Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E Lens Review (Price Worthy?)


Nikon is a great brand and has proven as a reliable brand over the years. From its inception, it changed the future of photographic perspective with its amazing features. If we talk about the price, optical design and image quality Nikon has delivered its legacy quite amazingly. Competing with the other brands Nikon has yet again launched Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E (review) ED VR super-telephoto zoom lens which has the potential to outcompete all other brands.

In this article, we have gone through each and every aspect of this lens and tried to provide greater insight regarding this lens.

Let’s start….

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Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 DSLR Lens

The Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E lens (review) is a great telephoto lens that is great in versatility. This lens performs amazingly when used in FX-format bodies. The glass elements used in this lens retain their integrity as the elements are designed in cutting-edge technology. The vibration reduction system is the main key feature that gives great pleasure while taking shots. The silent wave motor and electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism offer great accuracy which can produce stellar images with better sharpness.

Be it birds, sports, car racing, and moving objects, this lens is a great reliable lens that can capture gorgeous images. The length of Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E Dslr Camera Lens (review) measures 267.5mm and weight is 2090g. The chromatic aberrations can be minimized by this lens impeccably because of the extra-low dispersion glass element. It gives better optical performance over wide-angle and telephoto positions.

The Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 DSLR Lens has better control over the bokeh effect and the vibration reduction system offers an equivalent shutter speed of 4.5 stops in normal mode. This lens also has a sports mode which can capture fast-moving objects very smoothly.

The auto-focus quality is great which offers outstanding focus when used with a 1.4 Nikon teleconverter such as the AF-S TELECONVERTER TC-14E. The auto-focus quality is maintained when this lens is used in f/8 compatible cameras. This lens gives great results when used in DX-format bodies which is equivalent to a focal length of 300-750mm in FX/35mm format.

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Key features in detail About Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E Lens

1. Great focal length

The Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E lens (review) has a focal length ranging from 200-500mm and has a maximum aperture value of f/5.6. With this zoom range, this lens can act like a pro over wide-angle photography. Any kind of diverse scenes such as birds, nature, wildlife, sports etc. can be captured using handheld shooting. This can track fast-moving objects quite nicely.

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2. Superior optics

As far as the optical design is concerned, the extra-low dispersion glass elements are so good that ensures great sharpness, colour correction by minimizing a significant level of chromatic aberrations. Talking about the focus quality the long-distance objects can be captured which in turn gives high-resolution images with great depths.

The minimum focus distance of this Dslr camera lens is around 2.2m and the maximum reproduction ratio is 0.22x.  The f/5.6 aperture and the shallow depth of field provided with super-telephoto range create a better blur effect by emphasizing the main subjects.

The diaphragm blades are of a high standard which can be controlled via electric signals even during high-speed continuous shooting.

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3. Vibration reduction system

The vibration reduction system works well without making any noise which gives an effect equivalent to a shutter speed of 4.5 stops faster even in normal mode. The splendid built-in technology of vibration reduction significantly reduces which ensures no camera shake.

When the camera is on with the half-press of the shutter-release button instantly activates the VR function for blur reduction effect and gives more stable viewfinder images.

It has sports mode which comes under the VR mode to capture the quick moments of the moving objects. This lens is compatible with 95mm screw-on filters.

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Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E Lens Review By Experts

Nikon 200-500mm DSLR Lens review

This Camera lens has an amazing built quality which can last for many years if it is used properly. While most of the parts are plastic constructed, the zoom ring and tripod foot are made of metal. The optical design includes 19 elements in 12 groups, it is obvious that the lens consists of glass inside. However, there are 3 large elements stacked up in the front region of the lens. 2 out of 3 elements on the front region are provided with extra-low dispersion lens elements meant for better colour correction, contrast and sharpness. 

These 2 extra-low dispersion elements are well capable of removing spherical aberrations. Another Extra-low Dispersion element which is found in the middle part of the lens does not extend outward (static by nature) when we zoom in the lens.

The zoom ring is thick, large and smooth in operation which can give a nice feeling during photo-shoots. If you want a full zoom from one point to the other point it requires 180-degree rotation of the zoom ring which is a bit difficult in resetting your grip. So, it could be difficult to capture the flying birds. In that case, the best method is – grip the front of the lens barrel with ease and use the lens with a push-pull zoom. That method works well but is a bit difficult to handle with the gloves.

While travelling you can lock the focal length of the lens at 200mm with the switch which is generally found on the lens barrel. Like the zoom ring, the focus ring is also thick and nice which is great in overriding focus. The focus ring is placed in the proper position which can allow you to take better shots. 

This lens has four switches; one is a focus mode switch for auto-focus and manual focus, a focus limiter switch that ranges from close focus to infinity, a Vibration reduction switch and a vibration reduction mode switch you can switch between normal and sports mode.

Although it is designed with three glass elements the weight of the lens is not too heavy which ensures a great feeling while handheld. The tripod foot provided is quite unnecessary due to its low weight but shooting with the tripod becomes the trend while capturing the sports. So, that’s ok.

Moving to the other features this lens is not weather-sealed like some of the other telephoto zoom lenses. But this Camera lens is quite fair in withstanding extreme cold, dust and moisture.

Overall, the build quality is great as far as the price and features are concerned. 

As mentioned earlier this lens has a fast and quiet silent wave motor which ensures great speed for fast photographic action, especially when used in the latest generation Nikon DSLRs. At all focal lengths, this lens retains its integrity without any degradation of performance. This lens can work well in older camera bodies limited to f/5.6 maximum aperture as well. 

Talking about autofocus accuracy and reliability, this lens does not give any serious issues. This autofocus can lock on the subjects at all focal lengths which makes this lens an amazing one. The autofocus feature of this lens can outperform the auto-focus ability of 150-600mm lenses. The image stabilization property is good and gives a nice feel when the lens is at its best control.

If we take the auto-focus feature into consideration then Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (review) is great in low light situations even at the longest focal length 500 mm where at this focal length 150-600 mm lenses performance is not that great. So, it ensures that this lens receives more light at f/5.6 and f/6.3  and gives the best results in dim environments.

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  • Focal length : 200-500mm
  • Mount type : Nikon F-Bayonet
  • Max. aperture : f/5.6
  • Min. aperture : f/32
  • Angle of view in FX-format : 12 degree – 5 degree
  • Angle of view in DX-format : 8 degree – 3 degree
  • Optical design includes 19 elements in 12 groups
  • Well compatible with FX and DX format bodies
  • Vibration reduction image stabilisation : yes
  • 9 Diaphragm blades
  • ED glass elements : 3
  • Super integrated coating : yes
  • Autofocus : yes
  • Great silent wave motor
  • Internal focusing : yes
  • Minimum focusing distance : 7.2ft
  • Focus mode : Manual, Manual/Auto
  • Filter size : 95mm
  • Compatible with Nikon AF-S teleconverters : yes
  • Weight : 2300g approx.

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  • Great in value
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Closer focusing than other telephoto zoom lenses
  • Constant aperture throughout zoom range
  • Good in hand holding
  • Excellent sharp images with low distortions
  • Sports mode ; captures best moments


  • Edges soft at 200mm
  • Some says not compatible with older DSLRs


As it is pretty sharp and gives excellent results with its wider versatile features this is a must-buy lens that does not compromise with photography.

It can outrank some third party lenses like Tamron and Sigma telephoto zoom lenses in autofocus, optical design and noise reduction.

It is widely used by most of the users and they have found it satisfactory with its results. Being five star rated on Amazon the lens can even outperform the 150-600mm telephoto lenses. 

Many of us may not be satisfied with the price but the features it provides are way too better than other opticals.

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