Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR £1180, $1400
PLENTY OF REACH AND GOOD PERFORMANCE
With more reach than the Nikon 80-400mm lens, this newcomer still falls short of the Sigma and Tamron competition. Even so, the reduced telescopic effect of a 500mm focal length compared with 600mm isn’t hugely noticeable.
High-tech thrills include a stabiliser that boasts a 4.5 stop effectiveness and comes with a ‘Sport’ mode. This applies stabilisation only during the actual exposure, making it a little easier to track erratically moving subjects. The lens features an electromagnetically controlled diaphragm, for greater exposure consistency in rapid-fire continuous shooting. The design includes three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements, but no weather seals apart from Nikon’s usual rubber ring on the mounting plate.
The speed of the ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system is on a par with the Sigma 150-600mm C and Tamron 150-600mm lenses, so it’s quick but doesn’t quite snap into place like in some other lenses on test. Image quality is very good.