Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED
A remarkably tiny and lightweight telephoto that doesn’t come up short on image quality
By far the smallest telephoto zoom in the group, the original DX-format 55-200mm measures a measly 68x79mm and weighs just 255g. To put that into perspective, it’s even smaller and lighter than the first incarnation of the Nikon 18-55mm VR kit lens. It’s also just half the weight of the Nikon 55-300mm lens, and a mere third of the weight of the Nikon 70-300mm. Suffice it to say that if you want a telephoto zoom that’ll fit into a little corner of your gadget bag, or even a spare pocket, this will fit the bill.
Despite its tiny build, this lens offers the same ‘effective’ zoom range of 82.5-300mm on DX bodies as the physically longer 55-200mm VR lens. As with most competing lenses, the focus ring rotates during autofocus, but it’s small and out of the way at the leading edge of the lens, so doesn’t adversely affect handling. The front element extends at shorter focus distances but doesn’t rotate during focusing, making it easy to use rotation-specific filters like circular polarisers.
Autofocus speed is quite sluggish and this is the only Nikon lens in the group that lacks Vibration Reduction. However, image quality is pretty good in all respects, making this lens something of a mini marvel.