LensTip.com

Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR

30 October 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

8. Vignetting

First let’s glance at the vignetting performance on the smaller sensor of the Nikon D500 – appropriate thumbnails are presented below.

Nikon D500, 200 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D500, 200 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D500, 300 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D500, 300 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D500, 400 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D500, 400 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D500, 500 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D500, 500 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting


The thumbnails look very well and their excellent appearance is supported by our measurements. On the smaller APS-C/DX sensor there is practically no vignetting at all. At 200 mm, even at the maximum relative aperture, it reaches just 4% (−0.13 EV), at 300 mm it increases to 7% (−0.21 EV), and at 400 mm to 8% (−0.25 EV). Only at 500 mm you can call this aberration otherwise than negligible because by f/5.6 it gets to 17% (−0.53 EV) and on stopping down to f/8.0 it decreases to 6% (−0.17 EV).


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Will the lens fare so well on full frame too? In order to assess its performance let’s glance at thumbnails below and they come from photos taken with the help of the Nikon D3x.

Nikon D3x, 200 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D3x, 200 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 300 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D3x, 300 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 400 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D3x, 400 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 500 mm, f/5.6 Nikon D3x, 500 mm, f/8.0
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting


At 200 mm once again you see no problems at all because even by f/5.6 the vignetting reaches just 9% (−0.27 EV). At 300 mm and the maximum relative aperture it exceeds the visibility level just slightly, being 11% (−0.34 EV), and on stopping down the aperture to f/8.0 it decreases to 4% (−0.13 EV).

At 400 mm it is possible to notice vignetting but it doesn’t mean it is easy as its level, even at the maximum relative aperture, amounts to just 18% (−0.57 EV); then by f/8.0 it decreases to 9% (−0.26 EV).

Only at 500 mm you won’t have any serious problems with noticing vignetting because by f/5.6 it reaches 30% (−1.03 EV). On stopping down the aperture this aberration is controlled better because by f/8.0 and f/11.0 it amounts respectively to 15% (−0.48 EV) and 9% (−0.28 EV).

Nikon D3x, 200 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 300 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 400 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting
Nikon D3x, 500 mm, f/5.6
Nikon Nikkor AF-S 200–500 mm f/5.6E ED VR - Vignetting