Product Type: Nikon camera lenses
Newest Review: ... and overall the lens is well built. My major issue with this lens isn't really about the quality of the lens itself, but instead how it... more
Bargain of the century, way above it's station
Nikon Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 G AF-S
Member Name: Hurdenish
Nikon Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 G AF-S
Advantages: Great ED quality, VR is fantastic. Low low price
Disadvantages: Plastic lens mount needs care. That's all.
First off. Please ignore any review you read of this lens that judges it by its materials instead of it's performance.
Nikon have pulled of an absolute miracle with this lens, this is something they've done a couple of times before with high quality, low cost lenses that they produce in the thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands. Get it right and do it once seems to work here.
The 55-200 is a DX only lens meaning it will not perform on a full frame camera without cropping the image sensor and producing dark edges (except bizzarely at 80mm but ignore that). This lens wortks an absolute treat with all small format nikon DSLR's and produces image quality that rivals some very expensive competitiors.
For a start it uses ED glass, Nikons 'Extraordinary low dispersion' glass, this ensures clear light transmission and reduces abberation and distortion. Secondly it features the AFS system, not the full time manual focus that lets you overide the auto, but a quiet. efficient silent wave motor that is fast, accurate and able to keep up with any camera body's follow focus capability.
And now for the piece de resistance. VR. What a joy VR is, nikon claim that it will allow you to shoot handheld at up to 3 stops slower (in shutter speed) without losing clarity. This works, so well in fact that it's hardly ever worth turning it off. This ability to shoot handheld in otherwise impossible conditions makes this one of the first lenses I grab on the way to shoot any long distance subjects. It is worth remembering however that VR will not stop motion blur, that is motion from shooting a fast moving subject at too slow a speed. Only blur from camera shake. Personally this allows me to happily shoot at down to 1/4 second instead of 1/60th. A huge step up.
Quality wise the glass is just as good as many higher priced lenses, it's not a pro lens but it is made to a very high standard. The construction is all plastic, to keep costs down so the lens feels light and easy to handle. Unfortunately the lens mount is also plastic so you MUST be careful not to grab the camera by the lens as you may snap the mount off. And that would be a terrible waste of such a fine piece of equipment.
The lens itself features two switches, one for Auto/Manual focus and one to turn VR on/off. Most people can just leave these alone and go shoot.
The manual focus ring is right at the front of the long barrel and is fairly sensitive, using only about a quarter turn from close to infinity. Clearly designed with auto in mind.
With a 52mm thread this will accept most standard filters and if your kit is this, the 18-55 kit and a 50mm prime your filters will be interchangable.
Bundled with this lens you should get a front and rear cap and a lens hood. The hood prevents unwanted light bouncing into the barrela and cuusing low contrast images or flares. Make sure yours comes with the correct hood as it is a bayonet fit and expensive to replace on its own.
I picked my 55-200 VR ED up for £99 with postage which was a bargain. Expect to pay up to £149, you'kll be glad you did if you're looking for an everyday telephoto lens. It's not tough enough for pro work but the quality is outstanding.
Summary: If you need a telephoto, start here. It's more than most will ever need. Despite the price
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