Industry News: Nikon Announces Development of AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR

ahsanford

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! ! !

Announced crisply at midnight eastern at a number of sites:

Source 1: https://www.thephoblographer.com/2018/06/14/coming-soon-the-nikon-af-s-nikkor-500mm-f5-6e-pf-ed-vr/
(note, the pics at the link above are of the 300 f/4 PF lens -- there are no pics of the 500 out in the wild yet.)

Source 2: https://www.dpreview.com/news/7758816413/nikon-developing-compact-and-lightweight-500mm-f5-6-lens

Source 3: https://www.slrlounge.com/nikon-500mm-f5-6-prime-lens-development/

- A
 

AlanF

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That’s a very interesting lens, and makes Nikon very attractive to bird and wild life photographers in combination with the D500. I’d guess a 95mm filter size and under 2 kg. It probably won’t take a 1.4xTC well with a high megapixel crop or full frame sensor as f/8 is above the diffraction limited aperture - my experience is that going to f/8 with the 5DSR hits the law of diminishing returns. And f/5.6 with a 2xTC isn’t of much use. So, a 500/5.6 would be used mainly as the bare lens.

The Canon 400mm DO II f/4 is much more versatile. 400/4 gives a wider and brighter field of view. With a 1.4xTC it gives a 560/5.6,which beats the Nikon for length. And with a 2xTC gives an excellent 800/8 with the 5DIV and 1DX, both of which don’t take much of a hit going to f/8.
 
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Chaitanya

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Now photorumours has also posted it:
https://photorumors.com/2018/06/14/nikon-announced-the-development-of-a-new-500mm-f-5-6e-pf-ed-vr-lens/#more-99004

Really wished Canon would have brought out a 500mm F5.6 IS USM lens to replace their ageing 400mm f5.6 USM. Nikon shooters already have a good budget option of 200-500mm f5.6 lens and now in future maybe a 500 f/5.6. Birders from Nikon camp are going to be very happy and even some budget Canon shooter will be switch over.
 
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ahsanford

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For those curious why a PF is such a big deal, compare the specs of their 300 f/4 vs. their 300 f/4 PF:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Specifications.aspx?Lens=1040&LensComp=651

The PF version is about half the weight and 2/3 the length of the standard (non-PF) design. I'm no optics whiz, but as I understand it this is Nikon's riff on a DO design.

- A
 
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AlanF

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You are preaching to the converted. I feel very frustrated by Canon for bird photography. The D500 is streets ahead of the 7DII and the 300/4 PF is a great little lens. Fortunately, we have the 100-400mm II and the 400mm DO II. But, a new lightweight 400/5.6 and an up-to-date 7DIII would be so useful. (The 100-400mm II is a much better and lighter lens than the Nikon 200-500mm, which focusses slowly and a bit weak at the longer end, unlike the Canon which is blisteringly fast focussing.)

Actually, the weight difference between the the two Nikon 300mm lenses is not due just to the Fresnel lens but the previous 300 is a very old-fashioned clunky great metal object with no rear element whereas the PF has a plastic body and uses a more modern shorter lens design with a rear element. The Canon 400mm DO II is of very similar size to the 300mm/2.8 II and weighs only 250g less. It will be interesting to see if Nikon uses a high grade body like the Canon or goes in for a low cost lightweight plastic much cheaper competitor.
 
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edoorn

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Chaitanya said:
Now photorumours has also posted it:
https://photorumors.com/2018/06/14/nikon-announced-the-development-of-a-new-500mm-f-5-6e-pf-ed-vr-lens/#more-99004

Really wished Canon would have brought out a 500mm F5.6 IS USM lens to replace their ageing 400mm f5.6 USM. Nikon shooters already have a good budget option of 200-500mm f5.6 lens and now in future maybe a 500 f/5.6. Birders from Nikon camp are going to be very happy and even some budget Canon shooter will be switch over.

There is a great 400mm option that is small, compact and has amazing IQ: the 400 DO. I can only assume a 500 DO would be a 5.6 lens too. It would not be a budget option, but who says the Nikon version will be cheap?
 
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AlanF

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It's worth noting that the Canon 400mm f/4 DO II takes a minimal hit on MTF on adding a 1.4xTCIII and is, in fact, slightly sharper at 560mm f/5.6 than the 100-400mm II at 400mm f5.6.

https://www.lenstip.com/509.4-Lens_review-Canon_EF_400_mm_f_4_DO_IS_II_USM_Image_resolution.html

https://www.lenstip.com/439.4-Lens_review-Canon_EF_100-400_mm_f_4.5-5.6L_IS_II_USM_Image_resolution.html

The measurements are in accord with my own observations that the DO at 560mm is tack sharp whereas the 100-400mm II takes a significant hit with 1.4xTCIII and so I tend to use that lens without the TC.
 
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ahsanford

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AlanF said:
ethanz said:
Nikon's 300 PF is $2,000. A 500 PF would probably be around that or more?

If it's $2000, I'd buy one plus D500. My guess would be $5-7k, unless it is compromised for a low price.

1) 300 f/4 PF = $2k --> these lenses are not built like Canon's DO lenses.

2) 200-500 f/5.6 = $1400 --> a larger front element lens doesn't have to cost a mint.

1 + 2 = I'm not convinced that this lens will be anywhere near $5-7k.

- A
 
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unfocused

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I do really hope all of this activity by Nikon spurs Canon to really step up the game in the 7DIII and 500 f5.6 market.

I think the 7DII is a much better camera than many people give it credit for, but it still can certainly stand to be updated and improved. We've been waiting a long time for the rumored 150-600 or 150-500 competitor to Nikon/Sigma/Tamron.

I've been vocal about wanting something more than just a cheap Canon-branded version of these bargain lenses and still feel that a 150-500 f5.6 or a 500 f5.6 prime with L quality would be worth paying double what the Nikon bargain lens sells for.
 
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AlanF

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ahsanford said:
AlanF said:
ethanz said:
Nikon's 300 PF is $2,000. A 500 PF would probably be around that or more?

If it's $2000, I'd buy one plus D500. My guess would be $5-7k, unless it is compromised for a low price.

1) 300 f/4 PF = $2k --> these lenses are not built like Canon's DO lenses.

2) 200-500 f/5.6 = $1400 --> a larger front element lens doesn't have to cost a mint.

1 + 2 = I'm not convinced that this lens will be anywhere near $5-7k.

- A

It depends on the market segment they are aiming at. They could build it down to a price and knock out something cheap with weaknesses or they could mimic Canon and go for the quality market. If you want a cheap Nikkor 500, the 200-500 zoom is currently available. I now see about 6 birders a week with D500/200-500s but only one 300mm PF in the past two years.
 
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ahsanford

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AlanF said:
It depends on the market segment they are aiming at. They could build it down to a price and knock out something cheap with weaknesses or they could mimic Canon and go for the quality market. If you want a cheap Nikkor 500, the 200-500 zoom is currently available. I now see about 6 birders a week with D500/200-500s but only one 300mm PF in the past two years.

Correct. The question is: who is this being aimed at?

DO for Canon is being aimed at very serious customers who see great value in less weight / size of a top class instrument.

PF for Nikon (so far, N of 1) seems to be for intermediates/enthusiasts at a reasonable-ish price point.

One could see this new lens as Nikon's long long long awaited answer to the EF 400mm f/5.6L USM, aka the affordable 'gateway drug' of L lens addiction. Nikon's never had that long affordable prime before. This could be it, though surely more than the 200-500's $1400 asking price.

Or one could see Nikon making this thing a really high end 400 DO II-like instrument for their heavyweight wildlifers. We'll see.

- A
 
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Meanwhile remember that canon showed a prototype 600mm f4 DO about a year ago....

http://www.photographybay.com/2015/09/10/canon-el-600mm-f4l-is-do-br-usm-lens-prototype-images-and-details/

I’d say an almost working prototype beats development, and that was in September of 2015.

As far as cost and production go I’d guess that the DO part is the limiting factor. The canon 400mm DO ii is very good at f4 with little CA and appears to beat the 400mm IS ii USM f 2.8 at the digital picture comparisons, and that is really a significant feat.

What a great time to be alive.
 
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AlanF

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applecider said:
Meanwhile remember that canon showed a prototype 600mm f4 DO about a year ago....

http://www.photographybay.com/2015/09/10/canon-el-600mm-f4l-is-do-br-usm-lens-prototype-images-and-details/

I’d say an almost working prototype beats development, and that was in September of 2015.

As far as cost and production go I’d guess that the DO part is the limiting factor. The canon 400mm DO ii is very good at f4 with little CA and appears to beat the 400mm IS ii USM f 2.8 at the digital picture comparisons, and that is really a significant feat.

What a great time to be alive.

The 400mm DO II is my favourite lens and so I am not going to do it down. But, the 400mm f/2.8 II is the gold standard of supertelephotos. Use a proper comparison of several copies under precisely controlled if you want to compare their sharpness - the best survey is here: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2016/08/the-sort-of-great-400mm-shootout/

The DO matches its obese brother in the dead centre but the fat one maintains sharpness further away.

(TDP is a great site but its image comparisons can be misleading.)
 
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Chaitanya

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edoorn said:
Chaitanya said:
Now photorumours has also posted it:
https://photorumors.com/2018/06/14/nikon-announced-the-development-of-a-new-500mm-f-5-6e-pf-ed-vr-lens/#more-99004

Really wished Canon would have brought out a 500mm F5.6 IS USM lens to replace their ageing 400mm f5.6 USM. Nikon shooters already have a good budget option of 200-500mm f5.6 lens and now in future maybe a 500 f/5.6. Birders from Nikon camp are going to be very happy and even some budget Canon shooter will be switch over.

There is a great 400mm option that is small, compact and has amazing IQ: the 400 DO. I can only assume a 500 DO would be a 5.6 lens too. It would not be a budget option, but who says the Nikon version will be cheap?
Even if this lens comes in at around 5000$ there are lot of birders who buy 300 f/2.8+1.4x TC for their birding needs and for them this single lens would be a viable option. Everytime I go to photograph butterflies(and ruin day for birders at the stream) there is always a group of birders at the that stream and when I talked with them they tend to own a single super tele lens(300 either f4 or f2.8 with TC , 400 f5.6, 500 f/4 with TC and now a days 150-600mm). For some reason I have never seen anyone here using that 400mm DO lens. I really would like to see Canon or Sigma or Tamron bring out a 400 f4 non DO or a 500mm f/5.6. Even though I dont shoot birds still I wouldnt mind buying either of those lenses for mammals which I currently shoot using macro lenses.
Indian Fox(Vulpes bengalensis) by Chaitanya Shukla, on Flickr
 
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AlanF

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I see at least a 1000 birders a year, and have never come across another 400mm DO II in person although several on this forum have one. I see maybe 2 or 3 300/2.8, very rarely a 400/2.8 quite a few 500/4, very many 100-400mm I and IIs, and a handful of 400/5.6. There are many Sigma 150-600 Cs and a few S and some Tamron. The Nikon D500 + 200-500 combination has become very popular.

My first good lens was 300mm f/2.8 II, which I tended to use with a 2xTC at 600mm, but the AF hardly worked on 7D and was slow and hunted on a 7DII. I bought the 400mm DO II, which works brilliantly on the 5DIV with a 2xTC, albeit with noticieabley weakened AF speed. With a 1.4xTC at 560mm, it is sharper and lighter than the 300mmx2 and with very fast AF. For birding, it is a more useful lens than the 300/2.8 and so I sold mine as I stopped using it.

The 400mm f/4 and 300mm f2.8 lenses are for nature photographers who like hand-held photography while hiking and for birds in flight. The 500 f/4 is a superb lens for those who use tripods or beanbags and sit and wait, although the lighter 300 and 400 are excellent, they are not quite as good.
 
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privatebydesign

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AlanF said:
I see at least a 1000 birders a year, and have never come across another 400mm DO II in person although several on this forum have one. I see maybe 2 or 3 300/2.8, very rarely a 400/2.8 quite a few 500/4, very many 100-400mm I and IIs, and a handful of 400/5.6. There are many Sigma 150-600 Cs and a few S and some Tamron. The Nikon D500 + 200-500 combination has become very popular.

My first good lens was 300mm f/2.8 II, which I tended to use with a 2xTC at 600mm, but the AF hardly worked on 7D and was slow and hunted on a 7DII. I bought the 400mm DO II, which works brilliantly on the 5DIV with a 2xTC, albeit with noticieabley weakened AF speed. With a 1.4xTC at 560mm, it is sharper and lighter than the 300mmx2 and with very fast AF. For birding, it is a more useful lens than the 300/2.8 and so I sold mine as I stopped using it.

The 400mm f/4 and 300mm f2.8 lenses are for nature photographers who like hand-held photography while hiking and for birds in flight. The 500 f/4 is a superb lens for those who use tripods or beanbags and sit and wait, although the lighter 300 and 400 are excellent, they are not quite as good.

I'm not a birder but I live in Central Florida sometimes, I have seen half a dozen 400 DO's in one morning session at Gatorland. I agree the D500 and 200-500 is very popular amongst the birding community I see.
 
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