Nikon 200-500 mm lens

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trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Hi all,just wondering if anyone has any comments regarding the purchase of this lens in 2022,i currently have the Tamron 150-600mm version 1which is still a great lens but i have recently bought a Z6 and i am unable to use this lens on that camera.i was contemplating getting the G2 of this lens but i have heard so much about the 200-500 over a long time and all comments seem very favourable,i am willing to give up a bit of reach and the new Z zooms are out of my budget at the moment,i have heard these two lenses are quite similar but was wanting to draw on anyones opions as i know a lot of photographers out there swear on the Nikon lens cheers regards John
 

Pistnbroke

Active member
I had the original Tamron 150-600 and over 2 years got about 4 sharp shots out of it .It seemed the AF fine tune was always just a bit out whatever I did ...Changed to Nikon 200-500 and it was all perfection.
 

trapper12

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I had the original Tamron 150-600 and over 2 years got about 4 sharp shots out of it .It seemed the AF fine tune was always just a bit out whatever I did ...Changed to Nikon 200-500 and it was all perfection.
Thank you
 

Warren D

Well-known member
I can only compare to the Sigma 150-600 Sport, it's really too close to call but I'd have to give the edge to the 200-500. I still have both and find myself using the 200-500 and the Sigma just sits. I haven't used the 200-500 on my Z9 as I'm still using my dslrs. Not sure how the yet to come 200-600 will be priced or how long it will take to get one. I'd think it will be the mirrorless version of the 200-500 with the same bang-for-the-buck but we don't know. I used my 200-500 on my D500 just last weekend.
 

Patrick M

Moderator
Supporting Member
I had the 200-500 on a D7500 for a 2 week shoot in Antarctica 2 years ago. Its a heavy lens so I used a monopod, but it's focus was fast to get big birds like albatross, and it has great image quality. I shot thousands of images and I'd say a very high percentage were with good focus. I only sold it to get into mirrorless. Sometimes I regret doing so !
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I can only compare to the Sigma 150-600 Sport, it's really too close to call but I'd have to give the edge to the 200-500. I still have both and find myself using the 200-500 and the Sigma just sits. I haven't used the 200-500 on my Z9 as I'm still using my dslrs. Not sure how the yet to come 200-600 will be priced or how long it will take to get one. I'd think it will be the mirrorless version of the 200-500 with the same bang-for-the-buck but we don't know. I used my 200-500 on my D500 just last weekend.
Thanks for your reply im assuming it will partner well with my d500
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I had the 200-500 on a D7500 for a 2 week shoot in Antarctica 2 years ago. Its a heavy lens so I used a monopod, but it's focus was fast to get big birds like albatross, and it has great image quality. I shot thousands of images and I'd say a very high percentage were with good focus. I only sold it to get into mirrorless. Sometimes I regret doing so !
Thank you
 

Charles Loy

Well-known member
Supporting Member
It makes fantastic images, focus is acceptable fast. Lots of lens for the money. Many have had the zoom lock concern, myself twice.
 

BLev65

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thanks for your reply im assuming it will partner well with my d500
The 200-500 w/ D500 is probably has the best wildlife quality : price ratio of any combination. At about $3000 (new) for both, it is hard to beat the combination of AF speed, FPS, AF accuracy, VR, range, and overall optical quality for less money.
The 200-500 & D500 is more than sharp enough to produce publishable and printable photographs. While there are better lenses and better bodies, any patient photographer who invests themselves in learning how to approach subjects, compose images, and evaluate light can produce great work with that kit.
I shot this pairing w/ a 200-400 and even 500PF for many years. My decision to sell my last 200-500 was mostly linked to my partner's decision to divest herself from taking pictures.
If your budget is tight, this is a great way to add some Nikon quality to your lens kit.

bruce
 

tclune

Active member
When I got my D500, I also got the Nikon 200-500 to replace my Sigma 150-500. I love the D500, but I honestly never noticed any improvement with the Nikon over the old Sigma. Maybe I just had a good copy of the Sigma. Since I never tried the Sigma on the D500, I can't compare the focus speed of the two. I have no complaints about the Nikon lens, but I am not aware of it being a step up from my old lens.
 

Abinoone

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Hi all,just wondering if anyone has any comments regarding the purchase of this lens in 2022,i currently have the Tamron 150-600mm version 1which is still a great lens but i have recently bought a Z6 and i am unable to use this lens on that camera.i was contemplating getting the G2 of this lens but i have heard so much about the 200-500 over a long time and all comments seem very favourable,i am willing to give up a bit of reach and the new Z zooms are out of my budget at the moment,i have heard these two lenses are quite similar but was wanting to draw on anyones opions as i know a lot of photographers out there swear on the Nikon lens cheers regards John
It’s a great lens for the money, as long as you get a good copy. Years ago, I rented a Tamron 150-600, a Sigma 150-600, and the Nikon 200-500 to test them out before buying. I found the Nikon lens to have better construction, better AF, and better overall image quality than either Tamron or Sigma, so ended up buying the Nikon. I’ve been very pleased with the lens in general, except under certain circumstances. In low light, the AF struggles, and the lens doesn’t marry very well with a TC (it works, but the AF is painfully slow). All in all however, it’s a solid zoom telephoto, and a bargain for $1300.

You might be interested in reading this independent review of the three lens: https://photographylife.com/nikon-200-500mm-vs-tamron-150-600mm-vs-sigma-150-600mm-c
 
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Rassie

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I got my 200-50mm Nikkor lens late in 2015. Around the same time a friend of mine got the Tamron 150-600mm G1. We used those lenses side by side until early 2022. My friend's images with the Tamron were never even nearly as sharp as mine with the Nikkor. Three months ago I purchased the Nikkor 500mm PF and gifted the 200-500mm Nikkor to my friend. The Tamron has been sitting on the shelf since then and my friend loves the Nikkor.

As for the Tamron, I checked with the company here in Canada and they assured me that they could do a firmware upgrade on the Tamron 150-600mm G1 lens to make it fully functional on a Nikon Z body, so that is an option you could consider as well. I believe that will be free of charge.
 
Last edited:

DougC

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Not to start a brag fest, but I own and have owned several top of the line Nikon telephotos. That said, the 200-500 is a lens whose sharpness and IQ still amazes me. Since I bought it several years ago, I have used it along with my 500 f4 on almost every shoot and quite honestly, when I review images I can rarely see a difference in the files from both lenses. Both YouTube and the net are flooded with positive reviews of this lens. As stated previously, it is heavy but I am a tripod user so that’s not a factor for me. Yes, newer and higher grade lenses focus faster but the bottom line is that the 200-500 performs way above its pay grade. The mythical 200-600 may prove to be as good or better but it will probably cost about twice as much as the 200-500. There are also great deals on the used market now. Personally, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one.
 

abc123brian

Well-known member
I can’t compare the 200-500 to Tamron or Sigma, but I‘ve used two copies of it in the past. Overall I was very impressed with the IQ, especially for the price. The cons of the 200-500mm for me were the long throw of the zoom (it takes more than one turn of the wrist to go from 200-500mm), and the AF motors are a little slow (it’s not capable of focusing as quickly as a lens like the 500mm PF) but it’s still quick enough most of the time. It’s also on the heavier side, but this is a characteristic of many of these lenses. I’d say it’s still a good lens to purchase at this time, even more so if you pick it up when on sale. The one unknown is the Z 200-600mm is expected to be released soon. No one knows the price or when to expect it, but it’s likely to be very popular and difficult to get initially.
 

Strodav

Well-known member
I have both the Tamron 160-600mm f/5-6.3 G2 and Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6. I started birding with the G2 and was getting good results after tuning, but was asking the same questions the op is asking. I eventually picked up the 200-500mm and did a side by side comparison using both a D850 and D500. Both lenses are equally sharp in the center. The G2 is softer in the corners compared to the 200-500 and it gets softer quicker. The G2 is spec'd at 600mm at infinity. For normal shooting distances, say, 20-30yds, it only gets to about 530 to 560mm. It's a long story involving Tamron customer service and repair, but I had to tune my G2 with Tamron's Tap-In to get good results. I do not recommend using a 1.4x with the G2 as it gets to f/5.6 (f/8) around 330mm so AF does not work with my dslrs after that, but I do use a 1.4x with the 200-500 with my dslrs, which makes it an f/8 lens. AF speed is nothing to write home about with either lens on a dslr, but the G2 tends to hunt more. The 200-500 locks and stays locked.

I have used both lenses with my F9. It's a game changer. The G2 performs better on the Z9 than on my dslrs. AF is faster and more accurate and you can use a 1.4x teleconverter, which takes it to an f/8.8 lens, give or take. The G2 still doesn't reach 600mm at reasonable shooting distances and it is softer in the corners, but you shouldn't have to tune it like with phase detect AF on a dslr.

I prefer the 200-500mm, but if you can get a good price for a used 150-600mm G2, it would be hard to pass up. I see them in EX condition for about $800 on KEH.com. I don't see any used 200-500mm f/5.6 on KEH. Maybe that's telling us something.
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
The 200-500 w/ D500 is probably has the best wildlife quality : price ratio of any combination. At about $3000 (new) for both, it is hard to beat the combination of AF speed, FPS, AF accuracy, VR, range, and overall optical quality for less money.
The 200-500 & D500 is more than sharp enough to produce publishable and printable photographs. While there are better lenses and better bodies, any patient photographer who invests themselves in learning how to approach subjects, compose images, and evaluate light can produce great work with that kit.
I shot this pairing w/ a 200-400 and even 500PF for many years. My decision to sell my last 200-500 was mostly linked to my partner's decision to divest herself from taking pictures.
If your budget is tight, this is a great way to add some Nikon quality to your lens kit.

bruce
Thanks so much
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I have both the Tamron 160-600mm f/5-6.3 G2 and Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6. I started birding with the G2 and was getting good results after tuning, but was asking the same questions the op is asking. I eventually picked up the 200-500mm and did a side by side comparison using both a D850 and D500. Both lenses are equally sharp in the center. The G2 is softer in the corners compared to the 200-500 and it gets softer quicker. The G2 is spec'd at 600mm at infinity. For normal shooting distances, say, 20-30yds, it only gets to about 530 to 560mm. It's a long story involving Tamron customer service and repair, but I had to tune my G2 with Tamron's Tap-In to get good results. I do not recommend using a 1.4x with the G2 as it gets to f/5.6 (f/8) around 330mm so AF does not work with my dslrs after that, but I do use a 1.4x with the 200-500 with my dslrs, which makes it an f/8 lens. AF speed is nothing to write home about with either lens on a dslr, but the G2 tends to hunt more. The 200-500 locks and stays locked.

I have used both lenses with my F9. It's a game changer. The G2 performs better on the Z9 than on my dslrs. AF is faster and more accurate and you can use a 1.4x teleconverter, which takes it to an f/8.8 lens, give or take. The G2 still doesn't reach 600mm at reasonable shooting distances and it is softer in the corners, but you shouldn't have to tune it like with phase detect AF on a dslr.

I prefer the 200-500mm, but if you can get a good price for a used 150-600mm G2, it would be hard to pass up. I see them in EX condition for about $800 on KEH.com. I don't see any used 200-500mm f/5.6 on KEH. Maybe that's telling us something.
Thanks for your reply
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I can’t compare the 200-500 to Tamron or Sigma, but I‘ve used two copies of it in the past. Overall I was very impressed with the IQ, especially for the price. The cons of the 200-500mm for me were the long throw of the zoom (it takes more than one turn of the wrist to go from 200-500mm), and the AF motors are a little slow (it’s not capable of focusing as quickly as a lens like the 500mm PF) but it’s still quick enough most of the time. It’s also on the heavier side, but this is a characteristic of many of these lenses. I’d say it’s still a good lens to purchase at this time, even more so if you pick it up when on sale. The one unknown is the Z 200-600mm is expected to be released soon. No one knows the price or when to expect it, but it’s likely to be very popular and difficult to get initially.
Thankyou
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Not to start a brag fest, but I own and have owned several top of the line Nikon telephotos. That said, the 200-500 is a lens whose sharpness and IQ still amazes me. Since I bought it several years ago, I have used it along with my 500 f4 on almost every shoot and quite honestly, when I review images I can rarely see a difference in the files from both lenses. Both YouTube and the net are flooded with positive reviews of this lens. As stated previously, it is heavy but I am a tripod user so that’s not a factor for me. Yes, newer and higher grade lenses focus faster but the bottom line is that the 200-500 performs way above its pay grade. The mythical 200-600 may prove to be as good or better but it will probably cost about twice as much as the 200-500. There are also great deals on the used market now. Personally, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one.
Thanks so much
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I got my 200-50mm Nikkor lens late in 2015. Around the same time a friend of mine got the Tamron 150-600mm G1. We used those lenses side by side until early 2022. My friend's images with the Tamron were never even nearly as sharp as mine with the Nikkor. Three months ago I purchased the Nikkor 500mm PF and gifted the 200-500mm Nikkor to my friend. The Tamron has been sitting on the shelf since then and my friend loves the Nikkor.

As for the Tamron, I checked with the company here in Canada and they assured me that they could do a firmware upgrade on the Tamron 150-600mm G1 lens to make it fully functional on a Nikon Z body, so that is an option you could consider as well. I believe that will be free of charge.
Thank you for replying:)
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
It’s a great lens for the money, as long as you get a good copy. Years ago, I rented a Tamron 150-600, a Sigma 150-600, and the Nikon 200-500 to test them out before buying. I found the Nikon lens to have better construction, better AF, and better overall image quality than either Tamron or Sigma, so ended up buying the Nikon. I’ve been very pleased with the lens in general, except under certain circumstances. In low light, the AF struggles, and the lens doesn’t marry very well with a TC (it works, but the AF is painfully slow). All in all however, it’s a solid zoom telephoto, and a bargain for $1300.

You might be interested in reading this independent review of the three lens: https://photographylife.com/nikon-200-500mm-vs-tamron-150-600mm-vs-sigma-150-600mm-c
Thank you
 

trapper12

Active member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
When I got my D500, I also got the Nikon 200-500 to replace my Sigma 150-500. I love the D500, but I honestly never noticed any improvement with the Nikon over the old Sigma. Maybe I just had a good copy of the Sigma. Since I never tried the Sigma on the D500, I can't compare the focus speed of the two. I have no complaints about the Nikon lens, but I am not aware of it being a step up from my old lens
 
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