Nikon 200 500 vs. Tamron 150 600

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Wildlife photography needs a special type of lens to capture the incredible scenery and elusive animals. Out of all the lenses for wildlife photography that are sold in the market, two of them stand out, the Nikon 200 500 and the Tamron 150 600.

The two are amazing super telephoto zoom lenses and they compete directly at their price points. However, the big question remains, how do the Nikon 200 500 vs. Tamron 150 600 stack up optically?

Nikon 200 500 vs. Tamron 150 600 General Overview

The general consensus of the Nikon 200 500 lens and the Tamron 150 600 lens is that the Nikon is a bit sharper, while the Tamron has a faster autofocus.

Nikon camera on white background

Most photographers would gravitate towards the Nikon 200 500 lens because of its sharper lens. However, there are those that want a faster autofocus, like the one that the Tamron 150 600 lens has, so they can accurately capture every fleeting moment.

To know more about these two super telephoto lenses, let us take a deep dive and know the features of each one.

Nikon 200 500

The Nikon 200 500 lens is the first hand-held Nikon lens that can reach up to 500mm. As for its design, Nikon added its modern optical technologies into the lens.

Even though it does not come with Nano coating, the lens has a built-in Silent Wave Motor that is great for wildlife photography because it does not produce any noise when you zoom in on the subject. It also has a vibration reduction feature that prevents distortion from appearing on your images if the camera moves.

With its 3 extra-low dispersion lens elements, you are assured that no flaring, ghosting, or chromatic aberration will be visible on your images. It also has an internal focus design that allows you to zoom in and out without the barrel ever changing its shape.

Tamron 150 600

The Tamron 150 600 is known as the only telephoto zoom lens in the market that can provide 600mm reach at f/6.3 on a full frame camera.

The lens is constructed of high-grade plastic zoom action and it is very smooth to operate. All of the controls on the lens’ barrel feel solid. The zoom ring and the focus ring have rubberized surfaces which gives great grip and a solid feel.

The lens also has a built-in autofocus feature that allows you to take shots without the barrel changing shape. It also has a Silent Wave Motor to ensure a quiet photoshoot, which is needed in wildlife photography.

Nikon 200 500 vs. Tamron 150 600

The Nikon 200 500 lens and the Tamron 150 600 lens are popular among photographers and they always go head to head in the market.

Just like any other lenses that are compared to each other, the Nikon 200 500 and the Tamron 150 600 have their own set of advantages and features that they share, and they also have their differences.

Similarities

Even though the Nikon 200 500 and the Tamron 150 600 lenses are from different brands and they have different focal lengths, they still share some features.

Camera with very long lens

Below are the top features that you can find on both super telephoto zoom lenses.

Silent Wave Motor

A Silent Wave Motor is a feature that lets you capture images silently. Since both the Nikon 200 500 and the Tamron 150 600 are created for wildlife photography, both of them are equipped with the Silent Wave Motor.

The feature allows you to take images of live subjects without alerting them with the noise of the lens’ motor.

Extra-Low Dispersion Elements

Extra-low dispersion elements are the extra glass added on lenses to filter out the light that could cause flaring, chromatic aberration, and ghosting on images.

Luckily, both the Nikon 200 500 and the Tamron 150 600 are equipped with extra-low dispersion elements that ensures high quality images, no matter what the condition of the area that you are shooting in is.

Differences

When it comes to the Nikon 200 500 vs. Tamron 150 600 debate, there are reasons why one brand is preferred by some photographers, while the other is better suited for some.

Below are features and aspects that make the Nikon 200 500 different from the Tamron 150 600 lens.

Focal Length

Even though both the Nikon 200 500 and the Tamron 150 600 lens are created for wildlife photography, the Tamron 150 600 has a better reach, as it can go up to 600mm, allowing you to capture subjects that are far away from the camera.

The Nikon 200 500 can also capture images from afar, however, its reach is 100mm shorter compared to the Tamron 150 600.

Weight

The Nikon 200 500 is made of high quality metal, which adds to its overall weight. The lens weighs 4lbs, so it is a bit difficult to carry around especially if you travel a lot.

Meanwhile, the Tamron 150 600 is made of plastic, which means it is light, thanks to the materials used to build the barrel. The lens only weighs 7oz, so it is easy to carry and use.

Major Distinguishing Factor

The major distinguishing factor between the Nikon 200 500 and the Tamron 150 600 is its weight. Even though the Nikon 200 500 has a more solid build because of the high quality metal and polycarbonate that was used to create it, it is heavy, and difficult to walk around with.

Meanwhile, the Tamron 150 600 lens is lighter, making it ideal for photographers who travel and those that do not have a tripod to attach their camera to.

Man holding his camera with very long lens

When to Use Nikon 200 500

The Nikon 200 500 is known as the ideal super telephoto lens in the wildlife photography genre thanks to its incredible features. It is used by professional photographers because of its solid build and sharp optics.

Aside from wildlife photography, the Nikon 200 500 lens is also great in the following genres:

  • Sports photography
  • Nature photography
  • Events photography

When to Use Tamron 150 600

The Tamron 150 600 is ideal for people who are new to wildlife photography and need a lens that is easy to operate. The lens is very light, so it is great for beginners, hobbyists and travellers.

The Tamron 150 600 lens is also ideal for the following photography genres:

  • Concert photography
  • Travel photography
  • Street photography

Final Verdict

A lot of photographers may prefer the Nikon 200 500 because it is from a tried and tested lens. However, the Tamron 150 600 has its own strengths and advantages that you can’t find from the Nikon 200 500.

When it comes to the Nikon 200 500 vs. Tamron 150 600 debate, what you choose should depend on the feature that you want your lens to have, may it be a lens that is lighter, has a sharper optics or one that has a better build, the choice is up to you.

Jared Bauman has spent more than twenty years in the professional photography profession. He founded Bauman Photographers in 2001, which is a wedding and commercial photography studio in San Diego, California. The company has been in business for 20 years, and has a stellar reputation in the community. In 2007, Jared co-founded ShootDotEdit, the premium post production company for professional wedding photographers worldwide. The company has edited millions of images for photographers around the world. Jared has spoken and presented at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Conference 9 years in a row. He has also given several multi-day courses on Creative Live, in addition to two national speaking tours.