After almost two years, the Nikon 500mm 5.6 PF is in stock. There is a reason it has been out of stock for two years…this is one amazing lens. For starters, this lens is really small and compact…almost the same weight as the 70-200mm 2.8…but it is a 500mm! Using phase fresnel elements to reduce weight and size (similar to the amazing 300mm F4 PF), this is probably the lightest 500mm on the market. Compared to the 200-500mm, this lens is almost two pounds lighter and significantly smaller. You lose the advantage of being a zoom, but if weight and size are your biggest concern, this is the lens. We actually take this lens on trips to Europe because it is so small, who knew we would shoot a ‘500mm travel lens’.
Just how sharp is it? Let’s just say Cree and I regularly go out with both the 500mm 5.6 PF and the 600mm F4. I can’t see a difference in sharpness between the two lenses. The 600mm has the advantage of being F4, so autofocus is faster and the bokeh softer…but the lens also costs about 4 times more. The advantage of the 500mm is portability. You can move around so quick you get images that you miss with the 600mm because it takes time to set it up. Let’s just say we liked this lens enough that Cree and I were constantly sneaking it into our camera bags when the other person wasn’t looking. To solve this dilemma, we bought a second 500mm F5.6 PF. I highly recommend buying the RRS replacement foot. This foot is grooved to fit on arca Swiss style tripod heads, so you don’t need a separate plate.
The lenses are in stock at many of the major online stores. If you want one, you better hurry, because they will go fast!