Denver Zoo walk around with Nikon 200-500mm VR

Grizzly bear, Denver Zoo. Nikon D810 with 200-500mm f/5.6 VR lens. 1/500s @f/5.6, ISO 100, hand-held.
Grizzly bear, Denver Zoo. Nikon D810 with 200-500mm f/5.6 VR lens. 1/500s @f/5.6, ISO 100, hand-held.

Yesterday was a beautiful spring-like (unseasonably warm) day in Colorado, so I headed up to the Denver Zoo to visit the animals. I brought the Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 AFS G VR zoom Nikkor lens with me.

The 200-500mm is a bit of a beast to walk around with, but it was certainly manageable. I spent the whole day shooting with this lens hand-held, taking advantage of Nikon’s VR system.

Asian elephant at the Denver Zoo. Nikon D810, 200-500mm VR lens. 1/800s f/6.3 ISO 200.
Asian elephant at the Denver Zoo. Nikon D810, 200-500mm VR lens. 1/800s f/6.3 ISO 200.

For the most part, I was very pleased with the results. The only real challenges were using the lens in the indoor exhibits where the f/5.6 aperture makes ISO jump up fast. Otherwise, I rather enjoyed the shots I got. The VR system works really well for hand-held shooting. I removed the tripod collar to make hand-holding it less cumbersome.

Indoors, the ISO jumps up really fast due to the f/5.6 aperture. This shot was captured at ISO 9000. However, the VR system of the 200-500mm Nikkor works great.
Indoors, the ISO jumps up really fast due to the f/5.6 aperture. This shot was captured at ISO 9000. However, the VR system of the 200-500mm Nikkor works great.

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