Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II £200/$150

The tee ny tele­photo zoom that packs down small

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

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.

Per­for­mance

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.

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