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500VR --- worth it?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by arthury, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. I have long been intrigued and craved to own a long Nikkor. The opportunity arrived this year when my dealer told me that the inventory was checked in and I am next in line.

    So far, I am pretty happy with this lens in the various scenarios I used it. The optical quality is nothing far from being exquisite in terms of resolution and color delineation. Clarity of the images is quite a class to itself. AF speed is between the 200-400VR and the 200VR (slowest to fastest). VRII worked perfectly well handheld and on tripod/monopod.

    I know some of you will probably disagree with me but I chose to buy the 500VR because it is more handhold-able than the 600VR. And, I believe that decision was correctly made based on the tests I made in the last few weeks. I am more than pleased with the VR performance when I get to know the lens more intimately.

    I only wished that there's a 600/2.8 VR that weighs like 500/4VR. But, that's only a dream.
    Here are a couple of shots after about 2 weeks of learning how to use this lens (both handheld)

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    D2X; 500VR

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    D3; 500VR
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2008
  2. Very nice. Hard not to like it after those shots I'm sure.....

  3. congrats on the lens
    can't wait to see many more shots

    i like these
  4. this is me

    this is me

    Feb 10, 2007
    Very nice image Arthur!
    Thanks for sharing.
  5. Very nice images. I'm glad that you find the lens that fits you.
  6. JMontes


    Jun 22, 2007
    Edgartown, MA
    Wow...just, wow...that 2nd shot is amazing. Good thing that lens is not within my price range, because my wife would be pretty upset at me right now :biggrin:
  7. dsokol

    dsokol Guest

    I have the 500 VR and really love it. It is the sharpest lens I own and the colors and contrast are head and shoulders above all my other lenses (combined). It is an expensive lens that you should get insurance coverage for.
  8. I would agree. It is better than the 200/400, which is saying a lot. Faster focusing and sharper. Bokeh is great, colors are crisp, good contrast.
  9. Very nice! The waxwings are a favorite, and that 2nd shot is killer. That lens is like the only additional lens I have any "lust" for.
  10. Looks really good and thank you for the mini review!
  11. TimK


    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    Arthur, I have the 500/4 VR and the 400/2,8 AFS-II. I think the 400 is slightly sharper with better contrast. It works better with the TC1.7 and TC2.o too. I was told that the 400/2.8 VR is even sharper wide open! So think about it .....

    (btw, you are right about the VR. The 500/4 VR is now my handheld lens for birds. When I use my tripod, the 400 is stil my choice)
  12. You could be right about the 400VR when it is stopped down to f4. I have not tested it before.

    But the MTF shows that at f/2.8 it is not as sharp as the 500VR near the edge and the center; albeit, the 400VR is faster and heavier.
  13. TimK


    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    Yes, my 400/2.8 is a bit soft at f2.8. It needs one stop to become really really sharp. The 500/4 is better in this regard. It performs better wide open than the 400. I think at F5.6 there is very little difference between the two in terms of sharpness.

    The 400 is really difficult to handheld though - It feels much heavier and because of the weight of the front element its center of gravity is further away from them the body. So it is much more difficult to balance with hands only.

    If I can only keep one, I think I will pick the 500/4 VR!
  14. Yes, I agree with you. On the other hand, the 400/2.8 is pure delight for the sports photogs. I don't think there's any substitute for this lens in this application.
  15. PAReams


    Apr 4, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    That second shot is quite impressive. Wow.
    My wife is so thankful that birding is not my thing. Those lenses get pricey in a hurry!
  16. Thanks, Paul. Yes, the 400VR, 500VR and 600VR are one of the most expensive lenses in the Nikon line. I paid a $kidney for it. :biggrin:
  17. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    These are incredible images. Thank you for posting; they are the first I have seen with the 500VR. What an incredible lens. I believe you made an outstanding choice!
  18. Thanks, John. Where have you been, John, I have not heard from you for quite a while.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2008
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