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
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.
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.