An Overview and Review of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Lens


The newly announced Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens are reportedly the very first reasonably priced ultra telephoto lenses soon to be out on the market. In comparison to other lenses such which are at least in the $2000 range, this definitely true. Photography enthusiasts are waiting with bated breath if whether this new lenses with deliver or maybe it’s just too good to be true. In this article, we hope to give you at least a rudementary understanding of what the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens will be like in action and what you can expect if you ever decided to buy them for yourself.

Key Features and Specifications

As per usual, let’s start of with the lenses key features and other specifications:

  • F Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Aperture Range: f/5.6 – f/32
  • Three Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Super Integrated Coating
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System (SWM)
  • Vibration Reduction (with Sport Mode) – claims to have an almost 4-stops improvement
  • Internal Focus (with Manual Focus Override)
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism – because of this feature, the lenses are only compatible with the newest Nikon cameras.
  • Detachable and Rotatable Tripod Collar
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm


Since the actual Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens have only started to come out (as of September 17, 2015), there haven’t been many recommendations out there yet. However, it has been projected to be very well liked among fans and enthusiasts not only because of the price but because of the quality performance that Nikon claims that it will have. In short, you’re going to get a big bang for your buck, so to speak.

If this doesn’t still convince you, in the next few sections will be the comparisons it has with other brand lenses already out on the market.


The AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR is a super telephoto zoom lens by nikon, focal length range of 200mm - 500mm. Click To Tweet



  • Compared to Nikon AF-S 80-400mm VR – The 800-400mm VR has always been a favorite with enthusiasts. If price is not an issue, the 800-400mm VR is the way to go with its 2.5x wide zoom and the ability to take normal 77mm filters. It weighs roughly 25% less than the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens but if the priced DOES make you balk, then maybe the newer lens is a better choice for you.
  • Compared to Nikon 200-400mm VR – The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens shines very bright in comparison to the 200-400mm for many reasons – the price also being one of them. The 200-400mm will cost you a pretty penny at $7000! However, for heavy-duty shooters, they will most likely prefer the 200-400mm over the new 200-500mm. This is because the 200-400mm is a far more specialized lens than the 200-500mm and those who have the right fit for that type of lens will find the older lens to be more appealing than this new one.
  • Compared to Canon 100-400mm L IS II – Well, it won’t do you any good to choose the Canon lens over the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens if you are in fact using a Nikon body! However, there are some have claimed that the Canon lens are still far more superior than even this new lens. For this one, you may still need to test out the product and decided for yourself.
  • Compared to “Junk Brands”- Yes, there are in fact other lens brands out there other than Nikon or Canon, however it’s important to note that these are labeled as “junk brands” for a reason because they only last you for so long and you will end up “junking” or throwing them away sooner or later. Now with this competitively priced Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens, getting your hands on a good quality lens is with in your reach!


Since, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens has barely been out on the market, you will be hard-pressed to get people to talk to you about the lens’ capabilities and usage. But here’s what new users can known as of now:

  • M/A and M – M/A option means auto-focus while still being able to use instant manual-focus override. It is recommended to use this setting in most situations. The M option allows you to lock out the previous M/A option so that it keeps you in manual-focus all the time.
  • FULL and -6m – The recommended setting should be FULL rather than the -6mm one. The latter option prevents your from focusing on a subject closer than 6m/20′ and is only recommended if you are having difficulties with the lens jumping from extremely close to extremely far.
  • Vibration Reduction (ON or OFF/NORMAL and SPORT) – The only time you will need to switch the VR off is if you are in possession of a very sturdy tripod that will fix that problem for you. You can also leave it off when trying to get very long exposures.

Another option is NORMAL which as the name implies is just that, for normal use. The SPORT’s option is for specific situations where you will need to pan and chase around subjects.

  • Tripod Collar – Since the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens is really meant for hand-held shooting, the tripod collar kind of seems unnecessary. You have the option of removing it and keeping it in the box for safe-keeping if it is getting in the way.



Again, this is Nikon’s most reasonably priced ultra telephoto lens out in the market to-date! In the US, you can have it for $1,397 and get a 5-year warranty along with it.




Like what was mentioned earlier, this lens is only compatible with the newer Nikon cameras. Here is a rundown of all the cameras that can use this lens:


D4 series

D3 series



















Nikon 1 J1

Nikon 1 J2

Nikon 1 J3

Nikon 1 J4

Nikon 1 V1

Nikon 1 V2

Nikon 1 V3

Nikon 1 S1

Nikon 1 S2

Recommendations and Conclusion

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens looks and seems like it is going to be another beloved long-range lens for enthusiasts and as was already mentioned, with a reasonable price!

However, this lens is definitely meant only for long-range shooting as it cannot zoom wide enough. It also has the problem of not being able to zoom in close enough for anyone wanting a general-purpose telephoto zoom. Not to mention, it can be quite heavy and bulky and if you are not used to the weight can tire you out easily. It is recommend for specific occasions such as:

  • Bird photography
  • Airshows
  • Surveillance
  • Sunsets
  • Other long-range situations

It is in the long-range situations where this lens will truly shine. Hopefully, this article was able to help you out with your plans to invest in good quality lens. Good luck!


8.5 Total Score

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens looks and seems like it is going to be another beloved long-range lens for enthusiasts.

Value for Money
Add your review  |  Read reviews and comments



Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. Would not buy again. Had to send mine back for firmware update and it still will not focus correctly

  2. This baby has an excellent VR

  3. Autofocus is accurate and fast.

  4. Auto focusing is relatively fast and the images are sharp too.

  5. I love how intuitive controls are and well-placed. Focus is lightning fast and ring moves smoothly.

  6. Overall the lens is very Good.

  7. It can be hand-held, but will get heavy until you get used to it.

  8. I love it but it’s quite heavy.

  9. Auto focusing is fairly fast and the photographs are usually sharp.

  10. My first time photographing birds and this bad boy didn’t let me down. Amazing lens it is well every penny.

  11. This lens is extremely sharp I mean all the way up to 500mm.

  12. Wildlife shooter and I feel that this lens will be a important addition to my arsenal.

  13. It’s a remarkable piece of engineering. I love it it’s really amazing.

  14. This lens exceeds my expectations in every respect.

  15. I’m an an avid outdoor photographer, this is a fabulous lens.

  16. I have been pleasantly surprised by this lens. Its image quality is excellent and its price point makes it affordable for a wide range of photographers.

  17. The AF works better than I expected.

  18. Third party lenses give a wide degree of choice, but for those wanting a marque lens the Nikon 200-500mm does offer good value for money. For more options have a look at to Top 10 Best Nikon Lenses of 2015.

Leave a reply

Your total score

Gadget Review, Guide and Blog