Nikon 200-500mm lens review

To: "" <>
Subject: Nikon 200-500mm lens review
From: Graeme Chapman <>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 23:12:37 +0000
Hello Andy, Paul, Rick and others,

I'm glad to hear there are still some keen Nikon devotees and not everyone has 
moved to the grey side. (that is only one stop from the dark side!!)

The only point I would like to emphasise is that the 300 mm F/4 PF, even with 
1.4x or 1.7x extender is LIGHT, really easy to handhold and manoeuvre so that 
if you see a bird, you can home in and focus within a second or two. With the 
1.7x in poor light it can hunt a bit on low contrast subjects but by all 
accounts the new D500 will improve this. In terms of quality I can only repeat 
what I have read - that it is indeed equal to the 300mm f/2.8 resolution wise, 
just a stop slower. I have never owned the 2.8, but I have handled one and to 
me it needs to be mated to a heavy camera like a D4 to achieve some sort of 
balance because the lens itself is so end heavy. When you do that, the 
combination is certainly NOT light. I can hand hold the 300 PF all day - with a 
D7100 it just hangs over my shoulder like an ordinary camera, but like any 
telephoto, the results will be better off a tripod. Another plus, there is very 
little focus breathing with this lens so when you go in close, the focal
 length remains much the same.

I haven't had the 200-500 mm long enough to fully evaluate it , but my initial 
surprise and pictures are enough. I can hand hold it for short periods, but it 
is still a heavy lens and if I need to use it for an hour or so, like sitting 
watching waders, it would need support like a tripod or bean bag - and of 
course the pictures would be better. If anybody wants to see a pic or two I 
have taken in the garden, I would be quite happy to email them.

For those looking for what I call ultra telephoto (that is up around 1000 mm 
focal length) according to the reports so far published, the 200-500 does quite 
well with the 1.4x, and on a DX body like a D7100, D7200 or especially the new 
D500, the equivalent focal length will be 1050 mm. However, with such great 
magnifications like this the problems are also great - camera shake, mirror 
vibration, atmospheric effects and the need to maintain a high shutter speed 
all take their toll. Recently, in the quest for a light, very long equivalent 
focal length system, I made a brief (and expensive) venture into the Nikon N1 
mirrorless system - V1 and V2 bodies, FT-1 adaptor and the superb little 
70-300mm zoom but the "ease" of use (more like difficulty with my big hands) 
and results weren't up to what can I could achieve with the DSLRs. So I sold it.

In response to your question Andy, the lens I used to use in the past was the 
fastest manual focussing tele lens ever made, the Leitz Televit with Telyt 400 
f/5.6 and 560mm f/5.6 lenses.  These days if it was still made it would cost a 
fortune.  Leitz equipment in those days was (and probably still is) precision 
optical equipment, if a bit antiquated. By comparison, the modern gear from the 
orient is rubbish. If you know of any beginners or lovers of the manual gear, 
I'm selling this as well, I can't take it with me.

The newly announced D500, now not due until April some time, will be Nikon's 
flagship DX camera - amongst all the other guff like autofocus at f/8, frame 
rate, noise (or lack of?)  few people have commented on the new viewfinder. I 
have always maintained if you want to know how good a camera is, just look 
through the viewfinder.



<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU