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Question to Nikkor 200-500 /5.6 users:
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Feb 1, 2019 22:23:55   #
JR45
 
I am 73, and not in the best of health. I have used this lens hand held on a D500 and D7200.

I find it's a little to heavy to be carrying around a lot, and mostly use a tripod.

I try to keep the shutter speed at 250 or above.

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Feb 2, 2019 02:26:59   #
Dr.Nikon (a regular here)
 
Well.., you heard most of them ... mostly positive ... the 200-500 5.6 is one of the cheapest sharpest you’ll find anywhere .. at 5.1 lb + the weight of you D750 .. batteries and .. it is easy to manage .. a blind that you use and a carbon fiber tripod or monopod .. I use both with my D850 and 200-500 5.6 witch I bought on preorder and love ..I’m 73 and still hike Yosemite with all of it ...

Purchase the lens refurbished or used in mint condition ... You will love the D750 and 200-500 5.6 marriage .. expect a long honeymoon ..

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Feb 2, 2019 05:39:55   #
FiddleMaker
 
Greer wrote:
I am a former deer hunter and have a ground blind from which I see many deer, foxes, bobcat, and beautiful birds. I have been an event/portrait photographer since 2012. With hunting behind me I have developed a desire to shoot wildlife/birds (pardon the pun) with my new D750. While driving I notice birds in flight and beside ponds. I long to get a 200-500 but have a question. The reviews are mostly great and this is the best I could possibly afford. However, some owners complain it’s too heavy to handhold. I am 62 years old and in decent health. Need opinion from those who own (have owned) this lens. Please help. Don’t want to make expensive mistake.
I am a former deer hunter and have a ground blind ... (show quote)


Greer, if you can, try out a Tamron 150-600 G2 series (for Nikon). It is lighter in weight, much less expensive and has super fast auto focusing. I tried both the Nikon 200-500 and the Tammy and I chose the Tammy over the Nikon. Both take a 95mm filter.

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Feb 2, 2019 05:44:13   #
Jim Eads
 
I am 62 and have blown out right and tore left shoulders. I have a D850 coupled up to 200-500 lens and 1.4 TC. , + battery grip. Loaded it is 8 pounds but manageable,. You have to plan you shots, brace your back, breath properly, use stabilazation in camera and externally. Use tripod or monostick.The excitement of capturing good photos will override your senses and make you feel likeyou are accomplshing big doings.

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Feb 2, 2019 05:49:22   #
Largobob
 
I have and use the 200-500 regularly on both a D500 and a D810. I am 70 years old and never have been an athlete, body builder, weight lifter, or manual laborer. I handhold the lens often....and find a monopod very useful. Whenever you stretch the focal length of any optic out toward 500mm...extra stability becomes important.

Like you having been a hunter, I too have been a hunter and still a very active target shooter. Holding a pistol, rifle or shotgun on target, has likely strengthened/toned those necessary muscles. Several of my favorite rifles are well over 10 lbs. (M1 Garand and SIG 7.62 NATO, for instance) and I have no problem with them.

I'm, thinking you should find handholding the 200-500 not that difficult....and a good monopod is a plus.

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Feb 2, 2019 06:30:59   #
jims203
 
I use it on a D500 with a gimbal and a carbon fiber tripod which aids in tracking fast moving birds.
Hand holding got tiring but others do well hand holding it. Trying it out first is a good idea. Image quality is excellent for the moon too.

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Feb 2, 2019 07:01:57   #
mborn
 
I use my 200-500 + D500 with a monopod

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Feb 2, 2019 07:09:23   #
FiddleMaker
 
mborn wrote:
I use my 200-500 + D500 with a monopod

yes - this appears to be an excellent combo.

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Feb 2, 2019 07:14:00   #
FiddleMaker
 
Largobob wrote:
I have and use the 200-500 regularly on both a D500 and a D810. I am 70 years old and never have been an athlete, body builder, weight lifter, or manual laborer. I handhold the lens often....and find a monopod very useful. Whenever you stretch the focal length of any optic out toward 500mm...extra stability becomes important.

Like you having been a hunter, I too have been a hunter and still a very active target shooter. Holding a pistol, rifle or shotgun on target, has likely strengthened/toned those necessary muscles. Several of my favorite rifles are well over 10 lbs. (M1 Garand and SIG 7.62 NATO, for instance) and I have no problem with them.

I'm, thinking you should find handholding the 200-500 not that difficult....and a good monopod is a plus.
I have and use the 200-500 regularly on both a D50... (show quote)

I can see that hand-holding the gun barrel from an Abrams M1 tank has certainly given you a distinct advantage over me (who is now 75). -Just kidding about the tank gun barrel but I do get your drift.

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Feb 2, 2019 07:18:58   #
tcthome (a regular here)
 
Greer wrote:
Thanks for so many good comments. Thomas902, I will definitely look into those products. And swartfort, your idea sounds great but need a bit more discription to understand fully how you carry this. PixelStan77, will go carbon fiber for sure. That will about Tao me out so no chance for anything more expensive. Thanks everybody.


I believe he is talking about it on the tripod. With the tripod over your shoulder & the tripod head & camera & lens behind you. Find the balance point. You keep the lens direction horizontal behind your head or pointing down behind shoulder for protection. I have seen a vid on this on you tube. Its either Moose Peterson or, Steve Perry, If come across it I will come back here & post the link. I'm guessing if your in a blind for a while you could probably sit down having the camera on a tripod ( or on your lap ) all ready to go making the load much more tolerable.
Buy the way , all my lens are Nikon ( including the 2-5 which I love ) but the Tamron G2 lens lineup are getting great reviews.

Have fun , Tom

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Feb 2, 2019 07:34:11   #
gnadeau80
 
Greer wrote:
I am a former deer hunter and have a ground blind from which I see many deer, foxes, bobcat, and beautiful birds. I have been an event/portrait photographer since 2012. With hunting behind me I have developed a desire to shoot wildlife/birds (pardon the pun) with my new D750. While driving I notice birds in flight and beside ponds. I long to get a 200-500 but have a question. The reviews are mostly great and this is the best I could possibly afford. However, some owners complain it’s too heavy to handhold. I am 62 years old and in decent health. Need opinion from those who own (have owned) this lens. Please help. Don’t want to make expensive mistake.
I am a former deer hunter and have a ground blind ... (show quote)

Rent one or go to a camera store and test it for weight.

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Feb 2, 2019 07:40:55   #
Jerrin1
 
Greer wrote:
I am a former deer hunter and have a ground blind from which I see many deer, foxes, bobcat, and beautiful birds. I have been an event/portrait photographer since 2012. With hunting behind me I have developed a desire to shoot wildlife/birds (pardon the pun) with my new D750. While driving I notice birds in flight and beside ponds. I long to get a 200-500 but have a question. The reviews are mostly great and this is the best I could possibly afford. However, some owners complain it’s too heavy to handhold. I am 62 years old and in decent health. Need opinion from those who own (have owned) this lens. Please help. Don’t want to make expensive mistake.
I am a former deer hunter and have a ground blind ... (show quote)


I owned a Nikkor 200 - 500mm f5.6 and a Nikkor 300mm f4 PF ED VR + Nikkor TC14EIII and used them on a D500. I bought the 300mm f4 + 1.4TC initially; and the combination was beautifully lightweight, short, and produced excellent results. Sometime later I purchased the 200 - 500mm f5.6 for the extra focal length. Though far heavier than my 300mm PF, I found it to be an outstanding lens. It did not take long for me to be able to handhold it for shooting birds and insects in flight - and I am a little older than you are. What I did find an issue, however, was carrying it for 7 hours/15 miles a day, 5 days a week. I also had with me an Olympus EM1 mark II + Olympus 300mm f4 + 1.4 TC and the combined weight (with flash guns and tripod etc., caused me to give up my Nikon gear. If you only have a reasonable distance to walk to your hide, I doubt the weight of the 200 - 500mm will cause you any problems. It is a terrific lens which I actually preferred to my 300mm f4 PF for BIF. But, if you are concerned by the weight, try the 300mm PF ED VR + TC14EIII.

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Feb 2, 2019 08:04:55   #
Wilhan
 
A friend of mine has the Nikon 200-500mm and it's a top value lens, however, I opted to buy the 300mm PF f4 lens as it weighs less than my 24-70mm lens and is compact enough to stay in my camera bag at all times (my friend carries the 200-500mm in a separate case). I'm 69 and have recently replaced my Nikon f2.8 70-200mm lens with the Nikon f4 70-200mm because it's virtually half the weight and once again it stays in my camera bag at all times (unlike the 1.5kg f2.8). My advice is to rent the 200-500mm before you commit to the weight. My 300mm f4 PF is probably the sharpest lens that I own and if you match it to a 1.4 teleconverter would give you 420mm.


(Download)


(Download)

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Feb 2, 2019 08:16:53   #
motorman
 
I'am nearing 66 and have a bad back. I went through sigma and tamron lenses on the way to the
nikon 200-500 with 1.4 TC option. I have a D750 and use a monopod with gimbal head (heavy gimbal head).
My avatar was shot on first outing with this setup and cropped a great amount. In my price range this was the best bang for buck. Fast focus at 1100 to 1250 ss catches the BIF. The faster the glass the heavier the lens and price jumps. The sigma i owned was a 2.8 way too heavy. The tamron a g1 was lighter than the sigma but compared to the nikon 200-500 would not focus as fast the way i shoot. (AFC 9pt single point matrix)

For everyday walkaround my old nikon 70-300 afs vr. still has a price around 500 and does a pretty good job.

if i got the link right this was that first outting https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-405680-1.html

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Feb 2, 2019 08:20:12   #
Richie G
 
I have the 200-500 also and i am 78 .To help me a little i use a monopod.

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