Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor

Lens Reviews / Nikon Lenses i Lab tested
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55-200mm $176
average price
image of Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor
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Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor User Reviews

8.4/10 average of 16 review(s) Build Quality 7.3/10 Image Quality 8.5/10
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by rrwilliams64 (9 reviews)
    light, inexpensive, excellent IQ given its variable aperture
    cheaper build, VR a tad less effective than stated

    A solid performer that punches above its price point...I own the Tamron 70-300 VC, which has better IQ and markedly better image stabilization, but at the price of heft. When I want a "light kit" and portability is paramount, this lens shines. Good IQ, decent bokeh, surprisingly good results for so little $$. Not one of Nikon's better VR systems, be advised. Solid performer for the $100 you can pick it up for used...

    reviewed March 5th, 2014 (purchased for $90)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by sjkip (26 reviews)
    Cheap, sharp, good contrast and color balance, useful mid-zoom focal range, lightweight
    Flimsy construction, somewhat hard to hold steady full out because it's so light

    This lens is a real bargain. It's as sharp as lenses several times as expensive and is so lightweight that it's easy to carry all day on a small camera like a Nikon D90. The results are much better than expected: sharp, good contrast, fairly quick focus even full out. Because of its light weight, it's a bit hard to hold steady enough for the sharpest results it's capable of. But with a steady position and careful squeezing of the shutter release the results are worth the effort. It might have to be babied a bit because of its light construction. But if you break it, buy another one. They're cheap.

    reviewed October 19th, 2013 (purchased for $126)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by Glutte (6 reviews)
    Price, moderately sharp and contrasty
    Build, pictures lackluster.

    Sharpness is not that bad,nor is contrast or even color at f/8-f/11.
    But I never liked pictures taken with this lens so after awhile I replaced it. I don't have the money to invest in pro zoom so instead I bought: - Nikon 50mm 1.8 ai-s 50$
    - Nikon 105mm 2.5 ai 130$
    - Nikon 180mm 2.8 ai-s ED 200$
    Sorry for convenience but with these lenses I got what is lacking
    in Nikon 55-200mm vr: luster,brilliance,shining pictures.
    By the way the field of view of my Nikon 180mm is probably equal to what would be 240mm on the 55-200mm vr.

    reviewed April 19th, 2013 (purchased for $200)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by dugong5pm (52 reviews)
    very light telezoom, VR, sharp! cheap
    build quality

    nikon's small telezoom wonder! it's very light, yet very comfortable to handle. It has big zoom ring & very easy to handle. AF is fast & VR works well. For this kind of lens, VR may come really handy at most situations.

    Images produced are surprisingly sharp!!! This tiny plastic lens have super optic design.
    The only downside is the plastic-build quality. It made of all plastic, even the lens mount. Sometimes you feel that it may break anytime.

    reviewed October 12th, 2012 (purchased for $189)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Juggernaut (1 reviews)
    Nice zoom. Nice images. VR works really well in the 1/5-1/30 range.
    VR does not tend to work as well as I would have expected in the 1/40-1/100 range

    I am editing this review based on new information.

    The VR in this lens works really well at the slower shutter speeds and really seems to shine in the 1/5 to 1/30 range (I have not tested in in the slower range).

    Once in the 1/40-1/100 range the VR for some reason is hit or miss. Sometimes you are better off without the VR on (especially if you are not required to track your subject) since it may cause some image blur. But if you are having to track your subject then you probably are still better with the VR on.
    I have some situations where 1/10-1/20 shutter speed gives me a more clear image than at the 1/50 shutter speed because of this. So I have learned to actually dial down the shutter speed if I am forced to use the low speeds due to the lighting conditions - with some quite impressive results.

    Now that I have learned (I think) the peculiarities of this lens I find myself much happier with its performance.

    reviewed January 30th, 2012 (purchased for $250)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Forever Knight (2 reviews)
    Sharp, inexpensive and compact
    economy build

    At this price point, the results from this lens are surprisingly good. I would recommend it highly as a companion to any of the smaller Nikon bodies for a light travel kit. The AFS seems a bit slower than the pro lenses but has been fast enough for portraits and photos of the family in good light.

    reviewed July 19th, 2010 (purchased for $249)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by moose (21 reviews)
    fast and light long zoom
    plastic shoe

    Nikon professional user.

    This lens should be in your camera bag if you like blur-free photographs. The VR is superb.

    For outdoor work it is super-light and very sharp.

    It is quite versatile on my D300 and D200 cameras when I don't want to carry a heavy zoom. Results are professional in good light.

    Add it to the D40 kit lens for perfect holiday shots.

    reviewed March 15th, 2010 (purchased for $240)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by dropsyy (1 reviews)

    Pros: value for the money, light, cheap, very good IQ

    Cons: vignetting if is not stopped down, plastic mount, shorter than 70-300 VR :-)

    Quite good for that money. I got this lense for a few months a than I changed it for 70-300 VR. I am not sure, that was good change, because the IQ seemed to me the same (except vignetting is more visible with 55-200). The price of this lense is really better than it's longer brother and if you don't mind it is shorter, you will be satisfied.

    reviewed January 15th, 2009 (purchased for $260)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by SolokNikon (3 reviews)
    Lightweight, Cheap, lots of value for the money
    Only f/5.6 @ 200mm

    Excellent lens with a lot of value for the money, and extremely lightweight.

    The downside is that it´s not very light sensitive, but the 70-200 mm f/2.8 costs roughly 9 times as much, at least in Sweden, so it was never an option.

    Really a great lens, fantastic for portraits.

    reviewed November 6th, 2008 (purchased for $280)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by richard1karash (1 reviews)
    Compact, VR, good image quality, very reasonable price.
    Won't stand abuse. Manual focus?

    I read about this lens in a Pop Photo article "Must buy bargain." Good range, compact, light-weight zoom with VR! I bought it new for a vacation trip and I'm very happy with the results. Paired with the 18-70 kit lens on my D-70, this is an excellent travel package.

    reviewed August 4th, 2008 (purchased for $250)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by umberto (4 reviews)
    cheap, accurate colors, light, compact
    a little slow

    This lens is great given the price factor. It's also very compact and light. You may have to stop down to get that extra crispness at 200mm but it's also quite good wide open.
    Not the best but you'll be pleasantly surprised with the image quality.

    reviewed July 22nd, 2008
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by EF-S10-22 (19 reviews)
    cheap,the VR works as well as my Canon IS, excellent value , SWM
    Nothing as considering the price .

    I bought my D40X for traveling to China as I broke my Canon EOS XTI and had to send it in for repair service.

    I thought buying one more 400D but I got a great deal with this D40X kit with 2 lenses(18-55 and 55-200VR) for about 700 US, I bought it and gave it a try.

    I think this Nikon cheap zoom is nice ,with decent IQ but poorly constructed and my lens worn out , the plastic mount torn now.

    The VR does not work or much less effective than the IS on my Canon lenses.

    It is slow to focus , nothing like my super fast Canon EOS 40D and EF-70-300DOIS combo, so I sold all my Nikon silly stuff as my XTI came back from Canon.

    But I know it is silly comparing this cheapo with the Ef70-200f4L IS.

    But only tele zooms I have used are LS and my I have to compare this lens against my Ls and DO.

    The color is good very cool , a bit too cold for my taste , though.

    The contrast is not like my Ls but ok.

    I was shocked at how sharp it is considering the price , it is amazing but can not AF so I say its potential Lab IQ is good but in real life IQ bad.

    I sold it with the D40X most silly SLR camara ever made and 70-300VR to fund for my new 40D.

    The 40D is great , now all my lenses focus much faster.

    reviewed August 21st, 2007 (purchased for $200)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by SETI (20 reviews)
    Lightweight, price, size, VR
    Image quality is so-so, cheap plastic

    I don't like this lens. The images are very "cheap"-looking. Even my vacation Nikkor 70-300G can match with it. I'm sad I have sold my 70-300 VR... I tried it on my D200 and D70s and the results are very same. Thanx

    reviewed August 15th, 2007 (purchased for $400)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by biggle (1 reviews)
    light, small, fairly fast focus, nice bokah, feels well made, 52mm filters
    can hunt for focus at 200mm from time to time, plastic mount

    I have taken a few thousand shots with this lens so far and am VERY happy with the results.

    Focus is fast and silent in all but the dimmest of light zoomed out to 200mm.

    It seems really well made for such a low price lens. The mount is plastic, but as long as you aren't careless it should last years.

    As for the VR... Very impressive. I've been taking handheld shots at 55mm down to 1/8 to 1/4 second with some very sharp results. Make sure you take two or three and you will almost always get a usable shot.

    I'm not saying it is an alternative to a tripod, but the whole point of this lend is mobility. The light weight and small size are the best things about this lens.

    On a recent trip I took only this lens and my 12-24mm because of space weight restrictions and was able to do everything I wanted to do.

    Value for money, this is one of the best deals in the Nikon line.

    You can check out some examples of what this lens is capable of on my web site.

    reviewed June 22nd, 2007 (purchased for $280)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Rene GM (6 reviews)
    Inexpensive, light, good image quality.
    Slower AF.

    I second the previous review. The image quality was a nice surprise from 55 to 150. At the short length, it is sharper than many other lenses, even wide open. Makes a very good portrait lens, with a good Bokeh. Distortion is not large and can be fixed easily. I found no vignetting or chromatic aberation on my images yet.

    This is not an action lens. On my good old D70, the AF becomes slow in the long tele range. Sometimes, it would not focus at all and I have to zoom out first. This issue may be better on modern Nikon cameras.

    The VR really helps giving sharp shots out of the hand otherwise impossible. I'd estimate one or two extra F-stops when used shorter than 1/60. However, it takes time to adapt. Press the shutter halfways and wait a short bit before pressing it completely.

    The build quality is good. I do not need a hammer like heavy metal quality. I much prefer the kind of durable plastic used on this lens. The manual zoom ring is a bit small, however. The lens hood has to be twisted and snaps in, but I'd prefer the frontal one snap type with the side buttons I found on other lenses (e.g. the HB33 for the 18-55).

    Overall, a nice lens, especially for this price. Go out and photograph with it!

    reviewed June 3rd, 2007 (purchased for $300)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Kees-Jan (1 reviews)
    sharp, very little ca, well made
    soft at 200 mm

    Initially I bought a 70-300 VR to complement my 18-70. I was very interested in this lens but discovered that the afs differs from the 18-70 and 70-300; it's the same lighter and slower version as used in the 18-135. In addition it is not the vr2 but the old vr1. Some reviewers already reported malfunction of this inferior afs. I chose to spend my euros wisely and bought the better 70-300 vr ...... I thought ....

    The 70-300 Vr2 broke just after one day of testing it!!! So there I ended up with ... a 55-200 vr and a sb-600 to complement my sb-800 for the same amount. And I must say: i am very very pleasant surprised!!!! I was not happy with the dark blue fringing of the 70-300 vr and expected to see some in this lens too, well ..... there is almost none!!

    Sharpness really surprised me too; it is sharp wide open untill say 150 mm. Stopping it down will help a little at 200 mm. Af is a little slower than my 18-70 but that does not matter. What does matter is that the lens tube does not wiggle and wobbel as my 18-70 does, the latter is a dust eater because of that!

    Vr works but don't expect miracles. Subject movement is already there below 1/30. See it as an extra tool to save the day and shoot acceptable images in low light. If you want razor sharp low light performance, buy faster and bigger glass.

    Color rendition is very good, like my 18-70. And last but not least ... bokeh ... It is very very very pretty.
    Perhaps not just as good as the 9 bladed 70-300 but it is close.

    All in all : this is a truly amazing lens!

    reviewed May 1st, 2007 (purchased for $319)

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