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

12 September 2018
Maciej Latałło

9. Ghosting and flares

New technologies employed by Canon (DO) and by Nikon (PF) are known for causing noticeable problems when it comes to performance against bright light. It might concern day and night shooting; the artifacts which are created due to bright street lights and other point-like sources of bright light might constitute a real challenge.

First let’s check whether on photos taken against bright light you can spot the structure of Fresnel elements. The answer is positive and a crop below is the proof (the full photo we took that crop from is presented further in this chapter). Still it is hardly a common problem, visible mainly on stopping down the aperture and in some specific position of the sun against the corner of the frame.

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

When it comes to ghosting and flares these aren’t any serious issue. Their number is rather limited and that means the blackening of the interior is good and anti reflective coatings in the lens are of very high quality. The overall contrast loss is something you should really complain about – the biggest drawback when it comes to Fresnel technology. It is a really serious flaw, persisting even when the source of light is situated far from the frame corner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


When the first Fresnel lenses were launched there were suggestions that there might be problems during night shooting with bright street lights inside the frame. The Nikon company added even a “PF Flare Control” module to its Capture NX-D software which was supposed to dampen down flares caused by Fresnel elements. Still already during the test of the Nikkor 4/300 PF we proved the problem wasn’t especially serious. Now it seems it was corrected in an even better way – night photos below don’t feature any distinct flaws.

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

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

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