Nikon 500 PF field tests versus 200-500 and 500 F4. G

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
ARClark Veteran Member • Posts: 3,919
Re: Nikon 500 PF field tests versus 200-500 and 500 F4. G

I find center sharpness to be very close between all three at short distances, although edge sharpness, microcontrast and AF are better with the primes. The VR of 200-500 and 500 f/4 (E, in my case) are better than the PF, owing in part, I suspect, to the mass of the lenses. The f/4 really distinguishes itself at longer distances and when using a TC, particularly in less than ideal light. AF barely slows with a TC14, the viewfinder is much brighter, and it can focus quite well in low light, even in single point mode. The 200-500 distinguishes itself for closeups with its much shorter MFD, and it offers zoom capability. The PF distinguishes itself with its size and weight combined with excellent IQ and fast AF.

I have all three. If I could only keep one it would be the 500 f/4E FL without question for its overall IQ, AF speed and TC capability. Between the PF and 200-500, it's a tougher call. I would probably favor the 500 PF for its size and weight, better AF and overall IQ. However, the 200-500 still maintains a place in my bag for shooting in gardens, when I need more working distance than a macro, or in situations where I might want the ability to zoom out. However, the 300PF and a TC14 are often turned to first when garden shooting, particularly in public places with the 300PF/TC lens combo being much less obtrusive than the 200-500.


 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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