Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

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krebnickel
krebnickel Forum Member • Posts: 51
Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
2

Wondering your thoughts now that we have insight into the new Sony lenses. I've been saving up for a non pro (can't afford 600 4.0) setup for birding and I'm down to these two combos - they are fairly comparable in price, and I can think of some pros and cons on both sides. To me, at the highest level, the Nikon setup is like the fully evolved form of an old technology, so tried and true. The Sony setup is the future, with it's EVF WYSWYG and no blackout, amazing tracking, etc. but doesn't necessarily have the refined ergonomics and proven durability/reliability of the Nikon SLRs. Both setups are not ideal in low light situations which is actually important for early morning birding, but I really can't justify spending 17K to take pictures of birds for fun (I really can't justify spending 5K+ either but let's ignore that).

Will cross post in Sony, but welcome your thoughts.

As an aside, I've been a happy Fuji customer for a while, with an X-T3 and the 100-400 lens, which works great, but I just feel like it's a "jack of all trades" kind of camera and doesn't have glass with reach of either system or the super advanced features of Sony, and I've found that I don't want to take any of this heavy stuff around for everyday stuff (use my iPhone Xs - gasp) - and really want to focus my "serious" photography for wildlife/birding...

Thanks all.

Fujifilm X-T3 Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF Nikon D500 Sony a9 Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3
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lokatz
lokatz Senior Member • Posts: 1,388
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
1

Hi Krebnickel, Your question is too multi-faceted to give a complete answer, and personal preferences play a huge role here. I'll therefore simply list where I personally see the pros in either solution. I own the D500/500PF combo, so I'm somewhat biased, but have (to a degree) been envying Sony owners for a long time. Let's please keep in mind that some of this inevitably remains speculation until extensive tests of the new Sony lens are available.

Sony advantages:

- MUCH higher resolution means you get to crop more while still keeping usable images. Alternatively, you have the option to make prints at much larger sizes.

- IBIS: In-body image stabilization performs very well on the a9. The Nikon 500 PF also stabilizes very well for an in-lens system, by IBIS has intrinsic advantages, as stabilization is generally easier to implement and works better the closer to the sensor you do it.

- Body functionality: the a9 features a number of functions not available on the D500, from Eye AF to the EVF to much more. Being able to see the image in the EVF as the camera will record it is a real boon.

.

Nikon advantages:

- Faster and more accurate AF. This is not by much, but even Sony's experience in making ML AF work well does not suffice to put them at par with Nikon's 153-point AF, according to several professional birders who reviewed both.

- More lightweight and better balanced. The heft of the Sony lens wipes out the body's small weight advantage. The combo is more than a pound heavier than the Nikon combo and much more front-heavy, making it harder to shoot hand-held for an extended time. I used to own the only slightly heavier (than the Sony) Nikon 200-500 and much prefer the balance the 500 PF offers.

- Image quality. The Sony lens is still an unknown, but for lenses, you generally get what you pay for and Sony's outstanding lenses so far have come at outstandingly high prices. On top of that, zooms almost never perform as well as primes do, so I find it very unlikely that the 200-600 will even get close to the 500 PF IQ-wise.

.

You said 'for birding'. Except for the resolution difference, that gives the Nikon advantages more weight in my personal assessment. But we all value different things. I'm sure other posters will add many other comparative aspects, such as shooting speed. To me, those do not matter enough to impact my take on the two combos.

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Mads Bjerke Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
1

lokatz wrote:

Hi Krebnickel, Your question is too multi-faceted to give a complete answer, and personal preferences play a huge role here. I'll therefore simply list where I personally see the pros in either solution. I own the D500/500PF combo, so I'm somewhat biased, but have (to a degree) been envying Sony owners for a long time. Let's please keep in mind that some of this inevitably remains speculation until extensive tests of the new Sony lens are available.

Sony advantages:

- MUCH higher resolution means you get to crop more while still keeping usable images. Alternatively, you have the option to make prints at much larger sizes.

The Sony A9 is 24mp so the resolution increase is very marginal compared to the D500 at 20.9mp.

The biggest difference will be in mirrorless vs DSLR tech and what you prefer.

The A9 is full frame so the Nikon combo will have more reach at 750mm.

madsbjerke.com

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n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,946
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
1

lokatz wrote:

Hi Krebnickel, Your question is too multi-faceted to give a complete answer, and personal preferences play a huge role here. I'll therefore simply list where I personally see the pros in either solution. I own the D500/500PF combo, so I'm somewhat biased, but have (to a degree) been envying Sony owners for a long time. Let's please keep in mind that some of this inevitably remains speculation until extensive tests of the new Sony lens are available.

Sony advantages:

- MUCH higher resolution means you get to crop more while still keeping usable images. Alternatively, you have the option to make prints at much larger sizes.

24 MP for Sony, 20.7 for Nikon, that is *not* much higher resolution.

- IBIS: In-body image stabilization performs very well on the a9. The Nikon 500 PF also stabilizes very well for an in-lens system, by IBIS has intrinsic advantages, as stabilization is generally easier to implement and works better the closer to the sensor you do it.

Can you elaborate on this? IBIS works by moving the sensor itself, maybe you mean that since in lens stabilisation takes place somewhere inside the lens, it works better? References?

JC
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lokatz
lokatz Senior Member • Posts: 1,388
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
1

n057 wrote:

lokatz wrote:

Hi Krebnickel, Your question is too multi-faceted to give a complete answer, and personal preferences play a huge role here. I'll therefore simply list where I personally see the pros in either solution. I own the D500/500PF combo, so I'm somewhat biased, but have (to a degree) been envying Sony owners for a long time. Let's please keep in mind that some of this inevitably remains speculation until extensive tests of the new Sony lens are available.

Sony advantages:

- MUCH higher resolution means you get to crop more while still keeping usable images. Alternatively, you have the option to make prints at much larger sizes.

24 MP for Sony, 20.7 for Nikon, that is *not* much higher resolution.

You and the other poster are correct.  Sorry, I was thinking of the 42MP Sony types here.

- IBIS: In-body image stabilization performs very well on the a9. The Nikon 500 PF also stabilizes very well for an in-lens system, by IBIS has intrinsic advantages, as stabilization is generally easier to implement and works better the closer to the sensor you do it.

Can you elaborate on this? IBIS works by moving the sensor itself, maybe you mean that since in lens stabilisation takes place somewhere inside the lens, it works better? References?

For simple geometric reasons, any kind of vibration affecting the stability of the image becomes more pronounced proportionally to the distance from the sensor.  You can simply test this yourself by turning off the VR on a tele lens, then hand-holding it and looking through the viewfinder: depending on object distance and focal length of the lens, you may feel that the 'jumpiness' of the image makes the image move by several inches, if not more, versus its intended position.  Directly on the sensor, this same vibration may only represent a few pixels, meaning a very small distance.

Accordingly, IBIS may have to adjust the sensor position by only a few micrometers, for example, whereas an optical VR element in your Nikon lens has to move many more micrometers to achieve the same kind of adjustment.  This has two consequences:

Moving by longer distances requires more energy, especially since the optical element responsible for lens VR is usually also heavier than the camera's sensor. As a result, IBIS usually consumes less power.

More relevant is the second aspect: moving the (heavier) VR element in the lens by longer distances than what is needed for IBIS means it is more difficult to control. Because of its weight and the longer distances it needs to travel, the lens' VR element  is prone to add its own oscillation to the VR movement it is supposed to execute in order to compensate for the vibration.

I don't want to get into a detailed discussion of control engineering here, but maybe a simple analogy illustrates the point well enough: imagine playing ping-pong with a lightweight paddle/racket.  If you know how to play the game, you'll do well with it.  Now imagine that someone gives you a paddle weighing four times as much, with a handle three times as long.  You'd have a MUCH harder time getting it into the right position to hit the ball, because the higher weight makes the paddle difficult to maneuver and the longer handle means you'll have to move around more to be in the right positions.  See?  Now you know how your VR element in the lens must feel. 

JC
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arniebook Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

If you shoot a lot in short periods of time, battery life may be a consideration as well. My D500 with no grip can easily exceed the CIPA rated 1240 shots at Tennis Tournaments, Airshows and Dog Agility events. Whereas the a9 is rated for only 480 shots using the EVF.

Though the a9 bests the D500 by doubling the fps, 20fps is scary-fast, can fill memory cards and suck batteries dry quickly, and can add a new big number of images to deal with in your post processing workflow.

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santm Junior Member • Posts: 35
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

Mark Smith ; a bird photographer I like and follow. He was using Nikon D500/200-500 combo and now has added Nikon D850 and Sony A9 in his gear list and published few videos. but at the end, all are great pictures.

Personally, I think we are in a twilight zone and soon it will be all mirrorless irrespective of brands. If you starting from zero and have no old gear (lens/flash) go with the Sony mirrorless combo that is my personal take.

I am very happy with my Nikon D500/200-500 as it was the best I could spend last year. I will upgrade to a PF lens hoping Nikon will release a 600/700 in coming years and saving for the same.

-Best Regards

Santanu

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altair8800 Senior Member • Posts: 2,000
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
3

n057 wrote:

lokatz wrote:

Hi Krebnickel, Your question is too multi-faceted to give a complete answer, and personal preferences play a huge role here. I'll therefore simply list where I personally see the pros in either solution. I own the D500/500PF combo, so I'm somewhat biased, but have (to a degree) been envying Sony owners for a long time. Let's please keep in mind that some of this inevitably remains speculation until extensive tests of the new Sony lens are available.

Sony advantages:

- MUCH higher resolution means you get to crop more while still keeping usable images. Alternatively, you have the option to make prints at much larger sizes.

24 MP for Sony, 20.7 for Nikon, that is *not* much higher resolution.

And in cases where the subject just fills the D500 frame, the Sony would have to crop to about 10Mp  for same framing.

cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 3,975
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
1

krebnickel wrote:

Wondering your thoughts now that we have insight into the new Sony lenses. I've been saving up for a non pro (can't afford 600 4.0) setup for birding and I'm down to these two combos - they are fairly comparable in price, and I can think of some pros and cons on both sides. To me, at the highest level, the Nikon setup is like the fully evolved form of an old technology, so tried and true. The Sony setup is the future, with it's EVF WYSWYG and no blackout, amazing tracking, etc. but doesn't necessarily have the refined ergonomics and proven durability/reliability of the Nikon SLRs. Both setups are not ideal in low light situations which is actually important for early morning birding, but I really can't justify spending 17K to take pictures of birds for fun (I really can't justify spending 5K+ either but let's ignore that).

Will cross post in Sony, but welcome your thoughts.

As an aside, I've been a happy Fuji customer for a while, with an X-T3 and the 100-400 lens, which works great, but I just feel like it's a "jack of all trades" kind of camera and doesn't have glass with reach of either system or the super advanced features of Sony, and I've found that I don't want to take any of this heavy stuff around for everyday stuff (use my iPhone Xs - gasp) - and really want to focus my "serious" photography for wildlife/birding...

Thanks all.

Perhaps you should be comparing the 200-500 with the Sony lens, Looks like the Sony will be around double the price of the Nikon lens. The Sony A9  is FF and you have to crop heavily to get the same FOV of a DX body. If it was a A& with the AF asd speed of a A( it would be very different. Worst problem with the Sony is the body ergonomics with long heavy lenses, you need a good grip on the body to manoeuvre the combo when panning, both hands support the weight of heavy equipment,

A alternative which I myself have been considering for a lighter weight mirrorless setup is a Olympus E-M1X which has superb ergonomics and Panasonic 100-400mm lens. Apologies to my fellow Nikon users for suggesting this, but if you are changing systems you should look at all alternatives.

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StefanSC Regular Member • Posts: 145
A D500 and a 200-500mm f5.6 VR is the ideal amateur birding setup IMHO
2

2700$. 10fps. Almost unlimmited buffer. Fast aquisition and keeps up with the subject like a champ.
If you can't get great bird pictures with this set-up, you are not at the right place for birding and need to spend some of those 2500$ you saved over the A9 and 200-600 to get to a better place for birding :).

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Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,190
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
7

With respect, I wouldn't characterize the combos in the thread title as, "amateur." There's certainly no reason an amateur can't own and use these. However, both the D500 and A9 are professional bodies. In the hands of a competent photographer, the D500/200-500 can be used to make salable images. While the Sony 200-600 is, as yet, an unknown quantity, I see no reason to assume it isn't capable of the same.

With this in mind, I'll offer the following in the Nikon ecosystem:

  • Nikon D7500 + Nikkor 200-500mm: At current special pricing, this kit can be had for about $2,000 through B&H. Let's face it, reach is key for birding. A 500mm lens on an APS-C delivers an effective reach of 750mm. This is an excellent birding kit for the enthusiast.
  • Nikon D500 + Nikkor 200-500mm: At current special pricing, this kit can be had for about $2,800 through B&H. The D500 offers improved autofocus, a faster frame rate and a deeper buffer. It's also compatible with a battery grip, built more rugged and offered certain controls advantages.
  • Nikon D500 + Nikkor 500mm PF: At current special pricing, this kit can be had for about $5,100 through B&H. Given the build quality of the 500 PF, the improved autofocus performance and optical quality, this is justifiably characterized as a fully professional kit. It's priced as such.

The Sony A9 and 200-600 are available through the same retailer for about $5,600. The A9 is a full frame body so the zoom offers an effective reach of 600mm, compared to the Nikkor lens's effective 750mm reach on the Nikon APS-C bodies.

Frankly, if a person is just starting out in bird photography, is a relative newcomer to photography and not invested in a particular brand or system, I'd recommend the D7500 with the 200-500. That's certainly not an inexpensive kit for the enthusiast. Buying a used or refurbished lens could save a few hundred.

I would not recommend the Sony A9/200-600 kit for this segment. It's just too pricey for the average enthusiast. I might suggest the A6400 or A6500 with a Tamron 150-600 G2. If their budget has more room, the 200-600 might be a nice upgrade from the Tamron. Time and field testing will tell. Upgrading to the A9 would be a huge upgrade over either APS-C body.

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krebnickel
OP krebnickel Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

Bill, thanks so much for your thoughtful response - I guess I was using the term amateur in a different way - I am not a professional photographer, but I am also not a novice photographer - so I thought the appropriate term was amateur. Maybe should have used the term enthusiast as that is perhaps more of what I’m trying to say. Bottom line is that despite the fact that I think I have the experience to use advanced systems, I really can’t justify buying a >$10K 600 F4 lens given I make no money off my photos, so I was looking for the ideal system/setup if we’re ruling that out. I thought that with about a $5K budget, two candidates were these two combos (D500/500PF or A9/200-600). Sad part is that it seems I can’t really get either lens any time soon... so at least I have time to think about it! Too bad it doesnt’ seem that I can change the post title, or I would to make it more clear: “Ideal Birding Setup for Enthusiast”

BillW1204 Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
1

I haven’t  used the A9 and the Sony 200-600 isn’t out yet, so I can’t comment on that.  Assume it would be a great combo.

I enjoy shoot birds, whether in flight, perched, swimming and the like.  The D500 is a great choice with either the 200-500 mm Nikon zoom or the 500 mm PF lens.  I have both and have used the 200-500 mm lens a lot (usually at 500 mm) for birds.  It  can be a bit slow to get initial focus , but tracks well and is good optically (in my enthusiast’s, but not professional, experience).

I was lucky enough to get the 500 mm PF about 4 or 5 months ago and love the lens.  I haven’t used the 200-500 for birds since the 500 mm PF arrived.  If it is in your budget, I highly recommend it.  Optically, I think it is a bit better than the 200-500, especially away from the center.  It focuses faster.  At 51.2 ounces, it is a delight to use handheld.  It is also easier to bring along on airplanes and other travel.  (By comparison, the 200-500 mm weighs 81.2 ounces, noticeably heavier.  The Sony 200-600 looks to be closer in weight to the 200-500.  Maybe a bit lighter, although Sony lists the weight without the tripod collar, so the difference may be smaller than it appears on first look.)  The biggest downside of the 500 mm PF is probably that it is hard to get now.  (Of course, the 200-600 won’t  be out for a few months either.)

I have kept the 200-500 mm for now, figuring that there may be times when the flexibility of having a zoom and focal lengths from 200-499 may be valuable.  In practice though, I have tended to take along another light lens, the 70-300 mm AF-P FX lens, with the 500 mm PF when I think I might need shorter focal lengths.

Whether or not you want a zoom may depend on what birds you shoot and where.  Shooting warblers this spring, I needed all the focal length I could get.  I added the 1.4 TC III to the 500 mm PF a number of times (they work quite well together, although with the D500 and D850 only the central focus points work with that combo -  interestingly, all the focus points work with that combo on the Z7).  For large  birds (bald eagles, great blue herons, swans and the like), 500 mm can be too much at times, if you are close or if they fly toward you.  I was tending to carry the 500 mm PF on my D500 and the 70-300 AF-P on a D850 for bird migration season this spring to deal with both cases, quickly without changing lenses.

I like the D500 a lot for birds.  It focuses well and you can program buttons to switch between focus area modes easily, something I use a lot.  It has a deep buffer.  And DX format can be an advantage, whether you think of it as more “reach” or simply getting more pixels on the bird.  I find the D500 to be pretty good in low light (it’s not a D5, of course, but I don’t want a body that large or heavy), although good noise reduction software may be helpful.

One final comment on the 500 mm PF.  It works nicely on the Z7 (and I assume on the Z6) using the FTZ adapter, should you want to go with Nikon mirrorless down the road.  Indeed, I have found I prefer to use the Z7 with the 500 mm PF if I add the 1.4x TC, as all the focus points still work, making focusing the combo easier (and I can shoot in DX mode or crop to DX size if I need to).  The 500 mm PF also works nicely on the D850.

Good luck with your choice.

NikonNature Veteran Member • Posts: 3,827
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

I shot birds (everything from warblers to eagles) and wildlife for 4 yrs with a FF D610 and Tamron 150-600mm. While you lose the crop factor, IQ-wise it was fantastic.

Last October I added a D500. I love the AF performance, fps, buffer, and crop factor. But for pure IQ the D610 still wins. If I had a do-over and the money, I think a D850 would be a better choice.

So perhaps consider a D850 & 200-500mm. Plenty of room to crop with the D850 and cleaner files, IMO. Keep saving and upgrade the lens later if you desire. Not knocking the D500 by any means. Perhaps I've become a FF snob 

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Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,190
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

NikonNature wrote:

I shot birds (everything from warblers to eagles) and wildlife for 4 yrs with a FF D610 and Tamron 150-600mm. While you lose the crop factor, IQ-wise it was fantastic.

Last October I added a D500. I love the AF performance, fps, buffer, and crop factor. But for pure IQ the D610 still wins. If I had a do-over and the money, I think a D850 would be a better choice.

So perhaps consider a D850 & 200-500mm. Plenty of room to crop with the D850 and cleaner files, IMO. Keep saving and upgrade the lens later if you desire. Not knocking the D500 by any means. Perhaps I've become a FF snob

You raise some good points. When I'm confident I'll be filling the frame (landscapes, portraiture), I'll shoot with the D610. A used D750 or D810 would be lower cost options to the D850. But the D850 - if there's room in the budget - is a good option to add to the list...high res, great AF, good burst & decent buffer.

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Ricardo00 Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

Well said!  I think the Canon users are the one's switching to Sony, the Nikon users (especially those of us lucky enough to have gotten their hands on the 500mm pf lens) are pretty happy!

Very happy shooting with myNikon D500 and the 500mm pf lens.

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BillW1204 Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

Bill Ferris wrote:

NikonNature wrote:

I shot birds (everything from warblers to eagles) and wildlife for 4 yrs with a FF D610 and Tamron 150-600mm. While you lose the crop factor, IQ-wise it was fantastic.

Last October I added a D500. I love the AF performance, fps, buffer, and crop factor. But for pure IQ the D610 still wins. If I had a do-over and the money, I think a D850 would be a better choice.

So perhaps consider a D850 & 200-500mm. Plenty of room to crop with the D850 and cleaner files, IMO. Keep saving and upgrade the lens later if you desire. Not knocking the D500 by any means. Perhaps I've become a FF snob

You raise some good points. When I'm confident I'll be filling the frame (landscapes, portraiture), I'll shoot with the D610. A used D750 or D810 would be lower cost options to the D850. But the D850 - if there's room in the budget - is a good option to add to the list...high res, great AF, good burst & decent buffer.

I agree that if you can fill the frame, because you are close or have a longer lens, using a higher resolution full frame camera is great and may often give you a better image than a DX camera with fewer (or even the same number of) pixels. But if you crop a full frame image from a higher resolution camera to the size of a DX image, because you are not that close or need a longer lens, it's not clear to me that you get a better image with the full frame camera.

I find images from my D850 cropped to DX size are pretty similar to the images from my D500. The Photons to Photos website suggests that a D500 has a bit more dynamic range than a D850 used in DX mode. Not sure it would be enough for me to notice.

I took my D850 to Patagonia in April. Used it for landscapes (along with a Z7), but also put the 500 mm PF lens on it for birds and other wildlife, cropping as needed. On that trip, the D850 was certainly the more versatile choice.

krebnickel
OP krebnickel Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600
4

This just in!  I called around (hopelessly) to a few authorized dealers within a couple hours driving time from home, and lo and behold I found one that had just received today a 500 PF and the person he ordered it for didn’t want it anymore!! Miracle! SO, I’m now home with a 500 PF and he also had a minimally used D500 body.  Going to be a great weekend!!!! Thanks all for the advice!

arniebook Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

krebnickel wrote:

This just in! I called around (hopelessly) to a few authorized dealers within a couple hours driving time from home, and lo and behold I found one that had just received today a 500 PF and the person he ordered it for didn’t want it anymore!! Miracle! SO, I’m now home with a 500 PF and he also had a minimally used D500 body. Going to be a great weekend!!!! Thanks all for the advice!

Great! ... Congratulations! I'm sure you will love the combo, and there are plenty of folks here with lots of D500 experience willing to offer tips and advice on getting the most out of your D500.

Be sure to download the Manuel AND the Menu Guide. The Menu Guide is often more helpful than the Manual.

https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/products/323/D500.html

... as well as the Technical Solutions/D500 Tips to give you a quick jumpstart ...

https://nps.nikonimaging.com/technical_solutions/d500_tips/af/custom_settings/

Hope to see some images here soon. Happy shooting!

Arnie

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What we spend on this stuff is equal to the depth of our pockets squared ($²) times what we (j)ustify in our minds as to what we expect to do with our pictures plus (+) the (e)njoyment we experience from using our stuff and sharing the result ... $xxxx=$²(j+e )

 arniebook's gear list:arniebook's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon D300 Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR +3 more
krebnickel
OP krebnickel Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Ideal Amateur Birding Setup - D500/500PF vs new combo: A9/200-600

Thanks! I already have a few questions that I don’t think I’ll find in the manuals:

1) with this lens attached, is it OK to hold the camera from the camera or do I always have to support the lens so as to not damage the area where it attaches from strain? Ive found already that when I am playing with the camera settings I have both hands on the body of the camera...

2) related to that - for strap attachment - do I attach to the camera body, or with this 500PF should I be attaching to the lens mount (e.g., with the black rapid screw in attachment, or also I have peak design straps that have the little anchors you attach).

3) I’ve never used filters to protect a lens before - but I’ve also never had a lens this valuable. What are people’s thoughts on this? I’d rather not use one if not necessary as I’ve always found the hood is protective enough and I don’t want to put a cheap piece of glass over a very expensive one.....

Please let me know if I should be posting these questions elsewhere or at least on a separate thread.

THANKS!

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