Best place to buy a used Nikon 500mm f/4

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
ARClark
ARClark Veteran Member • Posts: 3,919
Re: Considered Nikon 500mm f/4D ED-IF II?
2

PerfectPoms wrote:

Hi ARClark.

As someone considering buying a long lens, and pondering the differences in image quality between the new and old versions: if the f4G is very similar in quality to the about 2002 AF-S D II - would you say the newest e fl is noticeably better than those?

Bill, I’d say the 500E has more micro contrast. It's not a dramatic difference, but it's noticeable. You might find this link of interest which reviews the 500E and offers some comparisons with the G (My understanding is that the G has essentially the same optical formula as my old AF-S D ll but with VR).

https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-500mm-f4e-vr/2

More about the lens here.

https://www.ephotozine.com/article/nikon-af-s-nikkor-500mm-f-4e-fl-ed-vr-lens-review-28142

The 500E has lived up to my expectations, and I’m very pleased with it. Very sharp and clear, even with TCs. I’ve provided some example photos with TCs at this link. https://arclark.smugmug.com/DPR-Share-June-2020/n-Kg4fFc/. The handheld stacked flower images are a testament to the 500E's solid VR.

To be honest, I was happy with the IQ of my old 500 AF-S D II. I got the E simply because I wanted the low-light focusing speed of a handhold-able 500 f/4 with VR capable of shooting birds at 700mm at f/5.6 (or 850mm at f/6.3). The improved IQ is icing on the cake. The G offered VR, but at 8.55 lbs it was quite a bit heavier, and I never went for it. At 6.8 lbs, the E is almost a pound lighter than my AF-S D II (and 1-3/4 lbs less than the G), and has great VR. I highly recommend it. Works great with the TC-14E iii, but also fully functional with the earlier TCs. One of my sample photos is with a TC-17Eii.

If you’re looking to buy new, I’ll also mention the Sigma 500 f/4 Sport, which is over $4K less than a new 500E. I tried it before purchasing my used 500E. It offered excellent IQ. I’d have kept it if the copies I tried didn’t have an AF problem at high frame rates with my D850s. However, others with D850s and D500s swear by it. So just another option to consider that is significantly less costly than a new 500E. Just make sure you buy it from a dealer that will allow you to return it in case it doesn't suit your needs. Having said that, if you’re considering buying used, the 500E in excellent condition, which Is what I got (at over $3K less than retail), is tough to beat with a lighter weight, better VR and compatibility with Nikon TCs.

Alan

 ARClark's gear list:ARClark's gear list
Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4D ED-IF II +12 more
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