NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR

Joined
Mar 11, 2012
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Melbourne - Australia
I have been using the Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 lens for a few years. While I'm more than happy with the results for birding, I wanted something a bit lighter, particularly if I'm using it with one of my Fuji bodies. Some info on using the Fuji's in this thread.

On Monday I ordered the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF lens. It got shipped Tuesday, and now Wednesday, it is sitting in Melbourne waiting for delivery to me. Which could be today or tomorrow. Not sure why it can be picked up and shipped overnight, then sits around for a day or two before final delivery. 🤷‍♂️

Occasionally I will also use one of my Olympus bodies with the Panasonic 100-400mm lens. Its a great lightweight alternative, but I still prefer to use a DSLR for birding.

I'm looking forward to trying the new lens over the weekend.

Here are a couple of images of a Spotted Pardalote (Male) photographed on different days, different lighting, time of day, etc., etc., there is also one in the Fuji thread linked above. Once I get a few images of a particular bird with the new lens, I should be able to get a rough comparison between the lenses.

Taken with a D500 and 200-500mm lens
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Taken with Olympus E-M1 MKII and Panasonic 100-400mm lens
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Joined
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The lens turned up this morning. Every evening this week has been lovely and sunny. Not this one! It was breezy and overcast when I arrived home from work. I wanted to test the new lens, so I wandered up to the local reserve at the end of our street. It was quite dark amongst the bush, and not too many birds around. Then it rained...talk about giving the lens a christening. :) At least I managed a couple of snaps to check everything is working okay.

The forecast for the weekend is looking great for birding which will give me a better opportunity to have a play.

First impressions, it focuses faster than the 200-500mm, and is much lighter to carry.


#1
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#2
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Joined
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Is it worth buying a replacement foot for this lens, and if so which one?

I made sure the thumbscrew was tight before I attached the Blackrapid strap yesterday, but I’m a little concerned by comments on the internet about the foot coming off if the quick release was accidentally pushed.
 
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Andy
Is it worth buying a replacement foot for this lens, and if so which one?

I made sure the thumbscrew was tight before I attached the Blackrapid strap yesterday, but I’m a little concerned by comments on the internet about the foot coming off if the quick release was accidentally pushed.
There are actually two possible failure points for the removable foot: the thumbscrew that you mentioned, and the receiver plate attached to the lens collar. The latter grew loose over time on mine. I noticed a little play with the foot attached and thumbscrew secured tightly and solved the problem by tightening the four small Philips head screws. Interestingly, the 70-200 f/2.8E uses the same foot but mine does not ever seem to require those screws to be tightened.
 
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Mike
Conragts! I know your just beginning to familiarize yourself with your new lens, but each lens has a different look from what I see. Initially the 500mm looks sharper and contrasty, and the bokeh looks busier.
 
Joined
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Thank you all for your words of support and kind comments.

So far I'm pleased with the lens, however, I do have a few issues with image stabilisation. I have tried both Normal and Sport mode, and some of the images have movement. It wasn't an issue with the 200-500mm. More practice required I feel.

I have also purchased a Hejnar H129-500 replacement foot. I'm a little paranoid about the Nikon one. :)

Today after work it was still overcast, but much brighter than yesterday, and no rain. Like yesterday, there were not too many birds around. I usually find after around 2pm the smaller birds tend to disappear.

Here are a few snaps from the small reserve at the end of our street.


#1 Laughing Kookaburra
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#2 Laughing Kookaburra, I'm not sure if it was laughing at me, the camera, or the new lens :)
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#3 Grey Shrike-thrush
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#4 Eastern Yellow Robin
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Joined
May 11, 2006
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CHARLOTTE
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Randy
Is it worth buying a replacement foot for this lens, and if so which one?

I made sure the thumbscrew was tight before I attached the Blackrapid strap yesterday, but I’m a little concerned by comments on the internet about the foot coming off if the quick release was accidentally pushed.
No unless you can't hold it
The #2 reason to buy this lens is size
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
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Location
Melbourne - Australia
I ventured out to one of our local gardens this morning.

There was one issue which showed up this morning, besides not being able to quickly zoom out when the subject is too close, I noticed the focusing tended to freeze/hang, not sure what to call it. If I had just photographed a subject closeup, then moved to photograph another in the distance, the lens would not change focus, likewise if I went the other way. Moving the focus ring, or focusing on another spot between the two distances would allow the lens to focus again. I didn't notice this with the 200-500 lens. Maybe the D500 needs a firmware update. I'll test it out with another body over the coming weeks.

Here are a few of the images I managed this morning.


#1 Striated Pardalote
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#2 Spotted Pardalote
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#3 Red-browed Finch
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#4 Eastern Yellow Robin
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#5 Grey Shrike-thrush
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#6 White-browed Scrubwren
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#7 Little Wattlebird
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Joined
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#8 New Holland Honeyeater
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#9 Superb Fairy-wren
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#10 Welcome Swallow
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#11 Silvereye
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#12 Eastern Spinebill
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#13 Brown Thornbill
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#14 Southern Brown Bandicoot
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Joined
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Both series of shots are fantastic, Richard! Great sharpness and light.

Thank you Lance


Another thing I have noticed is how close many of the birds are using this lens. I'm guessing the 200-500mm suffers from focus breathing.

Eastern Yellow Robin's are quite small, approx. 160mm or 6in. This is a full frame (no cropping), there is not a lot of area left around the bird. The lens would be close to min focus for this shot. Which would make the focus freeze if I was to try and refocus the next shot on a subject in the distance. Refocusing wasn't an issue if the next shot was still in the general vicinity.

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