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Shooting with Nikon's new 500mm F5.6E PF in Kamchatka

Nikon D850 | 500mm F5.6E PF | ISO 320 | 1/1250sec | F7.1

Full disclosure: Roie Galiz is a beta product tester for Nikon Europe.

Wildlife photographers love millimeters – the more the merrier. But extra focal length comes with a cost, both literally and in terms of weight.

The new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR bucks that trend, including a PF ('phase fresnel') element to reduce the size and weight of what would otherwise be a large, heavy telephoto prime lens.

Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF key specifications:

  • Optical construction: 19 elements in 11 groups (1 PF, 3 ED)
  • Minimum focus: 3m (118 inches)
  • Aperture blades: 9
  • Vibration Reduction: 4EV (CIPA)
  • Dimensions:
    • Diameter: 106 mm (4.17)
    • Length: 237 mm (9.33″)
    • Weight: 1460 g (3.22 lb)

When I put my eager hands on the new 500mm F5.6 PF lens and put it next to the flagship 500mm F4E, it felt like a toy, being so small and light. Actually, to my eyes it looked adorable. I was a bit skeptical that it could deliver the same performance, so when I packed my gear for a recent bear photography workshop in Kamchatka, I packed the older lens too, just in case, alongside the new 500mm F5.6E PF and 180-400mm F4E.

Handling

A tale of two lenses: the 500mm F4 (left) and new 500mm F5.6E PF (right), with their included hoods attached.

Holding this lens feels weird at first and I’ve never held a camera with a 500mm prime in one hand like I can with the F5.6E PF. The lens is so light that it almost feels unstable compared to the F4E, and the shift in balance with the lighter lens, back towards the camera, takes some getting used to. After the first couple of bear shots though, and some initial discomfort, I began to really see the benefits. This lightweight lens allowed me to easily move around, lay on the ground, photograph from the water from a low angle and be much more flexible than I could with the older and heavier F4.

Focus

Nikon D850 | 500mm F5.6E PF | ISO 1250 | 1/1000sec | F7.1

When losing a stop of light, I expected to lose focus speed as well, but the F5.6E PF actually locks into focus very quickly. For bear photography, focus speed doesn’t have to be ultra-fast, so to really test the lens I went and photographed some Tufted Puffins flying around with beaks full of fish. The D850 + 500mm F5.6E combination delivered around a 70% hit-rate where the images were in sharp focus.

The minimum focus distance of the 500mm F5.6E is 3.5 meters, which is great for close-ups, but it's too close for bears!

Aperture

Nikon D850 | 500mm F5.6E PF | ISO 200 | 1/1000sec | F8

Would you rather have an F4 or F5.6? well, of course all photographers want that extra stop of light. Except for low conditions, though, I’d rather close the aperture to around F8 for extra depth of field. For this reason, most of the time I wouldn't care about a maximum aperture of F5.6E compared to F4. 'Most of the time' isn't all the time, though. In low light or when shooting fast-moving subjects, I would rather shoot at 1600 at F4 than 3200 at F5.6.

Vibration Reduction (VR)

Nikon D850 | 500mm F5.6E PF | ISO 200 | 1/800sec | F7.1

Typically when it comes to VR, the bar is raised with each new high-end lens that comes out. With the 500mm F5.6E PF I found VR especially useful since I didn't have the sheer mass of the lens to help absorb shake, as I do with the F4. I didn’t really get to long-enough exposure times during the Kamchatka workshop to test it thoroughly, but I'm eager to do so as soon as I can.

Image Quality

I didn’t expect this baby lens to be capable of the same image quality as the F4E, but it is! The D850’s 46 megapixels place a huge demand on any lens, and the 500mm F5.6E PF really delivers. Bokeh looks great, I couldn’t persuade it to flare while shooting against backlighting and I didn't notice any issues with chromatic aberrations.

All-in-all, I couldn’t find any drawbacks compared to the F4E when it comes to image quality.

Here is a sample comparison between the two, labeled as A and B. Both images were handheld, un-edited and un-sharpened and taken at F/5.6. See if you can tell which image was shot with which lens.

Still can’t decide? Here’s a 1:1 crop unsharpened.

And the answer is… A is the Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF and B is the Nikon 500m F4E.

Overall Impressions

Compared to the 500mm F4, the F5.6E PF lens is nice and easy to use handheld, especially with fast moving subjects I could easily keep the camera up and ready for hours on end and the image quality doesn’t seem to have been compromised at the expense of lightness.

I would love to have this lens in my backpack whenever I’m on a project in a sunny environment, just to avoid having to carry the weight of the faster lens. If I’m shooting in the jungles or the high arctic however, I would want every stop of light available, at which point I'd probably play safe and opt for the heavier F4E.


About

Roie Galitz is a professional wildlife photographer, public speaker, wildlife workshop leader and a Greenpeace ambassador to the Arctic.

Roie was in Kamchatka leading an expedition for photography tour company Phototeva. For more information and images visit his website www.roiegalitz.com and follow his Instagram - www.instagram.com/roiegalitz

Roie Galitz was not compensated for this article by Nikon or DPReview, and Nikon had no involvement in its publication.

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wasserball

My ideal set up would be AFS 400mm f2.8 VR+1.4 TC on D500. Handheld. Yes, I need to pump some iron first. But, I do handhold a AFS 300mm f2.8D II on a D3s for the entire HS football game.

3 weeks ago
MrWizard138
MrWizard138

I just received the Nikon 500mm f5.6E lens about a week ago. Unfortunately it came in while I was out of town photographing bald eagles at Conowingo Dam in MD. I did get a chance to test it the day I got back at a local bald eagle’s nest near my house. The results were amazing! Super sharp, even with a Nikon 1.4 teleconverter attached and handheld. I have since taken pictures of some elk in northern PA and I’ve been very happy with those shots too. It weighs much less than my Tamron 150-600mm G2, and seems just slightly heavier than my Tamron 100-400mm. So far, all my shots have been on my D500, but I look forward to seeing how it works on my D750 (although I’m going to trading the D750 in for a D850 in the very near future!). I plan to go back to Conowingo Dam in mid-November and I can’t wait to put it through a strong workout!

3 weeks ago
lakkot
lakkot

I'd love to see more manufacturers releasing affordable 'slow' lenses. The trend of making huge F1.2 bricks has to stop.

2 months ago
jackspra
jackspra

The lenses are incredible.So to the shots,camera and not to forget the skills of the photographer.

2 months ago
4sofnature

Nikon wants to unsettle Panasonic and Olympus (200 f/2.8 & 300 f/4).

2 months ago
davidt_man

I wish sony would make a lens like this

2 months ago
Mebpenguin
Mebpenguin

Fuji too. This kind of lens is such a wonderful option for wildlife photographers, I wish every manufacturer had one like it in their lineup.

2 months ago
808_freedive

Just imagining lugging that stuff through the wilderness. Pics probably taken at the feeding lot and petting zoo next to the lodge. Nice story...and as always if its not shot close up with a 35mm lens - you are either lazy or fearful.

2 months ago
Thoughts R Us

I hope you are trying to be humorous with your post.

2 months ago
chriswilliams10
chriswilliams10

Fearful would be the correct answer looking at those bears...

2 months ago
808_freedive

@thoughts: Humorous yes...and thats what I do. Wideangle vids of Whitetips, Tigers, turtles, fish schools etc. If Nikon brings a Nikonos with a superwideangle lens and 4k or better 8k - will listen again. Right now. Neither new cam is nearly where I would like them to be.

2 months ago
LensBeginner
LensBeginner

The two 100% crops in the comparis(s)on have different focus point... the left one is focused on the light-brown fur, while in the right one the focus falls on the darker are (the paw).

2 months ago
Snoddas

There are more test shots with this lens at lenstip.com. The result does not look that impressive to me.

2 months ago
Entropius

It's possible to take a bad picture with a good lens but it's impossible to take a sharp picture with a bad lens (unless it's stopped down a bunch). Especially with a lens as long as 500mm, I'd be willing to bet that the problem is the photographer, not the lens. The 300/4 PF is a wonderful piece of glass; I highly doubt the 500/5.6 is a dud.

2 months ago
calson

Good review that covers the salient points. As he mentioned for low light situations the 500mm f/4 would be his lens of choice. The question though is would he get enough use (or anyone) to justify having this $3600 lens in addition to a 500mm f/4 or 600mm f/4 lens?

Second question is whether if traveling with the 500mm f/4 or 600mm f/4 would he want to also take the 500mm f/5.6 or instead take the 200-500mm f/5.6 or 80-400mm f/5.6 lens.

What I want to have (without going to Canon) is a 400mm f/4 lens. Three different 400mm lenses from Canon but still only the f/2.8 version from Nikon.

2 months ago
Photography Matters

Canon does that with some lens types.

I think they have 4 differ 70-200mm lenses-- two f4 lens with and without IS and two f2.8 lenses with and without IS. Nikon has but two.

2 months ago
JayNGu
JayNGu

Great images and the lens itself looks fantastic! I think he demonstrates the advantages of the smaller / lighter lens well. :)

2 months ago
SteB
SteB

This looks like a great lens from Nikon. I just hope Canon produce something similar.

2 months ago
pentaust

With the fresnel design (300 f4 and now 500 f5.6) Nikon offer something uniquely small, with excellent optical characteristics. I've seen the lot of images taken with the 300 f4 PF, they are fantastic, and I've seen the 300 f4 PF it's incredibly small.

2 months ago*
SteB
SteB

Believe me I have been tempted. I like the D500 to.

2 months ago
stratplaya

If you start doing lens reviews again would you include images this 500mm and from the 200-500 f/5.6 for comparison? Pretty please?

2 months ago
pentaust

Wrong question. If you happen to use a 200-500 zoom always at 500mm , you made the wrong choice. Primes are designed to max out image quality (sharpness, contrast, bokeh) when shooting distance / subject size is known in advance, for example when photographing from a blind, or similar situations. The zoom is preferred when the distance is such that it is required to zoom out, sharpness is not an issue in that case because there is no need to crop, the crop is done by adjusting the zoom. Typically, 100-400, 150-450, 200-400, 150-600 and 200-500 zooms are the favorite choice for safaris. 500 f4 primes (750 with TC) are the choice for wildlife small / medium size, and 300 f2.8 w/o TC are used for sports due to distance from photo stand to players in the stadium and requirement for fast shutter speed to freeze motion.

2 months ago*
Photography Matters

Hmm, assuming Strata made the choice, like many of us, before the announcement of the new PF lens, and he could considerable use out it (I have over 10k shots on mine), then Strata's choices were:

• spend $10k-plus for an existing 500mm prime
• spend $6k or more for the Sigma version or an older used version
• get the 200-500mm zoom for $1400.

For those on a budget that does not allow for $6000 more on a single lens, please tell me how the third choice--especially given the excellent IQ the zoom produces at all focal lengths including 500mm--was wrong? It strikes me, that the zoom (either the Nikon or the Sigma Sport) was the best viable option for budget-constrained photographers to get to 500mm for under $1500 (or $3500).

I'm willing to stretch to $3500 for the PF. the f/4 version will never be in my budget.

2 months ago
BartDuch

I have seen F4 500mm prime for (under 3500USD) the price then the 5.6 PF, I considered buying them, but then holding it I didn't, its just so big and heavy, I have a Sigma 150-600mm C, thats 1.93kg the previous F4 500mm was 3.88kg thats close to double! The new 5.6 pf is only 1.46kg this is less, count in the fact I use it most for nature/birds and sports photography and most of the time have it locked at 600mm.

Add in the extra stop of light and extra sharpness, this is looking as perfect successor for my sigma :D

2 months ago
photoMEETING

I'd rather like to see a 500mm/2.8 instead of this 500mm/5.6.

2 months ago
photoMEETING

No, tnx. A Nikkor, of course. ;-)

2 months ago
Photography Matters

Lol, I don't want a 16kg lens no matter who makes it.

2 months ago
gordonpritchard

That's a zoom lens. Everyone knows that zooms are rubbish especially at such a low price point LOL

2 months ago
A7matt
A7matt

I love the Amazon reviews on that Sigma haha

2 months ago
robproctor83

Pretty sure he was looking for a lens and not a bazooka

2 months ago
jl_smith

Dear internet at large:

Loose - Something that is untight.
Lose - To experience a loss of something.

One loosens a belt. One loses a stop of light.

That said, that 500 looks awesome.

2 months ago
Dorus

I have lost a belt once ...

2 months ago
Barthwal

Must have been loose :)

2 months ago
wolfloid
wolfloid

How could you lose a loose belt?

4 days ago
Marianne Oelund

In the Nikon PDAF system, going from an f/4 lens to an f/5.6 lens does NOT decrease illumination to the AF sensor. Nor does going from f/4 to f/2.8 or f/2 or f/1.4 increase the brightness of the image at the AF sensor. (Applies to conventional SLR PDAF systems; on-sensor PDAF may be different.)
Explanations here: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54211961
AF speed is a product of many different parameters, the most important of which are lens focal length, lens AF-drive optimizations and camera body AF system design details.

2 months ago
KoolKool

i need pancake version of this len, so i can pocketable it

2 months ago
Suave

Just do a little feet-zooming with the regular pancake.

2 months ago
Matthias R

... and be turned into pancake topping for the bear ;)

2 months ago
rhlpetrus

Awesome lens. Nikon, besides the Zs, have being doing wonderful things in dslrs, D5, D500, D850, not bad for a defunct company ;-) .

2 months ago
Frank_BR

It seems that people spend a lot more effort and money to photograph animals than to photograph people. Of course the lens manufacturers love to sell ultra expensive super telephoto lenses to these photographers.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

Well yeah, I am a nature photographer and rarely take pictures with humans in it. I have no need for ultra expensive portrait lenses.

2 months ago
Spectro

well type of photography is harder then the other. Plus you don't want to mess with wild nature, so you need telephoto lenses and a good back.

2 months ago
dgumshu
dgumshu

Different genre. As a Wildlife and Nature photographer, i'm right there with Nojo. I have many portrait lenses, but don't use them very often. I rarely photograph people, as I find it boring and don't like dealing with people anyway. Animals are better behaved and awe inspiring. Nature is more of a challenge anyway.

2 months ago
thx1138
thx1138

I'd give up photography if I had to shoot humans. Couldn't think of anything more boring or soul destroying that being a portrait, wedding or fashion photographer.

2 months ago
cybertec69

It's way more enjoyable photographing animals than people, I will leave it at that.

2 months ago
Suave

Animals don't think you are a pedophile when they see a 20 inch lens.

2 months ago
Marianne Oelund

Ever see the equipment that the military and intelligence agencies use to photograph people, especially in poor light? Anything Nikon makes is a bargain by comparison.

2 months ago
Wallybipster

OMG, I shot a wedding once.... never again. Shooting people and dealing with that whole s#$tshow is so soul crushing. Nothing but birds, wildlife, astro, and landscapes for me, I will never own an 85mm F1.x or equivalent lens.

2 months ago
Tony10

Each to their own, disagree though that 'people photography is easier', many people could take an editorial type shot but not many could get a good one, it's about creating something out of nothing or seeing what others don't see. I've shot wildlife and loved it but by it's nature your in generally photogenic locations and the subject matter is normally so good it's just a case of getting the composition right, that and having the right kit.

2 months ago
BirdShooter7

Definitely a neat lens that I would love to own. If only it had an EF mount! As expected the quality doesn't look quite up to the f/4 but not too far off. Looks like a great lens.

2 months ago
pentaust

Solution can be to get a Nikon body used., D7200 or D7500, even cheaper Nikon bodies would produce very good images if speed isn't needed.

2 months ago
Spectro

nikon z adapter work like native lenses. So the z6 or z7 should work too, maybe not d5 af, but good enough.

2 months ago
dgumshu
dgumshu

I'm buying a D850 just to use this lens :-)

2 months ago
mais51
mais51

After the D850 I need a couple of years saving for the 500 F5.6E

2 months ago
Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach

Nice article. Setting photographers free from the ten pound Wimberly is a good thing.

2 months ago
cybertec69

I want to see how it compares to the Nikon 200-500mm.

2 months ago
pentaust

That's a legitimate question. I bet the prime will fare better than the $1500 zoom.

2 months ago
Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach

The 300PF plus 1.4 is a bit sharper, so you'd have to bet on the bare prime :^)

2 months ago
Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris

It doesn't compare, really. The 500 PF is a compliment to the 500 f/4; it's the lens you pack when you need to travel fast & light but still want high performance in autofocus and image quality. The price is very attractive for professionals, who are used to spending 3-4x as much for a long prime. For enthusiasts, it's going to be a real struggle to justify the cost of the PF when compared to the 200-500.

Also, there are times - as surprising as this may sound - when the 200-400 range of the zoom is really valuable. I only occasionally need it when photographing birds and wildlife near home. But on a recent wildlife photo expedition to a national park, I needed that range on a daily basis. The animals are really that habituated to having humans in their presence.

2 months ago
pentaust

I agree, prime and zooms don't have the same function. Typically, super-tele zooms are preferred for safaris during the day: distance is short, variety of animal sizes and distances, zooming in and out is key for good framing of the subjects and sharpness wide open at f/5.6 or f/6.3 is not a problem because the light is good enough to stop down to f/8. Primes are best when distances are under control (shooting from a blind a certain specie defines the require FL) and the is often less light in this condition, need to shot wide open at f5.6. For shooting from a blind or at dust , 300 f/2.8 and 600 f4 are preferred.

2 months ago
pentaust

To be short, tele-zoom = safari lens. Prime lens = for the rest (birding etc).

2 months ago
pentaust

If you are a pro and you go photographing wildlife at the Galapagos , you take a zoom. Being pro doesn't mean you use primes only. And if you are an amateur of birding who put all his money into one lens and a camera, you have the Canon or Nikon 600 f4, has nothing to do with being pro or non-pro. Depends how much cost you can afford and what you want to photograph and where.

2 months ago
thx1138
thx1138

It'll be much better and we can already see it's 500 f/4 IQ, it's also built to the same standards as the expensive superteles, it is not a budget superzoom to compete against Tamron and Sigma. This was about the only interesting news we've had recently, the mirrorless announcements left me cold.

Whilst I'd much preferred a 600 f/5.6 PF since I already have the 200-500, pretty sure I'll be getting this by Xmas for my D500.

2 months ago
Dr Mabuse
Dr Mabuse

"A is the Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF and B is the Nikon 500m F4E."???
These pictures are recorded in a time span of some few seconds. How did he manage to change the lens so quickly ? On the background sharpness you can see that the aperture is wider in B than in A but I think it's just done with the same lens.

2 months ago
arbux

2 cameras, sherlock.

2 months ago
Geyzer J. Salgado

lmao at Dr. Sherlock

2 months ago
Photography Matters

Tough crowd.

Some amateurs/enthusiasts on budgets--i.e., 99% of us--can't image having two $3k-plus bodies along with 2 lenses valued at a combined $15k.

Of course for some, the bodies might be two $6500 D5s.

So, it's not a cheap hobby.

2 months ago*
blackcoffee17
blackcoffee17

Even in that second picture he is holding two bodies in his hands with the 2 different lenses.

2 months ago
Photography Matters

Sigh,

I remember the days when I thought that spending $1000 was extravagant.

Now we call the $1400 200-500mm a "budget" lens.

2 months ago
thx1138
thx1138

Priorities. People can spends thousands of dollars on booze, gambling and smokes and not even think about the cost, or women spending thousands on clothes they wear once. And of course some of us don't have the curse of money sapping kids and have paid off our mortgage. My vice is camera gear.

2 months ago
rhlpetrus

And I recall when a Summilux 50 cost 600USD ... Yes, a long time ago.

2 months ago
daniel wilianto

Well he was holding two cameras in the second picture.

2 months ago
Wallybipster

I remember when candy bars were a nickel...

2 months ago
Baron_Karza
Baron_Karza

You guys need to update all your links so it takes it to the correct Amazon links. It takes you to the 50 MM , not 500 MM.

2 months ago
Jeff Keller
Jeff Keller

There's some kind of problem on the retail end of things that requires further investigation. They should be working for now.

2 months ago*
James Stirling
James Stirling

Jeff ,I appreciate the link to a cheaper lens and my wife also hank you ;-]

2 months ago
arra

I'd buy a 200 2.8 instead then crop heavy. You will get m43 quality then, but people say that m43 has almost same image quality in good light as FF cameras, so who cares about 500/5.6?

2 months ago
(unknown member)

You don’t get the same quality. People say lots of things on the Internet that are wrong.

2 months ago*
lawny13

People often forget to apply the crop factor to the aperture as well, which is why the image quality comment is misguided. All things corrected and you would be correct. But that aperture correction is often missed.

2 months ago
ozturert

With similar viewing angles (say 300mm m43 vs 600mm FF), similar exposure and ISO values, FF will be better. But then m43 is quite good, mostly lighter and cheaper. You can carry m43 system longer distances, so m43 will mostly be with you. That is a great advantage. If you use above ISO3200 frequently, then m43 may not be the best choice.
This PF lens is light, as with 300mm f4 PF. These PF lenses are excellent choices for people who have FF cameras and want to travel light. Nikon engineers are showing their talent :)

2 months ago
Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic

@lawny13; Please stop about aperture "crop". Please. Knock it off. If you ever mention it again, I will come to chase you and the FF freaks forever, for never calculating "aperture crop" of your tiny FF sensors in relation to the golden standard of the 6x7 optics.

2 months ago
stevevelvia50

The oly 300 f4 is a bit lighter, but much smaller, and will be sharper wide open hands down! A lens with the sharpness of the Olympus 300f4 will make all the difference in the world, if you are comparing it to another 20-24 mp camera at 100-400 iso range.

2 months ago*
rhlpetrus

Oh no, no m43 fanatics please. This is about serious photography ... ;-)

2 months ago
Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic

@stevevelvia50; I agree with you. I too would choose Olympus 300/4 and the m4/3 kit. I like what Nikon did, though, but I gave up on the FF, regardless of type or flavour or tech. It's not worth it.

2 months ago
Nixyz
Nixyz

I'd put this on a pentax q and photograph aliens instead.

2 months ago
lawny13

@Zvonimir Tosic

Afraid of a little math?

I don't discriminate when it comes to cameras, if I could I would like to have it all. Oly, Fuji, Canon, Nikon, sony etc etc. But alas I can only afford 1-2 systems. Since I have a technical background I simply like the tech and science behind it all. But having designed optical inspection setups in the high tech industry I can't help but always do a comparison when it comes to considering gear.

4/3 crop factor is 2x compared to FF. So the oly 300 f4 is actually a 600 f8, So compared to the 500 f5.6, You gain 100 mm, but you are 1 stop slower. So... I don't know what else to day. End of the day you need to design on the rest. The camera, cost, weight, AF performance etc etc. Generally though f8 is quite narrow when it comes to AF performance, so when there isn't much light it might be an issue. Other than that, if it works for you great!!

2 months ago
Nixyz
Nixyz

@lawny13

"4/3 crop factor is 2x compared to FF. So the oly 300 f4 is actually a 600 f8"

F4 is still F4 in terms of light gathering.

2 months ago
lawny13

@Nixyz

Now that isn't exactly true now is it? All things the same except for sensor size the amount of light per mm^2 doesn't change, in that you are completely correct. HOWEVER, smaller sensors do tend to have smaller pixels. As an example... the Oly pen has a pixel area of 11 um^2 vs that on the A7III which is 35 um^2.

Assuming that on sensor AF pixels are the same as the imaging pixels that means the A7III has 3x more area and thus better at light gathering. A shallower DOF would also give the camera a bigger phase difference to work with when calculating focus (this might be negligable f5.6 vs f8). It is also an indicator of the IQ, especially at higher ISO.

Anyway... Regardless of the math and physics, end of the day it is up to the photographer to make the best image they can with the gear they have.

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/2666934640/what-is-equivalence-and-why-should-i-care/2

2 months ago
Dazaau

I think you are missing the pixel comparison in all this. While it is true the 300 f/4 is roughly equivalent to a 600 f/8 lens, this is only true if you can crop your FF camera 2x with the same resolution as the m43 image. This effectively means you would need an 80mp FF camera and 300f/4 lens to equal a 20mp m43 resolution with the 300mm f/4 lens. And that 80mp sensor doesn't exist.

2 months ago
ozturert

This "equivalence" discussion has no winner, so... Embrace the fact that all these systems have their uses.

2 months ago
zxaar

@Dazaau

FF does not have to match m43 for resolution. All it has to do is to have a resolution enough for the purpose. For example if I am posting on facebook or sharing on phone I guess 1mp FF image would be enough.

What you are doing is saying that since there are no 36mp m43 sensors the m43 format is useless. In this reverse example m43 does not need to match FF. (just to show the point).

2 months ago
lawny13

@Dazaau

How am I missing the pixel comparison? All I was saying that the 300 f4 would give you the same looking image on FF in terms of DOF as a 600f8. I mentioned that it doesn’t exactly matter if you get what you want, but that on the 4/3 you might have issues with AF. You inferred that I was saying it was due to the equivalance factor, which is not exactly what I meant. So I clarified.

The pixel sizes on a 20 MP sensor is 3x smaller in area that the on on a Ff 24 MP sensor. Assuming OSPDAF each focusing pixel has 3x more light to deal with for AF.

Then you turn it around to talk about equivalence with respect to resolution. Which is a totally different discussion. But a 24 MP sensor 4/3 or FF each paired with the same equivalent lens gives the same FOV, and the same resolution, but the FF camera would still give you cleaner images especially at higher ISO.

But the story is never as straight forward as that.

2 months ago
Dazaau

Lawny13, that's true. Yes, a 600mm f8 lens is equal to a 300 f/4 on m43, and would give a better image in good light and a similar one in poor light (from higher iso on the FF camera to get a similar shutter speed).

I was referring to arras post that you could just buy a 200mm 2.8 and crop. Not that simple and one you are being you are essentially comparing effective resolution combining glass and sensor.

2 months ago
daniel wilianto

Prefered 200 mm over 500 mm.
Got mauled by brown bear.

2 months ago
lawny13

@Dazaau

Sorry by bad. You are right on the money there. The argument of just cropping in would definitely result in a more degraded image. However, if he was shooting with one of the 40+ MP sensors then cropping would potentially be an option though I think getting a 2x or 1.4x teleconverter would make more sense, since it would allow one to keep the resolution. There is simply more detail if you don't crop.

2 months ago
Redzone

I did compare my D750&D7200 + Sigma 150-600S vs a friend Oly M1 + 300 F4. Well, in image sharpness, I couldn't tell who's ahead. But I had to open to F8. Oly has the advantage of very efficient stabilization, so no need to go on high ISO. This apply to still subject however. have a look (posted already here) : https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhGtzd6

2 months ago
lawny13

@Redzone

One can broadly apply the pixel area as an indicator for IQ. Large pixels = more light per pixel, better wells, less cross talk etc etc.

So a camera with pixels with 3x larger areas (all tech and settings equal) will produce roughly 3x better IQ. However, at low ISO this is not exactly very noticeable. Imaging technology has gotten a long long way after all. So I can say that I can get decent images from the A7III at ISO 10,000. So I would say probably up to ISO 3200 for the Oly then. IBIS will of course help (canon no IBIS on stills vs oly with IBIS on stills).

Sharpness will be determined by the defraction limits (also pixel size determined). That said... FF is considerably more expensive, and bigger and heavier. End of the day it is a matter of trade offs. After giving into the FF GAS.. I can say that I would have probably been happier if not happier with a FUJI. There is more to photography than specs. I enjoy shooting canon and fuji more than Sony. To each his own

2 months ago
Greyser

Amazing lens and technology! However, I would be more interested in lightweight and compact 600/5.6 PF which may be announced quite soon according to Nikon Rumors. Till then I'll continue shooting my 500/4 (mostly at f5, BTW)

2 months ago
Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic

PF .. is that "Purple Fringing" edition? 😃

2 months ago
dgumshu
dgumshu

The 600 F5.6 would definitely interest me too. I'd buy the D850 just for that lens.

2 months ago*
Thoughts R Us

This lens is a marvel, with its small size, long focal length, great performance, and relatively low price for what it offers.

Kudos to Nikon engineering. This is entirely unique to their system and for some, a reason to own the system.

2 months ago
Suave

It's not that dissimilar to Canon DO technology, but it's absolutely great that Nikon managed to bring the price down.

2 months ago
quatpat

... and the weight!

2 months ago
Suave

I believe Canon 400/4 DO is even lighter. PS. No, it's not.

2 months ago*
dgumshu
dgumshu

The Do weighs in at 4.63lbs. This lens is at 3.21... almost a pound and a half lighter.

2 months ago
miles green
miles green

Darn Nikon, this lens is a good excuse for me to switch systems!

2 months ago
Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic

O boy, I thought the same; this and the D500 .. it is beyond belief.

2 months ago
miles green
miles green

's inner voice of reason: Hmmm, maybe we could just add the D500 and 500/5.6 to our systems! ;)

The Nikon Z (and Canon R) on the other hand are good reasons NOT to switch to Canikon DSLR systems right now... Wait and see....

2 months ago*
thx1138
thx1138

D500 was enough to get me to try Nikon. Paired with this lens, will be a perfect travel combo. I could take the 200-500 and 500 PF for not much more weight than the 500 f/4.

2 months ago
Zvonimir Tosic
Zvonimir Tosic

I wonder what on earth Pentax designed then? A telescope?
Pentax DA560/5.6 is half a metre long, and weighs 3kg.
This Nikon 500/5.6 is half that size (23 cm) and half the weight (1.5 kg).
And I sincerely doubt that Pentax is twice as good performance wise ...

2 months ago
miles green
miles green

my thoughs exactly...

2 months ago
Giklab

I mean... it actually is similar to a telescope. Not a joke, look at the construction.

2 months ago
blackcoffee17
blackcoffee17

That Pentax is so expensive, considering it only has 6 elements compared to this Nikon's 19 elements, including PF which is not easy to manufacture.

2 months ago
Ian Stuart Forsyth
Ian Stuart Forsyth

And non of the features like VR, focus limiter & button customising

2 months ago
miles green
miles green

The Pentax 560mm f/5.6 is similar in design to the TeleVue telescopes, which are well known for their resolving power and contrast. It's still on my wish list...

2 months ago
(unknown member)

More bear 🐻 food. Only idiots gets that close to bears.

2 months ago
ovatab

without АК-47

2 months ago
Rajeshb

Have you studied the portfolio of any top wildlife photographer, ever?

2 months ago
(unknown member)

If you are talking to me, no. I don’t have to study such a thing to know that many fools have been mauled or killed by doing such stupid things.

2 months ago
arbux

@PhilDunn -what's wrong about that. If you're correct, thete is abundance of stupid people anyway.

2 months ago
Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach

Good old Phil, wrapping himself in the flag and gunning for glory!

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

So as a nature photographer how far do you get from bears? Also how about cougars, badgers, moose, wolves, caribou, alligators, chickadees...? Do you just shoot from the car window when an opportunity arises? Do you have a particular scale?

2 months ago
dgumshu
dgumshu

You"ll first have to pay the tour guide fee of 5-9K before getting the privilege of being bear food :-) Katmai next summer for me.

2 months ago*
Daviddmf

You're a class act Phil through & through.Ever been to Katmai? Stayed at the lodge accessed by float plane only?

2 months ago
(unknown member)

"Good old Phil, wrapping himself in the flag and gunning for glory!"

To you and the eight people who liked your comment, my flag avatar or any kind of glory have nothing to do with my comment.

2 months ago*
(unknown member)

"You're a class act Phil through & through.Ever been to Katmai? Stayed at the lodge accessed by float plane only?"

Why? Do I need to do such things to recognize human bear food when I see it?

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

Well since I doubt his picture was a selfie, I might guess that not only is he not alone but also might have a vehicle behind the photographer. It's wonderful to take for granted from one picture that he's in any real danger.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

I get the comparison with the two pictures at the same settings, the F4 lens is slightly sharper. But, really this is just to say at the best the F5.6 can do under the same circumstances and settings is to come close to the same picture. The reality is that with the F4 you wouldn't be using the same settings, you would likely reduce the ISO and take advantage of the extra F stop to take an even sharper picture.

The comparison really isn't all that meaningful as the F5.6 does not have the same versatility or even close to it. There would simply be no shame in saying that if you want a cheaper lens that performs adequately under most circumstances, the F 5.6 will probably be for you.

2 months ago
kristof93

1 stop of light really isn't that big of a deal..

2 months ago
JochenIs

Would the sharpness difference be indistinguishable on a 24MP body?

2 months ago
Photography Matters

Is the f4 really slightly sharper?

I didn't pixel-peep these shots, but it looks like the focus was slightly different between the two 100% crop shots. I'd like to see more comparisons, but I wouldn't be surprised if IQ between the lenses was indeed very close.

Sure, the f4 is more useful in difficult light conditions. But it is also much bigger, requires a tripod for most of us, and may be less flexible when you want/need to take a shot without a lot of notice/preparation. Plus, for hiking to get a shot, I'd rather carry the light-weight PF lens.

Thus, if my budget was unlimited, I'd get both lenses. However, if I could afford it and could get just one 500mm lens, I might opt for the PF version due to its advantages.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

If you could afford the F4 you could buy 3 F5.6's.

Of course the 5.6 is lighter and easier to carry around, that wasn't my point at all. The point is that the F4 is far more versatile as a lens so crippling it's capability to do a side by side comparison really isn't a fair way to judge. You could easily have dropped the F4 to ISO 100 while still increasing it's DOF to create a noticeably far sharper image of the same bear.

It's like comparing apples to grapefruit, if you can afford the $10,000 F4, you likely have the pocket change to also buy yourself the $3,500 F5.6 for those few times you don't mind the lower resolution.

2 months ago
kristof93

Where do you get this strange idea that a single stop will yield a drastically different image, or that it will be sharper?! Larger apertures usually decrease 'resolution'. It's complete nonsense.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

I think you mean to say a larger aperture usually decreases depth of field. Not resolution. A larger aperture increases sharpness though. My comment about depth of field was meant to convey the ability for the F4 to go either way smaller aperture for DOF or larger aperture for sharpness. Should have been clearer about versatility.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

An F4 to F5.6 yes even a single stop does make a difference.

2 months ago*
kristof93

It's most definitely a single stop. And shooting wide open, with large apertures always decreases sharpness (and dof). The only exception is when the lens is already at the diffraction limit wide open. (not the case for these two)

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

kristof93
Gee I wonder why they even make F1.8, F2.8, or F4 lenses at all. According to you shooting wide open is not better at all. Well unless you are shooting wide open with an F5.6 apparently.

2 months ago
kristof93

Sometimes you want less dof, or need more light. For portraits or night photography. Then you choose a faster lens. But this is at 500mm, you rarely want less dof. The extra light from the f4 is great, but it's just one stop, it's not going make an impossible photo possible, it will be barely noticeable in most cases. Not worth that much money, weight and inconvenience.

2 months ago
rhlpetrus

I think they are about same re resolution. And also re bokeh. Kudos to Nikon! Not worried about canibalizing own gear.

2 months ago
Dazaau

I don't know where on earth you got the idea that opening up the aperture increases sharpness nojo, but that is entirely inaccurate.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

DAzaau, as I explained in the later post you don't. This is the problem with not being able to edit your post after a few minutes and you realize it's going to be mistaken.

"I think you mean to say a larger aperture usually decreases depth of field. Not resolution. A larger aperture increases sharpness though. My comment about depth of field was meant to convey the ability for the F4 to go either way smaller aperture for DOF or larger aperture for sharpness. Should have been clearer about versatility."

2 months ago*
Nojo
Nojo

rhlpetrus they are the same resolution using the same cameras. Resolution and sharpness are not the same thing.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

Put another way, if all you had was the F4 lens, are you really telling me these are the settings you would use to take your best picture? I think not.

2 months ago
kristof93

Not even your comment editing and pedantry can save this train wreck of misconceptions...

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

So you've resorted to insults. Just marvelous. Kind of knew that was coming.

2 months ago*
Photography Matters

I'm confused about what you two disagree. (At least) three things change with aperture: light gathering ability, DOF, and sharpness. A larger aperture gathers more light. One stop may matter if one employs a TC. The f4 with a 1.4x is focusing at f5.6 instead of f8 and with a 2x its focusing at f8 instead of f11. That can be important.

Lenses generally don't lose sharpness stopped down. So, a benefit of a fast lens is that they should be at least as sharp stopped down--to, say, f5.6 as they are at f4. The implication is that if an f4 lens when stopped down to f5.6 is no sharper than the f5.6 lens at f5.6, then the f4 lens wide open is almost certainly no sharper than the f5.6 lens.

Thus, if the above is true, you do not purchase the f4 hoping to get a sharpness advantage. Instead, you get it for the extra stop of light gather ability, bokeh if it's better, AF speed and accuracy if that's better, and for its superior ability to utilize TCs.

2 months ago*
Nojo
Nojo

BTW I have freely admitted that my wording has not been ideal when it comes to DOF. What I had meant to say is that by being able to shoot at an ISO of 100 will produce a sharper image than shooting at a higher ISO. At F5.6 an image will have less DOF than it will at F8.

I have no problem admitting that I used open and closing aperture incorrectly. Not because I don't understand the concept, but rather I should have used actual F-stop examples as I am more comfortable with that terminology.

I do notice you are avoiding my last question on whether you would use those particular settings on an F4 lens to create that picture.

2 months ago*
Nojo
Nojo

Photography Matters correct me if I am wrong, but with the extra light gathering of an F4 does that also not mean that I can increase sharpness by lowering my ISO more than I could with an F5.6?

2 months ago*
Photography Matters

I'm not an expert here, but, no, you're not gaining in sharpness with the larger aperture (okay, someone who is an expert can explain better or correct me). Rather, you are getting less noise by shooting with a larger aperture at a lower ISO.

Now, all else equal, lower ISO provides huge benefits. Thus, although you don't have better sharpness, you do get lower noise, better dynamic range, better color fidelity, and a generally nicer image. So, yes you get a better picture from shooting with a lower ISO, but I don't think sharpness improvement is one of the benefits.

2 months ago*
Dazaau

Nojo I agree that an f/4 lens is "better" than f/5.6 all other things being optically the same. Obviously, however the f/5.6 lens is more portable.

You are also correct in saying that having a wider aperture enables you to lower your iso and get a cleaner image. HOWEVER shooting the f/4 lens at f5.6 will be sharper than sitting or at f/4 - all else being equal. This is because lenses tend to be sharper stopped down a little, up until diffraction kicks in and it gets worse again (say f/16).

It's also true that a smaller aperture will have more things in focus (dof) but, my original point, is that the things IN focus will also be sharper than at wider apertures. The effect is less pronounced with the very expensive lenses that have many elements are that are highly corrected, but still holds.

Hopefully you can agree with all of that.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

Oh I agree with you, my original point before this whole thread got sidetracked into the, one F-stop meaning nothing bit, was that the comparison between the two really isn't a testament to how good the F5.6 was compared to the F4, but rather that the F4 could have taken a much better picture under the same circumstances by using more available settings.

There's no doubt the F5.6 is a an adequate lens, and is lighter than the F4, but the idea that there can hardly be any difference because it's just 1 F-stop is bothersome.

2 months ago
kristof93

Come on now, you said larger apertures make sharper images (still not true), then that f4-5.6 is more than a stop of difference (which you edited out when you realised it actually is), and you still keep saying that image would be significantly better or different at f4, which is also nonsense. You can find plenty of comparisons, with images taken at different apertures and one stop is not a big deal. Sure I'd rather have f4, but not with that weight or cost.

2 months ago
Nojo
Nojo

" and you still keep saying that image would be significantly better or different at f4, which is also nonsense."

I have not said it would be better shot at F4, i have said with the F4 lens that you would not choose the same settings as the F5.6 in this comparison. My post was all about the fairness of the comparison, something you think otherwise.

As for the post I edited, I assume you get email notifications when someone replies, yes I changed it within seconds and well before you even replied. I am not denying any of my statements or errors, you on the other hand are trying to use them as proof my initial post is somehow incorrect, it is not.

Let me make this perfectly clear, when I make errors I either correct them or I own up to them as I have done a few times in this thread. I have done so in an earlier reply. It seems that this is what you are all on about, including your insult earlier, rather than serious discussion.

2 months ago
Paul KW

Sigh...really folks? You really think you're going to get a new 500mm lens for $600?
Anyway, I'm glad to hear that the 500 f/5.6 is so good. Should carry over the 600mm f/5.6 which is the one I'm really waiting for.

2 months ago
pro photo 2011

DPR, please correct the error on this page ASAP. Lots of folks are looking to buy this Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR lens for $596.95 on Amazon.

2 months ago
Mariano Pacifico

No! PLEASE DO NOT ! Published price is the price you pay. Else, it is false advertisement.

2 months ago
Impulses

It's clearly an error and a different Z mount 50mm is clearly listed next to the price...

2 months ago
User9362470513

Message to Canon: this is revolutionary.

2 months ago
The Silver Nemesis
The Silver Nemesis

? - whaaat? This is a good compromise lens, nothing more, nothing less (my opinion). And: I was not impressed with DO, and I am equally not impressed by this one.

P. S.: heard that Canon will bring a new iteration of DO, but honestly I don’t care too much.

2 months ago
blackcoffee17
blackcoffee17

I don't know which DO lens you checked but the 400 DO II is just amazingly sharp and contrasty, the same IQ as the 400 2.8.

2 months ago
Suave

Canon be like: "We also thought so. In 2001."

2 months ago
BirdShooter7

@blackcoffee17 I tried out both the Canon DO mk2 and 2.8 mk2 and though the DO II is a big improvement over the original I definitely wouldn't say that it was equal to the 2.8 based on my experience. The DO II is, however a VERY nice lens.

2 months ago
The Silver Nemesis
The Silver Nemesis

Try the 70-300: @300 mm is almost unusable if you compare it with a modern conventional lens. Maybe this 400 is the exception (= to be fair, is not a zoom either), but I don’t know / cannot elaborate. When I will use one, I will get back with another opinion. But - again: the first impression was “meh”...

2 months ago
blackcoffee17
blackcoffee17

The 70-300 wasn't a good lens. It was the first generation DO lens and a 15 years old consumer zoom. The 400 II is in a different league.

2 months ago
BirdShooter7

@the silver nemesis Yes the 70-300 DO is pretty bad no doubt and the original 400 DO wasn't all that impressive either. The 400mm mk2 is a huge improvement over the previous DO lenses.

2 months ago
The Silver Nemesis
The Silver Nemesis

OK - will try it.

2 months ago
BlueJakester
BlueJakester

Wow, only $600. Nikon is going to sell a lot of these, IMO.

2 months ago
kpaddler

Ummm, where did you read $600

2 months ago
Saaaaaaad

@kpaddler: That's an mistake as a result of DPreview listing the 500mm lens price from amazon (bottom of the article), but then actually linking it to the 50mm Z lens, which amazon lists at $596

2 months ago*
kpaddler

It is listed cdn ~$4700, so below 4k USD I guess

https://www.vistek.ca/store/426798/nikon-afs-nikkor-500mm-f56-e-pf-ed-vr-lens

Still cheaper than regular design 500mm

2 months ago*
BlueJakester
BlueJakester

OOPS :-) I was reading that pre-order link just below the review - $596. I thought that was too good to be true, and it was! Cheeers

2 months ago
Mariano Pacifico

Woooo Hooooo I so pre-ordered !!! Moment ago ....

2 months ago
rhlpetrus

3,600 USD

2 months ago
PLShutterbug

I noticed the other day, and just now too, that your price for this lens (just above the comments) actually shows the 50mm F1.8 lens and price. Might want to fix that, unless you are subsidizing the 500 at the 50 price.

2 months ago
Zerblatt
Zerblatt

I could endure a deal like that

2 months ago*
Paul B Jones
Paul B Jones

Canon's low end telephoto primes (300mm f/4, 400mm f/5.6) are getting a bit stale. A refresh would be nice, as would a 500mm f/5.6 similar to this new Nikon lens, and 200-600mm super zoom.

No complaints with the big big whites though!

2 months ago
weixing

I don't think Canon will come out a 500mm F5.6 as it already have the 400mm F4.0 DO II... with a 1.4TC, it'll be 560mm F5.6. Anyway, many were hoping for the 600mm F4 DO which shown as a prototype sometime ago, but since Canon just come out the 600mm F4L III, the wait continue...

2 months ago
erbtype

Isn't the 600 III the DO then? It shaves a couple of pounds off the 600 II.

Personally I'd have been happier if they'd stuck a 1.4x in there as well - it would still be marginally lighter than the II. I might have traded my II if they had.

It's an interesting move by Nikon, I could certainly make use of a smaller, lighter 500.

2 months ago*
blackcoffee17
blackcoffee17

The 400 DO is an amazing lens even with the 2X TC but unfortunately it's in a different price league and also much heavier.

2 months ago
weixing

If you look around, you'll notice that when lens largest effective diameter is larger than 100mm, the lens price jump quite significantly. Large diameter good optical lens are not cheap.

2 months ago
KWNJr

How long did it take for the photographer dry out?

2 months ago
morinor

And which is the opinion of bears about the new lens? From the picture where the photographer is holding the two cameras they seem indifferent. They should be fanbears of another camera manufacturer.

2 months ago
Impulses

The bear did turn his ears in between shots.

2 months ago
Nick Brundle - Photography
2 months ago
LincolnB

Loose????

"When loosing a stop of light, I expected to loose focus speed as well"

One does not "loose" focus speed.

2 months ago
pdxtrojan

Their just having a bad grammatical day.

;)

2 months ago
Eric Hensel
Eric Hensel

Imma loose my mind, and brake something.

2 months ago
DCRob
DCRob

The failure of a photographer to know how to spell "lose" is understandable, if disappointing, but the absence of an editor who managed to pass high school English is downright alarming. We're doomed.

2 months ago
LincolnB

DPR fixed it. Thank you.

2 months ago
xPhoenix
xPhoenix

I really want to see how the VR works at speeds around 1/100. This was a big problem on multiple 300PFs that I tried. Sharp shots were nearly impossible with VR on at speeds around 1/80 to 1/160.

Also, while the sample shots above are nice, I am pretty confident my 200-500 could match them in IQ.

2 months ago*
Impulses

Could be a shutter interaction at those speeds...

2 months ago
xPhoenix
xPhoenix

Could be. The problem seemed worse on the D7200, but not so bad on the D850. Hopefully, the 500PF doesn't have the issue.

2 months ago
Trubbtele
Trubbtele

I have been waiting for a long time for this lens!

2 months ago
Wu Jiaqiu
Wu Jiaqiu

looks great

2 months ago
jackspra
jackspra

Interesting article,great shots.Thanks.

2 months ago
steelhead3

That 70% hit rate for fast flying puffins is pretty good but not class leading, of course a lot depends on the photographer. Hope Nikon is able to manufacturer the lens in quantity to keep up with demand. They seemed to have cut a lot of meat in their downsizing.

2 months ago
tonywong

If you need a higher hit rate, get the brighter lens. Choice is great.

2 months ago
CaPi

Choice is great - just try it with a D5 or D500

2 months ago
an_also
an_also

I love my canon 5D4 + 100-400 ii combo, but this lens has definitely made me ponder thoughts of switching. I'll wait and see how the lens is reviewed by more wildlife photographers to see what I want to do.

The only one hangup with this lens is the minimum focus distance compared to the 100-400ii.

2 months ago*
Steve Balcombe

I've no intention of switching, but it would be good to see something similar from Canon.

2 months ago
an_also
an_also

Yes that would be the ideal situation. I would be happy even if Canon dropped the long rumoured 200-600 with a L ring. Just looking for more reach without a TC or a crop body.

2 months ago
dgumshu
dgumshu

I use the 400 DO ll with 1.4 @ 560 F5.6 and I'm pretty satisfied with it. However, this is a great lens when paired with the D850 and thinking of adding this combo for the cropping capability. Perhaps for Christmas.

2 months ago
Chuckmet

You would seriously consider switching over one lens? The 100-400 is a much more versatile lens and the difference between 400 and 500mm really isn't much.

2 months ago
blackcoffee17
blackcoffee17

That 100mm extra means 20% more pixels on the subject. The 100-400 is a brilliant lens, i have it.
But it's a bit funny that Canon was the first by many years with the DO technology and Nikon is the one with already 2 very good and affordable lenses on the market and more are coming.

And Canon is stuck at one single lens and it's hardly affordable.

2 months ago
CaPi

You would switch for one lense?

2 months ago
NancyP

I bought into Canon for two unusual lenses: the 400mm f/5.6L no-stabilization (affordable lens for birding beginner, still terrific for hand-held birds-in-flight) and the MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1X to 5X macro, for in-field high macro (you really don't want to fool with bellows in the field).

2 months ago
thx1138
thx1138

Don't try a Sony A9 + 100-400 GM if you think your 5D4 + 100-400II is good, your wallet will be hurting very quickly.

I switched for D500 + 200-500, better combo than the 5D4 + 100-400II for birding and wildlife. Still have my 5D4 and 100-400II, but rarely use it now the Sony and Nikon are so good. Will most likely sell the 100-400II since the EOS R is a let down and get the 500 PF.

2 months ago
pentaust

Attractive lens? Yes and no. Lots of wildlife get active at dusk, not much uncovered in full daylight, shutter speed has to be fast enough: the lens is small and light weight but f5.6 position it for the enthusiasts mostly.

Hide photography with semi-reflective window: 300 f2.8, with/wo 1.4 x TC
For birding: 500 f4 => possibility to get to 750mm f5.6 with a TC or 600 f4.

This 500 f5.6 will hopefully be sharper than the 200-500, but I'm afraid the price will miss a lot of sales, not priced low enough for the occasional wildlife photographer.

Maybe, the guy who gets interested in wildlife photography but has not experience of it, and has money, may get that lens instead of the 200-500. But once he'll gain experience, he'll sell the 500 f5.6 and buy a 500 f4 or 300 f2.8

2 months ago*
dgumshu
dgumshu

I understand what you're saying, as I shoot my 500 F4 ll with a TC attached all the time. However, this Nikon 500 F5.6, when paired with the D850 provides cropping capability which comes close in a much smaller package. I'm seriously thinking of adding this combo just for the portability aspect.

2 months ago
pentaust

With a crop camera, yes, a sharp prime without TC, makes sense. That also means lower image quality (for wildlife , the concern is mostly the increased overall noise level in the images). Sure, this lens is ultra portable, very convenient for going to places far away from the car / transport station.

2 months ago
dgumshu
dgumshu

I no longer shoot with a crop, but the D500 should pair very well with this lens along with the D850 (used in this article) and D5. I do prefer FF, but not willing to discount the popular D500.

F4 is certainly preferable, but this 5.6 is very doable. The Canon 400 F5.6 was a very popular lens at 5.6 and very sharp and this is a bit longer. I use my 400 DO ll with tc @560 mm most of the time and this is in that ballpark. Same with my 500 ll @ 5.6 with 1.4. I’m at 5.6 most of the time with F4 lenses anyway. This lens is just 60mm shorter than my DO with 1.4, lighter and less expensive. Consequently, this lens will undoubtedly be a big hit. So much so that I’ll be adding one and D850 to my Canon collection.

2 months ago
pentaust

Well , I agree on portability being a significant advantage in certain situations, and the Canon 400 f5.6 is light weight, small , sharp and relatively inexpensive. But 500mm f5.6 is even better than the Canon 400 f5.6, as 400mm is often the minimum for birding for instance. The light weight 500 f5.6 PF is better.

2 months ago
dgumshu
dgumshu

Well, that was my point... better and longer. And 5.6 isn’t ideal, but very doable and not necessarily for enthusiasts as most people are at 5.6 with TC anyway. On the D850 the crop factor is the advantage.

2 months ago
NickBPhotoUK

Wonderful! Though I think the 200-500mm would suit me fine If I were in the market. Talking of which, both are F/5.6 fixed. I'm guessing this is better optics and smaller?

2 months ago
Riccardo Polini

Inconsistent review. He said "Here is a sample comparison between the two, labeled as A and B. Both images were handheld, un-edited and un-sharpened and taken at F/5.6. See if you can tell which image was shot with which lens. And the answer is… A is the Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF and B is the Nikon 500m F4E."
Crop B is definitely sharper, but - surprisingly - the photographers concludes: "... the image quality doesn’t seem to have been compromised at the expense of lightness."
Bah ...

2 months ago
blackcoffee17
blackcoffee17

For me both look virtually identical, maybe the A a hair sharper but i am not even sure. And that's at 100% pixel-peep mode.
I think such a small difference in sharpness means the image quality was not compromised.

2 months ago
Snapper2013

I agree with blackcoffee17 A is sharper by a "hair".

2 months ago
Riccardo Polini

Look at the ears. Probably the focus is not on the same point, and this does not allow to make fair comparisons. Or DoF is different (smaller circle of confusion in B). BTW, B is better and this is normal for a f/4 top lens used at f/5.6.

2 months ago*
SafariBob
SafariBob

pretty big difference in sharpness imho. owner how the 200-500 would compare.

2 months ago
Ilia Snopchenko
Ilia Snopchenko

Talk about "splitting (bear) hairs".

2 months ago
webber15

To those who say A is sharper...nope.

B is sharper...

2 months ago
blackcoffee17
blackcoffee17

Well, considering that opinions are 50-50 that means the lenses are pretty much equal.

2 months ago
Impulses

Look at the ears? To me it looks like the bear moved his ears in between shots... So kinda hard to compare that.

2 months ago
Otaraka

Given the uncontrolled conditions, Id say the differences are meaningless in practical terms.

2 months ago
Necip
Necip

Looking forward to trying this lens, but I'm not sure if it would be a bit of a luxury as a comparison the 200-500 f5.6 zoom is absolutely amazing bargain light enough and superb sharpness. The build quality is a bit cheaply made but you can't go wrong at the price.

2 months ago
PLShutterbug

I don’t have the huge, pricier lenses to compare with but I’m really impressed with my 200-500. Even at the low price I consider it an extremely sharp lens.

2 months ago
Total: 64, showing: 1 – 50
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