I am in no way qualified to do lens reviews. And yet, this lens has blown me away. I am primarily into landscape photography. But recently friends invited us over to Florida, to visit them in their brand new house in Cape Coral (you can rent their house for a great vacation, details here: Villa Mahalo). We decided to add a week and travel around a bit. But what to do? We are not so much into the parks of Orlando. Florida and landscape photography? – Not really. So it was birds. There are plenty in Florida. But what lens to bring? Claudio recently moved from a crop camera to the Nikon D850 and the longest lens so far was a Nikon 70-300. Not enough on a full frame body for bird photography. So we bought the Nikon 200-500mm f5.6.
Without trying out the lens much, we traveled to Florida and visited different wetlands that are supposed to be great for bird photography. And they where great! And so was the lens.
We where just blown away by the sharpness of the lens, compared to its costs. Below some examples from different shoots during the holidays:
Is there a disadvantage with this lens? It is quite heavy with 2.3kg / 5lb 1.2oz. But hey, the more expensive glass is even heavier, with the exception of the brand new Nikon 500mm f5.6. That lens is lighter and smaller and seems even sharper. But then it doesn’t have a zoom. Sometimes it would have been great to have faster glass with f4, to be able to reduce the ISO. But given the additional cost, weight and size I am not sure this is worth it, especially when you travel around, hike quite a bit and you want to minimize what you carry.