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Nikon Nikkor AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR

Manufacturer Nikon Nikkor
Model AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR
Lens style Telephoto
Focal length 500 mm
Maximum aperture f/5.6
Angle of view o
Closest focusing distance 3 m
Maximum magnification
Minimum aperture 32
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Auto focus type AF / MF
Lens Construction 19 elements / 11 groups
Filter diameter 95 mm
Macro No
Available mounts Nikon F
Dimensions 237 x 106 mm
Weight 1460 g
Additional information Announced: 23.08.2018
3 ED elements, 1 Phase Fresnel (PF) element, nano crystal coatings, front elements with fluorine coating
Average rating (3 owners reviews)
Build quality
Optical quality
Value for money


4.44 Good
Owners reviews (3)
  1. Kevin
    Kevin 30 December 2021, 23:59
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 64.203.x.x
    Owner since: 6 months
    Price: $3400
    User profile: Amateur

    Cons: A little prone to flare with backlit subjects, and of course the lens foot, which I replaced with an Arca-Swiss and QD capable model from Hejnar. As previously stated, closest focus of 8M is a little restricting.

    Pros: Build quality is good and the lens is sharp, a little sharper than the 200-500 zoom. The size and weight are terrific for a 500mm prime making this a nature photographer’s dream, especially on a D500 body. AF speed and VR are both very good. I also think it’s reasonably priced, especially when compared to Nikon’s 500mm f/4.

    Summary: A “must have” lens for a wildlife photographer, very transportable, easy to hand hold, very good optical quality and fairly priced. I can see why this lens was so much in demand - and so much back ordered - when it was first announced.

  2. James
    James 30 July 2020, 14:07
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 165.90.x.x
    Owner since: 6 months
    User profile: Semipro

    Cons: Think this lens like most Nikon Lenses are overpriced. The focus especially on the Z series with FTZ is slow for a prime, on DSLR it is fast but not to the same level as the f2.8 and f4 primes or Zoom lenses. Sharpness is also not buch better then the 200-500. Lens flare is not good against the sun/light

    Pros: Very small and light for travel and shooting out of hand. Build quality is good but the lens hood is flimsy. Biggest benefit is size and at close distance the lens is sharp.

    Summary: A good lens that comes at a high price for its benefits of small size and portability.

  3. Scott
    Scott 23 July 2020, 15:54
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 99.243.x.x
    Owner since: 1 year
    Price: $4,500
    User profile: Semipro

    Cons: Honestly, I can only think of two negatives with the lens. The first is common to nearly every camera manufacture, the lack of an Arca Swiss compatible tripod foot. The first thing I did was buy a replacement foot. The second is the closest focusing distance of 3m. For a 500mm lens, it\'s great, but for such a small lens, it feels like it should focus a couple of feet closer.

    Pros: Small, light, sharp and not too expensive. What\'s not like? It is essentially a perfect wildlife photographers lens. Long enough for wildlife and it performs well with a 1.4x teleconverter too. It is the only reason I still shoot Nikon, and unless Sony comes out with a comparable lens, I\'ll be anchored in Nikon for many years.

    Summary: You cannot go wrong with this lens. While the f5.6 costs you a stop of light and background blurring in some cases, it is a small price to pay for such a wonderful lens. It makes carrying a long lens feasible on hikes because you can practically stick this thing in your back pocket.

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