First impressions: Nikon’s 200-500mm f/5.6 E lens provides a lot of performance for the price


posted Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 11:27 PM EDT


Nikon's newest telephoto zoom lens, the AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR delivers great performance for a reasonably low cost of just under $1400 USD.

The 200-500mm lens is neither small nor light, but for its focal length it is a manageable size. It weighs in at 81.2 ounces (2,300 grams) and is 10.5 inches (267.5mm) long when at the 200mm focal length. The lens has a 4.2 inch (108mm) diameter and accepts 95mm screw-on filters, which is not a particularly common filter size. When using the lens at 500mm, it becomes quite a bit longer, but it remained well-balanced with my D800E.

D800E: 500mm, f/8, 1/1250s, ISO 400. This image has been modified.

[Clicking on image will take you to access to the RAW file and EXIF data.]

Overall, I am thrilled with the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E lens. It isn’t perfect as its f/5.6 aperture limits its usability in low light and when using teleconverters, but it’s light enough for me to carry around all day, small enough to fit in my backpack, and it provides solid performance. This lens could easily be priced higher and still be a good value. If you are a Nikon photographer looking for a new telephoto zoom, I highly recommend this lens.

For more, see our Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E VR Field Test which includes a ton of sample images taken with the D800E, D500 and D3400!