Well, when I hear the announcement of this lenses from Nikon a little over a month ago I was quite surprised. A long lens at the 1399.00 price point. Going up against the the current offerings from Tamron and Sigma. I thought to myself;f I have to give it a try, as certain other aspects plied my interest.
This new lens has a constant maximum aperture of f/5.6, maintained even at its maximum focal length. If you use a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter, this will reduce the maximum aperture, but only to f/8, and many of the newer and more advanced Nikon bodies have autofocus systems which can work down to f/8.
this lenses is in fact the longest fixed-aperture zoom lens in Nikon's line-up. It comes with a VR (Vibration Reduction) system rated at 4.5 stops, and it has a SPORT VR mode for following fast action.
The new 200-500mm also uses Nikon's new electromagnetic diaphragm control. This gives more stable exposure control during continuous shooting and is more reliable than conventional mechanical linkages.
That's some of the technical, but like me, I'm sure your wondering how it was in the field. I waited till I've had a few times to use it. These trials have been both outside and inside.
The first thing I noticed is quicker focus than my Tamron 150-600mm is, also it tends not to wander in focusing on a subject as much as well. The VR is rated at 4½ stops, and in the field I found it very easy to hand hold and get sharp results, tripod is of course as option, but I'd leave mine at home! Light falloff is negligible, you can shoot wide open and the corners do not go dark. The lens has excellent optics which you would come to expect from a company like Nikon. Is an excellent birding lens (Can't wait to use it for Eagles this Winter).
So in my opinion, while you can get better glass, usually at a much higher price point, you would find this a great buy, even being about half the price of Nikon 80-400mm. So if you get a chance, go check one out at your local camera shop, I think you'll like it!
Till next time
Taken with Nikon D4, and Nikon 200mm-500mm lens. ISO 5000, at 200mm. (Cassius Up Close)
I'm a photographer who loves animal photography. Trying to capture that perfect moment is a passion of mine.