Lences reviews

AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm VR f/4-5.6

AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR is a low-cost telephoto for DX- cameras from Nikon corporation. The lens is suitable for all digital cameras from Nikon including D40, D40x, D60, D3300, D5300, D5500! It was introduced in March, 2007 as an improved model of its predecessor 55-200mm f/4-5.6, the lenses differ by the presence of a stabilizer in the former.

Outwardly the lens looks quite compact for its focus range and the lens weight is only 335 g. Such a small weight is the result of the fact that all case-shaped parts including bayonet joint are made of plastic.

55-200mm VR has a very convenient focus range. In combination with a light weight and acceptable price the lens becomes quite an attractive proposition among those who love Nikon. Naturally, 200 mm is not enough to take photos of a plane flying in the sky but it is sufficient for taking photos of some objects or people at a distance.

Now let’s talk about a stabilizer. Indeed, a good stabilizer is extremely important for a long telephoto lens, it is what will help you in case the light is bad. As for 55-200mm VR the stabilizer there is really good, I managed to take blur – free photos holding the camera in my hands at the focus distance 200 mm, exposure – 1/20.  Naturally, if your hands shake greatly, no stabilizer can save you as it compensates only small vibrations but that is not enough in the majority of situations.

The quality of photos is really great, the same as for a lens costing 250$, you can see it for yourself.

Nikon D40, 122mm, f/9, 1/250s, -1.00eV, ISO200

Nikon D40, 200mm, f/5.6, 1/640s, -0.67eV, ISO400

The minimal distance for taking photos is 1.1m. Of course, it is quite much, thus, you will not be able to take good macro. But it is possible to use the lens for portrature, in this case the photos turn out to be soft but sharp.

I have a lot of portrait photos taking by 55-200mm VR, you can see them in my album Modeling Photography. Here there are some of them:

Mention should be made about the autofocus, the lens uses AF-S
automatic focus and that means that a motor is installed in the lens, thanks to it the lens
focuses very quickly and quietly and the autofocus will work on D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200.

As for me, 55-200mm VR is just indispensible if I go somewhere for a holiday and there are 3 reasons for that: firstly, it is very light (and in combination with my light Nikon D40 I can carry it the whole day long), secondly, it is compact and, thirdly, it is not expensive (if something happened to it I would not regret about it as if I spoiled 70-200mm f/2.8 VR).

55-200mm VR is a DX lens, and it is most compatible with DX-cameras from Nikon. Taking into account its price, 55-200mm VR is not ideal for D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100/D3200!

By the way, I have forgotten to tell you about the filter. You can put the filters of 52 mm in diameter on 55-200mm VR. It is good because the filters of 52 mm are cheap and widespread!


Now let’s make a summary, 55-200mm VR is a great lens for those who need light, compact and, what is the most important, not expensive telephoto. A low price, fast autofocus and good stabilizer make the lens a unique one among the telephotos for Nikon.

If 55-200mm VR is not enough for you, the next step for you is 600$ 70-300mm VR, then – 1900$ 80-400mm VR and 2000$ 70-200mm f/2.8 VR. The stabilizer is important in telephotos that is why I do not see any sense in buying 55-200mm without VR.

If you do not want to change your lens very often, installing either a telephoto or a wide-angle lens I advise you to buy 18-200mm VR for 750$, of course, it is expensive but at present multifunctionality is not cheap.

55-200mm VR is just the right thing to buy for those who feel the lack of the focus distance of their dear kit lenses and who want to try something new. It is the most compatible with 18-55mm or 18-55mm VR, thus, you will get a full line saving nearly 400$ by buying 18-200mm VR, together with this, the quality of these lenses will be much higher than the quality of 18-200mm VR.

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