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

Started Aug 15, 2022 | Discussions
rscott900ss
rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

For the best overall image quality (disregarding crop factor in the case of the D500)...

  1. D750
  2. D500
  3. Z 7II w/FTZII

I will test this at some point but does one set-up have a distinct advantage?

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

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JasonTheBirder
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 4,143
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
3

rscott900ss wrote:

For the best overall image quality (disregarding crop factor in the case of the D500)...

  1. D750
  2. D500
  3. Z 7II w/FTZII

I will test this at some point but does one set-up have a distinct advantage?

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

I think under perfect conditions you'll probably get a bit better quality out of the D500 and Z7 due to having more pixels on your subject.

I also think the Z7II has an advantage due to the electronic shutter. I notice that sometimes I get a bit of shutter shock with the D500 whereas on my Z6 I do not see that.

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Wahrsager
Wahrsager Veteran Member • Posts: 3,517
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
1

rscott900ss wrote:

For the best overall image quality (disregarding crop factor in the case of the D500)...

  1. D750
  2. D500
  3. Z 7II w/FTZII

I will test this at some point but does one set-up have a distinct advantage?

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

I think on a test-bench situation with controlled lighting, the Z 7 II would offer a lot of (.NEF) file flexibility and on-sensor autofocus certainty.

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nsacky Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

I don't think that you would go wrong with any of your choices. I've used my 200-500mm on my D750 with great results.

rscott900ss
OP rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
1

Here's the lens on my D500 tonight:

A few days after full... have to settle for 92% full!

Using full, 100% value for "axial color aberration" in NX Studio significantly reduced, but did not completely eliminate, the color fringing at the top and bottom of the image.

Maybe tomorrow night I'll try it on the D750 and Z 7II.

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cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 7,434
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
2

rscott900ss wrote:

For the best overall image quality (disregarding crop factor in the case of the D500)...

  1. D750
  2. D500
  3. Z 7II w/FTZII

I will test this at some point but does one set-up have a distinct advantage?

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

I would suggest that the choice depends on your subject matter. If it is relatively slow moving or stationary the Z7II will be the best. But for action requiring good AF the D500 will give in focus shots at a high framerate. Image quality is not just about the size of the sensor you need the shot to be in focus to even consider the image quality.

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GarysInSoCal
GarysInSoCal Senior Member • Posts: 1,469
For me, It's been the D810!
2

Here's a 200-500 shot... taken with the D810.  I'm thinkin it's a pretty good combo... just my 2 cents...

Select Models shoot at White Park in Riverside... she's about 100 feet away... shot wide open at 500mm.

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rscott900ss
OP rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: For me, It's been the D810!
9

GarysInSoCal wrote:

Here's a 200-500 shot... taken with the D810. I'm thinkin it's a pretty good combo... just what
my 2 cents...

What a surprise... your post didn't begin to answer my question but included one of your photos!   Who would have guessed...

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 20,421
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

rscott900ss wrote:

For the best overall image quality (disregarding crop factor in the case of the D500)...

You can't really discount crop factor, especially when comparing to two non-crop cameras.

Why?  Because the 200-500 lens sharpness changes somewhat dramatically between center and edges.  The DX crop area is simply sharper inside than outside of it.  (I can point to many examples).

  1. D750
  2. D500
  3. Z 7II w/FTZII

So - 24mp, 20 (cropped at that) and 45.

Pretty darn sure the 45mp images will be better than the others.   This from having shot 36MP since the D800 and the D850 plus now the Z9.

More pixels = better.  Simple as that.

But I can think of one way where lower pixel count cameras have an 'advantage' - when shooting with less-than-perfect glass, it will often look a little better on a lower MP camera than a higher MP camera.  Because the higher MP camera magnifies the flaws and makes it obvious to a pixel-peeper that there are unfortunate differences between center and edge.

To some extent, you change the way you shoot with high MP cameras - you typically end up shooting at faster shutter speeds than before as that masks handling issues.   My 80-400AF-D looked better on my 12mp D700 than the cropped area of my D300, which was kind of weird.

I will test this at some point but does one set-up have a distinct advantage?

Sure.  But different advantages for different situations.

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

It's an advantage.  You can always resample down to the same MP size as another camera, and in so doing you downsize noise at the same time.  You cannot compare a 45mp image with a 20mp image directly - it's apples and oranges.  But downsample the 45mp image to 20mp?  Valid comparison.

Higher MP can be a disadvantage in ways other pixel peepers getting dismayed at lens performance in the corners.  The files are bigger, which means more storage space and possibly the need for a faster computer.  But really there is no downside for IQ - just remember you can only compare at same MP level.

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GarysInSoCal
GarysInSoCal Senior Member • Posts: 1,469
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
1

rscott900ss wrote:

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

The original question was THIS... and my answer was... the D810... and guess what... it's a higher MP sensor than 2 of the 3 cameras you listed... thankyouverymuch...

Another image I shot from the D810... it's Tatiana Neva on the cover of 'Makeup Artist Magazine'.

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rscott900ss
OP rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
Thanks, Craig

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?

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.  

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rscott900ss
OP rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
4

GarysInSoCal wrote:

rscott900ss wrote:

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

The original question was THIS... and my answer was... the D810... and guess what... it's a higher MP sensor than 2 of the 3 cameras you listed... thankyouverymuch...

Hmm... I'd say the possible answers to that one question could be:

  1. an advantage
  2. a disadvantage
  3. neither an advantage or disadvantage, "it depends on the application," etc.

Your "answer" was:

"Here's a 200-500 shot... taken with the D810. I'm thinkin it's a pretty good combo..."  along with one of your omnipresent shots from various model shoots (which I think are great, BTW).

I don't know exactly what you mean by "pretty good" (I tend to think of "pretty good" as "fair," "OK but not great" or "acceptable")  and which camera/lens combination I listed that would compare to "pretty good."

I do appreciate all responses.  As a fairly new participant here, I find myself thinking that a lot of your responses have more to do with posting your own photos than anything else.  I was poking fun at that but my attempts at humor are not always successful.

I do enjoy looking at great photos of attractive women and you take a lot of them!

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Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Forum Pro • Posts: 10,740
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
5

The body that will deliver the best image quality, is the one that does the best job of filling the frame with a well-focused image. If you'll be using the 200-500 for portraits or landscapes, put it on the Z7II. If you'll be using the lens for wildlife and bird photography, put it on the D500.

Personally, I can't think of a scenario in which the D750 would be the best choice. If you can fill the D750's frame with a subject, you can fill the Z7II's and put more pixels on the subject to boot. If you'll be focal length limited and will need the best possible autofocus performance, the D500 is the answer.

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Flagstaff, AZ
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rscott900ss
OP rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

Thanks Bill!

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labalaba Senior Member • Posts: 1,085
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
1

cosmicnode wrote:

rscott900ss wrote:

For the best overall image quality (disregarding crop factor in the case of the D500)...

  1. D750
  2. D500
  3. Z 7II w/FTZII

I will test this at some point but does one set-up have a distinct advantage?

Is a higher mp sensor an advantage or disadvantage when using a lens like this?

I would suggest that the choice depends on your subject matter. If it is relatively slow moving or stationary the Z7II will be the best. But for action requiring good AF the D500 will give in focus shots at a high framerate. Image quality is not just about the size of the sensor you need the shot to be in focus to even consider the image quality.

+1.

all else being equal, more pixels is better.

...but, in focus is better than out of focus.

rscott900ss
OP rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

cosmic node's and labalaba's point well taken.  Thanks for the posts.

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 20,421
Re: Thanks, Craig
1

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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Stephen1729
Stephen1729 Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
2

labalaba wrote:

all else being equal, more pixels is better.

True, though in my experience all else rarely is equal. For example I prefer my D500 (20M) over my D850 (45) for bird and small wildlife photography. This is because the "low resolution" camera handles low light better, tracks fast moving subjects better and has a slightly higher burst speed.  Also cropping more aggressively in the 850 leads to more noise.  But for landscape and cityscapes, it is always the D850.

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mobydick Contributing Member • Posts: 681
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?
2

My exemplar of the AF-S 200-500 delivers - under ideal shooting conditions - enough resolution even at the tele end wide open to satisfy me - as dedicated pixel peeper - on the Z7.

Therefore, I think there is nothing to win with the D750 reg. image quality.

Reg. the D500, the DX crop of the Z7 (II) has nearly as many pixels as the D500, therefore also not much to loose or to win here. Very maybe, the per pixel signal-to-noise ratio is very slightly better on the Z7 II compared to the D500.

As soon as we start to consider other factors like AF performance, the comparison gets of course much more complex, and there has been a lot of discussion on this forum over the years, e.g., comparing the AF of the D500 and Z7 (II) for wildlife, sports, or birding...

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rscott900ss
OP rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E - What do you think would provide the best image quality?

mobydick wrote:

As soon as we start to consider other factors like AF performance, the comparison gets of course much more complex, and there has been a lot of discussion on this forum over the years, e.g., comparing the AF of the D500 and Z7 (II) for wildlife, sports, or birding...

Well, for now, I keep the 200-500mm f.5.6 mounted on the D500 in the big ApeCase top-loader, ready for action -- if only because I have a little more experience with the D500 AF for wildlife, birds, etc. (and maybe a little more faith! At least so far...).

I do really enjoy that lens and I can't imagine a better bang-for-the-buck. I just shake my head when I see the quality of the images that come through it.

I also get a kick out of showing my non-photography-enthusiast friends both the 200-500mm and the 58mm f/1.4G and asking them which one they think cost more.  Every time I do it I remind myself not to do it again.  Yeah... I get a kick out of it... right in my own rear end. (Not really.  I love that 58mm as much as the 200-500.)

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