Click On The Icons To See Our Pages

Get Updates Straight To Your EMail!


LENS REVIEW: Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR
Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR



A Nikkor 18-55mm, Holga 60mm, Nikkor-S 50mm, and Vivitar 28mm... I've been very happy with them, but something was missing. I don't often shoot subjects from a distance, but one thing I realized that these lenses could never do was to bring the moon close to me. They made me feel unhappy how small the moon looked, so it was now time for to get my very first telephoto lens -- this Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6






Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DX G VR ED

========================================


Specifications


Manufacturer: Nikon

Focal Range: 55-200mm
(DX = 75-300mm)

Made in China

Brand New: PhP 9,500
Used: PhP 4,000 - 5,000

Focal Range: 55mm - 200mm
Max-Min. Aperture: f/4 - f/32
Aperture Blades: 7
Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.1 m / 3.61 ft
Build: Plastic, with rubber grip
Markings: Gold lettering

Filter thread size: 52 mm

Format:
DX = for APS-C cameras
G =Gelded, without aperture ring
ED = Extra Low Dispersion
VR = Vibration Reduction

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

========================================


Handling


If you already have the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens, this lens was made to supplement your kit. Now you have 2 lenses spanning 18-200mm!

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4 - f/5.6 VR
Nikkor 70-300 mm
Nikkor 18-105 mm
Tamron 18-200 mm



This is the VR1 version of the Nikkor 55-200mm and is Made in China. The ED (Extra Low Dispersion) Glass helps to control fight glare and aberrations.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR



The body is made of plastic which makes the lens sound hollow whenever I tap it. This also makes the lens lightweight despite its sexy size. It's very compact but can grow to a huge length once zoomed at 200mm.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR



It comes with an HB-37 lens hood that you can store inverted so you can put it in your bag without needing additional space.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR



The zoom ring feels buttery smooth and is a pleasure to twist. On the other hand, I rely on manual focus all the time and the tiny focus ring at the front feels very cheap and not pleasing to use.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR



This lens always makes a rattling sound at the slightest shake. Then it also gives a 'dropping glass' sound inside whenever I turn on the VR. These are normal and nothing to worry about.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR





When mounted on my Nikon D5200, it makes the whole set looks quite big, like a bazooka or rocket launcher or some sort. I've had vintage zoom lenses that look alot smaller and look less intimidating to use.



Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

========================================


Image Quality



This lens has good sharpness and contrast. It's been fun using it, mostly for outdoor. Given its dark aperture range of f/4-5.6, I really have a hard time getting clear images indoor. Either I have to use brighter light on the subject, raise the ISO to ridiculously high levels, or lower the shutter speed at the risk of blur.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR
At 200mm, we can only get a max of f/5.6
Here's a side by side of the unedited and exposure corrected images.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR
200mm



Colors taken by this lens looks okay as long as there's ample light. But as there's less light, colors become more washed out. I normally shoot in SD (Standard) Picture Control and shamefully, the vintage lenses give more saturated colors than the washout colors this lens gives me.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR
Things always look nice on bright sunny days.
We also get a nice bokeh as seen here.


Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR



Vignetting is noticeable when I shoot the sky, but do we shoot the sky all the time? Looks like a nice built-in filter on the lens and many of us would add vignetting for effect anyway, don't we.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR



Thanks to the ED glass, flare was absent in the photos that I shot. I can point the lens to the sky or extremely bright sources and still get good detail and contrast.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED VR



This lens only lasted 2 days with me. One day, I saw this Soligor C/D 80-200mm f/4.5 Macro+Zoom and traded it in a heartbeat. I knew the Soligor was the better choice, even if it was a fully manual lens and was plagued by haze and fungus.

Shot with Nikkor 43-86mm f/3.5

Sample macro from the Soligor, daytime.
It's excitingly sharp considering there was haze and fungus when I shot this.


========================================

Summary

Pros

Very lightweight

Good image quality as long as there's ample light

Very smooth zoom ring

Front element does not rotate

Nice bokeh

ED (Extra Low Dispersion) Glass fights flare and chromatic aberration

Has Vibration Reduction

DX = 80-300 mm



Cons

The plastic material feels cheap and hollow, especially the bayonet and the focus ring

Very short focus throw

No Focus Distance Scale

Dark variable aperture of f/4-5.6

Not ideal for indoor and low light

Made for DX; you need to buy another lens if you want to use for full frame

Does not have a Macro Mode like third party competitors (eg. Tamron 70-300mm)

No aperture ring, not compatible with older cameras

Slow autofocus, you'd want to use manual focus anyway



Conclusion

The Nikkor 55-200mm (DX = 83-300mm) is probably the cheapest way that one can grab hold of a telephoto lens after their kit lens. You can buy one of these for cheap at around PhP 4,000 used.

Image quality is decent as long as there's ample light such as bright sunny outdoor. It begins to look washout in overcast weather and you'd be hassled to correct/edit the photos later. Not recommended for low light, unless you're willing to lug around a tripod all the time to accommodate for the slow shutter speeds.

Frankly, 200mm may not be enough reach for me although I don't use it often. A Tamron 70-300mm with Macro Mode would have been my better choice since they're just around the same price range.

I gave up many conveniences with this Nikkor 55-200mm when I traded it for the Soligor C/D 80-200mm f/4.5 -- autofocus, ED glass, Vibration Reduction, the ability to use other modes (eg. Aperture Priority), and a wider range (55mm captures more than I could capture with 80mm).

I won't say that the Nikkor 55-200mm was a horrible lens. It had limitations, but I enjoyed using it to some extent. However, I'm glad that I have a new lens in my bag its place.





========================================


SAMPLES


VR turned off and Manual Focus
were used in all of the photos below.

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4 - f/5.6 VR
200 vs 55 mm

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

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

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

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

Nikkor 55-200mm f/4 - f/5.6 VR
135mm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

========================================

Your generous donations help me to review more products
and re-sell them at budget prices.
That way, more people will become happy!

========================================










0 comments :

Post a Comment

 

About me

The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

Kindly hit on the blue CONTACT button at the lower right corner of this page to get in touch for collaboration.


Google+ Followers

FB Feed

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *