In a move similar to what we saw with the announcement of the D850, Nikon has is announcing an announcement, of sorts. They are announcing a new lens but not revealing it. It’s called the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR,  and like with the development announcement of the D850, the rest of it is bathed in obscurity. We neither know the dimensions, feature set, price nor release date. Nikon has said they will reveal specifications and pricing later this year.

What we do know is that it will incorporate Nikon’s Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element, and Nikon seems to be putting priority on portability. We know that part of the PF lens attraction is that lenses can be made with fewer elements whilst reducing CA, according to Nikon, so this may have something to do with the smaller size promised.

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The AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR will be a high-performance super-telephoto lens that is significantly smaller and lighter than comparable predecessors due to the adoption of the same type of Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element found in the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens, introduced in January 2015. Despite its 500mm focal length, the lens is small and light enough to use hand-held in a wide variety of situations where a photographer must capture unpredictable and fast-moving subjects, including sporting events and wildlife photography.”

It’s a curious move by Nikon to make a dedicated 500mm 5.6 prime given the success of the very good AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, which is one of 4 lenses Nikon has at 500mm and above, and it’s competitively priced at $1,399. Can we really expect the new 500 5.6 prime to be around that price?  This is purely speculation, but that seems unlikely. Still, we’ll be interested to see the final product reveal. For now, if you’re looking for glass for your Nikon with that reach we recommend the following:

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

Sigma 500mm f/4 DG OS HSM

 

Press Release:

NIKON ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, A PORTABLE SUPER-TELEPHOTO FX-FORMAT LENS

The AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Will Deliver Exceptional Agility and Optical Performance in an Incredibly Compact and Lightweight Package

MELVILLE, NY (JUNE 14, 2018 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) – Today, Nikon Inc. announces the development of the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, an FX-format fixed focal length super-telephoto lens, which will offer a compelling combination of portability and performance.

The AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR will be a high-performance super-telephoto lens that is significantly smaller and lighter than comparable predecessors due to the adoption of the same type of Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element found in the AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens, introduced in January 2015. Despite its 500mm focal length, the lens is small and light enough to use hand-held in a wide variety of situations where a photographer must capture unpredictable and fast-moving subjects, including sporting events and wildlife photography.

Phase Fresnel Lens Elements

The Phase Fresnel (PF) lens element developed by Nikon effectively compensates for chromatic aberration utilizing the photo diffraction phenomenon*. Compared to many general camera lenses that employ an optical system using the photorefractive phenomenon, a remarkably compact and lightweight body can be attained with fewer lens elements.

Price and Availability

Information regarding the release of the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens, including final specifications and pricing, will be announced later this year. For more information on the latest Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

Nikon 100th Year Anniversary

Since the company was established in 1917, Nikon has cultivated its status as a pioneer of optical technologies around the world. Guided by a corporate philosophy of “Trustworthiness and Creativity,” Nikon provides a wide range of products and services globally by harnessing advanced opto-electronics and precision technologies. Nikon is proud to celebrate their 100th anniversary from July 2017 to July 2018.