AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

Started Aug 15, 2022 | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 20,421
Re: Thanks, Craig

rscott900ss wrote:

Thanks very much, Craig.

I was curious as to whether or not a higher mp sensor would be kinder or crueler to a lens that's not quite the best. I rarely print anything, and especially anything large, so most of the IQ stuff is just theory to me; things I've read but haven't proven for myself.

From looking at lens tests, I see that lenses score lower on lower mp cameras but, seemingly paradoxically, reviews often mention that a not-quite-great lens will produce images that look fine with older, lower mp cameras while they might not do so well on newer, high-mp models.

So I guess that's only because you can zoom in further to pixel peep on the larger mp images and IQ would appear similar at similar image sizes, up to a point?

Yes, very much so.   The same lens would perform poorly with a teleconverter as the TC would magnify the flaws into visibility.

I only really noticed this myself with one lens, the 80-400 AF-D, which is notorious for being soft wide open at 400mm.  (Quite sharp at 300mm though.)  Basically, at 400mm it was an F8 or F9 lens, period.   Using it on a DX D300, I found lots of flaws, but using on on an FX D700 was definitely more forgiving.  Both cameras were 12mp.

There is another big issue though, going from DX to FX - you have to worry about the corners a LOT more.   A lot of times that doesn't matter at 400mm if you're shooting a small bird in the center of the frame.   But overall, you suddenly have a lot more corner issues.  And the 200-500 is one of those lenses that changes noticeably outside the DX area.

Anyway, I'm really pretty happy with my AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E and its images made with my D750. Last night's first try with it mounted on my D500 was satisfying as well. It sounds like I have nothing to fear using it on my new Z 7II.

... corners on the Z7 should look different (worse) than the D500.

I haven't shot my 200-500 in a while, on DSLR or ML.    However, I've shot the 500pf on the Z9 and it worked well.  I would imagine the 200-500 might even work slightly better, with a better focus hit rate under most conditions.

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Phoenix Arizona Craig
"I miss the days when I was nostalgic."

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