Review Lens: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR

Lens Overview - Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6

Contrary to popular belief, a super telephoto does not have to be a massive lens, proven here with the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR. Taking exceptionally long reach and giving it a hand-holdable form factor, this 500mm prime utilizes a unique Phase Fresnel element to greatly reduce the size and weight compared to previous versions of the focal length. This PF element, along with three extra-low dispersion elements, also helps to virtually eliminate color fringing and chromatic aberrations in order to achieve a high degree of clarity, sharpness, and color fidelity. Complementing this advanced optical design, individual elements also feature both Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coatings to suppress flare and ghosting, as well as a protective fluorine coating to guard the optical system from dust and moisture.

Benefitting the optical design, this telephoto features a Silent Wave Motor AF system that produces fast, near-silent focusing performance to suit both stills shooting and movie recording, and which can instantly be manually overridden by simply turning the focus ring. Further contributing to photographing in fast-paced situations and difficult lighting, VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization compensates for the effects of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting. Additionally, an electromagnetic aperture mechanism is integrated into the lens design to provide greater exposure control stability that is especially beneficial when working with faster continuous shooting rates.

Super telephoto designed for use with FX-format Nikon F-mount cameras, this lens is also compatible with DX models where it will provide a 750mm equivalent focal length.
One Phase Fresnel element and three extra-low dispersion lens elements work to greatly reduce chromatic aberrations and color fringing; improve overall image sharpness, clarity, and color fidelity; and help to minimize the overall weight of the lens.
A Nano Crystal Coat, along with a Super Integrated Coating, has been applied to lens elements to minimize surface and internal reflections for a marked reduction in lens flare and ghosting.
Vibration Reduction image stabilization helps to reduce the appearance of camera shake by four stops, benefiting this lens's use in low-light conditions. Additionally, a designated Sport Mode is well-suited to working in fast-paced conditions and a Tripod Mode helps to suppress subtle ground vibrations when working atop a support system.
Silent Wave Motor affords quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance along with full-time manual focus override. An internal focusing design is also used, where only the internal lens groups are moved during focusing, to maintain the overall length of the lens during use and to promote faster focusing speeds.
Fluorine-coated front element affords protection to the optical system.
Dust- and moisture-resistant magnesium-alloy lens barrel benefits the lens' use in inclement conditions.
A removable tripod collar is included with the lens for well-balanced support when working from a monopod or tripod.
Specialized electromagnetic aperture mechanism provides greater exposure control stability that is especially beneficial when working with fast continuous shooting rates.

This mechanism limits the compatibility of this lens to the following cameras: D5, D4, D3 series, Df, D850, D810, D810A, D800/E, D750, D700, D610, D600, D500, D300/S, D7500, D7200, D7100, D7000, D5600, D5500, D5300, D5200, D5100, D5000, D3400, D3300, D3200, D3100, Nikon Z7/Z6 with FTZ, Nikon 1 J1, J2, J3, J4 with FT-1, Nikon 1 V1, V2, V3 with FT-1, and Nikon 1 S1, S2 with FT-1.
Compatible with optional AF-S Teleconverter TC-14, TC-17, and TC-20 teleconverters.
UPC: 018208200825

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6 Latest Price



Focal Length500mm
Maximum Aperturef/5.6
Minimum Aperturef/32
Lens MountNikon F
Format CompatibilityFull-Frame
Angle of View
Minimum Focus Distance9.84' / 3 m
Maximum Magnification0.18x
Optical Design19 Elements in 11 Groups
Diaphragm Blades9, Rounded
Focus TypeAutofocus
Image StabilizationYes
Tripod CollarRemovable and Rotating
Filter Size95 mm (Front)
Dimensions (ø x L)4.17 x 9.33" / 106 x 237 mm
Weight3.21 lb / 1460 g

Photos Example - Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6

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Lens Technical

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSSNikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm F4E FL ED VR Extender 1.4x ON
Name Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6E PF ED VRSony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSSNikon AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm F4E FL ED VR Extender 1.4x ON
Max Aperture At Min Focal f/5.6f/5.6f/5.6
Year 201820192018
Mount Type Nikon F FXSony FENikon F FX
Lens Type Lens SupertelephotoLens SupertelephotoLens Supertelephoto
Auto Focus NoNoNo
Price $3600$2000$12400
Lens Zoom PrimeZoomZoom
Lens Range 500200252
Zoom Factor 111
Weight 1lb1lb1lb
Macro NoNoNo
Launch Date Aug. 2018Jun. 2019Jan. 2018
Brand NikonSonyNikon


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