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Is the Nikkor 500mm f8 Reflex a Dog?

Kenneth Wong , Feb 18, 2005; 05:28 a.m.

When I bought my 500mm f8 Nikkor last year, quite a few Nikon users told me that I have made a mistake and suggested that I should have saved the money and up grade my 300mm f4 AF-ED instead. I was totally frustrated, and on a sunny day I tried out my new reflex Nikkor side by side with my beloved 300mm. I used my D100 for this test, with camera set at ISO 200, center weight metering, sharpness off, file saved as large sized jpg, and shots were taken handheld (Just to remind you that I have no intention to conduct a scientific test). Images were processed by Nikon Capture 4 afterward with only auto DEE adjustment, and low degree sharpening. After reviewing the images, I don't feel bad anymore!


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Kenneth Wong , Feb 18, 2005; 05:31 a.m.

The same object, same distance with my 300mm f4 AF-ED

Kenneth Wong , Feb 18, 2005; 05:34 a.m.

Enlargement of just the Handbag for the shot with 500mm Reflex Nikkor.

500mm Relex Nikkor's Image ( Crop to show Handbag only)

Kenneth Wong , Feb 18, 2005; 05:36 a.m.

Enlargement of just the Handbag for the shot with 300mm Nikkor.

300mm Nikkor's image (Crop to show handbag only)

Sayed Mahmood Alawi , Feb 18, 2005; 06:01 a.m.

I'm no expert but look at the upper part of the 500mm photo. All those rings or should is say dou..

Dont feel bad, look at the bright side you did not notice it, others might do the same.

nice subject by the way!


Luis Triguez , Feb 18, 2005; 07:00 a.m.


After seen your exemple, I would't say it's a dog. Congrats!

Vivek . , Feb 18, 2005; 08:12 a.m.

Kenneth, Try the 500mm outside, pointing to a backlit tree. You can see if it is a bad dog or a good dog :-)

Dick Van Nostrand , Feb 18, 2005; 08:29 a.m.

This was taken with the 500mm reflex, Nikon FM and Kodachrome 64. I used for many years with great success. It's a great lens for outdoor shots where you don't want to haul a big, heavy lens around. I used it for covering golf and other sports. If you're really turned off by the "ring" effect then it's probably not the lens for you. I actually used a 300mm F/4.5 along with the 500mm but in different situations.


Kenneth Wong , Feb 18, 2005; 09:16 a.m.

I am aware of the dounut effect before I bought the lens, as I owned a Sigma 600mm reflex many years ago. I had never had good experience with the Sigma reflex, the only reason I bought the Nikon reflex because I think Nikkor can do better than Sigma, plus I need a longer focal length than my 300mm for a new hobby....Birds watching.

This is a shot that I took last week with the 500mm reflex. As long as the light condition is not too extreme, I can certainly live with this Dog.

500mm Reflex Nikkor 1/200 sec, ISO500 w/monopod

Albert Smith , Feb 18, 2005; 09:30 a.m.

I'm sure this lens is indeed very nice, but am I understanding correctly that you shot the same subject from the same distance with two different focal lengths, and then based on the same section of enlargement made a judgment of quality?

I don't know what can be judged from a cropped area of a 300mm shot against a less cropped section of a 500mm shot. This would be just as invalid as cropping the middle out of a 28mm shot to compare it to a 50mm shot. The more severe crop affects the apparent sharpness, so the comparison is not really telling as to the quality of the shorter lens.

For objective side-by-side comparisons, judge 500mm lenses against 500mm lenses, or better yet, just use the lens and if it makes you happy, then it is a good lens.

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