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

This DX-for­mat lens is the small­est and least ex­pen­sive sta­bilised op­tic in the group

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Newer, big­ger and more fea­ture-packed than the orig­i­nal Nikon 55-200mm, this lens in­cludes a cou­ple of im­por­tant up­grades. First, it sports Nikon’s Vi­bra­tion Re­duc­tion sys­tem with a CIPA-rated ef­fec­tive­ness of three stops. Sec­ond, it has fully in­ter­nal fo­cus­ing, so the front el­e­ment doesn’t ex­tend. An ex­tra plus point of this is that aut­o­fo­cus is speed­ier than in the older 55-200mm lens.

Over­all, the build feels very sim­i­lar in both 55-200mm lenses. This one is 80g heav­ier but still feels a very light­weight item and slightly lack­ing in ro­bust­ness. As with the smaller, non-VR edi­tion, it has a plas­tic rather than metal mount­ing plate. One mi­nus point is that, whereas the older lens has two ED (Ex­tra-low Dis­per­sion) el­e­ments, the sta­bilised edi­tion has only one. Sim­i­larly, the nine di­aphragm blades of the cheaper lens are cut down to seven blades in this one, so the aper­ture isn’t as well rounded.

Per­for­mance

Out­right sharp­ness isn’t quite as good as from the non-sta­bilised Nikon 55-200mm lens at any given fo­cal length, al­though the ad­di­tion of sta­bil­i­sa­tion can be a big bonus in hand­held shoot­ing. Colour fring­ing is also slightly more no­tice­able, but the faster aut­o­fo­cus is nice to have.

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