Nikon 200-500. Is it sharp and how good is the VR?

So it seems like you can spend a big chunk of change in photography and still have a nagging doubt… is the equipment I just bought any good ? So while I’d never actually *test* a lens or a camera (life is too short) I am looking at my pictures with the Nikon 200-500 a bit more keenly than usual…

Last week I used the Nikon D4 along with the 200-500 and the photographs looked pretty good. This weekend I used the wonderful Nikon D800E along with the lens and in its honour the Kingfisher came back for some perching.

Is it sharp?

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 200-500 at 500mm. F6.3 and 1/1000th. Iso 5000. On a tripod. Here the Kingfisher is a long way away:

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 200-500 at 500mm. F6.3 and 1/1000th. Iso 7184. On a tripod. Here the Kingfisher has come closer:

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 200-500 at 500mm. F6.3 and 1/1000th. Iso 2800. On a tripod. Here the Kingfisher is even closer:

And finally she came really close. Nikon D800E. Nikkor 200-500 at 500mm. F6.3 and 1/1000th. Iso 3600.

So that looks pretty OK to me – from distance to close up. Note – I’m very tolerant of seeing noise in the image so have let the camera go up and down in ISO and have applied only moderate noise reduction.

With a tripod or a monopod and stopped down a smidge this lens is giving a very satisfying photograph.

Is the VR any good ?

So the days are getting a bit longer as we head towards the end of February but by 5pm it’s pretty gloomy (the clock on the camera is out by 1 hour and the exif says its 6pm). As I was packing up at the stream the Grey Wagtail appeared. By now the tripod was stowed away so all of these pictures below were shot handheld with the VR on. Of course I’ve picked the images I liked the best – not all of them were sharp !

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 200-500 at 500mm. F5.6 and 1/60th. Iso 12800.

nikkor_200-500_grey_wagtail-8222

Nikkor 200-500. 1/60th of a second !

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 200-500 at 500mm. F5.6 and 1/60th. Iso 20000.

nikkor_200-500_grey_wagtail-8230

Nikkor 200-500. 1/60th of a second !

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 200-500 at 500mm. F5.6 and 1/30th. Iso 10159.

nikkor_200-500_grey_wagtail-8266

1/30th of second at 500mm and f5.6.

And finally as the light really started to go – and just for fun.

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 200-500 at 500mm. F5.6 and 1/20th. Iso 11404.

nikkor_200-500_grey_wagtail-8290

Nikkor 200-500. 1/20th of a second.

All in all, a fun day at the stream !

 

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