Okay, I haven’t been so excited about a lens showing up on my doorstep for a long time. I was so excited about receiving my 500mm 5.6 PF yesterday I even tried to intercept the UPS man. It finally arrived, and after less than a day of shooting, all I can say is ‘Wow’. The PF (phase fresnel) lenses are optically designed differently, allowing a much smaller and lighter design. My 300mm PF is one of my favorite lenses, about the same size as my 24-70mm 2.8…except it is a 300mm!
Take a look at this comparison of lenses. The 300mm 2.8, then the 500 5.6 PF, and then the 70-200mm 2.8 (all without hoods). The 500mm is incredibly small, and weighs 3.2 pounds. By comparison the 200-500mm weighs 5 pounds, and the 70-200mm 2.8 weighs 3.1 pounds. And the 500mm is 9.3 inches long…these specs are almost hard to believe. This is the ultimate lightweight walk around telephoto lens. If doesn’t offer the flexibility of a zoom, but it offers all the advantages of a prime including super fast autofocus (with memory recall), the latest VR including Sport mode, and razor sharp images. Just how sharp?
Well, in the few hours I had before I had to catch a plane, I stalked the rabbit in my front yard that torments my dog all day long. I shot wide open (5.6) and at F8 using my D850. I brought up the image on my 5k display and zoomed into 200 percent…I could see every hair on this rabbit, stunning acuity for a subject 20 feet away. I would have liked to shoot some distant scenes to see how resolution compares, but that will wait until my next post. But I have to say right out of the box…this lens is incredible. Stay tuned for a more detailed review later.