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

Super telephoto prime lens for Nikon SLR cameras

Item # 05420082

Here's an awesome innovation from Nikon — a 500mm prime lens that weighs just over three pounds.

Here's an awesome innovation from Nikon — a 500mm prime lens that weighs just over three pounds.

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About the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR

Travel light and be ready for anything

Here's an awesome innovation from Nikon — a 500mm prime lens that weighs just over three pounds. Thanks to a proprietary PF (Phase Fresnel) lens element, Nikon engineers were able to pack the image quality and light-gathering power of a much larger lens into a shorter, lighter lens.

Travel light and be ready for anything

Here's an awesome innovation from Nikon — a 500mm prime lens that weighs just over three pounds. Thanks to a proprietary PF (Phase Fresnel) lens element, Nikon engineers were able to pack the image quality and light-gathering power of a much larger lens into a shorter, lighter lens.

This lens is sealed against the elements and has a fluorine coating on the front meniscus to repel water and dirt, making it easy to wipe off quickly. So if the weather takes a turn, you won't have to pack it in right away — and having a much lighter load, it's likely you'll want to stay out shooting a bit longer.

Stay sharp

At such a long focal length, even the tiniest vibrations can cause blurry images. Nikon's VR image stabilization compensates for camera shake when shooting handheld, and lets you capture sharper images at slower shutter speeds in low light. Sports Mode VR is optimal for high-speed continuous shooting and panning.

Bursting with accuracy and detail

This lens's outstanding autofocus tracking performance lets you follow fast-moving subjects for precise focus. An electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism works in sync with the shutter to give you fast, consistent auto-exposure with high-speed continuous shooting. The lens's speed and accuracy combine with some of the most advanced Nikkor lens technologies to deliver tack-sharp, pro-quality results on a daily basis.


Product highlights:

  • lens type: FX full frame
  • compatible with Nikon FX and DX digital SLR cameras, and 35mm film cameras
  • effective focal length:
    • 500mm with full-frame (FX-format) digital or film cameras
    • 750mm with APS-C (DX-format) cameras
  • built-in VR image stabilization enables sharper shots at slower shutter speeds (up to four shutter speeds slower)
  • Sport VR mode provides a more stable viewfinder image during high-speed continuous shooting and panning
  • Silent Wave Motor for smooth, quiet, and precise autofocus
  • manual and autofocus modes
  • autofocus can be overridden manually, with no time lag
  • internal focusing design maintains overall lens length during focusing for greater consistency and faster performance
  • Memory Recall switch lets you save focus position and quickly recall it
  • Super Integrated Coating on lens elements provides excellent color richness and contrast
  • protective fluorine coating allows easier cleaning of water, dirt, and smudges
  • anti-reflective Nano Crystal Coat reduces ghosting and flare
  • dust- and water-resistant magnesium-alloy design
  • minimum focus distance: 9.8'
  • minimum aperture: f/32
  • lens construction: 19 elements in 11 groups
  • 3 ED (extra-low dispersion) lens elements for better sharpness and contrast
  • 1 PF (Phase Fresnel) lens element for reduced ghosting and chromatic aberrations
  • 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
  • filter/attachment size: 95mm
  • includes front and rear lens caps, lens hood, and case
  • lens is 4-3/16" in diameter, 9-3/8" long
  • weight: 3.2 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # 20082

What's in the box:

  • AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR super-telephoto lens
  • LC-95 95mm Front Lens Cap (installed)
  • LF-4 Rear lens cap (installed)
  • Tripod collar and mounting foot (installed)
  • HB-84 Lens hood
  • CL-M5 Lens case
  • User's Manual
  • Warranty sheet

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<< >>

More details on the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR

Mark G.

Features & specs

Mount Type Nikon F-mount
Sensor Size Full frame
Image Stabilization Yes
Lens Type Super Telephoto prime
Focal Length 500mm
Maximum Aperture f/5.6
Weight 51.5 ounces
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research



Overview: The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens is a super-telephoto lens that can be used for action sports, news gathering, and wildlife photography. It is designed for Nikon FX format (full frame) cameras, but can be used with DX-format (APS-C) cameras, where the lens has a 750mm equivalent focal length. With the optional Mount Adapter FTZ, you can mount the lens on the new Nikon Z mirrorless camera bodies. It is also fully compatible with Nikon TC-14E III and TC-20E III teleconverters.

Nikon Technologies: The AF-S NIKKOR 500mm lens is manufactured with the following exclusive Nikon Technologies:

  • Phase Fresnel (PF): The camera uses Phase Fresnel (PF) lens elements to effectively compensate for chromatic aberration and ghosting when combined with ordinary glass lens elements. Fresnel lenses have been used in lighthouses to project light. Nikon uses the idea in reverse -- to gather light instead of projecting it. Using a Phase Fresnel lens element allows Nikon to use fewer lens elements, which results in a more compact and lightweight lens.
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism: The lens has an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism that provides excellent aperture blade control when using auto exposure during continuous shooting. Conventional D/G type lenses utilize mechanical linkage levers to control the diaphragm blades.
  • Super Integrated Coating (SIC): Nikon's Super Integrated Coating (SIC) offers superior color performance and substantially reduced ghosting and flare, by enhancing light transmission.
  • Nano Crystal Coat: Nikon's exclusive Nano Crystal Coat further reduces ghosting and internal flare to insure that fine, clear images are reproduced under a wide variety of shooting conditions, from sunny outdoors to spotlighted interior scenes.
  • Silent Wave Motor (SWM): The exclusive Nikon Silent Wave Motor (SWM) enables fast, accurate, and quiet auto focus.
  • Vibration Reduction (VR): The lens is equipped with Nikon's Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which reduces blur caused by camera shake. When VR is enabled, handheld vibrations are reduced equivalent to a shutter speed 4.0 stops faster. The lens features a 3-way switch for activating Vibration Reduction and choosing Normal or Sport modes.
  • Focus Mode Switch: The lens includes a 3-way Focus Mode switch on the barrel of the lens. In the M/A position, Auto Focus can be over-ridden by rotating the focus ring to focus manually. In the A/M (Auto-Priority Manual) position, the sensitivity of the focus ring has been altered (requiring farther rotation) to reduce the possibility of accidental changes to focus due to unintentional operation of the focus ring. The M position allows for full manual focusing.
  • Internal Focus (IF): Internal Focus (IF) provides fast and quiet autofocus without changing the length of the lens, retaining working distance throughout the focus range.

Lens Construction: The AF-S NIKKOR 500mm lens combines advanced NIKKOR optics and lens technology. Optically, the lens has 19 elements in 11 groups, including 3 ED (Extra-low Dispersion glass) lens elements for maximum sharpness and minimum chromatic aberrations. It also has 1 Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element, lens elements with Nano-Crystal coating, and a fluorine-coated front lens element to repel dust, water droplets, grease, and dirt.

Focus Limit Switch: With the Focus Limit Switch, you can determine the focus distance limits for auto focus. At the "Full" setting, you can focus on subjects at any distance between 9.8' (3m) and infinity. However, if your subject will always be at a distance greater than 26.3' (8m), you can obtain faster focusing by setting the switch to "∞-8m."

Focus Function Switch: The lens has a 3-way switch that lets you set the Focus Operation. You can choose from the following:

  • AF-L: During AutoFocus mode, the focus can be locked by pressing one of the focus operation buttons. The focus remains locked while a focus operation button is pressed and held down.
  • AF Memory Recall: The lens features AutoFocus Memory Recall, which saves and recalls selected focus distances. When the proper focus is obtained, pressing the Memory Set button will save the focus distance. An audible beep will confirm the memory is properly set. To recall the set focus distance, set the switch to Memory Recall and press the shutter release button halfway. The lens will beep twice to confirm the focus is recalled. You can turn off the beeps via the Sound Monitor switch, if desired.
  • AF-On: This is the "normal" AutoFocus setting, allowing you to focus on a subject by pressing the shutter release button halfway.

Tripod Collar: The 500mm lens comes with a rotating tripod collar for attaching the tripod to the lens instead of the camera. This helps achieve better balance, and makes it easier to switch between portrait (vertical) and landscape (horizontal) orientation. Loosening the tripod collar lock screw allows you to rotate the camera without removing it from the tripod. The lens can rotate 360° inside the collar, and there are index markings every 90°.

95mm Filter Thread: The lens will accommodate 95mm screw-in type filters.

Lens Hood: The AF-S NIKKOR 500mm lens includes the HB-84 Bayonet-style lens hood that can be mounted to the front of the lens to block stray light that could cause lens flare or ghosting. It can also be used to protect the front lens element. When mounted to the lens, the hood adds approximately 5" to the overall length of the lens. When not in use, the lens hood can be reverse-mounted onto the lens for storage.

Diaphragm: The lens is equipped with a rounded 9-blade diaphragm which renders a more natural appearance of out-of-focus image areas.


  • Type of Lens: Type E AF-S NIKKOR lens with a built-in CPU
  • Type of Mount: Nikon F-bayonet type
  • Focal Length: 500mm
  • Filter Diameter: 95mm (screw-on type)
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 9.8' (3.0m) from focal plane
  • Focusing Method: Nikon Internal focusing (IF) system with AutoFocus using a Silent Wave Motor, and manually by a separate focus ring
  • Aperture Range: f/5.6 to f/32
  • Aperture: 9-blade, rounded
  • Lens Construction: 19 elements in 11 groups (including 3 ED lens elements, 1 PF (Phase Fresnel) lens element, lens elements with Nano-Crystal coating, and a fluorine-coated front lens element
  • Angle of View:
    • FX Format:
    • DX Format: 3°10'
  • Dimensions: Diameter: 4.173", Length: 9.331"
  • Weight: approximately 3 pounds 3.5 ounces

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