Author Topic: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E  (Read 37731 times)

Jan Anne

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2015, 19:49:38 »
Curious what this lens does at 500mm around the minimal focus distance of 2.2 meters.

I used the 200-400/4VR a lot at 400mm around the 2 meter mark to get some close up animal portraits, a real bonus compared to most of the primes in that range.
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elsa hoffmann

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2015, 20:56:02 »
The addition of a filter can only make the flare problem worse.

It is a pity that Nikon didn't use nano crystal coat on this lens.

Otherwise, seems promising.

Perhaps method in their madness - the upgrade to this lens (in 2 year's time) might have that :) There has to be something they can improve on for the next generation.
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Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2015, 00:34:07 »
I already mentioned the smooth bokeh. An example is shown below. Also visible here is the "cat's eye" phenomenon, a constraint of the blur circles caused by mechanical vignetting within the lens assembly. These start to appear fairly soon off the optical axis. I had liked the blur circles to keep their shape better, but that probably wasn't possible with this physically quite long design.




stenrasmussen

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2015, 01:10:56 »
Thanks for sharing your findings Bjørn!
As for the smooth OOF rendering I do see evidence of an over corrected design (weak outer rim). This could be a sacrifice in order to obtain across the field sharpness..?

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2015, 16:33:18 »
Other pressing commitments, plus the usual arrival of poor weather immediately upon my getting lenses for review, have delayed my work with the 200-500/5.6 for a while. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to spend an entire day in the field with 200-500 and the new 600/4.

Speaking of which, here is a direct size comparison between the two newcomers. I am loath to assign "kid" to the 600/4 though, as it completely dwarfs the 200-500. Do note that the 200-500 does extend about 1/3 more when it goes to 500, but it rapidly creeps to 200 once stood on its own. Nonetheless, the differences in size, and commensurately, their asking price, are huge. In fact, the 600/4 requires a financial outlay the equivalent of a small car ....

Evident also on this picture is the very different approach to tripod mounting of the two lenses. The 200-500 has a very narrow rotating collar, and to exacerbate the stability issue further, the tripod foot is slanted 45 degrees. This cannot be expected to yield a stable platform for tripod use and indeed test shooting with the lens at slower speed easily leads to a major loss of image quality. The tendency for the lens to make "swimming" movements is even more apparent once the new TC-14E.3 is attached to it. Do not be duped by reports of the 200-500 having a satisfactory tripod arrangement as they are quite misleading.

simsurace

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2015, 11:20:30 »
The tendency for the lens to make "swimming" movements is even more apparent once the new TC-14E.3 is attached to it. Do not be duped by reports of the 200-500 having a satisfactory tripod arrangement as they are quite misleading.

Maybe fitting a cork in between the foot and the lens barrel would help, as you did for the old 300/4!
Do you get vibrations from the shutter movement? Is the issue reduced by using EFCS?
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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2015, 15:21:03 »
Maybe fitting a cork in between the foot and the lens barrel would help, as you did for the old 300/4!
Do you get vibrations from the shutter movement? Is the issue reduced by using EFCS?

There doesn't seem to be a suitable place to mount such an auxiliary device due to the position of the focus ring (judging just from the images of the lens; I don't have the lens). However, Kirk have a product that takes contact with a second point on the barrel, with rollers, however, their foot and second contact support together add to the cost of the lens. This is what they offer (two parts):

http://www.kirkphoto.com/200-500mm_f_5.6E_ED_VR_lens_support.html

EFCS should eliminate most shutter induced vibration if using the D810. However there is also wind that can cause a lens to swim, so EFCS by itself would likely not solve the problem.

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2015, 20:15:09 »
It is an enigma why Nikon reverted to this flawed tripod collar design for the 200-500. The only explanation I can imagine is that the placement of the collar only came to the engineer's mind after all other mechanical aspects had been completed and thus the collar had to go where some narrow free space still existed. In order to balance lens + camera, the foot itself has to be cantilevered when it is positioned to the extreme rear of the lens.

The result is a wobbling affair. The flexing is less than seen with other flawed collars of a similar design, yet sufficient to introduce unsharpness at slower speeds. This is further exacerbated when the TC14E.3 is added and it is easy to document the problem rests with the tripod collar/foot alone. Simply put the lens on a *really* sturdy tripod and notice how the lens vibrates. The early 200-400/4 Nikkor ED AIS also has a cantilevered tripod mounting design, but is much more solid constructed and there is no vibration at all under the same conditions. Thus, cantilevered supports are not the culprit per se. Compare the images below.


Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2015, 22:59:02 »
Lots and lots of boring test shots later, I conclude that the 200-500 is OK as long as you don't use VR with it tripod mounted, or stop it down further than about f/11 or f/16 in a pinch. The image sharpness rapidly declines in either case. Images remain pretty clear of chromatic aberration until you extend the lens to its longest focal settings, but most if not all of these nasties came under adequate control in a decent RAW converter.

However, adding the TC14E Mk.3 is a quick if extensive way of bring back all these gremlins in force.  Image quality really suffers as well.

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2015, 23:02:35 »
The 200-500 can do decent flower photography and with the lens set to 500 mm the background is nicely blurred. Don't expect true "macro" lens performance, though.

A late-flowering clump of Oxeye Daisies Leucanthemum vulgare captured in a rural setting. I could use a nearby barn as a convenient background.


Jakov Minić

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2015, 23:59:17 »
Lovely image, Bjørn.
How is the image quality compared to the 200-400/4 that you posted mounted on a tripod?
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Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2015, 00:23:55 »
The old 200-400 was a fantastic lens for its time and still capable of holding its own to newer designs. I haven't done direct A:B comparisons between them as the 200-400 is so scarce an item, and thus most people never will have the opportunity to use it. The 200-500 should be judged on its own merits.

So far, I think the 200-500 will appeal to a great many users. The overall image quality is pretty high all things considered.

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2015, 00:59:55 »
Here are a few more of the hand-held captures from today. VR on. AF is not super quick in the Df, but will do the job adequately.

(The willow is a male Salix pentandra. Just in case you wonderdd)

Tersn

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2015, 12:07:55 »
It looks like a useful travel light lens for wildlife and the like. I guess the 500/4 and  600/4 belong to a higher league, but so do their weights and prices.
Terje S.

Kim Pilegaard

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Re: New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2015, 12:42:42 »
It would be interesting to compare the 200-500 mm with the old and new 300/4 + converters in terms of sharpness. Probably the two primes will still outperform the zoom (except for the missing VR on the old one).

Maybe Bjørn has something to say about this?
Kim