• Andrew JK Tan

Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR - My Incredible 1st experience


The new fixed focal length super telephoto from Nikon. Thanks to Nikon Singapore for the loan and off it went to Costa Rica for some bird photography.

Let me first share some physical specification about this very special 500mm.

500mm PF(Phase Fresnel) Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8G ED VRII

Weight : 1.46kg 1.54kg

Length : 9.3 inches 8.1 inches

Diameter : 4.2 inches 3.4 inches

Max. Aperture : f5.6

Nano Crystal Coat : YES

VR : YES

Minimum Focusing Distance : 9.8 feet

So as you can see from the physical specifications, the 500mm PF is not much bigger then the Nikkor 70-200mm and it is slightly lighter too.

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/2500s Hand-Held

Today was my first real serious session with this new super telephoto and I just had to share immediately my first experience.

I visited the La Paz Waterfall Gardens in San Jose , Costa Rica and the main subject I wanted to photograph was the Humming Bird.

The Humming Birds species were varied and they varied in size from approx. 2.5 inches to 6 inches which is not that big really and these are very active birds which fly extremely fast (average speed of 45 MPH) and are very erratic in their flight. There is that moment where they may hover for a fraction of a second which is the best time to capture these speed demons.

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/2500s Hand-Held

Summary of my 1st Experience

- extremely small & light for a 500mm , allowed me to hand-hold continuously for 2.5 hours

- matched with my Nikon D500 , I had an effective focal length of 750mm from a "tiny" combo

- Autofocus was extremely fast and accurate

- Image quality captured had awesome subject details even with pretty severe back-lighting

- Just out of this world in terms of handling over extended periods of time

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/3200s Hand-Held

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/3200s Hand-Held

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/3200s Hand-Held

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/5000s Hand-Held

Additional Commentary

My honest feeling is that if I matched the 500mm f5.6 PF with my Nikon D850 , the image details and quality would probably be even better !!

I love my Nikon D500 (like my D850) which is the flagship 1.5x crop sensor. The image quality that I can get from the D500 is just superb from a crop sensor but I do feel that the D850 would still have the upper hand when it comes to details captured due to the 46MP BSI Full Frame sensor.

Again just to repeat , I used the D500 because when matched with the 500mm f5.6 PF , I have a 750mm focal length combo that is just so manageable. The TOTAL weight of this 750mm focal length combo is ONLY a mere 2.32 Kg , just incredible ! With this weight , I could hand-hold for hours and it made it so much easier photographing erratic very fast moving subjects like the Humming Bird.

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/5000s Hand-Held

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/1000s Hand-Held

Nikon D500 Nikkor 500mm f5.6E PF ED VR ISO2000 f5.6 1/2500s Hand-Held

I will repeat it one last time , I just LOVE this incredible 500mm f5.6 PF lens !

I have already placed an order for this lens and I am still wating ........

Hopefully during my remaining photography sessions with this lens , I will get to pair it up with the Nikkor 1.4x TC-EIII and the D500 to get a focal length of 1050mm and see what I can photograph.

Definitely more sharing to come on this amazing lens.

Bye from Costa Rica for now !

#500mm #PF #PhaseFresnel #supertelephoto #f56 #nikon #nikkor #hummingbird