Reviews > Ramblings of the Fierce Bear of the North

New kid on the block: AFS 200-500 mm f/5.6 Nikkor E

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Bjørn Rørslett:
I got my review sample of this lens today. Reports on findings will come day by day.

My schedule for today is cramped so test images will be posted later today.

First impressions,

* Slimmer and thus easier to handle than the latest 80-400 Nikkor. However, they do share the general design including a lens casing that extends significantly when the lens is zoomed.  The tripod collar and foot are - as expected - below par.
* Filter size is a massive 95 mm. The hood is sized accordingly and can be stored in a reversed position,
* The image quality appears to be really good. Only vestiges of chromatic errors can be seen with the lens at f/5.6.
* Sharpness is evenly distributed over the frame into the extreme corners.
* Vignetting appear be to under strict control and even at f/5.6 is unlikely to be a visible problem.
* Mechanical vignetting still exists though, so out-of focus blur circles easily turns into "cat's eyes" off centre.
* Bokeh looks very smooth.
* AF speed is adequate on the Df, but nothing more. Hunting can occur when the lens is focused in the near range.
* The lens is very sensitive to to flare when pointed towards strong light sources. The colours can be washed out all over the frame in the worst cases. I had not expected such propensity to flare from a modern long lens design.
Colour rendition might be on the cold side, but this needs to be rechecked under more controlled conditions.

Erik Lund:
A perfect go everywhere Safari Zoom and super affordable!

Thanks for your preliminary thoughts  ;D

Bjørn Rørslett:
I returned from my meeting this afternoon only to find my main ISP line had dropped dead. Too bothersome and hassle to post via the alternate hookup as it is entirely disconnected from my normal network, so sorry no test photos tonight. I continue shooting with the lens and address some of the questions I raised for myself during the first shooting experience.

Roland Vink:

--- Quote ---Slimmer and thus easier to handle than the latest 80-400 Nikkor.
--- End quote ---
Is that a typo? The 200-500 has diameter of 144mm, vs 95.5mm for the AFS 80-400 - the rear part of the barrels probably have similar diameter.

Somnath Goswami:
I am a noob in bird photography but the affordable lens has lured me into buying one . Posting a pic , please delete if not right to post it here. on D810 , f5.6 , 500 mm , 1/60 s handheld , about 2/3rd crop . Please guide about what to do or not.


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