Nikon 200-500 or Sony 200-600 for my needs?

Amin Sabet

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,248
Location
Boston, MA (USA)
Real Name
Amin
Hi all,

I've been in a slump with my photography, Somehow just uninspired. But lately my 14 yo son has developed a love for fishing, and while I'm out hanging with him, I see lots of birds doing their thing out in the bay. For example, the day before yesterday I spotted these guys:

48442179886_1070a96fb5_b.jpg

48442114061_2fd5d3992a_b.jpg

48442302902_1d02962dab_b.jpg

I didn't have my settings right or a long enough lens, but the opportunities were there, and I was only shooting for about 15-20 min.

So that has me thinking of picking up a long lens, and there are two potential candidates in my budget, the Nikon 200-500 to use on my D810 (I no longer have the D500) and the Sony 200-600 to use on my Sony A9.

choices.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I know we have some here who shoot both Nikon and Sony here, so I thought it would be a good place to ask. The Sony hasn't been released yet, but I'm confident it will have comparable sharpness to the Nikon.

In terms of effective reach, I'm guessing they will be similar. The Sony is longer, but my Nikon camera has higher pixel density.

In terms of autofocus, both systems are superb, but my A9 seems to have more sophisticated AF plus a higher FPS than the Nikon.

For the times when I can fill the frame with my subject, the Nikon has a higher resolution sensor.

The intrinsic advantages of optical viewfinder (Nikon) are largely counterbalanced by the blackout-free nature of the Sony electronic viewfinder.

The Nikon lens costs far less than the Sony lens and offers 1/3 stop faster lens speed (f/5.6 vs f/6.3) throughout much of the zoom range. Lens weights are similar.

Seems both are great options. Any other factors I should consider?
 
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
2,989
Location
Cornpatch
One thing to consider is it possible to mount the Sony onto the Nikon, or the Nikkor onto your Sony? And if so, would you be able to find an adapter capable of maintaining decent AF? If so, then you'd only need one lens, plus the cost of the adapter.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
460
Location
Viera, FL
Something to consider is the AF speed and FPS of each system. The D810 is definitely slower than the Sony. When shooting birds, that can make the difference. Do you have intentions of upgrading either camera in the future?
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
5,296
Location
New Mexico
The D810 is definitely slower than the Sony
If you're a well schooled BIF photographer, that won't matter. ;)
I'll take my D810/200-500 or 60-600 any day of the week....
prefer the D500 for frame rate but no probs with the D810's AF.

1-810_0598 (1).jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:

Amin Sabet

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,248
Location
Boston, MA (USA)
Real Name
Amin
Something to consider is the AF speed and FPS of each system. The D810 is definitely slower than the Sony. When shooting birds, that can make the difference. Do you have intentions of upgrading either camera in the future?
I almost never have intentions of buying new cameras, but it seems to happen very often, anyway 😄.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,248
Location
Boston, MA (USA)
Real Name
Amin
One other thing maybe worth considering is that I have a good 70-200 on the Sony already. If I buy the 200-500 for the Nikon and bring both cameras along, that may give me some extra opportunities without having to change lenses.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,106
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I tried the 200-600 FE in Japan mounted on an A9. It's fast and locks on accurately on that body, while shooting in-store. If I was planning to get a telephoto zoom, I'd buy that lens.

Saying that if price is a consideration, you can't beat the prices of the 200-500mm VR. You could probably buy a minty one used on FM and sell it close to the same price once you get bored with it. Plus you have the option of using it on a DSLR or Z body for your mirrorless fix. You could purchase it on Paypal Credit and sell it before the 6 month interest kicks in! :D
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
5,277
Location
Chicago "burbs"
Saying that if price is a consideration, you can't beat the prices of the 200-500mm VR. You could probably buy a minty one used on FM and sell it close to the same price once you get bored with it. Plus you have the option of using it on a DSLR or Z body for your mirrorless fix. You could purchase it on Paypal Credit and sell it before the 6 month interest kicks in! :D
Wow. Complicated.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2018
Messages
331
Location
SE Michigan
Real Name
Chris
Have you considered the 150-600 sigma for the Nikon? Similar price and comes with a 1.4 tele. Sharp lens and works well for me. Most of the time when a lens only has 1/3 stop difference for light I recommend the decision comes down to DOF (because most cameras now days can compensate 1/3 stop easily with ISO with little to no noise issue) which I think it’s a moot point for your subject intention here. So I’d focus on price and handling. Everything else can be mitigated in camera or post. Just my two cents.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,106
Location
Los Angeles, USA
So?? People sell gear all the time. In this case, probably new 500PF owners.
I don't get what's so complicated with my previous suggestion? Most people buy and sell gear all the time to try new gear. Not sure what issue you might of had with my previous suggestion? Plus it was a reply for Amin whom I've had previous discussions about gear in the past.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,248
Location
Boston, MA (USA)
Real Name
Amin
I tried the 200-600 FE in Japan mounted on an A9. It's fast and locks on accurately on that body, while shooting in-store. If I was planning to get a telephoto zoom, I'd buy that lens.

Saying that if price is a consideration, you can't beat the prices of the 200-500mm VR. You could probably buy a minty one used on FM and sell it close to the same price once you get bored with it. Plus you have the option of using it on a DSLR or Z body for your mirrorless fix. You could purchase it on Paypal Credit and sell it before the 6 month interest kicks in! :D
I had a look at FM, and I think it's going to come down to price for me, for the reasons you mention. Thanks, Jonathan.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
1,159
Location
St. Charles, IL
Real Name
Andy
@Amin Sabet if I were in your position, I'd be inclined to try the 200-600 over the 200-500.

Assuming the in-depth reviews are as good as the initial YouTubers have found it, the 200-600 looks to be a good bet. I think a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 or f/4E on the 810 plus the 200-600 on the A9 would be a killer combo. I realize that would represent some churn (two purchases and one sale), but you probably wouldn't need to even think about buying a telephoto for a long time to come.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,106
Location
Los Angeles, USA
@Amin Sabet if I were in your position, I'd be inclined to try the 200-600 over the 200-500.

Assuming the in-depth reviews are as good as the initial YouTubers have found it, the 200-600 looks to be a good bet. I think a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 or f/4E on the 810 plus the 200-600 on the A9 would be a killer combo. I realize that would represent some churn (two purchases and one sale), but you probably wouldn't need to even think about buying a telephoto for a long time to come.
Amin already has a 70-200mm 2.8 for Sony, plus Nikon 200-500mm VR lenses are cheaper. Though if I was buying a telephoto lens right now, the 200-600mm FE is the one I'd get. That non-extending barrel is nice and on an A9 probably makes for the best fast-action daytime telephoto setup. On the Nikon side, I'd prefer the 300mm/500mm PF lenses though for lighter weight and fixed aperture.

I played with the 200-600 FE in Japan. 20fps and fast C-AF on the A9. At 600mm, the combo had no problem locking onto subjects in-store. It's a nice lens, but Sony ergonomics are still terrible with no finger space between grip and lens mount and esthetically white lenses are so bleh!

48370350072_c524fafbb4_b.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

2019 Summer Vacation Trip to Tokyo, Japan by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

Sony is really putting the heat on Nikon and Canon though. This might become the Sony'Cafe in the next few years! :D
 
Last edited:
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom