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Nikon - AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Super Telephoto Zoom Lens - Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 232 reviews

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would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    $1400, and a great bargain. Should cost more.

    Posted
    Powderhound
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Recently picked this up to shoot sports, birds and anything that moves. I just bought a D500 bundle with battery pack and 16-80 2.8 last month from Best Buy (read my review). I have never had a lens this good or this heavy. I have been shooting with it quite a bit and am getting used to the weight. I can now hand hold it comfortably. I did purchase a tripod with ball head that makes it easier to shoot for a while. Thinking about adding a gimbal head. The lens is just fantastic. I recommend using auto-focus fine tune. I made some minor adjustments and it’s very sharp. I am shooting in manual and set the shutter speed and aperture. The camera chooses the ISO. This works very well with the D500. This lens has great range on a DX camera, 300-750 and it’s sharp throughout the entire focal range. The lens stabilization is just outstanding. Just engage the focus (I backfocus and shoot in continuous) and the image freezes. That’s so important with a Long telephoto. Even my hand held shots are sharp. I can also shot at less than 1/500 hand held for stationary targets. There is also a lock out for focus to more than 20 feet. This speeds focus acquisition. The lens also can lock so it doesn’t open in transit. Speaking of storage, the lens sock (cover) is useless. I bought a really nice padded case to protect it. I am not a huge fan of the lens collar as it can’t adjust fore and aft to balance better on a tripod and ball mount. I will buy something to add to it to allow some adjustment. I am nitpicking a bit because it still works well with the ball head and I can rotate the camera and shoot vertically pretty easily. The D500 battery pack has a second shutter, focusing joystick and a second focusing button. The D500 allows you to program different focusing systems for each of these. The lens focuses very quickly and is tack sharp. Any blurred images are my fault, not the lens. I couldn’t be happier with it. Frankly, this lens should cost $2500, so it’s a great deal at $1400. I haven’t shot in low light but expect it will work well for any night sporting event that is well lit. Any other action would be shot in bright light so the lens’ 5.6 continuous aperture is fast enough for me. I posted a couple of photos taken at approximately 700 mm in DX with some minor post production adjustments from the JPEG file. I know that shooting raw will be even better. Nice bokeh at 5.6. If you have need for a big telephoto and don’t have 10k for a prime lens, this is a keeper. The zoom does take a couple of full turns to go from one end to the other but that’s not a problem. I like the lightweight large lens hood but might buy a shorter one. Haven’t decided yet. It does click in place but I would be careful if you walk through the woods as it might pop off if you hit a tree branch. Again, nitpicking a bit. Very pleased with this purchase. Just make sure that you have a camera that has a great focusing system and high frame rate and buffer so you can really see what it can do.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Choice

    Posted
    Bill
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I had been drooling over this lens but just couldn't pull the trigger on buying it. While on a driving trip out to Texas my wife suggested I should pickup the lens and use it on the trip. Looked on Best Buy, found that a store about 1 hour ahead of us on the journey had the lens so I made the purchase. Very glad I did. Several have commented that the lens is heavy. True enough, but any lens of this size is going to be heavy. While I find it heavy, I have been able to handhold every shot I've made with it due to the incredible VR system. Using it with my D7100. In low light focus can be a little hard to achieve. Also, if you focus in very close and then switch to a distant object, the lens has difficulty finding focus. Both of these situations are easy to overcome and have not hindered my enjoyment of the lens. Photos are very sharp and pleasant. I recommend using back focusing (Google it if you don't know what it is), manual shutter and aperture with auto-ISO. This allows you to keep the shutter speed up, depth of field as you want it, and auto-ISO makes up the difference. I wondered if f5.6 maximum aperture would be a problem but I can say I have not given it a consideration while shooting. See the shots I've attached for results. Quite pleased.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Easy no-brainer

    Posted
    Fixmeister
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This has got to be the best Nikon lens deal ever. It’s sharp, fast, solid and cheap for what you get. Getting a fixed f-stop 500mm lens for what this sells for... with Nikon’s name on it...? I can’t recommend it enough. I have a D7200 and a D500 and it’s beautiful on both bodies. It is pretty big but weighs an appropriate amount for the reach and zoom you’re getting. Both. cameras focus this lens quickly. I’m sure it’s not as fast as the 500 & 600mm primes but I don’t derive income from my photography and could never justify the cost of the primes. The competition lenses have a little more reach on either end but to be honest, I’m so much more comfortable with a Nikon lens on my Nikon bodies. Everything works flawlessly. You will read comments about how heavy it is. It’s not for what you get. Anyone who is seriously interested in wildlife photography expects a lens of this length to have some heft to it. You will read comments about how the zoom ring takes a couple of ‘turns’ to zoom from 200-500. True, but it hasn’t been a bit of an issue. The zoom ring is smooth and solid. Everything about this lens feels perfect. If you’re into birds or wildlife, just buy one.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Excellent value for strong zoom telephoto

    Posted
    RicoQueso
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    There are many choices, even within the Nikon world, for a long telephoto or zoom. I have several of them, but was still looking for something that "worked better" for my primary use - birding. My daily go-to was the 80-400mm (first gen) but, as many have mentioned, it's glacially slow to autofocus. Great optics but a pain to use on birds. Enter the 200-500mm f5.6 telezoom from Nikon, for a rather reasonable price of ~$1400. Quick to focus or re-focus, VR works well, images are sharp. Quick switch to manual focus if needed, certainly more portable than my old school f4 500mm. But ... This is still a beast to carry. I'm not dainty, fairly stout actually, and lugging this around in the field all day is taxing at the very least. It is easy to hand-hold, and the hand falls to the zoom ring easily enough. And, its length, even though IF (internal focus), is considerable, even when set at 200mm. When cranked out to 500mm, you've got about 1.5-2ft poking out in front of you, or dangling down when you bend over to look at something or sit or turn or ... you get the picture. So, you can't have it all: powerful telezoom, fast lens, ease-of-use, cheap price, light weight, a chicken in every pot, world peace. BTW, it comes with a rather superfluous lens hood, and a black cloth drawstring bag by way of "carry case". One thing I didn't appreciate was, upon arriving home and opening the box, it was obvious someone had previously opened it, fiddled with it (the protective cover on the back end was loose in the box. Nikon does not seal their boxes, but Best Buy should make sure that customers aren't buying an expensive lens that someone (customer? employee?) has messed around with while "in stock". But this lens is a very good compromise, and an excellent tool / value.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great lens for the money.

    Posted
    fortytin
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I love to do wildlife and landscape photography and I love having a lens that allows me to really zoom in and capture some very unique photos. I thought long and hard before purchasing this lens and for the money invested, this lens fits the bill perfectly. One word of caution though, it is a heavy lens, therefore a tripod or a shooting stick is a must for many occasions. However its not impossible to get a good photo thanks to the vibration reduction built into the lens. The 2 photos I have included were both hand held. The bird taking flight I was leaning against a tree so was pretty rock solid, but the bird in flight I was standing, looking almost straight up, a very unstable stance. You can spend much, much more money and get more light gathering capabilities but for a professional amateur, like myself, this one works great.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Superb and affordable.

    Posted
    LeNsBro
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    When this lens was first announced, I thought; this is the perfect wildlife lens I have been looking for... but since it was a nikon, I figured it would probably retail for around $4000 or more. When I heard the price was going to be a paltry $1400, I thought; this thing can't be very good then.... To my surprise, I was wrong, and wrong! This lens started coming in with rave reviews on excellent optical performance and stunning VR capability. I finally acquired mine about 3 months ago and it has delivered on every promise! Yes, it is a bit on the heavy and bulky side but if you want to shoot 200~500mm at a constant F5.6, suck it up and get used to it - because you will be richly rewarded with many fine "keeper" images. My only complaint is that the initial acquisition of AF on my D810 is a bit slow with this lens, but once acquisition is made, tracking is not an issue.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Highly recommended for wildlife.

    Posted
    ChosenNickname
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I purchased this lens after carefully reviewing all the reviews and more importantly, the photographs taken with this lens by the average hobbyist on sites like flickr. The pictures taken with the Nikkor 200-500mm looked a bit better than the third party lenses it competes with. You can get sharp pictures with any of the 150-600mm offerings but the Nikkor 200-500mm has more natural looking out of focus areas to my eye. I've been using this lens with and without a Nikon TC-14e III teleconverter. I'm amazed at how well the lens works with the teleconverter! Of course, you have to shoot at F8 or smaller aperture but if the light is there it auto-focuses fine on a D750, examples included.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Value

    Posted
    Bestbuyguy
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    This lens is an amazing value. I own both a 500mm f/4 and 300mm f/2.8 lenses. This 200-500mm lens will not focus as fast as those lenses. This lens requires more light than those lenses. However, this lens can give you 500mm of reach for $1400. The 500mm f/4 lens will cost you $8-10K. What this lens gives you, is a fast enough auto focus - not blazing. It gives you a very nice 200-500mm workable zoom range and more flexibility than a prime lens. The photos at 500mm are sharp. I had a Sigma 150-500mm lens in the past and from 400-500mm that lens lost image quality fairly rapidly, especially at 500. At 375mm that lens was decent. This 200-500 from Nikon is solid throughout the zoom range. Overall, I am very impressed with this lens considering the money. Nikon did well with this one!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good all around

    Posted
    Kimberdan
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This is my second time reviewing this lens...I used it on my D7200 my D610 and now my D500 and it works great... NOTE if you use this on a crop body you must keep your apature at f8 or below...for some reason f5.6 just does not take a good picture...but on the D610 the f5.6 is amazing and for the price your not going to get a better lens... Bad thing...its heavy...but I'm a bird photographer and always on a tripod so weight isn't to big of a deal since I'm generally hauling 10 to 12 lbs of gear with.... If you compared this to the 5 or 600 nikon prime which is almost the cost of a car this lens is not as sharp, but it's 1399 not 13000.00... Buy it you will be happy with it The only reason it got 4 starts is from the weight and the inability to use the 5.6 on a crop body and I have had 2 copies and it isn't a defective lens...do your research on this lens.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great value for the money.

    Posted
    Arcitekt
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    After much review of lenses on-line from Nikon and others by Tamron and Sigma, this is the best lens over the competition. Only the 200-400mm. f4 at $7,000 is better. At $1,400 this lens is a steel for quite the same quality. On the specs you loose 1 stop and does not have Nano coating, but after all it is $5,600 less. The VR works as expected and is good with hand held sports action. A little heavy, but a 500m lens has to be big. Great bokeh and fast focus is plus on my Nikon D800. It shoots well at f 5.6 thru f 11.0 with razor sharp pictures. A tripod or monopod mounted to the lens clip makes pictures only better. This lens fits nicely with my other zooms selections of 14-24 f2.8, 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f 2.8.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent lens!

    Posted
    Catman
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Just can't say enough good things about this lens! Nikon you did yourselves proud on this one. Using it with the Nikon D500 which works great with this lens. It is so versatile. I'm currently in Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Stopped to have lunch and shared it with 3 Gray Jay's, they fly within just a few feet on me. Zoomed out to 200mm and got full Frame pictures, couldn't of done that with my 500mm lens. Also used it for Macrophotography, I could get within 7 feet and at 500mm (750mm) equivalent I got excellent photos. I shoot a lot of wild life and birds in flight works great on both. Images are excellent sharp and crisp. I consider this lens a steal at its current price. I tried this combination out before I bought it and I see no difference in my pictures with this combination than with my Cannon 5diii and my Cannon 500mm f/4.0 version ll. So selling my Cannon 500mm and using this lighter and more versatile lens.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nice reach for 200-500mm lens

    Posted
    Mickey
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This is my first long lens and it takes plenty of practice to get nice photos. If you’re not use to using a heavy lens, it can be daunting, specially shooting all day at an airshow or birding... or use a monopod but it’s a bit restrictive. VR greatly helps steady the lens for moving objects. 5.6 works nicely during the day but tends to hunt for a focus point during dusk hours. Bokeh is nice as well... Pricing is very competitive and gives the others a run for the money... plus it has a NIKON badge which for me instills a lot of pride n confidence. Best Buy was also helpful with purchasing this and other lenses. Practice, practice, practice to fully appreciate this telephoto lens. Well worth the cost. Don’t forget the Protective clear filter.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nothing else like it

    Posted
    Archer
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I have used this lens extensively on my D610 and D500 for birds and other wildlife. Results are spectacular. The VR works amazingly well. I only need a monopod when using it on the D500 with an effective angle of view of a 750mm lens. On D610, I routinely hand hold. Sharpness and contrast are superb. F5.6 is good for even twilight shots with high ISO capabilities of my 2 Nikon bodies. Only "average" thing about the lens is focusing. It is not blazing fast, but I find it OK for flying birds unless very close. (Explosive warblers will still need a 300F2.8!) Having a range of 200-500mm has been more handy than I thought it would be for those times (especially with the D500) when 500mm is too much. No need to change lenses.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic telephoto zoom

    Posted
    Landcruiser
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I’ve wanted this lens since it first came out some 2 years ago. It is a great value at the regular price for a Nikon telephoto zoom that reaches 500mm and has a reputation for being sharp wide open. When Nikon discounted the lens in July 2018, I broke down and bought it. It is fantastic - very sharp and contrasty - and my only regret is that I didn’t buy it sooner. I’ve used it for capturing outfield action at baseball games. It is a great lens for wildlife. Is it big and heavy? Yes. Is it hand holdable? Yes - but not for extended periods of time. I put a Kirk lens plate on mine and it balances fine on an arca-Swiss system ballhead or monopod head. I recommend that you use a safety strap (such as a Blackrapid strap) when carrying the lens.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Sharp images with great color!

    Posted
    toms
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Kudos to Nikon for making this f/5.6 200-500mm range lens available at a reasonable (though not necessarily cheap) price. I was worried about the weight at first and started out using it exclusively with a mono-pod. Through trial and error, I discovered that I actually get betters results hand holding. This is where the VR feature comes into play. Together with my Nikkor f/2.8 70-200mm, I have all the reach I need to get great quality zoom photography (Of course, the photographer has something to do with that too!)

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great lens - so sharp - very versatile

    Posted
    NikonFan
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I really enjoy using this lens. Initially I thought I would have to always use it on a tripod. However with the image stabilization and some practice, I can get some great shots of wildlife hand-held. The images are really sharp. When used on my D500, it effectively gives another 1.5 times on the zoom. Just wonderful with wildlife. I have also got some amazing shots of the moon with this lens. Yesterday I saw some photos by another photographer when he used this lens on a D500 with a star tracker, 360 image stack, special software to get a great photo of the Orion and Horsehead Nebulas. I was amazed that this lens could also be used with astro photography.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent lens but heavy

    Posted
    Nikonshooter
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    First of all, I'd like to say kudos to Best Buy. (BB). My first copy of this lens had a coating defect on the front element. Even though I thoughly checked the lens before leaving the store the defect could not be seen under the flourescent lights. A BB associate followed me outside where the defect could be seen under sunlit conditions. BB then exchanged it with a new lens no questions asked. Awesome. Now, as for the lens itself the image quality is outstanding. This lens with its vibration control really locks on and produces stunning images. I like to handhold rather than place the lens on a mono/tripod and the only complaint is that this lens is heavy. This lens is a great value. With it's constant aperture and vibration reduction this lens should easily cost $500-800 more. Next on my list, a solid tripod.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    One of the Most Fun and Versatile Lens I Own

    Posted
    Calon
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This Lens is so Versatile and Sharp, Used it on Nikon D7100, D500, D4 and D800E and performs beautiful on all, It Tracks great, used to take Professional pictures during NBA playoffs with Lebron James, Wildlife Birds in Flight, Fashion Shows, Concerts, and Even have the Macro Extension tubes so its also now a 200 0r 500mm Macro Lens...you do the math on how much that cost or exist.(only downfall is that this lens is the newer Nikon Electronic style Aperture which is silent and more accurate but make the tubes that have Mechanical lever skip sometimes, and this lens doesnt work 100% with older Cameras pre D90 that well cause newer electronics, and that its a F5.6 so when the light gets low, Higher ISOs are needed(which no problem for D4,D4s,D5)

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Lens for the Price

    Posted
    Kymater
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I purchased this lens to shoot wildlife and sports. So far, I'm extremely happy with it. I was able to get in time to take on a florida beach vacation and I've shot one middle school football game. It has exceeded expectations. Shooting with a D7100, even in semi low light conditions it gives sharp images without too much noise. I will say it's HEAVY, but most of the time I shoot off a monopod, which I recommend for any duration shooting (sports).

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Sharp as a Blade

    Posted
    Masta
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I can count an owl's eyebrow hairs from across a lake if I wanted to! Ok, I don't even know if owls have eyebrows but you get the point! I've taken this out and gotten herons and geese from a distance and the detail is astonishing! Yes, you're going to need a decent amount of light at f/5.6 but that's what this lens is for--being out in the daylight and shooting animals and outdoor sports. The VR helps to alleviate the rather mediocre aperture setting, so you can compensate for the lower light with a longer shutter speed. The price is justified and i'm glad I got it!

    I would recommend this to a friend