Nikkor 500mm f4 at Magnolia Gardens Audubon Swamp

One of the fringe benefits of being a Nikon Professional Services photographer, is that Nikon happily sends me exotic gear to test out from time to time!

A few days ago UPS dropped of the exotic AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f4G ED VR. I already own the renowned Nikkor 200-400mm. But I do on occasion with I had a little extra reach. When Nikon loaned me their formidable 600mm, I was extremely impressed. But I knew it was WAY too big, bulky, and cumbersome for my shooting style.

It was refreshing to find that the 500mm is physically only an inch longer, just half an inch larger in diameter, and less than 20oz heavier than my 200-400! Really, without the lens hoods, you’d be hard pressed to tell there was any difference between them. And since I routinely hand-hold my 200-400, I instantly knew the 500 would be perfectly manageable for me!

So I called my buddy David Archer up and we headed out to shoot for a couple hours at the beautiful Magnolia Gardens Audubon Swamp. David owns the 400 f2.8. So we had great fun comparing and feeling out the differences between the three “Big Glass” lenses. I didn’t have a ton of time to spend. But here are a few favorites with the 500. I photographed some of these with the D800 and some with the D4. Some were shot with the TC14eII and the TC20eIII attached as well.

On another outing I tested the 500mm at the Charleston Center for Birds of Prey. Look for that post soon…

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