My Nikon 200-500 opinion

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Randy, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. someone here asked me and here is the PM I sent

    I shoot wildlife at 5.6 on my 500/4 and I shoot the 200-500 at 5.6 100% of the time. The 200-500 is 90% of the 500/4 as far as IQ and even AF. It is way underpriced considering. I sold the sigma 150-600 Sport because it handled like a fat pig. The 200-500 is balanced perfectly and I shoot it 100% handheld (I don't even have an ARCA Swiss foot or plate for it). I don't believe in sample variation. 12 years and so many lenses I've never had anything but perfect. I also don't believe in AF fine tuning. The 200-500's AF is perfect and on the D500 AF is plenty fast enough. Stay away from the RRS foot, it's too short. I returned my foot and I'm just going to HH it, it's a pleasure.

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  2. I do AF tune and my 200-500 takes 0 on my D810, D500, and D5. I love my 200-500.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Kinda reinforces my desire to replace my Tamron 150-600...thanks Randy!
  4. Imagine it on a D850 and now my 120-300 is like a 120-500/2.8
  5. Helpful...but not (to my checkbook) at the same time. :p:p:p
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  6. Randy, tell us how you really feel about the lens..:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

    Ok, seriously, I have to totally agree with Randy on the quality of the 200-500 it is much better than a number of more expensive lenses. One nit is the corner sharpness... But then with wildlife, corners are seldom an issue. Ok, the lens I have is really good in the corners, Kinda like a good NHL defenseman...

    Sample variation? there is always sample variation but it is much less than people think, most lenses are well within the specification and produce excellent results. Roger over at Lens Rentals is the only site on the web I would trust on sample variation.

    Fine tuning, I always fine tune my lenses, you have to take the time to get it right or you are better off leaving it at 0. A sloppy lens tune is worse that not fine tuning the focus.

    If I could only have one lens the 200-500 would be it.

    alexis and Georgie Beagle

    " I love the 300PF with the 1.4TCIII 'cause it is so light and sharp" - Georgie Beagle
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  7. rick_reno


    Dec 3, 2012
    N Idaho
    That Thom guy didn't like the 200-500 on the D850.

    Full list of lenses is at the URL below. I'll save you the pain of wading thru it, here's what he wrote about the 200-500.

    The Best Lenses for the Nikon D850 | DSLRBodies | Thom Hogan

    • Why no 200-500mm f/5.6? Because of the 400-500mm range, particular as you move from the central area. This lens holds up well with DX at these pixel densities, but not FX. But wait a second, you say, can't I just crop my D850 to DX and then the lens should be recommended? Well, true. But if you're buying a 45.4mp camera for 45.4mp my exclusion stands. You might as well save your money and buy a D500 if long telephoto is your focus. So let's be clear: my lens recommendations above are for the full FX frame, the full 45.4mp.
  8. Shhhhh! Don't tell Thom that a whole lot of people will really like the D850 + 200-500VR. It might spoil his opinion of himself.
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  9. Thom, is quite knowledgeable, but I think he is too certain of his opinions. If you look at the facts. Roger at Lens rentals did test the 200-500 and the graphs show the corner resolution is better than the 80-400. The graph looks quite good in the corners. Will I use the 200-500 on the D850 (when I get it)? YES, because my copy, like Randy's is really quite good.

    If sharpness were the only criteria, we would only be using $10,000 - $50,000 lenses on the D850.. Ok, the Nikkor 800 is only $20K in Canadian... But you know what I mean....

    alexis and Georgie Beagle

    "mom, What is an Osborne and what did Thom have to do with it?" - Georgie Beagle
  10. I don't look at corners
    My 80-400 is better than my 200-500 at everything
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Except 500mm? ;)
  12. There is that:)
    I think I'm the last 80-400 fan boy left but I loved the AFD version also
  13. I do get excited about good gear;)
    I've either been very lucky for 12 years now or fine tuning and sample variation are urban myths but who cares really, my bodies and glass are perfect every time
  14. I still like my 80-400 because it's so versatile - I can take the D500 with 16-80 & 80-400 and have pretty much any daylight shooting situation covered :)

    It's also a lot easier to lug around than the 200-500, the AF is faster, and the zoom ring has a much shorter throw!

    On the other hand, I do believe that the 200-500 is a tad sharper at 400mm (and way sharper at 500mm) :D


    • Like Like x 1
  15. The 80-400 is a HH BIF machine, it never misses and truth be told I can't tell them apart at 400
  16. So other than reach and cost what are the benefits of one over the other? I'm still debating the 200-500 or a 300pf and tc combo bit don't want to rule out other options.
  17. That's it, 500mm and the price didn't really matter to me, I would have paid more considering how good it is, i got the 300pf also, the 200-500 is a much better option imo
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  18. Not sure about that one, Randy. I find myself packing the 300 PF and 1.4/1.7 TCs a lot more times than that heavy 200-500, especially when I'm not sure I'll need the reach.

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  19. I sold my 80-400 after I got the 200-500: I just wasn't using it.
  20. Is the 200-500 just for wildlife/birds and such, I am considering it as my telephoto for the kids soccer next year. I found my 50-150 on the D300s was a bit short at times - and their games are still morning or blazing mid-day, so the 2.8 is not a big deal.