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Nikon 500mm f/4G ED VR AF-S

500VR
Review Date: Sep 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $8,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Resolution of images is superb. Weight of the lens for a 500mm f4 is most impressive. About 7.5lbs!! VR Function allows hand held shots---yes, even for a 500mm!
Cons:
The 8m-infinity limit focus is just too far for a minimum focus. I have been frustrated missing picture of birds that fly in relatively close in, only to try an focus---can't do it because the bird is less than 8m from me and by the time I get to side of the lens, switch it to FULL, the bird is long gone!

This lens has been a long time coming. VR in the fixed focal lengths of 400, 500, and 600mm are LONG OVERDUE. Current production is in no way keeping up with demand. Many were earmarked for the China Olympics, so now that they are behind us, hopefully more lenses will now be available to the 'common man'.

Picture quality is unchallenged. ( Price though is about $2,500 more than Canon's equivalent.) That said, this lens measures up to the highest of build quality standards, and the VR is amazing in that one can actually HAND HOLD shots and get clear, crisp images!!!!

I have tried using a monopod with this guy, but find carrying my carbon fiber Gitzo makes me much happier. With the Wimberly head, I can maneuver the camera and lens effortlessly.

I have been using Nikon's TC 14E II with excellent results. I will try a 2.0TC in the near future to compare. Moose Peterson is now only carrying the Nikon TC17E II and foregoing the 2 others, so I may even try that one as well. The lens is awesome--just wish the price were more in line with Canon.