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

Jan 22, 2019
St. Charles, IL
Real Name
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.
Yes, I suppose it's not worth the churn. It certainly does seem promising that Sony is so committed to competing in this market though. If Nikon plans to survive, they'll have to bring equal or better mirrorless glass to the market and improve the Z system's AF capability.
Nov 14, 2005
Winter Haven, florida
Very timely thread, thanks.
I shot birds primarily with the d850 and tamron 150-600 g2. Lens is very sharp. It is a little slow in acquiring focus, especially birds flying straight at me. It is the lens, not the body or my technique. My nikon 400 and 500mm primes lock right on, the tamron is a little slow. The big heavy primes are getting a little much for this old fart to carry around, so I was looking at a new lens. The sony 100-400 and/or 200-600 are high on my radar screen. I have shot nikon for 40 years and never thought I would consider another brand. But right now, with these lenses and the new sony a7r4 camera, these lenses look very interesting. I think right now sony has better tools to fill my needs. Nikon will likely catch up, but I may not wait.
Dec 6, 2007
North East, UK
Real Name
Colin Carter
I’ve been down the Sony route with the a9 and a7r4 and a complete set of g master lenses ( the grass is always greener syndrome) and wouldn’t touch Sony with a barge pole again.

the ergonomics, menus and build quality are horrible.

sony cameras are a good sensor wrapped in a piece of c**p body.
Glad I happened to spot this thread! Even though it is an older thread. --from August! -- it resurfaced..... Anyway, I can't answer the questions about the Nikon lens since I never had that particular one. I can respond in terms of the Sony, though. A few years ago was my first introduction to Sony, when a friend brought over his then-new NEX-7 and I was immediately intrigued by the whole mirrorless thing and the strange EVF..... I went on to buy my own NEX-7 and then later the RX100, starting with the M III and now, well, gee, I guess I'm at the M VII..... About a year and a half ago I also bought and immediately loved the RX10 M IV, intending to use it for a specific situation but finding to my delight that it really was quite versatile and, well, I just kept reaching for that camera over and over again as time went on...... I loved the reach that thing offered but also was uneasily aware of the fact that it only has a 1 inch sensor. Time went on.....I found that there were other limitations to the RX10 and I started yearning to get back to macro and other photography that I had more-or-less temporarily set aside.....

I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted to go next in terms of gear and also really focused on what it is that I actually DO like to shoot and from which I get the most pleasure. Lenses vary, focal lengths vary, what did I really want and what did I use most frequently in the past?

To make a long story short, now I am a relatively new owner of the Sony A7R IV (bought in November 2019) and as of yesterday a very new owner of the 200-600mm lens. My first priority in lenses was getting a couple of macro lenses -- the wonderful 90mm f/2.8 macro and the nice, OK 50mm f/2.8 macro -- and I impulsively splurged on the 135mm f/1.8 the day I was buying everything. I LOVE what I bought but, yes, there were and still are some obvious gaps to fill in, so the day came -- creeping up on me and my bank account rapidly -- when I was starting to get itchy for something longer than 135mm. I already knew what a 600mm reach could do, having used Sony's RX10 IV "bridge" camera for about a year and a half, so was spoiled by that. I wanted that again -- this time in full-frame with a FF sensor. I live in a place where there are a lot of opportunities to use a long lens on wildlife (mainly geese, ducks sometimes turtles and various herons and even the occasional GBH). I knew I wanted that 200-600mm, have wanted it for a long time, but had concerns about its weight and manageability..... At (ahem) well over middle age and with a fairly petite frame and muscles that sure haven't been pumped up in the gym, I really wasn't sure if this lens would work for me, much as I wanted its flexibility and reach. I'd used long, heavy lenses before, but that has been some years ago now. Anyway, yesterday the itchiness about checking out the 200-600mm lens just got too much and I finally just jumped in the car and went to District Camera (local to me in Virginia) and after handling it for a brief time in the store, bought the 200-600, the Wimberley Arca-Swiss compatible replacement foot (easy to slide right onto my tripod with the Arca-Swiss quick-release clamp) and an enormous 95 (!!! )mm UV Haze/Protective filter -- any larger and I could serve and eat dinner from it!

I am very happy so far with my decision although so far I have only used the lens at home, haven't gone out with it anywhere, I CAN handhold it, and have done, but definitely having some support is preferable, which at home turns out to be my deck railing. Anywhere away from home the tripod will be necessary.

The flexibility this zoom lens and its reach offers is really nice, and although it isn't exactly the fastest lens on the planet, I think that most people are going to use it outdoors and in situations where the lighting is at least somewhat decent. This is not an indoors lens. With the A7R IV and probably also the A9 and A9 II bodies this lens will offer a lot to photographers who aren't ready to spend a lot more money on a dedicated 600mm lens. The zoom works really smoothly and nicely, quickly going from 200mm to 600mm and the lens is able to resolve nicely with the A7R IV and presumably the A9 and A9 II. Mind you, I've only had the thing a couple of days now, one day where I was able to shoot in nice sunshine and shadow, the other day -- today -- in a situation of grey skies and eventual snowfall...... In a few months I'll have a much better idea of exactly how well this lens performs and under which type of circumstances. All I can say right now is that I am really happy I bought it.

Since this is an old and necro'ed thread brought back to life, it is more than likely that Amin has already done whatever he was doing to do in terms of making a decision, but since the thread popped up and was relevant to me and my situation right now, thought I'd put in my own experience and thoughts for whoever might be interested, for whatever that is worth.....
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