Nikon 500mm f/4G IF-ED AF-S VR Nikkor

 
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500mm $7,399
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image of Nikon 500mm f/4G IF-ED AF-S VR Nikkor

(From Nikon lens literature) Nikon has announced three new AF-S super-telephoto NIKKOR lenses -- the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR, and AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR -- to further strengthen its super-telephoto lens line-up. With unprecedented image quality, responsiveness and versatility, these new NIKKOR lenses are certain to set a new benchmark for super-telephoto lenses.

The new super-telephoto lenses are equipped with a Vibration Reduction (VR) function. Nikon's VR II system minimizes image blur caused by camera shake, offering a shutter speed up to the equivalent of four stops faster. The newly added Tripod mode reduces vibration that may occur when shooting with a super-telephoto lens when attached to a tripod at shutter release time. Nikon's VR function also gives photographers the option of a natural viewfinder image even during VR operation.

The superior functioning of the newly developed optical system ensures flawless synchronization with Nikon's digital SLRs. The new optical design features three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements that minimize chromatic aberration while producing consistently high-quality images. The Nano Crystal Coat -- extra-low refractive index coating --- virtually eliminates internal lens element reflections across a wide range of wavelengths and is particularly effective in reducing ghosting and flare. A meniscus protective glass element also minimizes the ghosting that occurs when light is reflected from a digital camera image sensor and in turn reflected off an ordinary flat protective glass element.

Nikon's exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM) provides fast autofocus with superior accuracy and ultra-quiet operation. All lenses feature nine-blade rounded diaphragms that ensure a more natural look for parts of a scene intended to be out of focus. The minimum focus distances are 2.9 m/9.5 ft, 4.0 m/13.1 ft and 5.0 m/16.4 ft for the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR respectively -- much shorter than their predecessors.

Ergonomically arranged switches and buttons enable easy access and comfortable operation even during handheld shooting. These buttons include the Focus Preset function, which instantly recalls a focal point preset with a simple push-button operation; Focus Limiter switch, which restricts AF-servo movement to a controlled shooting distance range; AF-L switch, which makes it possible to lock focus from the lens; and AF-ON, which engages autofocus from the lens. The new A/M focus mode allows instant switching from autofocus to manual focus, even during AF-servo operation. It also offers a major improvement over conventional M/A modes by significantly reducing the possibility of unintentional switching from Auto to Manual. By employing magnesium die-cast in the lens body construction, the new lenses achieved considerable weight savings without sacrificing rugged field-proven construction resistant to both dust and water.

Major Features:

  • VR II operation realizes the equivalent of a shutter speed four stops faster
  • New Tripod mode reduces vibration that may occur at shutter release when shooting with a super-telephoto lens attached to a tripod
  • Enhanced optical formulas, engineered to produce exceptional sharpness, contrast and color, render outstanding image integrity
  • Three ED (Extra-low dispersion) elements control chromatic aberration while enhancing sharpness and contrast, even at the widest apertures
  • Exclusive Nikon Nano Crystal Coat and a Meniscus protective glass element combine to further reduce ghosting and flare for even greater image clarity
  • High-performance Nikon Super Integrated Coating realizes superior color reproduction while minimizing ghosting and flare
  • Nikon's exclusive Silent Wave Motor enables fast autofocusing with exceptional accuracy and powerful, super-quiet operation
  • Rounded diaphragm opening (9 blades) makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural
  • Newly added A/M mode reduces the possibility of unintentional switching from Auto to Manual
  • Focus Preset function instantly recalls preset focus points with the push of a button
  • Engineered to Nikon professional D-SLR standards to effectively resist dust and moisture
  • Magnesium die-cast for a lightweight body with rugged construction
  • Supplied lens hood effectively minimizes stray light
  • Detachable monopod collar provided

Nikon 500mm f/4G IF-ED AF-S VR Nikkor User Reviews

10.0/10 average of 1 reviews Build Quality 10.0/10 Image Quality 10.0/10
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (8 reviews)
    great lens all around
    not cheap, limited availability

    If you need a long lens this will not disappoint.

    This is a great lens with nothing to complain about. Great IQ - even with a 1.4 or 1.7 TC

    Unfortunately the price is high and has gotten higher, and it is not easy to find in stock if you are looking to buy.

    If you have a long lens you're already happy with, do NOT try this one. It will change your level of expectations.

    reviewed April 16th, 2009 (purchased for $7,800)