Getting a little closer to the wildlife

Wildlife photography demands zoom lenses with large largest aperture throughout the entire zoom range and they are super expensive. With this in mind, I tried a lens which has a max aperture of f5.6 with a decant zoom range of 200-500mm.

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

This lens is heavy, 5 pounds heavy to start with! When I attached this lens to D7200, which is not a full-frame camera, 200-500mm with DX crop factor acts like 400 to 700mm lens.

400-700mm zoom range (due to DX crop) is fantastic for wildlife photography if you handle the weight but still avoid the natural hand-held vibration. To mitigate this issue, NIKON equipped this lens with a VR (Vibration Reduction) system.

I pleased with the results with VR turned on so far. VR is a life saver! This lens comes with ED (Extra-low Dispersion) to take of the sun glare, yet to be tested during spring or summer outdoors.

Lens build is solid and designed to take some serious wear and tear. The only limitation for me is f5.6 and to get the fast and relatively sharp image, I had dial into 1/400 shutter speed with ISO between 100 to 400.

The only problem I had noticed is, in the low light conditions focus seems to hunt for the subject. I’m yet to try some low light conditions with maxing on the ISO and try adjusting shutter speed but keep the f/5.6 throughout. Here are some pictures captured from behind the window glass (hence loss of clarity) but I’m really impressed with the quality of the pictures so far!

Lens Full Specs on DODD Camera

Quick Specs

  • Compact super telephoto zoom lens for birding, wildlife, motorsports, events and more
  • 500mm of zoom power on FX-format DSLRs; 750mm equivalent on DX-format DSLRS
  • Fast f/5.6 constant aperture for beautiful out-of-focus backgrounds and low-light performance
  • ~4.5 stops of Vibration Reduction with Sports mode
  • AF compatible with optional TC-14E series teleconverters and DSLRs that offer f/8 support

NX Studio from Nikon

For post processing of RAW files I use NX Studio from Nikon! I used Adobe Lightroom (older desktop version) with some NEF (RAW) plugins and I find NX Studio more with all the options. If you prefer to shoot in RAW with Nikon, I highly recommend to use NX Studio to start with.

Download Link for NX Studio

NX Studio – 64bit

Few post processing steps showing original RAW file, with few adjustments on Brightness, Contrast & Saturation and final cropped picture exported as JPEG (optimal resolution for web use). Lens captures crisp pictures even with the limitation of f5.6 and not so bright light conditions.

NX Studio – RAW File
NX Studio – RAW File – After few adjustments
NX Studio – Cropped (1280×720) and exported as JPG

Once our Ohio weather gets more outdoor ready, I may make few trips to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, hopefully to see some wildlife in their natural habitat and try this lens mounting on a sturdy tripod.

Video using Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Spring time, lens attached to D7200 and hand held (not on tripod).

Few pictures from initial test collection!

Wildlife photography demands zoom lenses with large largest aperture throughout the entire zoom range and they are super expensive. With this in mind, I tried a lens which has a max aperture of f5.6 with a decant zoom range of 200-500mm. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR This lens is heavy, 5 pounds heavy…

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