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Lens review

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

12 September 2018
Maciej Lata││o

5. Chromatic and spherical aberration

Chromatic aberration

If you remind yourself that the correction of longitudinal chromatic aberration is helped by not only three ED elements but also by the Phase Fresnel technology you won’t be surprised by the results showed in photos below. There are no traces of that aberration even in out-of-focus areas positioned far away at the maximum relative aperture.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration

The correction of lateral chromatic aberration should be described in similar terms. Its performance, depending on aperture, for both types of detectors, presents a graph, shown below.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration


The results are ranging from 0.03 to 0.04% and it’s a very low level; it means you won’t notice that aberration in real life photos. A round of applause!

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NikonáD3x, RAW, f/5.6 NikonáD3x, RAW, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration


Spherical aberration

The tested lens didn’t have any problems with focus shift as it is clearly seen in photos beginning this chapter. What’s more, there are no significant differences between the appearance of circles of light we obtained before and after the focus. The only noticeable difference seems to be the very centre of each circle, dark in one case, light in the other. These results and the fact that the lens reaches its maximum resolution at the maximum relative aperture allow us to claim the Nikkor 5.6/500 doesn’t have any problems with the correction of spherical aberration.

NikonáD3x, f/5.6, in front of NikonáD3x , f/5.6, behind
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration Nikon Nikkor AF-S 500 mm f/5.6E PF ED VR - Chromatic and spherical aberration