with nikon 200-500 on D500

In another review I read that "it's only made for long distance while it doesn't focus close and while F5.6 is too slow". I respectfully disagree with that.
The combination of great sharpness wide open (F5.6) and incredible vibration reduction makes it very useable for close ups...

Underneath a picture taken handheld at F5.6(*), iso 3200, and 1/50 shutter speed.

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and a 100% crop of the original image:

Image

(*) To ensure you that it's taken handheld I also posted the full exif, where you can see that VR was on, and VR doesn't work on tripod.

Image

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Sincerely.
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Shooting wide open (F5.6) with the 200-500 AF-S VR

Postby StanyB » Sat 26 Sep 2015 07:00

Top lenses are considered to be sharp already from their widest aperture. This gives an advantage in shutter speed, iso setting combined with noise levels and subject isolation against the background (DOF). According to some people, price wise the 200-500 F5.6 AF-S cannot be a top lens, but several times I found out that this bias does not always fit with reality...

In relation to that I got a couple of requests to document with images how sharp the 200-500 AF-S is at F5.6....

While some images -straight out of the camera with exception of adding ©- mean thousand times more than words, I selected 10 images shot at F5.6.

For direct viewing on this forum and saving bandwidth in the same time I posted a 1000px largest size image .
Under each image I posted a 100% crop and you can see the full exif and a thumbnail size image of the AF point as you see in Nikon Capture NX-i.

Image

ImageImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
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Image

ImageImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
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Image

ImageImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
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Image

ImageImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
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Image

ImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
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Image

ImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
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Image

ImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
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Image

ImageImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
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And last but not least, NEVER a detailed review without a picture of my little ( :lol: ) darling ;) :

Image

ImageImageImage

And a 100% crop of the above image:
Image

:idea: You can support www nikonuser.info and forum with a donation...

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Sincerely.
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Nikon 200-500 AF-S VR F5.6: How about CA ?

Postby StanyB » Sun 27 Sep 2015 16:44

Nikon 200-500 AF-S VR F5.6: How about CA ?

CA= Chromatic aberration

Normally CA and purple fringing of a lens is visible in magnifictions of images taken in contrasty scenes.
I did my best to find a reasonable sample:

Image

and seen at 400% in Nikon Capture NX-i :

Image
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Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR for pics at long distance

Postby StanyB » Sun 27 Sep 2015 16:45

Some long distance pictures with the 200-500 AF-S VR on D7200.
For pictures of subjects further than that, I use different gear... ;)

An image straight out of the camera, no post processing whatsoever.

Click on the image to download the full size jpeg
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Nikon 200-500 AF-S VR compared to other lenses

Postby StanyB » Sun 4 Oct 2015 14:41

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Re: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR user review

Postby ArtenCraft.be » Fri 9 Oct 2015 06:48

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Re: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR user review

Postby StanyB » Thu 15 Oct 2015 14:16

kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
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Catched a fish!

Postby StanyB » Sun 25 Oct 2015 11:21

kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
http://www.nikonuser.info
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Re: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR user review

Postby GAshby » Tue 24 Nov 2015 10:33

Nice review!

Warm regards,
George.
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Nikon 200-500mm for VERY fast action

Postby StanyB » Sat 20 May 2017 11:21

The 200-500 is even suited for VERY fast action while used on the amazing D500:

Very fast action, with upto that an extremely challenging AF situation (Sandhill background approx 1 meter behind the very fast flying swallow.).
Nikon D500 and nikon 200-500 AF-S VR

Click on the image to open the full size jpg.
Image

related topic :arrow: Nikon D500 has an amazing AF system
kindest regards,

Stany
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You can support this website...

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Running this Web site is very costly in both time ànd money.

If you want to support this site, this way you can help:

Make a donation
You can make a donation to www nikonuser.info by credit card through the PayPal system. You do not need to have a PayPal account to do this. Click the logo at right to make a donation in various currencies, also with your credit card.

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Nikon 200-500mm VR setting on tripod

Postby StanyB » Sat 20 May 2017 12:49

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Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm VR, one more sample

Postby StanyB » Sat 27 May 2017 07:00

The nikon 200-500 has two caracteristics which turn it into an amazing lens: very sharp wide open and astonishing VR.
Another sample of the incredible VR, taken yesterday evening while getting dark, handheld at 500mm and 1/13 sec, :
The image comes straight from the memory card, no PP at all.

The exif
Image

:arrow: Click on the image to open the full size jpg.
Image
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Dragonflies with nikon 200-500 on D500

Postby StanyB » Thu 1 Jun 2017 21:14

I really LOVE this lens, after one year of use and now with a second copy after I exchanged my first one for a sigma 150-600 because of weight. :roll: :roll: :roll:
Both my first one and the new one are exceptionally sharp, and already from F5.6.
It's a 200 to500mm telezoom and normally not intended to do close up photography with, but I use it also for this very frequently.

A couple of days ago I went to the natural parc next to where I live and I found a quite large number of dragonflies, the first one I saw in this area this year.

Some pictures...

Image
the above image is a crop from the Original.

Image

Image

And a 100% crop of the above picture...
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Image

And a 100% crop of the above.
Image

Sitting dragonflies are an easy subject, while dragonflies in flight can be rather challenging to get a sharp one...
Image

And a 100% crop
Image

To assure next generation... :o
Image

Image

Image

and a 100% crop of the above
Image

Thanks for your attention and kindest regards,

Stany
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From this morning, a kestrel with D500 & 200-500

Postby StanyB » Sun 4 Jun 2017 17:09

From today in PAarc, Gravelines.

Final images are heavily cropped from the originals. The scene to illustrate the cropping.
Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR review

Postby StanyB » Sat 24 Jun 2017 06:16

kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
http://www.nikonuser.info
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