200-500 or 500PF

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
MrWinnieThePooh Regular Member • Posts: 159
Re: 200-500 or 500PF

After a 12 week wait I at last received my 500mm f/5.6 PF (having traded-in my 200-500mm zoom) and I have now had a few weeks experience with it.

Of course, there is no clear 'winner' between the 200-500mm f/5.6 and 500mm f/5.6 - it primarily comes down to the 'usability' of the lenses and they are both good options, dependent on usage scenarios.

From my own experience, I am extremely satisfied with the 500mm f/5.6 PF. Not only is it optically excellent, but it is also a huge win in terms of its portability (i.e. how easy it is to carry around) and its operational manageability (i.e. how easy it is to shoot with it). For me these factors are game-changers as far as use of a 500mm lens is concerned. However there have also been a few occasions when 500mm has been just too long for a shot and I have wished that I could zoom out a bit. I also carry around my 300mm f/4PF and 70-200mm f/4, and 1.4x teleconverter, so that I can switch lenses in such situations - but this is not always practical and can result in missed shots.

So clearly the 200-500mm is still an excellent choice for situations where zooming is required (and there is obviously a significant price differential).

On the issue of optical quality at 500mm I have not done any controlled comparison (because I no longer have the 200-500mm) but the results I obtain from the 500mm PF on my D850 are excellent and my impression is that it is, indeed, at a higher performance level than the zoom.

On balance, I am very happy that I have switched from the 200-500mm f/5.6 to the 500mm f/5.6, despite the occasional frustration that I can't zoom.

 MrWinnieThePooh's gear list:MrWinnieThePooh's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon 85mm F1.8G +5 more
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