Nikon 500mm pf vr

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Moonwalker Senior Member • Posts: 2,113
Re: Available light

OleThorsen wrote:

larrywilson wrote:

Moonwalker wrote:

xPhoenix wrote:

Moonwalker wrote:

briantilley wrote:

jerste wrote:

I tested Nikon 500mm pf and with tc 1.4 iii attached i cannot achieve sharp pictures at 1/100 handheld.

I have no problem with 200-500 with tc 1.4 to get sharp photos. Even 1/250 looks better with 200-500mm. I know my tests are rather extreme but i would expect vr in new 500mm pf to be at least as efficient as in 200-500mm.

Can some owners compare vr in 200-500mm and new 500mm pf? I recall 300mm pf had some problems with vr in first batches.

This gentleman seems to be getting decent results at these "problem" shutter speeds (apologies if the link has already been posted):

I have used the lens on my D850 for a few hours yesterday (with no TC) and so far I have not had any problems at 1/100 s. The lens is very sharp, slightly sharper than the 200-500 at long distances and with slightly less vignetting, but very close to the 200-500 (meaning it‘s excellent). I have tried many different shutter speeds. There are a few blurry shots at 1/40 s, but that‘s to be expected. The lens is incredibly light, much lighter than the 200-500mm but then of course less versatile if you need the 200-500mm range. Bought the lens for handheld aircraft photography where weight is critical. The 200-500mm is still an absolute bargain, an excellent lens. The better choice for most people. The 500mm f/5.6 is good if every gram counts (travelling, handheld aircraft photography).


You shooting in continuous high mode or one shot at a time?

The Nikon D850 with a 500mm lens attached and shot at 8 frames per second will apply a periodic force on the system. The natural frequencies of the system (camera & lens) will probably be in the region between a few Hertz and maybe 125 Hertz (one Hertz being one oscillation per second). So I would think that some sort of resonance effect is inevitable.

I just don‘t see a reason to use the lens at 1/100s AND 8 frames per second. You either have a static subject and don‘t need 8 frames per second at 1/100s or you have a moving object and then applying 1/100s and 8 frames per second will deliver 8 blurry pictures per second because the subject is moving too fast at 1/100s.

Best wishes,


Yes even for small birds that flitter onto a limb I shoot at 1/500 at the 500mm focal length or 700mm focal length with my Nikon 500e lens. I aim carefully and shoot one shoot at a time for this type photography. For moving birds such as in flight I go with a shutter speed of at least 1/1,500 using continuous focusing. I have never found a need for bird photography to use 1/100 even on a tripod which I use mostly with my 500mm lens.

Nikon has produced excellent equipment, but its still the operator that produces good images based on photography 101 understanding the limits of the equipment.


I don't know where you live in Oregon, but i.e. Portland is placed at a latitude of 45°31N with 2340 average yearly sunshine hours. For a European comparison Venice Italy is placed at a latitude of 45°26N with 2037 average yearly sunshine hours.

Where I live in the south of Denmark at a latitude of 54°39N we have 1546 average yearly sunshine hours. A comparison in North America could be Prince Rupert in British Columbia Canada at a latitude of 54°18N with 1242 average sunshine hours.

This just to explain we could have different requirements for available shutter speeds caused by geographic location. When I photograph small birds not in direct shadow on a cloudy day (not dark grey) or late in the afternoon in the golden hour I often have an exposure of f5.6 1/160s ISO1600. If I should up my shutter speed to 1/500s like you, it would mean ISO5000 with my D500, which often would kill fine feather details and require tedious selective NR and sharpening for every picture.

1/160s is OK for tack sharp pictures of perching small birds hopping around between branches. As you know they never sit still for more than a second, but with a small burst of 2-4 pictures, I will almost always get a sharp picture at the right moment, when the bird does something interesting i.e. looks at me or takes an insect or a seed.

I'm really interested in the 500/5.6 PF lens as a companion to my 300/4 PF lens as a light weight alternative to my 500/4G VR, so I hope the VR can help getting tack sharp pictures with shutter speeds at 1/160 or 1/200s.

Ole Thorsen
Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
(Grook by Piet Hein)

I‘ve managed to get sharp images at 1/30s with the 500mm f/5.6E. But at 1/30s it‘s a hit and miss.

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