Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II £200/$150
The tee ny telephoto zoom that packs down small
We rate this Mk II edition of Nikon’s 55-200mm as a good travel lens, thanks to its collapsing design. It’s a neat telephoto addition to recent Nikon 18-55mm kit lenses, which share the same retracting mechanism to minimise stowage size. Indeed, it’s only about half the physical length of some of the 70-300mm lenses on test, and less than half the weight. The trade-off is that maximum telephoto reach is somewhat limited.
The Mk II lens features a new-generation, four-stop optical stabiliser (CIPA tested). The front element neither extends nor rotates during focusing, and autofocus itself is fairly quick and quiet. However, it’s a motor-based system rather than a ring-type ultrasonic one, without full-time manual override. The plastic mounting plate lacks a weather seal.
Image quality is better than that of typical superzoom lenses, but, in comparison with some of the other lenses on test, sharpness at 200mm could be better, especially at small apertures.