Urban wildlife: my short stint with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (field report)

Nikon-200-500mm-f5.6E-ED-VR-lens Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens6
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens2 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens3
Urban wildlife: my short stint with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens by Manojodungat:

Wildlife photography means capturing animals in their natural habitats - capturing those special moments in the ‘wild’. Now that I am totally confined to a concrete jungle in a city called Chongqing in China, I hardly get to explore the ‘Wildlife’ or ‘Nature’ that are completely untouched my human. Also that, the itch in me to see my favourite subjects  through this lens getting more serious off late, I am left with exploring the backyard, the gardens, those small little lakes and green parks in the city, hence terming it ‘Urban wildlife’.

I live in Chongqing, most part of the year. Chongqing is one of China's directly controlled four municipalities, the other three being Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

Let me kick start with this image. This was taken during a photo- walk, in search of some bird action, through the outskirts of Chongqing. This thing never ceases here: the constructions! Finding some ‘wildlife’ in the concrete jungle is some task.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens1
A  Long shot with the lens mounted on a D810. The lens didn’t have any hesitation to get the focus locked, even with the distracting elements in the background in average light.

After getting this lens, I have already had a month or so, of photo-walk through the city during weekends, all in search of some wildlife action in the urban setting.

There is a lake in the centre of a Nature Park in the city, looks very much artificial though. As I was walking around, I found this Pelican landing for a quick shower. I immediately leaned down on to the ground and captured this beautiful moment.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens2
I was lucky that I could position myself such that the subject was backlit. This lens is sharp, even wide open @f5.6, hence I set the camera in the Aperture priority mode wide open almost all the time. Since I had set the shutter priority mode at 1/2000s, I could easily switch and capture some beautiful action moments.  The subject was some 30 meters away and the images have been straightened and slightly cropped.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens3
It’s quite amazing to see the behavior of some water birds at times. The other weekend, I was quietly watching these in the same Nature Park. Suddenly I found getting one into some action and getting this one was quite fun with this lens.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens4
The Nikkor 200-500 f5.6E replaced my earlier zoom, Tamron 150-600 which did ok, but the images from my copy needed quite some work at post.

I was thinking of getting a Sigma 150-600 ‘Sports’ but the weight was definitely a put off. I shoot birds and wildlife handheld almost all the time. Went ahead with the Nikon and after having spent a month or so behind this lens, I must admit that this one is a keeper.

The contrast, the colour rendition, the bokeh, the sharpness, the VR - all outstanding !

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens5
AF has been very accurate almost all the time. It is fast in good to decent light and very much manageable in poor/dark conditions for perched birds. I am quite happy with the overall AF performance, as I am consistently getting way more keepers from this lens than what I could manage with my copy of Tammy earlier. It could also be that handholding @600 is more demanding than @500mm, fighting camera shake.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens6
It is  cold in here this time of the year and the Sun rarely comes out of the cloud cover. Rains don’t help either. Visited this abandoned lake area in the city the other weekend. I have observed most of the water bodies in this part of the world are affected by eutrophication facing an early death. It was a surprising moment to spot these beauties emerging out of water through the green cover.

This lens is very crop friendly especially on 36MP D810 sensor. A couple of insane crops !

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens7
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens8
With TC 14E:

For birds, 700mm is fun but can be a pain in the back at times when light goes.

With a TC 14E, it becomes an f/8 lens. When light goes down, the AF struggles. With an f/8 lens the number of active AF sensor points on the camera get reduced considerably with one cross-type sensor at the centre of the display, if I am right. That would have been the reason, when cloudy and dim, the AF hunted a lot that I had to use the centre AF point to get the AF locked most of the time. With TC, I lock focus with the subject placed at the centre of the viewfinder and recompose if needed.

With TC 14E II:

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens9

With TC 14E III:

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens10

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f:5.6E ED VR lens11
From my subjective field tests, I didn’t find any significant difference in both IQ and AF between 14E II and III versions.  Though 700mm is quite useful for birds, getting sharp images isn’t any easy handholding the lens and a tripod/monopod is recommended. In most of the cases 1.2x mode on a D810 with some cropping should suffice.

To sum it up I should say that I am very happy with this purchase and this lens is going to stay. Thanks for viewing.

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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  • Proto

    Nice! who knew ducks can look like batman…

    • luan


  • BigStreetGuns

    Nice photos. But I’m not impressed with the sharpness of the 200-500 at all.

    This is what I call sharp:


    150-600 Contemporary on the SD1 Merrill looks a LOT sharper than the 200-500 on the D810.

    • yepits me

      I guess you are lacking attention…

      • BigStreetGuns

        Please explain.

        • Patrick O’Connor

          I can’t speak for yepits me but I agree. The conditions under which he shot are very different from your shot and easily explain the difference which, to me, aren’t much.

          • BigStreetGuns

            Except it’s not my shot. And to me the difference is huge. But you are right regarding the lighting conditions. Photos taken on a sunny day are usually sharper and more contrasty.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              Well…okay then. 🙂
              Also, and I forgot this, quite a few of his shots were taken with a 1.4 TC. I’m not sure but I don’t think Sigma recommends using TCs with the C or S version.

            • Philip Dauber

              Serious testers have compared the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary against the Nikon 200-500; the Nikon always tests sharper in the center of the frame where it counts.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              I recently read a review that compared the Sigma C, the Tamron, and the Nikkor. His testing mirrored your comment but in his conclusion, he said something like, ‘unless you’re really serious about wildlife photography, the differences are so small, you won’t notice so just get the Tamron and save your money’.

        • pripir

          Are you guys serious!? How can you compare sharpness of the lens based on 1500px wide, resized jpg image?

          • vousplaisentezouquoi

            I completely agree with you, this kind of test is completely useless.

    • HF

      It seems the focus is off a bit (fine-tuning?) at some pics.

    • Nikonanon

      This message was sponsered by Sigma! Buy our shit today.

      • BigStreetGuns

        Really? Well check out my blog and you will see what gear I’m using. The only reason I mentioned this, is because I was contemplating getting a really long zoom. So naturally I researched all available lenses, including the 200-500 and 150-600 C.

        • Nikonanon

          Chill bro, it was just a joke. If it wasn’t I would have insulted you 😉

  • Spy Black

    Nice work. I have a question with the cropped image of the 2 ducks (seemingly) looking at each other. Are you applying localized processes in post? Although it’s listed at ISO 250, there is considerable noise and artifacting around the ducks, like the beak on the left one. Just curious.

    Lovely shots. It’s a shame about the urbanization of beautiful country.

    • Patrick O’Connor

      Are you kidding? I don’t see ANY noise. Did you look at the flicker photo and zoom in? Nothing!

      • Maybe you need a bigger/better monitor. What Spy is saying is more than obvious on my monitor (49″ 1080p Toshiba television). There is heavy noise throughout the ducks, but I’m wondering if the artifacting in the surrounding green might be partly due to compression from flickr or the author’s file saving choices.

        • Patrick O’Connor

          Well, there’s your problem. Your monitor is too big! 😉

          Actually, I DID misread his comment. I didn’t make the connection between “around the ducks” and “the beak.” My bad.

          What I DID notice, however, was there isn’t any noise ON the beak and looking at it closely with my 29″ monitor, it looks like the apparent artifacting is likely a result of his post processing. I think he blurred the grass around the ducks and didn’t do a very good job of masking. What looks like noise is actually the in-focus grass around their edges.

          • Spy Black

            My question was primarily one of curiosity. The beak comment was actually addressing the background area directly in front of the left beak. Having work with Photoshop since version 2.51, I’m quite aware of post production, inasmuch as this looks more like something done in the likes of Lightroom or Capture One.

            There appears to be excessive localized sharpening added to principle high frequency subject areas, while lower frequency background areas were either left alone or had localized noise reduction applied. While this isn’t as obvious on the uncropped and size-reduced images because all the data is interpolated down, it becomes quite obvious as you approach 1:1 onscreen resolution, as has happened on the cropped images.

            As such, I have to question the ultimate sharpness of the Nikkor. While it’s probably not such a bad lens, the supposed sharpness we’re seeing here seems more the product of selective post-processing (something I myself do all the time) than any actual optical performance from the lens.

            Despite my thoughts on this, I do not take anything away from his photographs. Heavily post-processed or not, they are lovely work. I will however leave the jury out on the true performance that the Nikkor can deliver.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              Sorry if I came off as a jerk. It’s just that one of my pet peeves is the often ridiculous standards for sharpness that photographers, and ONLY photographers, demand from lenses. I never judge sharpness beyond being able to view a photo, comfortably, in its entirety. By that standard, very few modern lenses aren’t sharp enough.
              I’m more concerned with focus speed, levels of CR, vignetting, etc.

    • Hardcore_Fanboy

      that picutre is croped and sharpened (sharpened cuz of little front focusing) – yea when you crop (to 100% of FHD or near that) then even iso 100 vs iso 200 is huge difference.

      • Spy Black

        Doesn’t appear to be front focused, seems about right. The post processing makes me question the true sharpness of the lens however. Nice pics anyway.

    • Rudi

      Yup, it’s clearly visible that it was badly done in post. Sharpening and clearence I guess.

  • MattfromNikon

    Really nice shots and the new 200-500 is an affordable tele-zoom and for many it is the first step into the world of tele-zooms.

    However, I see no real reason for me to get this lens over my Nikkor 80-400mm.

    The new Nikkor 80-400 has nano coating and better ED elements + better weather sealing and it is being made in Japan.

    I have shot both lenses side by side and the 80-400 has a little faster AF and it is also a tad sharper with better contrast due to the nano coating and better ED elements.

    Btw here is the list from lenscore. You can see that the Nikkor 80-400 performs slightly bettter in all aspects but there’s not a huge difference but still enough to make a difference.
    There is a reason why the Nikkor 80-400 costs nearly one grand more.


    • The reason is why is cheaper are sigma/tamron competition in this focal length. Unfortunately nikon 80-400 is not sharper at 400mm then 200-500vr. Has much worst bokeh quality and vr in many copies works as in reported afs 300PF. Nikkor 80-400 has stron focus breathing at short distances where 200-500vr has it very little.

      It’s great lens for the price point and only bad thing is the lens hood which can be easily lost in the field.

      Some shots from this lens from me:


      • MattfromNikon

        The reason why the Nikkor 80-400mm is more expensive than the Nikkor 200-500mm is because it has a better build quality and better weather sealing. Furthermore it is made in Japan and not China.

        Also it has nano coating and better ED elements. So the 80-400mm is a little sharper and has a faster autofocusing.

        This has been confirmed already by trusted sources. You can check the results here for example:

        LenScore™ is a rating system for full frame digital camera lenses.

        According to a representative from DxOMark they will most likely not test any consumer tele-zooms at the moment.

        If I want to go 500mm then I will use my AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR and this lens is already in a different class compared to any of these.

  • PhilK

    I don’t know about the pixel peeping because my eyes are tired and I’m too lazy to get my better glasses right now and look at the originals, but unless the post-processing is able to work miracles, I really like the way that lens renders. Especially considering it’s relatively affordable.

    Looks really good to me.

  • QuantalQuetzal

    I had a 80-400 last year, for a family trip, when we were going wind surfing. I’m certainly not a great photographer and those shots were only for the family album, rather than award winning.
    The image quality was more than sufficient and the AF was great.

    But it felt really really cheap and plasticky! So much cheaper than my Sigma 30/1.4 or even the Nikkor 18-200. I wonder whether all super-tele-zooms have this plastic feeling and this is for weight reduction reasons or something… I sure wasn’t expecting that at a price tag of more than 2000€.

  • dbltax

    Looks good but there’s no mention of the weight? At nearly three times the weight of the new 300mm f/4E it’s certainly got some heft!

    • FroBro

      Since you know the weight (and its’ easy to look up) what exactly was it that you had hoped might be mentioned about the weight?

      With the weight that you know, and using a camera like a D810, you won’t be handholding for long periods of time. Take a sandbag with you everywhere if you intend to handhold.

      • Spy Black

        You mean beanbag. A sandbag however will make the 200-500 seem very light indeed. 🙂

  • Both have similar build quality-not the best one but should satisfy the most. Nikkor 200-500 vr has better/stable tripod foot in comparison. Is much more accurate when tracking in af-c mode. Do not really matter were both made or is 80-400mm has weather sealing as few season of use shows that this sealing is rather poor and lens collecting some dust. Do not look charts and specifications as I can guarantee that above 300mm 200-500vr is ahead of 80-400 in every image quality aspect . Difference is that 80-400 can replace in many assignments 70-200 lens . Brad Hill made very detailed comparison between those two lenses and sigmas 150-600 and Tamron and 80-400 performance did not shine in this comparison.

    • MattfromNikon

      I prefer to believe in LenScore™ and not in you.
      Even if you guarantee it 🙂
      Happy shooting!

  • FroBro

    I don’t think anyone will disagree with you,
    But then the 200-500 lens was never aiming to replace the 80-400mm I feel. There are many people out there who don’t own a 80-400 whom the new 200-500 will appeal to very much.

    A lot of people try to compare the 300mm F4 against the 200-500mm, asking which they should get. But against right tool for the job, rather than thinking its one or the other. For me I like the idea of owning 300 F4 since its nice for handholding, and renting the 200-500 when needed.

    • MattfromNikon

      Sure mate! And those who disagree are most likely the ones who just bought the new 200-500 and they got an affordable tele-zoom for their first time in their life. And there’s nothing wrong with that 🙂 Of course they couldn’t admit that anything will be better then their new 200-500. You know it was kinda funny because once there was even a guy who truly claimed that his new 200-500 outperforms the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR (which is like 5000 bucks more expensive…lol). Anyway the new 200-500 is a nice consumer zoom (that wasn’t supposed to replace the 80-400). Nikon wanted to get into the competition with Sigma and Tamron who also offers affordable and cheaper tele-zooms for consumers.

  • Tim Rooke

    Nikon lent me the 200-500mm to try out and I was also lent the 80-400mm when it first came out.The build quality of the 200-500 is much better than the 80-400mm if the 80-400 takes even a slight knock it puts the focus out.I used the 200-500 on a 2 week royal tour in Oz and NZ with Prince Charles and thought for the price it is superb.I also owned the 200-400 a much more expensive lens which I sold because I found it wasn’t really sharp in the middle if I wanted to pull up from the centre when it was fully extended at 400mm.

    Obviously in low light I took some pictures in a church and had to shoot at 12800 where as with a 2.8 lens would have shot at 3200 but still very useable when shooting with a D4S

    • MattfromNikon

      Yeah sure 🙂 There’s like 20 different reviews online about these lenses and all of them have different opinions and results.
      And all has been on safaris and stuff like that 🙂 And all testers have different results and conclusions.

      That is why I prefer to believe in reliable resources like for example LenScore™ and DxoMark.
      LenScore™is a rating system for full frame digital camera lenses. It is based on the optical performance of a lens at 8 different apertures.

      According to LenScore™ the Nikkor 80-400 really performs slightly better in all aspects but there’s not a huge difference but still enough to make a difference. There is a reason why the Nikkor 80-400 costs nearly one grand more.

      According to Nikon the 80-400 has a better weather sealing and it is slightly more rugged but both lenses will break if they are subjected to a strong enough shock.

      DxoMark is another reliable source but they have informed me that they will not perform any consumer tele-zoom test anytime soon on the 200-500.

      If you’re happy with your new tele-zoom then that is all that matters.
      At some point when you start to know more you’ll want to probably trade it in for a real pro tele prime lens like for example the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR.

      Happy shooting!

      ps. I will most likely not reply to you anymore since there’s no point in debating about this 🙂

      • Tim Rooke

        That’s slightly arrogant to say you won’t bother replying again!If you want a lens that costs 40% more and is not as well made and seems to not be as sharp when it has taken even a little knock.Then by all means go for the 80-400 you do of course get the extra focal length.Otherwise the 200-500 appears to much better made and is certainly much better value.Why when Nikon released the 80-400 did they not make to a similar build quality to the 200-500?

        You look at as many test results as you want the proof is in the real world not a lens chart stuck on a wall.

        I am sure that you are taking the micky about starting to know more!I have been a working photographer for 28 years this year.As for a 500mm I already have that and the new 600mm etc every lens has a time and a place.There is certainly a need for both although I am running out of space!

        • MattfromNikon

          Hahaha…yeah sure you have been an expert professional for 28 years and you own all those lenses and all of them are better than the 80-400…lol

          And btw those tests by LenScore™ are truly scientific and made to represent performance in the “real world”.

          I’d rather trust reliable sources than some half ass online testers who just got their first tele zoom.

          Happy shooting for another 28 years 😉

          • Tim Rooke

            Amazingly enough I do own all those lenses!I am sure you can google me if you want :-)And most of them are better than the 80-400!

  • whisky

    “Has much worst bokeh quality ..”

    if you shot with an 80~400mm G you wouldn’t have written that. to my mind, all the Super ED glass, whether the 200mm f2, the 80~400mm G, or the 70~300mm Cx all have a very pleasant background rendering.

    to claim “much worst” is more würst. JMO.

    • MattfromNikon

      I couldn’t understand why someone would say:
      “Has much worst bokeh quality ..” about the 80-400 G version which is actually a little better built and has nano coating and better ED elements.

      And also costs one grand more. Truth is that the 80-400 G version is slightly better when it comes to image quality according to LenScore™.

  • MattfromNikon

    LenScore™ has added scores for the new Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

    Please take a look and see how it performs against some of the other tele-zooms. It is a nice lens to go all the way to 500mm for an afordable price by Nikon.

    LenScore™ is a rating system for full frame digital camera lenses. It is based on the optical performance of a lens at 8 different apertures from f/1.4 to f/16 at 5 different focusing distances. Zoom lenses are measured at 3 different focal lengths.


  • Greg

    I’d have to lean toward Matts comments regarding objective lens testing. But Karols images are spectacular. Obviously you are making good use of your equipment.

    • Thanks Greg for very kind moment. Problem in this objective lens testing is that many of lenses and cameras works little bit different then you will read on DXO,Lenscore.I shot 80-400G couple of time as my friend has it as a handy walk around lens when for hide photographing he is using as me 600vr lens. 80-400 between 350-400 mm needs to be stopped dwon to f 6.3 as I found 5.6 is little bit to soft. It is not poor quality but is not great either. 200-500vr I shot most of the times wide open at all focal ranges and do not see to stop it down as with 80-400. Bokeh is not bad with 80-400. In most of the occasion is pleasant but 200-500vr renders very smooth bokeh-probably the best available at this price point zoom lenses. Matts using argument of nano crystal coatings,better build but this is not the case as many people confirm that here that this is not pro grade build quality. 80-400G is about 500$ overpriced especially if we compare it to much better build and optically superior canon 100-400isII which is here in Europe cheaper than nikkor. Matts says also that 200-500vr is first step lens and at the end you have highly desired prime lenses like 400,500,600 or 800vrs but I can say that if photography is not your main income lenses like 200-500vr or sigma sport 150-600 give you pro grade quality images .

      • MattfromNikon

        Please don’t put words in my mouth. The problem here is not DXOMark or LenScore™ or myself.

        I am not the one who creates the results from DXOMark or LenScore™. I only share with the public what the results are and then everybody is welcome to believe what they want …it doesn’t matter to me what somebody want to believe or imagine.

        The real problem is people who say for example: “I shot 80-400G couple of time as my friend has it ….and…”I found 5.6 is little bit to soft…”

        Hahaha… you really think that after you shot it a couple of times your evaluations will become more reliable than DXOMark or LenScore™.

        Even if you did some test shots in your own back yard it doesn’t really matter to those who are professionals and wants reliable test results.

        Fact is that LenScore™ states that the Nikkor 80-400 really performs slightly better in all aspects but there’s not a huge difference but still enough to make a difference.

        DxoMark has informed me in an email that they will not even test the 200-500 anytime soon.

        So you can talk all you want it doesn’t really matter. Still there are more people using the 80-400 according to Nikon and I remember the 200-500 already even had a service advisory issued by Nikon because auto-focus may sometimes become disabled and focus operation switches to manual focus.

        I also suggest you learn more about what is nano coating, if you really think that nano coating doesn’t make a difference. Here is a link for you:


        It is not me who uses any arguments it is Nikon who states clearly that the 80-400 has a better quality build with nano coating and better ED elements. You can even ask Nikon directly and they will give you the specs….
        I just repeat the facts that Nikon has given out to the public.

        I suppose you haven’t heard of NPS membership and what it means, but fact is also that Nikon also lists the 80-400 on the qualifying equipment list for NPS membership renewal in the US and Europe. The 200-500 is not on that list.

        However both of these lenses doesn’t stand a chance to the real professional primes such as for example the Nikkor 500mm which is like 5000 bucks more expensive.

        Do you really believe that the 200-500 or the 80-400 has any chance against a 6000-10000 dollar professional 500mm prime lenses….you have got to be kidding 🙂

        Honestly the differences between the 200-500 and the 80-400 is quite small and at the end of the day the real benefit of the 80-400 is only the faster auto focus and the higher resolving power which will create just little higher quality images.

        But I do agree with you that perhaps the 80-400 is a bit too expensive…but the 80-400 gives you the faster auto focus and better resolving power and some professionals wants to pay for that.

        Take care and happy shooting. I will stop here as it is completely useless to have these debates online…

        • You are missing one,very important thing here I do not really like tone you speak to me. I am not pro (even if what I am doing is often better then pros around me)but using nikon pro lenses and bodies over 10 years including nikkor 600vr, 300 2.8 vr, 70-200vr,24-70 G,14-24G. Some of them like 24-70 and 300vr I sold-the rest I am still using. Nikon can say their marketing bullish and you can trust them every time you want but let mi decide which lens can be use at professional level. Nikkor 200-500vr can produces professional quality images which can be hard to distinguish from mentioned 500vr or FL images. Not in every case scenario but still 5 times cheaper lens can deliver similar results. 80-400 can do it as well even if has score 840 something and 500vr is rated over 1200. BTW show me your pictures to find myself answer that you are not only know all this ED,IF,VR,Nano etc but also you getting the best from lenses you are talking about-ok?

          • MattfromNikon

            Listen friend…I have no clue what you’re talking about…

            Sorry but your english doesn’t make sense.

            first you say:

            “I am not pro (even if what I am doing is often better then pros around me)”

            then you say:

            “Nikon can say their marketing bullish and you can trust them every time you want but let mi decide which lens can be use at professional level. Nikkor 200-500vr can produces professional quality images which can be hard to distinguish from mentioned 500vr or FL images. ”

            Just concentrate on your own photography and use whatever lenses you like. You don’t need to prove anything to me.

            The 80-400 has a better rating than the 200-500 according to Lenscore!

            Some of your pictures look really nice in your Flickr account but you need to take a lot more pictures…you have joined Flickr in 2015 and maybe after that you got your first full frame camera.

            It seems you have a history in photography for about 1 year and now you have 23 followers in Flickr.

            Just concentrate on you own photography and build your portfolio.

            Good luck!

            Take care and bye

            • You are really don’t realize how ignorant you are. I am not pro as photography is not my income-end of story.Show me your work! I started Flickr account just recently and I am not a guy who posting there for followers and uploading thousands of pictures. Just posting pictures simultaneously with Facebook page and 500pix. Each picture has exif data and some of them you will are few years back .You should stop attacking every single person who has different opinion. Happy with 80-400? Get your lens out, write an article with better pictures as we see here from 200-500vr (It would be very difficult) and argue that way .

    • MattfromNikon

      Thanks buddy! Yeah there’s a lot of misleading going on online. There’s thousands of guys online and all wants to be the expert. Some guys doesn’t even know the meaning of nano coating and ED elements.

      That is why most professionals uses LenScore™ and DxOMark to be able to get the reliable information they need.

      I have been an NPS member for several years now and most NPS colleagues I know trust LenScore™ and DxOMark. Also I know personally some Nikon NPS representatives who are working in the product line and the fact is that Nikon considers the 80-400 to be of a little higher quality. Fact is that it has nano coating and also better ED elements which makes it more expensive. I agree that maybe it is a bit too expensive but for the money you get a faster auto focus and a little higher quality images.

      Nikon also lists the 80-400 on the qualifying equipment list for NPS membership renewal in the US. The 200-500 is not on that list.

      However both of these lenses doesn’t stand a chance to the real professional primes such as tor example the Nikkor 500mm which is like 5000 bucks more expensive.

  • preston

    Do you work for DXO/lenscore? You have 7 different comments to this post full of their marketing drivel and you even put a trademark symbol with the name. When people come across as this blantantly biased then I’m not very likely to place any value in their opinion.

    • MattfromNikon

      Listen dude, don’t sweat it….just like everybody else I can have my opinion and choose to believe in DXO/lenscore if I want to.

      Or do you think that only your opinion matters?

      You are also certainly welcome to have your own opinion and also to believe in whatever you want.

      If you don’t like my opinion then just move on to the next thread and don’t get personal.
      It is very easy to be brave from a distance…lol

      • preston

        Everybody has the right to an opinion. There are things that can make someone’s opinion more valuable to me (like if they produce really good work or have very sound/logical arguments) or less valuable (like if they are clearly biased). I was actually curious if you were financially tied to DXO/Lenscore in some way based on how much you went out of your way to sell them. You used the TM symbol to point out that it is a real business, you used marketing speak that seemed like it was copy/pasted straight from their website, and you did this 7 FREAKING TIMES to the same post.

  • Raven191

    The title made it sound like you were giving it up after a short stint. Glad it’s a keeper.

  • yitzchak

    More the photographer here than the lens…. shoot some walls and test charts! 😉

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