Nikon 500 mm F/4 G


Senior Member
I am close to pulling the trigger on a 500mm F/4G lens. I found a second hand one in good shape. Any advice from users of that lens would be helpful. I know they are heavy but can they be used hand held some?A new 5.6 PF is more expensive but much lighter. I also found a 500mm F/4 D ii. They are even heavier but cheaper and no VR and not sure how long they will be serviced by Nikon.. Thanks


Staff member
Super Mod
No clue, but looking at the specs, it weighs 8.6 pounds (lens only). When coupled with a body, that will have some weight to it. Keep in mind its length. The longer it is, it might be harder to hold it steady.

You might want to consider a monopod with a gimbal head. Steve Perry has an excellent video on balancing a gimbal head.

Good luck with your decision.


Senior Member
I got a used 500 f/5.6 PF and I'm really pleased with it. I can hand hold all day without problems. It's the sharpest telephoto lens I've ever owned. I hate tripods, so my bias is to go light and give up a stop. Your needs/wants may be different, of course. I just thought I'd throw this into the mix.I'm sure the lens you are looking at would be very sharp and would have the advantage of one stop more light.


Senior Member
I'm with Fred on the 200-500. I know it's a little slower, but it is lighter and cheaper. A new one is nearly half of a used 500 F4G, the newer version is over 10K. You also have the added bonus of the option of zoom down to 200mm.

I've been extremely pleased with the results from mine.


Senior Member
I've got a 500mm f4 G VR (which is actually VR II.) I can hand hold it for a short while, but prefer to use it on a monopod or tripod. A bigger issue than hand-holding it, for me, is subject acquisition. That's an issue you'll have with any telephoto lens, and it can be overcome with steady practice.