Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 or Nikon D500

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tony_demonte, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Looking at either or. I really only want to go for one for now.
    I currently have the D7100. lenses are...sigma 10-20, nikon 16-85, 35, 50, 85 and the 70-200 f/4. I originally had the D300 and waited for the D400. I ended up going with the D7100 since I thought the successor to the D300 would never come out.
    I like to shoot outdoors stuff. wildlife/sports. landscapes. BIF sometimes. the normal stuff.
    any opinions on the matter would be greatly appreciated. and I almost forgot, if I go with the D500, I plan on waiting to see if there are any issues and/or a price drop......i'm sure it's inevitable.....the price drop I should say.
    thanks everyone
  2. I'm not Nikon savvy enough to judge how much the D7100 might stand in your way. Personally I'd feel a big need for any kind of 2nd body, if I had that many lenses at hand. - If your funds regrow quickly enough I'd say buy the lens now and the D500 once it gets affordable. I'm not into wildlife or sports, so I feel little need for a long zoom myself.
  3. You don't have anything longer than 200mm - so for wildlife something longer seems to be in order. Thus, get the 200-500.
  4. The D7100 is highly suited for wildlife, with excellent autofocus, high pixel density, and a sensor capable of producing excellent images. The advantages of the D500 are incremental. As Dieter pointed out, the equipment you lack for wildlife photography is a long lens, and the reviews of the 200-500mm are very encouraging.
    Definitely get the lens first.
  5. Unless you're shooting sports for a living, you don't really need a D500. The longer lens would definitely be my first choice - as long as you don't mind shooting from a monopod or tripod, because there's only so much that VR can do.
    And actually a new camera body won't make the slightest bit of difference to how your pictures look, whereas a longer lens could make a definite difference.
    FWIW, I don't see the D500 as the successor to the D300. The D300 had a fairly pedestrian specification for its day and for its time an "affordable" price. The D500 I would put in the expensive class, since in real terms the price of cameras has fallen. It also has a higher FPS and ISO rating than any enthusiast or wedding shooter would need - whereas the D300 was an ideal wedding/event/enthusiast tool, and priced to match. The D500 seems squarely aimed at serious sports shooters alone to me, with almost as much a niche market as the Df.
  6. in your case i would also go for the 200-500mm , the main advantage in the d500 i think, is in the build-in electronic vr and in the bufferframe speed. both are less important to wild life shooting compared to the right glass for the job
    VR is already built in in the 200-500mm so for that you dont need the D500,
    The 200-500mm requires less money, so it allows you to add a TC tot he lens too, expanding your possibilities ( or some other equipment like a good tripodhead etc..)
  7. I also suggest getting the lens as others mentioned. The D7100 is a very capable body and the buffer issue can be easily overcome. On the other hand, the D300 was introduced at $1800 as far as I remember (the D300s is even more), so IMHO the D500 falls in the same category. Camera prices actually went up due to inflation, compare D5, D4s, D4, D3s, D3 :)
  8. I like to shoot outdoors stuff. wildlife/sports. landscapes. BIF sometimes. the normal stuff.​

    Unless sports and action is your main thing, I think the D500 is not the camera to get anyway. 200 - 500 is my vote.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I currently have the D7100. lenses are...sigma 10-20, nikon 16-85, 35, 50, 85 and the 70-200 f/4.
    I like to shoot outdoors stuff. wildlife/sports. landscapes. BIF sometimes. the normal stuff.​
    If I were restricted to that set of lenses, you could give me one D5 and one D500, it would still be difficult to shoot sports, wildlife, and especially birds in flight (BIF). You need longer lenses.
    A better starting point maybe the 80-400mm/f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR:
    Unfortunately that lens is even more expensive than the 200-500mm/f5.6 AF-S VR. On the D7100, the 200-500 is great for smaller subjects such as birds, etc. Not sure it is a great choice for sports. Of course, sports is a broad category. It depends on which sports you have in mind, indoors vs. outdoors ....
  10. Lenses first, lenses first, lenses first.
    (And besides, D500 isn't even shipping yet.)
    Kent in SD
  11. I really only want to go for one for now.​
    Considering that you plan on waiting for a price drop for a body that is not yet even available in stores, you're obviously in no hurry to get a D500. So, if 'now' means a point in time before the D500 price goes down, then you just answered your own question.
  12. thanks so much everyone. I think the "score" is 10-0 in favor for the lens. good point, Keith.....I do want to get the lens and I would be able to get it today if I wanted. lens today, D500 down the line. the price of the camera probably won't come down for a while. the bigger reason to wait would be to see if there are any issues with the camera. seems like there's always an issue that Nikon needs to fix.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Tony, a number of us already have the 200-500mm/f5.6. You can take a look at the comments here:
    Please keep in mind that it is a fairly big lens to hand hold, but that is very much doable for at least an hour or so.
    DSLR cameras and lenses are complex products. Some minor issues in early samples are nothing new. Concerning Nikon, the D600 dust/oil on sensor issue seems to be somewhat significant. Many of the others are great exaggerations. For example, I pre-ordered the 200-500mm/f5.6 because I had an international trip a month after the ship date last September. My lens has a serial number that is on the recall list, but I haven't even bothered for any repair because I haven't experienced any problems in several months of actual usage.
    However, I do expect the price for the D500 to drop steadily. Use Canon's 7D Mark II as an example, Canon announced it @ $1800 in September 2014. Within a few months it dropped $100. By the middle of 2015, it went down to $1500 and then $1400. By December 2015, Canon was giving a $350 rebate with a free printer for a final cost of $1050.
    A similar deal is still available today, but the price has gone up a bit:
    Admittedly, the Canon 7D Mark II's price drop is a somewhat extreme case, but if you can wait until the second half and especially November/December 2016, I think you will use considerably lower prices for the D500.
  14. read this
  15. For example, I pre-ordered the 200-500mm/f5.6 because I had an international trip a month after the ship date last September. My lens has a serial number that is on the recall list, but I haven't even bothered for any repair because I haven't experienced any problems in several months of actual usage.​
    Mine was also on the list, and although I could not recreate the issue, I went ahead and sent mine in for the firmware upgrade -- for peace of mind, if nothing else. I got the lens back in about a week and a half.
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Keith, in my case, I picked up my 200-500 and immediately started checking it thoroughly, as I was going to the Galapagos in late October. The recall was announced in early October. By then I was convinced that my lens was working perfectly and really didn't want to risk any chance that Nikon repair might mess it up or somehow it is lost/damage during shipping.
    Now after using that lens for 4 months, I haven't noticed any problem yet.
  17. I tested the 200-500 and bought it for birds (Florida, mostly perched, some BIF). Looks like a winner to me.
  18. I guess the right path to take would be the lens first and than the camera a year from now.
  19. I like to shoot outdoors stuff. wildlife/sports. landscapes. BIF sometimes. the normal stuff.​
    I suggest the more-versatile 80-400mm AFS first before getting the 200-500mm. You can do more with it.
  20. Mary Doo, I would but i have the 70-200mm f/4. it would be repetitive. I think right now the smart thing to get is the 200-500mm and wait on the D500 for a little bit.
  21. I'd really wait to see reviews if the D500 really adds anything that enhances for your uses. It looks a mighty camera, but its advantages over a D7100/D7200 on paper look limited to very specific scenarios. If your photography doesn't happen to touch those scenarios, why spend money on the camera. I understand it's a tempting new piece, but without holding it in your own hands and having some thorough reviews, I wouldn't even start considering it.
    Lenses add creative abilities (in this case: focal length) that allow you to make photos you cannot make today. Upgrades of bodies are usually far less enabling in that sense. So, set aside the idea of getting a D500 until the D7100 really lets you down some way. And in the meantime, enjoy that 200-500 (or 80-400, I'd consider it, even if it overlaps) :)
  22. In my opinion, the D7100 is an excellent camera but its buffer is very limiting for action sequences, e.g. figure skating
    photography would be a pain to do with this camera because of the buffer limitation also it doesn't have the group focus
    mode which I find to be very useful on the D810 and other cameras that support it. However for bang for buck in tele work
    it is hard to argue that it is not a good camera. I guess the D500 mostly improves on the AF and the buffer so if you feel
    limited by those in your current camera then getting the D500 at some point makes sense. However it does pay to wait
    until its price has fallen from its introductory price, and any bugs have been worked out.

    For sports I would choose the 300/4 PF for its superb AF over the 80-400 or the 200-500. The f/4 maximum aperture is
    also very useful. However, it may not be always long enough for birds, depending on whether you are happy with animal
    in its habitat shots or need close-ups as well. IMO the 300/4 PF is better than the 200-500/5.6 for bird in flight shots.
    However I don't want to argue against those who say you need more focal length. That may well be.
  23. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As I mentioned earlier, I went to the Galapagos for the third time in October/November 2015. I know that is being excessive, but I brought four telephoto lenses on that trip. Part of the objective was to check out the new 300mm/f4 PF and 200-500:
    • 70-200mm/f4 AF-S VR
    • 300mm/f4 PF AF-S VR
    • 80-400mm/f4.5-5.6 AF-S VR
    • 200-500mm/f5.6 AF-S VR
    With so many lenses, weight is clearly an issue, especially I needed to hike with some of them.
    Part of my reasoning was indeed that the 70-200 should work well in tandem with the 200-500mm. I took the f4 instead of f2.8 to save weight.
    That was a two-week cruise, visiting many islands. After only a couple of days, it became obvious that the 80-400 is by far the most versatile lens for hand held wildlife photography, mainly because of its 5x zoom range. There are a lot of birds in flight opportunities in the Galapagos. The 200-500mm is on the large side for hand holding and AF is not the fastest. The Galapagos has some large birds. During flight, when they approach, 200mm can sometimes be too long and I started cropping the wings. Therefore, the 80-400 is clearly the most versatile of the four lenses. There was simply no time to switch lenses to the 70-200.
    Soon I stopped taking the 70-200 on hikes. While the 300mm/f4 PF is excellent optically, a fixed 300mm focal length is restrictive. When the subject is small, of course the 200-500 beats the 80-400.
    That is my experience from one particular destination, not necessarily the same for other destinations. Your subject matter will make a difference. You can see my camera usage statistics, from LightRoom, on this Nature Forum post earlier this month:
    It is easy to tell that I used the 80-400 a lot more than the 200-500, and I didn't use the 70-200 and 300mm PF that much. On that trip, I also favored FX (D750) over DX (D7200), but that is another topic. I had a third DSLR body, a D800E, with me as a backup, but I didn't use that camera at all on the trip.
  24. Thanks for all the input. great stuff.
    I looked at the 300mm also. but, I would worry about the fixed focal length. I also looked at the 80-400 but the overlap and the 100mm less than the 200-500 was a factor. I also looked at the sigma 150-600 sport. it all came back to liking the nikon 200-500 the most.
    The buffer of the D7100 is def a factor. I do believe the D500 is everything I would like in a camera for what I do. eventually I will pick one up. that's certain. I do believe the smart money is picking up the lens first.
  25. I have a similar lens assortment and the D7200. And failed to win the lottery. So, I would go for one of the long lenses first, likely the 200-500 Nikon or one of the 150-600 Sigmas. Getting the D500 first when I can't really afford a lens which really takes advantage of it's enhanced abilities in speed and focus would likely be very frustrating.
  26. mm if the Buffer for the D7100 is limitting consider this ( pricewise)
    New ( or good used) D7200 body + 200-500mm = in price when D500 hits the shops not much more investment than just D500 body by itself ( so no new 16-80 kitlens which you do not need..) .
    In that you get the buffer, WiFi etc advantages from the D7200 over the D7100 AND the lens you are interested in insted of "just " the D500 with no lens ...
  27. One more vote for lens before new body, although the buffer and AF on the D500 would be nice. I would suggest considering one of the 150-600mm lenses. The extra 100mm would be useful and the lower weight may be beneficial. In addition, saving about $500 (at least on the Tamron) might put you that much closer to getting the D500. Better yet, it would buy you a nice macro lens, unless your 50 or 85 is a macro. I get as much pleasure from shooting butterflies, bugs, and flowers as I do with birds.
    Here is one recent discussion:

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