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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Telephoto zoom lens for Nikon SLR cameras

17 Reviews | 2 questions - 6 answers

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Our take on the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

A powerful, far-reaching lens

For outstanding wildlife and sports photography, you need a lens that brings your subjects within easy reach. This 200-500mm super telephoto lens brings distant subjects within easy reach. Nikon's Silent Wave motor technology lets you focus quickly and quietly, while the manual focus ring lets you override autofocus at any time to fine-tune your shot. An electronic diaphragm mechanism ensures consistent exposure with high-speed continuous shooting so you can capture thrilling action sequences. Vibration Reduction keeps your shots sharp and steady so you can use slower shutter speeds in lower light, and Sports Mode compensates for camera shake when panning to track moving subjects.

Product Highlights:

  • AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR telephoto zoom lens
  • compatible with Nikon FX and DX digital SLR cameras
    • 35mm equivalent focal length: 300-750mm with APS-C (Nikon DX format) sensor cameras
  • built-in Vibration Reduction enables sharper shots at slower shutter speeds (up to four shutter speeds slower)
  • Silent Wave Motor for smooth, quiet, and precise autofocus
  • internal focusing design maintains overall lens length during focusing for greater consistency and faster performance
  • manual and autofocus modes
  • Super Integrated Coating on lens elements provides excellent color richness and contrast
  • minimum focus distance: 7-1/4 ft.
  • minimum aperture: f/32
  • lens construction: 19 elements in 12 groups
  • 3 ED (extra-low dispersion) lens elements for high resolution and contrast
  • 9-blade circular aperture for natural rendering of out-of-focus background elements
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism for accurate aperture blade control when using auto exposure during continuous shooting
  • attachment/filter size: 95mm
  • lens is 4-3/16" in diameter, 10-3/4" long
  • weight: 5.1 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years with Nikon registration
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • accessory hood, front and rear lens caps, and lens pouch

What's in the Box:

  • AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (#20058) with attached tripod collar
  • LC-95 Front lens cap (installed)
  • LF-4 Rear lens cap (installed)
  • HB-71 Lens hood
  • CL-1434 Soft lens pouch
  • User's Manual
  • Warranty card

have not had an opportunity to use this lens to its potential, It is sturdy which adds to the weight and will mostly be using with tripod or monopod traveling around photographing birds

Amy, Katonah, NY


Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(17 Reviews)

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

richard from Port Orchard, WA on 5/5/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have had the 200-500 Nikkor lens for 2 weeks plus. 5he prior reviews were spot on. Photos are tac sharp and the vibration reduction is excelan. Can shoot easy 3 to 4 stops slower on shutter speed. The weight is not a big issue if you are used to shooting a long lense. Thanks again for all the help with transactions Crutchfield. Will always buy my photo equipment from your company.

Pros: Great price for this lens, quality you would expect from a much more costly lenses.

Cons: Non at this time and don't expect any.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Amy from Katonah, NY on 11/1/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

have not had an opportunity to use this lens to its potential, It is sturdy which adds to the weight and will mostly be using with tripod or monopod traveling around photographing birds



Awesome zoom lens

George from Visalia, CA on 9/25/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've owned this lens less than 2 months and in many ways it my be my favorite lens. I'm shocked how sharp it is and despite test scores that might say different the pictures I have seem to say this is sharper than my other 4 Nikon lenses, I bought it for zoos and sporting events mainly. My first test was to our local baseball team and I got great shots of the starting picture throwing off the mound. My biggest test came yesterday at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and it worked like a charm. It is a big and heavy lens but can be managed using a sturdy monopod or tripod which I advise. You can handhold in a pinch but the monopod I used at the zoo made it much more easy. Included are just 3 of the hundreds of photos I have taken with this lens. Despite the price tag for the lens (which is more than most people have in all there camera equipment unless you're serious about this like me) I will get my worth out of it. It's the perfect lens when you need more reach out of a lens and so far I'm very happy.

Pros: Very sharp lens that despite my cons the pictures it produces will supersede all of them. Great Lens Bokeh. F5.6 throughout the whole zoom range.

Cons: Heavy Expensive You can't go from 200 to 500 zooming without releasing and getting a new grip because of how much you have to turn it. Supplied lens collar doesn't lock tight enough to actually keep it from be able to move. Crutchfield could and should have boxed the lens for shipping with more bubblewrap/peanut packing inside the box all around as the lens in it's box is not encased in Styrofoam.

Amazing Lens. Get It!!

William from Pennsylvania on 4/16/2017

I sold a bunch of stuff to purchase this lens. I have had it for 1 1/2 years. I love it. When I got it people who didn't own it said don't zoom out to 500. Keep it at 450 or less and always have it at F8. Just assuming it would not be sharp if you didn't do this. When I got it I tried these suggestions and compared them to wide open at 500mm. It is just as sharp at 500mm and wide open at 5.6 than it is at 450 F8. So I never zoom back unless I need to for composition. Which rarely happens. (You never have enough lens for birds.) This lens is actually on my camera 95% of the time. Even after all these images and a year and a half of use it still amazes me how sharp it is. And I am using it on a 10 year old camera. The Nikon D300. I get great images with them. I dream of a D500 but I don't see it happening any time soon. Or far. LOL Only thing that was weird is when the VR is on Normal it jumps around in the viewfinder when you take a photo. It can change the composition and more importantly the focus point. But in sport mode it does not do this. I read up on Nikons VR and found you shouldn't use it unless you need it. Meaning if your shutter is high enough to get clear images don't use the VR. I have it on sport most of the time. Only switch it to normal when my shutter speeds get to below 1/500 sec. This has worked fine. And don't press the shutter to activate the VR and instantly take photos. Unless you have to. It is sharper to let it run for a second before taking pictures

Pros: Sharp. Well built. Great for wildlife. Affordable.

Cons: None.

My favorite lens

Sid from Athens, WV on 4/11/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This has become my favorite lens. Nice and sharp. Match it with a crop sensor camera and extend the reach to 750mm. Highly recommended.

Pros: Sharp Seems well made

Cons: Little heavy but not bad

The Best Lens for the price!

Ramon De Jesus from Ponce, PR on 3/6/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very happy to purchased the Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 VR lens. It is very sharp in 500mm too. (Muy contento en haber comprado el lente Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 VR. Es muy nítido en 500mm también)

Pros: Great in 500mm and Excellent VR

Cons: Heavy Weight

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

Crutchfield customer from Boerne, TX on 2/3/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great lens



Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

George from Endicott, NY on 2/3/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This Nikon / Nikkor zoom is one big lens. I love all the features and picture quality. Seems to work well with my FX Format Nikon D610 which I happened to purchase from Crutchfield. Watch out wildlife, here I come.

Pros: Well built lens / Nikon quality, Sharp pictures, Excellent price

Cons: Little heavy, but all the features overcome this issue.

Awesome Lens

LaDean from Washington, IL on 1/14/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Wondering why I waited so long to get this lens. I am loving the quality and detailed pictures I am getting, even hand holding the monster. While large and heavy, the quality makes up for it.

Pros: Quality sharpness and detail

Cons: weight

Great zoom!

Mark from Milwaukee, WI on 11/29/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The lens lives up to all the reviews I've read. It can't be beat for the price. Crutchfield's sales and service is the best.



Nikon 200-500 5.6 ED VR AFS

Bob G from Charlottesville, VA on 6/11/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a very nice lens. Having said that, I need to add a warning. It is a heavy lens to carry around, and it will require you to up your game at photography skills to get the most out of it. Initially, I had trouble dealing with it, but after a week or so of increasing ISO and shutter speed and working with focus/metering settings I began to get a high percentage of great photos. The glowing reviews I have read are all true. The lens is capable of yielding very sharp photos once you hit your stride with it. I have used it for distant as well as near objects and am encouraged by the results. So, stop reading, and go get one!

Pros: Great Value



Nick from Bay Shore, NY on 4/19/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nikon has created a fine quality Nikkor Auto Focus Stabilized 200 - 500mm FX f/5.6E that is affordable to the general public, without breaking the bank... Even hand holding at 500mm can produce very high quality results equal to much more expensive lenses. DX camera format extends it to 700mm. A great addition to those interested in an excellent performing telephoto lens. 35+ years as a professional photographer and I can honestly say, " this is a keeper ".

Pros: All around a solid 5 out of 5.

Cons: none, except a tripod will help support the added weight, like all high quality lenses, it's a wee bit heavy...

nikon 200-500mm nikon AF lens

Sam M from Cambria Heights, New York on 3/21/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nikon did it again,another superior lens. The focusing on any length is crystal clear, I have a nikon D3X focusing with this lens is on point. For the price, you get more than your money worth. When you couple it with the Nikon teleconverter TC 20III focusing is still on the money. Pictures come out crystal clear at all the focal lengths.

Pros: Everything,about the lens is right.

Cons: None.

Nikon 200-500 5.6 ED VR AFS

Tone1958 from rome, NY on 3/9/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was skeptical at first,mainly because because of the price point. After putting through it's paces, I am Satisfied with it through all Focal lengths, and it's fast and Sharp

Pros: Lightweight 5.0 lbs

Cons: Not as sharp as the 7200.00 200-400 But can't be expected to be.

Super Lenses

jlgad from Tennessee on 1/31/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

First long lenses I've ever owned. After reading a ton of reviews of how great this lenses is . They where all true !

Pros: Super Sharp

Cons: None

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 E Review

Brian from Blairsville, GA on 1/31/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This Nikon lens is great for distance photography. I use for Birds and deer pictures along with landscape of long range shots. The pictures are clear and the focus is fast for a large lens. Highly recommend.

Pros: Picture sharpness, VR capability and Nikon glass.

Cons: Its heavy weight and size. Makes for more challenging carrying around.

Nikon Got It Right!

RYIU from California on 10/4/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Just received this behemoth two days ago. My initial impression is : Nikon Got It Right On This One ! It looks and feels very well built, heavy but worth all the lifting. VR really does give a 4.5 + Stops advantage. I have taken reasonable sharp pictures at 500mm with shutter speed as low as 1/10 seconds. Crazy huh? Best of all, the bokeh produces by the 9-round-blade-diaphram is superb. For a Nikon Lens of this class and performance, $1399.00 USD is a "steal".P.S. It is very sharp, all zoom range, even at f/5.6 !

Pros: Well Built Professional Grade (Solid and Heavy) Fast focusing 4.5-Stop+ VR Improvement CONFIRMED Beautiful Bokeh Excellent Pricing Includes Lens Shade and Tripod Colar Super Cool Looking

Cons: The included lens bag is a joke


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Mount Type Nikon F-mount
Sensor Size Full frame
Image Stabilization Yes
Lens Type Super Telephoto
Focal Length 200-500mm
Maximum Aperture f/5.6
Weight 81.2 ounces
Parts Warranty 5 Years w/registration
Labor Warranty 5 Years w/registration

Product Research

Warranty Information


Overview: The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens is a super telephoto zoom lens. It is ideal for photographing birds and wildlife, sporting events, and more. The lens comes with an attached tripod collar, the HB-71 lens hood and the CL-1434 soft storage pouch.

FX-format Lens: This lens is optimized for use on Nikon FX-format (full frame) cameras, but it is also compatible with Nikon's DX-format cameras. When used on a DX-format camera, such as the D5300 or D7100, the lens has an equivalent focal length of 300-750mm.

Nikon Technologies: The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens is equipped with the following Nikon technologies:

  • Vibration Reduction (VR): Vibration Reduction technology reduces blur caused by camera shake, which allows you to to use shutter speeds up to 4.5 stops slower than normal, using Sports Mode. The VR Mode can be set to Normal or Sports, and Vibration Reduction can be turned on or off via separate two-way switches on the lens barrel.
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism (E): The lens has an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism in the lens barrel to provide accurate aperture blade control during auto-exposure during continuous shooting. Conventional lenses (D/G types) have mechanical linkage levers to control the diaphragm blades.
  • Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Glass: This lens contains Extra-low Dispersion optical glass developed by Nikon for optimum correction of chromatic aberrations.
  • Internal Focusing (IF): The lens features a system in which only the internal lens group moves during focusing, eliminating changes in the physical length of the lens during auto focusing, and enabling closer focusing distances.
  • Super Integrated Coating: The lens features a multi-layered coating of the optical elements.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM): The exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) uses ultrasonic vibrations, instead of a gear system, to enable fast, accurate, and quiet auto focus.

Focus Mode Switch: The Focus Mode switch on the barrel of the lens lets you switch between focus modes: M (manual) and M/A (autofocus with manual override). For Auto Focus mode, the camera must be in AF mode and the lens switch in the M/A position. In this mode, the lens will focus when the camera shutter is pressed halfway, however, you can override the focus by rotating the lens focus ring. You can easily switch to full manual focus by moving the Focus Mode switch to the M position (even if the camera is in AF mode). If the camera is in Manual Focus (MF) mode, autofocus will not operate.

Focus Limit Switch: The two-way Focus Limit switch determines the focus distance limits for autofocus. You can select Full to use the entire focus range, or ∞ (infinity)-6m if your subject will always be at least 6 meters (19.7') away.

Zoom Ring Lock: You can lock the zoom ring to prevent the lens from extending under its own weight while the camera is being carried from place to place.

Tripod Collar: The lens has an attached tripod collar for mounting the lens and camera. This provides much better balance, and takes pressure off of the camera's tripod socket. The tripod collar can be loosened, allowing you to rotate the lens and camera between wide ("landscape") and tall ("portrait") orientations. There are markings every 90° to use as a guide. The tripod collar can also be removed, if desired.

Lens Hood: The included HB-71 lens hood blocks stray light from getting into the lens causing flare or ghosting. It also protects the front of the lens from direct contact, as well as keeping dirt, rain, and snow out. When mounted, the lens hood adds approximately 4" to the overall length of the lens. It can be inverted and reverse-mounted when not in use.

Optional Teleconverters: The zoom power of the AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR can be extended through the use of optional Nikon teleconverters. The lens is compatible with the TC-14E, TC-17E, and TC-20E series teleconverters to extend the reach by 1.4x, 1.7x, or 2.0x, respectively.


  • Type of Lens: Type E AF-S lens with a built-in CPU
  • Type of Mount: Nikon F-bayonet type
  • Focal Length: 200mm-500mm
  • Filter Diameter: 95mm
  • Lens Construction: 19 elements in 12 groups (including 3 ED lens elements)
  • Closest Focus Distance: 7.22' (2.2m)
  • Focusing Method: Nikon Internal Focusing (IF) system with AutoFocus controlled by a Silent Wave Motor, and a separate focus ring for manual focus
  • Diaphragm: Rounded 9-blade
  • Aperture Range: f/5.6 (minimum) to f/32mm (maximum)
  • Angle of View: 12°20' - 5°00' (FX-format cameras), 8°00' - 3°10' (DX-format cameras)
  • Dimensions: Diameter=4.165" (Height with tripod collar=5.137") Length=10.75" (11.44" w/lens caps)
  • Weight: 5 pounds 1.2 ounces (with tripod collar), 4 pounds 9.8 ounces (w/o tripod collar)

Warranty Information

Warranty Terms: Nikon offers a 1-year parts and labor warranty on this lens. An additional 4-year Extended Service Coverage is available at no charge if you register the product with Nikon within 10 days of purchase.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Wanted to explore more wildlife photography. [ Erik  Jan 20, 2018 ]
I need more zoom on the long end than my current 28mm - 300mm when at a zoo or sporting event. [ George  Aug 12, 2017 ]
Reviews were positive [ John  Apr 06, 2017 ]
is very sharp at any distance, however, is a little bit short compared with the sigma some cases if the range its not an issue go with the Nikon 200-500, but if the range its an issue then go with the sigma contemporary 150-600, ... [ JUAN  Feb 23, 2017 ]
Crutchfield email, and the reviews were outstanding. I was in the market for a really good lens for wildlife photography. This fit my needs for my NIKON D610. [ George  Dec 05, 2016 ]
I need a long zoom and this lens is highly rated. [ Curzon  Nov 12, 2016 ]
Excellent lens at an affordable price. [ Joseph  Mar 24, 2016 ]
Nikon's quality and pricing is hard to beat. [ Ryan  Feb 27, 2016 ]

2 questions already asked

Yes it would and since you have a crop factor camera this lens would be a 300mm - 750mm on your camera. [ George  Sep 03, 2017 ]
Yes, it would... [ JUAN  Sep 03, 2017 ]
This lens should fit the D50, however, using it on a camera with only 6.5 mega pic resolution and DX format, I personally feel would be an over kill. The lens is intended to be used with an FX Format ( full frame camera ) at f5.6 from 200 - 500mm focal lengths. DX would render a focal length around 400 - 700mm. A suggestion is to use a very sturdy tripod equipped with a good quality mount. This lens is heavy. It is a great lens for it's price. [ Joseph  Apr 11, 2016 ]
Yes it will,and Work correctly.Pesonally, I would Upgrade to a newer Camera. [ Anthony  Apr 11, 2016 ]
Yes it will. I own the D50 and tried the lens on it and it worked beautifully. I bought the lens for my D7100 and the lens takes great pictures. Highly recommend. [ Brian  Apr 11, 2016 ]
Yes, it will. [ CRAIG  Apr 11, 2016 ]