Best 200-500mm Lenses For Nikon – 2019 Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

The telephoto 200-500 mm lens is truly an impressive product that has taken the market by storm today. The best part about it, other than its exceptional functionality and features, is its affordability as well. To help you buy the most suitable 200-500 mm lenses for Nikon, this buyer’s guide will review the best 200-500mm Lenses for Nikon.

Comparison of the Best 200-500mm Lenses for Nikon

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED

  • Weighs about 6 pounds
  • Has a photo filter thread size of 95 millimeters
  • Best overall featuring 4.5 stops of Vibration Reduction
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Tamron Auto Focus 200-500mm f/5.0-6.3 Di LD SP FEC

  • Weighs about 2.3 pounds
  • Comes with a detachable tripod mount
  • Best for the money that features 2 low-dispersion elements
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What Does 200-500mm Lens Mean

Particularly, a 200-500mm lens is a telephoto lens. Telephoto lenses such as this have a wide-ranging focal length, which is even longer than the lens’s own body. In addition, these are mostly used for distant photography such as wildlife and sky photography.

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

The best 200-500mm lenses are fully compatible with all cameras, whether it is an FX (full-frame) or a DX (cropped sensors) camera. Since they are also big in size, these lenses are also heavier than your usual, smaller focal length sized lenses. They also have a fixed aperture at f/5.6. 

How Do I Choose a 200-500mm Lens?

Before we go to our reviews section, you first need to know about some important aspects and qualities that make a 200-500mm lens worth your money. The following features are necessary to ensure that the product you are investing in is good enough. 

Comes With a Case

Many sellers and retailers sell the 200-500 mm lens without any case to protect it. The case plays an important role in enhancing the user’s experience. This is true, especially if you are an on-the-go photographer. The 200-500mm lens is perfect for distant photography and is mostly used by people for wildlife photography purposes; therefore, a reliable and sturdy case to carry the lens is important. 

Weather Resistance

Weather sealing is a common feature in most 200-500 lenses. The sealing is present on many spots of the lens along with its very front, which protects the camera from UV effects and other mishaps. Make sure to check if the one you are buying has a weather sealing or not. 

Usage 

Before you buy a 200-500mm lens, make sure that you have matched the functionality of the lens with your usage and purpose. These are only appropriate for distant pictures and, therefore, cannot produce good portraits and close up images. 

Quick Take - Best 200-500mm lenses for Nikon

Before we dive into our review, here are the best 200-500mm lenses for Nikon:

  1. ​Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED
  2. ​​​Tamron Auto Focus 200-500mm f/5.0-6.3 Di LD SP FEC

Review of the Best 200-500mm Lenses For Nikon

The following are the best 200-500mm lenses for Nikon. Each lens is unique and beneficial in its own way and caters to different buyer needs. Make sure to go through the thorough review carefully so you can make a well-informed final purchase. 

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras

PROS

  • Weighs lesser than other alternatives
  • Has both auto and manual focus type
  • Strongly recommended for Nikon cameras
  • Comes with an additional choice for a case
  • Features super integrated coating to lessen flare

CONS

  • Constant and fixed aperture
  • Case and UV filter cost extra
  • Really pricey, making it unsuitable for many budgets

What Recent Buyers Report

The lens is manufactured by one of the most reliable manufacturers in the market, Nikon. It is one of the best-selling products by major retailers, while Amazon rates it as the Amazon Choice. Its great quality and performance are backed by a variety of photographers, professionals, and beginners who absolutely love the functionality of this lens.

Buyers of this lens report it to have produced some great quality, sharp images, particularly of distant objects. Buyers state that the sharpness is equally divided across the field of the image, which made their overall performance as a photographer really good. In addition to this, there were some positive remarks about how the lens has very little to no distortion rate.

Some buyers reported issues with the delivery. A couple of buyers received used or defective products, which lead to obvious concerns about their money and the reliability of the item as well. However, these weren’t too worrisome, and the problems were resolved pretty quickly.

Buyers also positively commented on its build quality, particularly mentioning that the lens is mostly made with metal components and not plastic. Plus, the tripod mounting spot is also found to be positioned at a very convenient spot for users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

When it comes to investing in cameras and lenses for photographers, the decision needs to be really carefully thought out. For this reason, we find this particular lens to be a low-risk option.

Positive Customer Feedback

The lens is meant for all types of photographers, whether professionals or beginners. The customer feedback on this lens is truly impressive. Users have also shared their shots to demonstrate the image quality, and we were truly impressed by it.

Lightweight and Compact 

The lens is the best in the market in terms of weight and size. It is relatively lighter and more compact than other 200-500mm lenses you will find. As a consequence, this is one of the most outstanding products in the market.

Versatility

We also find the versatility of options it provides pretty impressive. You can either buy the lens alone or buy it with a case or a UV filter. While the extra add-ons cost extra too, it is true that this is a one-time investment and is really going to pay off.

Brand Reliability

Furthermore, the lens also comes from a renowned brand in the market. This further makes this one of the best and top-most choices for us. Nikon today stands as a major brand in the market, and therefore a lot of customers put their trust in it.

Who Will Use This Most

Considering the lens’s features, such as vibration reduction, fixed aperture, heavy-duty built, and an extremely long focal length, we would say that this is perfect for use for professionals. In particular, we would strongly recommend this to professional photographers who are shooting on the go or are frequent travelers who need a long focal length lens to carry around conveniently.

Since the lens is lighter than usual, this will be a great choice for photographers who need to carry it around in a backpack. Customer reports also suggest that many people found the lens to be comfortable when handheld, which means that travelers and roamers can comfortably make use of this lens.

Moreover, anyone who owns any type of DSLR, whether it’s a Nikon or not, can make use of this lens. It’s a versatilely compatible lens that is going to work for anyone and everyone. For the same reasons, this is an exceptional product for wildlife photography. People have used this lens for that purpose and were able to produce some outstanding results.

Bottom Line

Some of the most prominent features of this exceptional Nikon 200-500mm lens include its VR feature, metal construction, super integrated coating, FX and DX camera compatibility, auto and manual focus functionality, and also its sharp image quality. All these features add up to produce extraordinary images that do justice to the money you have spent on this lens. Its versatile compatibility with all DSLRs is another reason why one might surely want to invest in this lens.

Moreover, another notable feature of this lens is its construction size and weight. While it is not the lightest product in the market, it sure is one of the lighter alternatives in the 200-500mm range. This makes it a great product for travelers and people who need to carry it in a bag or in the hand.

We recommend this to wildlife photographers for its sharp image quality and little to no distortion feature even when capturing from a long distance. Its hefty price tag might put some intermediate level photographers off from buying it, but after using it and considering the way it will enhance your performance, it will surely be worth the money.

Tamron Auto Focus 200-500mm f/5.0-6.3 Di LD SP FEC (IF) Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Model A08N) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

PROS

  • Lesser flare in the images
  • An extremely lightweight alternative
  • Great for bird and wildlife photography
  • Available for versatile range and types of cameras
  • Produces sharp images with the 2 low dispersion features
  • Very budget-friendly to make it available to a wider audience

CONS

  • Model is discontinued by the manufacturer

What Recent Buyers Report

The Tamron 200-500mm lens is found to be highly satisfactory for users who used it, particularly for wildlife and bird photography. The majority of the comments and feedback received from the buyers are truly impressive and make you want to invest money into this lens yourself as well. A huge lot of buyers were particularly excited and even satisfied by its size and weight. Many reported that they held the lens in their hands for a long time of traveling and moving around for wildlife shots but did not experience any discomfort. Moreover, buyers also strongly recommend this to people who want a lens for backpacking and traveling.

In addition to its lightweight size benefitting its buyers, people have also positively reported about the autofocus performance. In particular, buyers have reported that it focuses on the desired manner very quickly without delay. This saves lots of time for photographers and has therefore allowed great shots to be taken. The quick focus functionality also helped out a lot of first-time buyers. 

However, we also came across a few bad experiences and negative reports regarding the customer service and support system provided by the manufacturers. But that was the only problem.

Apart from that, buyers also used this lens on a tripod and made use of the quick autofocus feature. They report the lens to have versatile compatibility with all tripods and to have exceptionally reliable autofocus performance when attached to a tripod. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Features and benefits such as the ones mentioned below are usually hard to find in any one lens that is also really affordable. Consequently, we have added this exceptionally affordable yet well-performing 200-500mm lens on our list of the best in the market today. 

Great Features

The Tamron autofocus lens features a strong and sturdy built, equipped with quick focus ability, low dispersion elements that produce sharp images, and has versatile compatibility.

Its low dispersion feature guarantees to produce sharp images while the chromatic abbreviation functionality guarantees high-quality images with the lowest levels of distortion. All of these features work together to enhance the quality of the image and therefore benefit the user’s performance. 

Compatibility

The versatility of this lens in terms of its features, along with its compatibility with both Canon and Nikon cameras, impressed us and made us add this product to our list. 

Hence, with its unique detachable tripod mount, versatile compatibility, and great built quality, the Tamron lens is surely the one you can opt for. 

Who Will Use This Most

A huge chunk of this product’s buyers were all professional photographers who particularly tested this lens for bird photography. The images produced were outstanding. With the sharpness of the image it produced and the great focal length, we would recommend anyone who wants to capture birds or elements of the sky such as the moon in a sharp and clear picture to make use of this lens. 

Moreover, the lens is also one of the most affordable options you will find in the market. Many beginner-level photographers and sometimes even professionals look for affordable lenses that have similar top-notch features and functions. Therefore, if you have a tight budget or just don’t want to spend a hefty amount on a lens, we strongly recommend you buy and use this one. 

Other than capturing birds and sky elements, the lens is also obviously great for wildlife shots. Wildlife, fast-moving objects and animals can be captured in sharp images by this excellent product. Plus, since it is so lightweight, photographers on the go can also make great use out of it. However, it does not come with a carry case, so you might have to buy it separately and pay extra. 

Bottom Line

Whether you have a Sony DSLR, a Nikon or a Canon, this Tamron lens will work equally great for you. It has an extraordinary appeal with its sturdy black construction that has a detachable tripod mount. It is protected by coatings that enable sharp images to be produced. The most worth-mentioning feature about this lens is obviously its weight. The lightweight built makes this one of the most prominent options in the market, followed by its 2 low dispersion glass elements and extraordinary filter effect controls. 

The autofocus functionality of this lens is another important future. Buyers report the autofocus to give off an exemplary performance by being really fast and reliable. With its detachable tripod mount and an autofocus feature, the camera was used and tested by many professionals for its performance and reliability on a tripod. 

Whether you need to carry the lens in your backpack or in your hand, it will be really easy and travel-friendly for you. It is also the perfect choice for moon photography since its past buyers have been able to take some really clear and sharp images of the moon. 

Pros and Cons of 200-500mm Lenses

Let’s look at some prominent pros and cons of having and using a 200-500mm lens so you can decide better which lens to buy.

Pros

Let’s first see all the benefits you can enjoy from such a lens. 

Great for Wildlife Photography

The 200-500 focal length is only suitable for wildlife photography. This length and distance are needed by wildlife photographers and is therefore great for that purpose. Other long-distance shooting purposes may include sports photography and photographing sports events. 

Vibration Reduction Feature

The vibration reduction or VR feature of the 200-500mm lenses is truly distinctive. This increases the image quality and also ensures stability when zooming in on a distant object. The VR feature helps a lot in capturing good quality, non-blur images from a distance. 

Budget-Friendly Option

Considering that these lenses have a fixed aperture and have a great built, they are relatively cheaper and budget-friendly. 

Cons

Such lenses also have some shortcomings, which include:

Poor Autofocus Performance

Unfortunately, 200-500mm lenses have a poor autofocus performance. This might be a problem when you want to take quick shots. 

Heavy 

Typically, these lenses weigh over 6 pounds. This can be heavy and can be an inconvenient choice of product in terms of portability and travel friendliness. 

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a 200-500mm Lens? 

There are some important features of the 200-500mm lens that you need to know before buying it. 

It’s Heavy

If you are planning on using the 200-500mm lens on an on-the-go photography trip, then you will need to remember that the lens is one of the heavyweight products in the market. It weighs over 6.5 pounds and is rather difficult to carry in your hand for a long time. Therefore, it’s not the most travel-friendly option in the market. 

Fixed Aperture

The lens comes with a fixed aperture of f/4.6. This means that you won’t be able to adjust the aperture according to low or bright light conditions. Keep this in mind, especially if you are planning to use the lens in an indoor setting or event. 

Warranty Specifics 

Always make sure to inquire about your seller or retailer about the warranty information. There is a wide range of technical specifics that you should know about before buying the lens. 

Conclusion

The best 200-500mm lenses for Nikon are the most versatile and user-friendly choices in the market. The final choice will be based upon your usage and purposes, your budget, and also your experience. We highly recommend the 200-500mm lens to people who are planning on shooting landscapes, wildlife, and nature photography.