D500 & Tamron 150-600mm?

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
Morris0 Senior Member • Posts: 6,153
Re: D500 & Tamron 150-600mm?

TN Args wrote:

Morris0 wrote:

TN Args wrote:

NikonNature wrote:

detritus wrote:

I used the G1 Tamron on the D7100 and D300 before upgrading to D500.

There was a notable improvement in AF tracking with the D500. Given the two DX bodies I was using have a different AF module to the D610, it's not quite an apples to apples comparison, but if anything the difference for you should be more noticeable in my opinion. The customisability, controls and AF modes/options also help you wring the most out of the AF.

There will be compromises in IQ uncropped, but you'll get more frames and more in focus (and more pixels on the bird).

I still reached a point where I stopped using the G1 so much because the 300f4 suited my style better. The upcoming 500 f5.6pf is probably going to solve my upgrade woes.

Your Flickr feed looks great. I have no doubt you'll make great images with any combination. Good luck!

I have an album of images with the D500+G1, including several flight shots:


Over the years I think I got better with it. Especially once I started backing off and shooting flight shots at 400-500mm. Helped me with my own limitations and improved tracking a little.

Thank you, Mike! I just checked out your album and you've got some wonderful images. That makes me feel optimistic. The simple truth is that the D500 was built for our kind of shooting. Perhaps someday I could also upgrade the lens...

I'm following this thread with interest in similar gear.

I'm definitely interested in getting more clarity regarding active AF points.

Although this chart, link, only looks at Nikon lenses, it gives a very clear impression that with a f/5.6 lens you get 153 active AF points, and with any slower lens or lens/TC combination, you get 15 active AF points, forming a small 'cross' shape in the centre.

That's a pretty huge difference.

And, with a 150-600 lens at 600mm, the maximum aperture is f/6.3.

Has anyone personally tested what happens with one of these lenses at 600mm? Does the viewfinder show which AF points are active, or restrict the ability to move the AF point around the screen? Alternatively, is it possible to set tracking AF to the centre point, and then 'walk' it around the viewfinder, and see how many AF points can actively track?

I am very interested in a final definitive demonstration of how this affects the Sigma/Tamron f/6.3 lenses on the D500.


It doesn't seem to work the way those charts show. I can always select any of the 55 AF points shown in the first chart when in Dynamic 153 when using any lens I have including the Sigma 150-600 Sport.

Well firstly, that's good news about your 150-600. That answers my biggest concern about going over f/5.6.

Can you double check for me that it also allows all 55 AF points while the lens is set to 600mm please? After all, at the short and middle focal lengths, the lens is f/5.6 or faster.

The diagrams on that page don't even count out correctly for the number of cross type sensors.

I think it does. Although I am a beginner to the D500, learning on the run!

Look at the 80-400 chart for example.

...which is also the 200-500/5.6E chart...

There are 15 green dots. What do they represent?

There are 15 green squares. They represent user-selectable (square), cross-sensor (green) AF points with the 80-400 lens.

There are a further 30 dots in the green area. They represent non-user-selectable, cross-sensor AF points.

Add 15+30 and we get 45 cross sensor AF points, as per below. (which, by the way, is less than half of the 99 cross sensors in the D500. I don't expect the 150-600 lenses to be any better than the 200-500/5.6 Nikon, so at best 45 cross sensor points for your lens.

The chart states

  • Alone: 153 (55 selectable); 45 cross sensors


Yes it makes sense to me. 153 squares-plus-dots (of which 55 are squares = selectable); 45 green cross-sensors (of which 15 are squares = selectable).

If you look at this chart:


The cross sensors that seem to work best with the D500 + 150-600 Sport are roes 3, 7, 9, 11, 15. At least that's my observation.

Thanks. Although, the chart I linked says for the 200-500, columns 3 and 15 are down-graded to line (not cross) sensors with that lens. Only rows 7 to 11 (the green columns) are activated as cross sensors with the 200-500 lens. I expect this to apply to your 150-600 too. At best.

thanks for your assistance.

I can select any of the 55 points.  There is no way that I'm aware of to tell what type of point the camera thinks it is.  The rows I pointed out seem to work best so I have assumed they are cross points.

What matters to me is AF is extremely fast and accurate and tracking is superb.

This can be discussed forever.  I suggest you visit a store and try it and see what happens with each lens.  I also suggest you try the lenses in low light as there is a huge difference in there performance in low light.


 Morris0's gear list:Morris0's gear list
Fujifilm X-T3 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF Tamron SP AF 11-18mm F/4.5-5.6 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR +11 more
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