Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Review

January 12, 2016 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star

Sharpness at 400m

The sharpness tests for this review were carried out using a real-world subject rather than a test chart. The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E VR lens was attached to a Nikon D750 camera body, which in turn was mounted on a sturdy tripod. We also used a release cable and mirror lock-up to prevent any blurring that may result from camera or mirror movement. The 100% crops represent about 1/600th of the total frame area.

The full frame at 400mmThe full frame at 400mm

Sharpness at the centre of the frame is outstanding at f/5.6. At f/8, the lens out-resolves the Nikon D750's sensor causing a moiré pattern in the test image. Diffraction kicks in at f16 but image quality remains usable through f22.

The borders of the frame are also very sharp wide open, and improve further upon stopping down to f11.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/5.6 f5.6.jpg f5.6.jpg
f/8 f8.jpg f8.jpg
f/11 f11.jpg f11.jpg
f/16 f22.jpg f16.jpg
f/22 f16.jpg f22.jpg